Pet parents know how important it is to keep our furry family members safe, healthy, and happy. That’s why we give them the care they need, and why we spoil them with a special spot to sleep and favorite toys to play with. Our pets thrive on these routines, which is why moving to a new home can be stressful for them.
But just like a parent would do for a child, we can help prepare our pets for what’s to come. Careful planning will help them cope with the change and lower their stress so that everyone can get back to their normal routines ASAP.
Planning Your Move
One of the best things you can do for your pets is to plan your move with their needs in mind. Even before you find a home or start packing, think about choosing a city or neighborhood that’s pet-friendly if you have a dog.
When searching for a new home, this is the perfect opportunity to find a place for you and your pets to thrive. Maybe your wish list includes a fenced-in yard or a community that has a dog park. There may even be needs you haven’t considered. For example, the ASPCA suggests thinking in terms of vertical space if you have kitties who like to climb. Or if you’ve always wanted a big dog but didn’t have space, you’ll want to find a home where a large crate will fit right in.
Another way to make this move easier is to plan ahead for any moving-related tasks. Besides finding services for your pets, you’ll need to take care of things like getting the utilities turned on, changing locks, handling your change of address, and signing up for internet service. Before you move is actually the best time to look into these things, plus then you can shop around to find a good deal on essentials, like fast internet so your pets can indulge in some distracting shows while you’re unpacking. Even if these basic tasks seem minor, taking care of them now will leave you with more time to settle your pets after you move in.
Packing and Unpacking
Having to pack up all your belongings is perhaps the most daunting part of moving. And if this is how you feel about stacks of boxes, imagine how your pup must feel! That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to keep your stress level down while packing up and moving. They also suggest packing your pets’ items last to retain as much of a sense of normalcy as possible, plus it makes it easier for you to unpack their things right away.
Making a House a Home
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to overwhelm your pets on moving day. Once everything is inside the excitement dies down, THEN bring your pets into the new house. It also helps to recognize that dogs may have a different response to moving than cats do.
For example, Happy Cats Haven notes felines do best when you set up a “safe room” for them to hang out in until they get adjusted. However, dogs may want to explore each room on their own terms, and taking them for a walk in their new neighborhood can help put them at ease, too. The other tried and true tip for helping pets adjust is to give them even more of what they already need, from praise and playtime to extra attention and tasty treats like jerky, biscuits, or even something with CBD that’s both delicious and calming.
Change is hard, whether you’re human, canine, feline, or any other species. Change is especially hard on our pets, though, and we can’t even explain to them what’s happening. That’s why it’s so important to show them that they’re still safe and loved and that this new space is a place where they can feel at home.