Moving to a New Home With Your PetJuly 22, 2015
Moving to a new home can be a stressful time for everyone in the family, including your pet. When a pet’s routine is disrupted and his environment suddenly changes, it can cause him to become anxious, sensitive and can even lead to behavioural issues.
Here are some ways to help you make this transition as smoothly as possible:
Choosing your new home
Be on the lookout for any aggressive or unattended dogs. Take a stroll in your new area to determine if your neighborhood is a safe place for your pet. When choosing your new home, think about the surroundings. Are you close to a busy street that could potentially be dangerous if you pet escapes your home? If you’re moving to a new apartment, are there many stairs in your building? This could be a problem for young pups that are house-training. Do you have a yard or a dog park nearby? Not having access to either could become an issue for high-energy dogs.
Preparing for the move
Help your pet get used to moving day by bringing in some moving boxes early. You’ll also need to get your pet used to his crate. You can make it a gradual process by placing his bowl of food in the crate and shutting the door while your pet is eating, or making it a positive association by rewarding your pet with a treat once crate-time is over. Get your pet used to being moved around in his crate by walking around your home with your pet in the crate.
Keep your pet calm and safe during moving day
Seeing strangers coming in and out of your home while taking furniture away that your pet is used to could set him into panic mode. If possible, it’s a good idea to leave your pet at a friend’s or family member’s home while the movers do their work. If it’s not possible, keep your pet in a room in the house with food, water, his favorite toys and a bed. For cat owners, don’t forget the litter box. Make sure the movers know not to go in the room. When in transit, make sure your pet is safely settled in his crate.
Getting used to your new home
Settling into a new environment can be a bit stressful for you. Some pets pick up on their owners’ anxiety and emotions, which is why it’s important you give your pet the love and attention he needs.
For cat owners, the first thing on your list should be to cat-proof your new home. Since cats are not big fans of changes, get your kitty used to one room at a time. You can do so by bringing your cat from your car directly into a room while still in his crate. This room will become his “safe-place” for the transitioning period. Put a bowl of water, food, litter box and bed, and let him get used to this room. As your cat becomes comfortable, give him access to another room while keeping his belongings in the safe room. Once your cat wanders at ease, move his water, food and litter box to their permanent places.
Remember to be consistent with your routine, whatever it may be. The sooner you can get back into your normal groove, the sooner your pet will feel comfortable. Make sure your pet’s favourite toys or items are in your new home so he has a sense of familiarity.
Finally, look for a veterinarian clinic close to your new home. Once you’re all settled in, be patient with your pet and let him deal with his new surrounding at his own pace. You’ll see that your pet will be back to owning his domain soon enough!