Any type of move can be stressful for you and your pets. Not only are they unsure about their new environment, but it can also lead to behavioral problems that weren’t an issue in the past. Many pets will feed off their owner’s anxiety and insecurities.
Your furry friend may be focused on establishing their new territory, or hiding under a bed. Every pet is different, and the following tips should be modified to fit their temperament. However, the stress your pet may experience should never be underestimated. Even an animal that is very independent is likely to need time to adapt. Here are some ways you can help your pets adjust comfortably to your new move.
1. Consistency Is Key
Maintain the same feeding schedule, playtime, walking activities, and cuddling at bedtime as usual. If your animal uses a doggy door, have one arranged at your new place ahead of time. This will avoid any confusion when it comes to potty time.
If you have an outdoor cat, you should continue to arrange a time for outside play even if you have to use a leash. This will keep them from running away or getting lost in a new neighborhood.
2. Bring Your Pet’s Essentials
Moving into a new home is not a great time to introduce new toys and treats. Instead bring their favorite creature comforts including their bed, crate, water and food dish, toys, and treats. Create an ‘overnight kit’ that has the smaller items easily accessible during the first few days of unpacking.
Make sure to place the items in similar areas of your new home that would have been at the old. Dog trainers believe this will help your pet feel in control at home more quickly.
3. Minimize Anxiety
Easing your pet’s transition will depend on your pet and their personality. Some animals will do better away from the chaos in a crate, while others will need to be near you at all times. If you feel your dog or cat will become extremely panicked, consider keeping them at a friend or family member’s house until you are settled in.
4. Keep Your Animals Safe
Plan for the safety of your pet during all aspects of your move. Most animals will sense that something is going on once they start seeing the boxes. Secure a safe area of the home where they can’t hide, run away, get lost, or injured. Hiring a moving company such as Matco Moving is convenient, but they are not responsible for lost pets. Keep a file handy of all of their veterinarian records in case of an emergency. Update their identification tags to include your new contact information. The best way to reduce stress on an animal is to keep them in a quiet area. This can be as simple as emptying out one bedroom on another floor and closing the door. Check on them regularly and take breaks in between moving to feed or walk them.
5. Practice Patience
Let your pets explore and spend some time sniffing around your new place. Let them hide if they want to as long as they know where their litter box or doggy door is. Don’t be forceful and allow them to come out of hiding when they are comfortable. You may notice their eating habits will change for a few days. Be patient as they need time to adjust just as you do.
6. Using Smell To Soothe
If you have a cat, using smell is an effective way to help your cat feel at home. Cats respond to their own pheromones and rely on scent for memory. You can achieve this by wiping your cat’s cheeks with a cloth and rubbing it on the doors or furniture in your new home.