Moving to a new home is a stressful time that can become exciting for your family with a lot of conversation, questions, and answers. The four-legged members of your family, your pets, will feel the same stress but can’t relieve their anxieties by talking. Fortunately, you can ease their transition to the new space with the following strategies.
Begin with A Visit
If the new property is close enough to your old one, you’ve probably taken your family on multiple visits to check out the premises. If your pet can be secured, such as by putting your dog on a leash, be sure to take it along as well. First, get permission from the property managers on when that’s possible. Construction sites can be dangerous for pets. Then, show your pet around the new home so it becomes more familiar with the new surroundings. If you can, take your dog for a walk on the same route you intend to use when you move in.
Prepping with Boxes
Cats are generally not big fans of a move and may disappear outdoors come the big day. Weeks or months before the move, get your pet used to the idea by putting moving boxes and a cat carrier in the room you intend to pack last. Your feline friend loves to explore confined space and will be entertained by these new objects. Putting favorite toys and edible treats there will also help with familiarization. This technique also works with small dogs that you intend put into a carrier.
When moving day arrives, keep your pet confined to that room and out of the way of movers. When it comes time to pack up the room, you can more easily coax your pet into a carrier that it is already used to.
If you plan on taking your pet in a car, dogs generally do better than cats. In fact, you may have already taken your canine companion on several rides. However, if your pet has never been in your vehicle before, start getting it used to the idea with rides several weeks or months in advance.
On the day of travel, pack a bag specifically for your pet containing food, treats, some water, some towels, and a pet first aid kit. For cats, a disposable litter box can be helpful although they can generally do without them for eight to 10 hours. A health certificate may be required in the state your pet passes, so bring one along to present to highway patrolmen when they ask.
Hotels or motels in which you’re spending the night will generally post their pet policies on the website, sometimes for an extra fee. Otherwise, find out in advance unless you want to spend extra to put Fido or Tabby in a kennel.
At Your New Home
If your new home is completely unpacked, you can allow your pet to explore. Put its favorite toys, food bowls, and litter box in about the same locations at the new space as they were in the old one. For example, if the water bowl was in the kitchen of the old home, put it in the kitchen of the new one. This will help with familiarization.
If the home is still being unpacked, find a room that’s already unpacked and confine your pet there, so it can stay safe. Put out its favorite toys, treats, and litter box. Occasional visits from you and other family members can provide comfort. If you can, walking the dog in the new neighborhood as soon as possible will increase familiarity.
A little bit of planning ensures that your pet gets comfortable in the new space as quickly as possible. For more information or if you want to check out a new homes in the Central Valley for your family, please contact us.