Tips for Helping Pets Acclimate to a New Home
Moving on up may be exciting for you, but Fido isn’t sure he’s into it. Pets don’t love change. Stress manifests in pets in a variety of ways: peeing on carpet, barking and hiding are among the most common. Indoor pets only know a very limited familiar world, and when everything about that changes, it can send them into a tailspin! Thankfully you can mitigate some of their stress so they don’t tear up your furniture or pee in your shoes as revenge.
Here’s our favorite tips for helping your pets get used to your new home:
Preparing for the Move
You have time to mentally prepare for a move, but as far as your cats know, everything is hunky-dory until you start packing. Helping pets cope with a move has a lot to do with how well you prepare them for it. You can:
Crate train: You’ll need to put your dog or cat in a crate at some point during the move, if even for a short car ride. Start encouraging your pets to lay in their crate for a few weeks before the move. If it’s not a scary space to them because it’s been their nap zone recently, they may spaz out less about being crated while you’re driving to the new place.
Start packing early: Suitcases often signal trouble for pets. Imagine what will happen when everything goes in a box at once! Begin your packing process at least a week before the move day so pets have a chance to sniff around and see that the sky isn’t falling.
Consult your vet: Your pet’s doctor may be able to prescribe safe anti-anxiety medications to have on hand when the move goes down. Don’t try them on your pet for the first time on moving day; test them out at least once.
On Moving Day
You’ll be stressed out enough on moving day; do you really want to add a pet meltdown to the mix? Here’s how to keep moving day from getting sidetracked by your pet:
Using a soft cover crate: Using a large, soft cover crate where pets can move around a bit is less stressful than a small, hard crate. Especially when you’re in the car.
Keeping toys near: Your pet’s favorite lovey could provide much-needed comfort on moving day. Have a bag of stuffed animals, special treats and a comfort blanket on hand all day.
Administering meds as necessary: Use the meds if you need to. No shame.
Getting Used to a New Home
You’re all settled into your new place and your pet is still down in the dumps? It might take some time for them to treat your new house like a home. Here’s how you can help:
Stay close: Extra snuggles are called for when you move into a new home. Try not to schedule a vacation right after you move. Exacerbating the number of changes could turn your pup into a depressed creature.
Let them sniff: Let your pets explore as much as they want. They may want to roll around and get their scent on stuff or investigate every corner of the space; allowing them to orient themselves will help them become comfortable.
Make things familiar: Try burning the same candles and using the same cleaning supplies. Set out your pet’s favorite floor pillow in a similar place (such as near the left end of the couch) so things are as familiar as they can be during the adjustment period. This isn’t the time to change food brands or stop letting them sleep on the bed.
Moving can be stressful, but planning helps you keep your pets from freaking out. And that’s better for the whole family.