Moving to a new home across the state, or even just across town, can be one of the most stressful, but exciting, life events you’ll ever tackle. Luckily for you there’s the option of hiring a moving company to pack, move, and unpack all your belongings for you – taking the bulk of the stress off your shoulders. However, in all the excitement and chaos of planning you might not realize how stressed your pets can feel about this change too. Here are some tips to help them transition into the new space as easily as a good moving service can help you!
Choosing Your New Place:
Pet lovers understand that our pets are beloved family members, and their comfort and happiness are on our list of priorities when it comes to choosing the right home and location. It’s a good idea to walk around the neighborhood to determine whether the area seems safe for your pets.
- Is there privacy or a fenced-in yard?
- Will you be able to let your dog out to do his business?
- If you have a barker will it bother any neighbors?
- If your pet isn’t good around kids does there seem to be a lot of kids running around.
- Be on the lookout for neighborhood dogs that seem aggressive or are left unattended.
- Is it a busy street with a lot of traffic?
- How far is your vet or the nearest emergency vet?
These are all things you should consider before putting your pet into an uncomfortable or potentially dangerous environment.
Anyone who owns a cat is probably familiar with finding them tucked high up in some dark nook. Cat’s love to climb and they like seclusion when they’re feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable. For your feline friends try to make sure your potential new space allows for room to build vertically. Find a window you can possibly build a ledge on for them to sunbathe or a nook they can hide in when they want space to themselves. Cats are pretty laid back and easy to please when it comes to living space.
Considering a living space that’s perfect for your dog can be much more difficult because you have to consider their outdoor space too. Dogs with house training issues will need to go outside often, which might be difficult in an apartment building with lots of stairs or a house without a yard and close neighbors. Getting up and down flights of stairs might also have a negative effect if your dog is older in years and not as spry as he or she once was.
Also, if there is no yard you have to consider if there are places nearby to let them burn off energy. Places close enough that you don’t mind driving or walking to a few times a week before or after work. Make sure your breed of dog is right for your space. The Great Pyrenees do not do well as apartment dogs. They are a breed that loves working the farm and sleeping in the barn, while despite their size a Great Dane can make a wonderful couch companion and apartment dog. If you’re willing to put up with them hogging all the space.
Make your pet’s life, and your life, easier by thinking about convenience ahead of time, and choosing a spot that’s the right fit for you both.
Packing and Moving:
A lot of pets aren’t big fans of change. They have their spot, their blanket, their chair, or even their room. Pets are deeply attached to the things that smell like them and like you – who they love and adore. When you start moving that security blanket around or taking that familiarity away it can cause serious anxiety for them.
You can help your skittish pets adjust to the moving process by starting the packing process early and not trying to get it done all in a few days. That gives them time to adjust to the changes happening around them. It also helps to keep them in a familiar room you plan to pack up last. On moving day it’s best to keep your pets away from all the activity.
If they are already prone to being nervous around unfamiliar people, or a lot of activity, then help them by creating a little oasis in the house just for them. You don’t want an accident happening where they bolt out the door, snap at someone, or they get tangled under the mover’s feet while moving heavy furniture around.
Take them on familiar walks around the old neighborhood and try to keep their routine as normal as possible during this process.
Securing Your New Home:
It is a good idea to walk through your new home and double-check that there is nothing harmful your curious pet can get into. Make sure to tuck away any electrical cords that may still be out. If you have an escape artist, you’ll want to make sure that all windows have secure screens and that doors latch properly.
If you have a fenced-in backyard double check that there are no holes in the fence that need to be repaired. Check that the gate closes and latches securely. One of the most important things to look for and remove are any poisonous plants in or around the house. Also, confirm that no pest-control poison traps have been left anywhere in or around the house.
Finally Settling In:
A new and unfamiliar space can be overwhelming to your pet, especially if they aren’t used to traveling or being out of the house. You can help them adjust by spending time in each room with them. Unpack all their favorite things, toys, blankets, beds and set up their space for them. Try to keep food bowls and litter boxes in familiar locations and keep them on their routine.
At first, they may be anxious every time you leave them. If you can, start by leaving for short periods of time and coming back. Take them for a walk around the neighborhood, play with them in the backyard. Spend extra time with them for the first few days or week and let them explore their new space with you there.
With patience, your cat or dog will learn this is their new home in no time!