As stressful as moving can be for people, it’s often exhausting and overwhelming for pets. Whether it is a dog, cat, or hamster, the process of packing and relocating to a new home can be a struggle for a lot of animals. Pets aren’t able to understand the intent of moving, so the act of it can increase their levels of stress and anxiety. In some cases, this can produce complications in the pet’s behavior.
If you’re facing the likelihood of moving with pets, there are things you can do to prepare your pets and ease them through the process. By doing so, you can relieve the stress they endure while coaxing them through the transition. Here are some tips to help you out.
Keep your pet away from moving activities
Packing will surely make cats and dogs uneasy, and they will cling to you like glue. Instead of allowing them to be nervous and in the way, confine them to a room or their crate. Provide your pets with a blanket and some toys to keep them occupied. I recommend giving your dog a naturally-shed deer antler to gnaw on and your cat some cat nip. Chewing helps dogs relax, and better them chew on a toy than on your shoes! On moving day, consider dropping your pet off at a friend’s house or a local pet day care center for a few hours.
Help your pet explore his/her new home
A new environment will spur your pet’s curiosity. They will be eager to investigate their new home, but they might be equally as confused about it. Luckily, your presence will help offer security. Let them explore the home and backyard area on a tight leash. This will help them get a feel of the new space and develop a routine to increase their confidence and comfort.
Give your pet more confined time early on
When moving your belongings into your new home, it’s best to keep your dog or cat confined to a crate, at least till the movers have left. This reduces the risk of an escape, and protects them from injury as large objects and heavy foot traffic flow into the residence.
Ease into a new routine, especially when leaving your pet at home
While you might look at your new residence with excitement, your pet won’t make that connection. It will take some time before pets recognize the space as their own. Pet owners should be aware of this when leaving pets home alone, especially early on after the move.
If you need to go out, do so in small doses to ease your pet’s anxiety. The more you can do this in the first few days, the better his/her adjustment will be. Once again, place a few of his/her favorite toys out along with an old shirt that smells like you; it will provide them comfort while you’re away.
Relocating with a pet can be a headache if you’re not considerate of your pet’s experience. By being sensitive to those fears and stress factors, you will help combat negative reactions and enjoy a better transition into your new apartment.