Selling, buying and moving into a new house can be stressful, even if you’re excited about the whole process. There are so many things to keep straight and organized, along with a ton of work to do — from cleaning to packing, repairing and painting. It can take a lot out of you and your family, but have you thought about how your move might affect your pet? Ensure your furry family members are safe and sound with these tips from Jason Taylor Moving and Storage.
Look for Signs of Stress
Dogs and cats, in particular, are very sensitive animals and can absorb and exhibit stress, both when you are in the process of preparing for the move and when you arrive at your new home. How can you tell if they’re stressed?
- Whining or barking for no obvious reason
- Sudden appearance of dander on their fur, particularly around the neck, shoulders and upper back
- Panting, yawning, raised hackles
- Avoiding eye contact
- Excess grooming and scratching
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Digestive issues, decrease in appetite
- Excessive meowing
Thankfully, there are things you can do to help make the transition as smooth as possible for your beloved companions. Even if you can’t eliminate their stress entirely, these four things can reduce it and provide comfort and stability:
1. Try To Keep Their Routines
Besides you, Issuu explains your dog’s or cat’s routine is what makes them feel safe and secure. As best as you can, try to keep up those walks and dedicated playtimes, even when you get busy with preparations. Keep feeding times consistent so they know what to expect. If you happen to move to a location in a different time zone, feed them at the time they’re used to, and gradually bump it forward or back until it’s at the right time according to the clock.
2. If You Can Help It, Don’t Pack in Front of Them
Dogs will feel nervous and unsettled watching the familiar things in their environment disappear into boxes — they’ll sense something is wrong. Cats may not be as concerned, but they most certainly will attempt to explore the boxes and settle in for a nap, which is counterproductive and potentially frustrating for you. Consider hiring professionals to tackle this phase of the move for you, and you and your furry family member can either play in the backyard or enjoy an outing together.
3. Get Them Used to a Pet Carrier
You’ll need to acclimate your pet to a crate in order to minimize stress on moving day. Place a familiar toy or blanket in there ahead of time and allow them to explore it while the door is open. Fill a Kong with treats and leave it in the crate for them to discover. On the day of the move, make sure they have the same toys and treats to create familiarity.
If you are moving long-distance, research pet-friendly hotels to stay at along the way. If money is tight, see if you can stay with family or friends, provided they are OK with having your pet, too. This also is helpful if you need some time before move-in to look for job or housing options.
4. Set Up Their Space First When You Move In
While Business Insider points out there is a flood of great pet products on the rise, it’s important not to buy new stuff for your pet at the beginning — even if it’s old and ratty, bring their old beds and toys, food bowls, and whatever comfort items they love. The familiarity will help your pet feel at home. Show them their space in the new place and reward them with treats in that area. It may sound strange, but lie down on the floor in different areas and play with them; having your scent there will help make it seem like home.
These four tips, along with simply being aware of your pet’s stress level, will go a long way to help make moving to a new house as comfortable as possible for them. Be patient with them, knowing it’ll take some time to arrive at a new normal and for the house to feel like home for everyone. And look to Jason Taylor Moving and Storage for more advice on a smooth and professional moving experience!