Moving is stressful even for humans. Sadly, your pets also may experience a high level of stress. After all, they are seeing all of their loved and familiar things get boxed up and removed from the house. Then, they end up being taken on a trip and then placed in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Obviously, there is no way for you to explain to your dog, cat, or other pet what is actually going on. Here are some tips to help your pet adjust to their new surroundings.
Keeping Pets Properly Identified
The first thing to do is make sure your pet has a collar with an identification tag. It is possible they could try and escape, hoping to find their way back 'home,' to your old home. If they have proper identification, it will certainly be easier to get them back.
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By the same token, be more careful to not let your pets run out of the home. This is especially true during your first days. Since they are not familiar with the neighborhood, they could very easily get lost and not be able to find their way back.
Helping Dogs Adjust
When first arriving at the new house, put a leash on him/her and then walk them through the entire new house. This allows them to become acquainted much quicker. Be especially careful around staircases or any recessed areas.
Try to place their bed, food, and water bowl in positions that are similar to where they were in the old location. Also, make their usual toys, blankets, treats, etc... very easily accessible. This helps them feel more comfortable in a very confusing situation. Here are some other ideas:
- Take them on walks around the neighborhood
- Go to local parks (and let them run around to work on their energy)
- Spend some quality time with the dog whenever possible
- Pet them more, showing your concern and care
Helping Cats Adjust
Cats are a bit different than dogs. They do tend to have stronger connections to people rather than location, but they do also need some time to adjust to a new environment. The first thing to do is during the move, keep them in a room with the door closed. Make sure it has a window and give them some of their toys, so they can keep entertained.
If you think your cat might be a little freaked out by the move, consider keeping them in the room for a few days until things are unboxed, put away, and the general craziness of the move goes away. Make this room comfortable for them by including:
- Litter boxes
- Food and water (same bowls as in your old location)
- Anything else that might keep them calm and occupied
Once it's time to let them out, allow them to explore the house on their own. Let them go outside for a few minutes initially; carefully monitor their exploration at first to ensure they don't run away. Gradually allow them outside for longer periods of time as they become more familiar with the environment.