As stressful as moving can be for people, it's often an exhausting time for pets. Whether it's dogs, cats or even fish, the process of packing up one home and moving to a new location can bring with it struggles to adjust. Pets aren't able to understand the intent of the moving process, so seeing items packed and removed from the home, and then being transported themselves, can increase stress and anxiety. In some cases, this can produce complications, particularly regarding behavior.
If you're facing the likelihood of moving with pets, there are things you can do to help prepare your pets and ease them through this process. By doing so, you can relieve the stress they endure while helping them fully adjust to this transition. Here are some tips to help you out.
Keep your pet away from moving activities
Packing will make cats and dogs uneasy. Instead of allowing them to be nervous and in the way as you pack up your home, confine them to a kennel or crate. Provide your pet with toys to occupy them while helping them exert their nervous energy. When moving day arrives, consider moving a very anxious pet to a friend's home or boarding the pet at a local animal day care to spare you and them of the stress.
Help your pet explore its new surroundings
A new environment will spur on your pet's curiosity. They'll be eager to investigate the area, and your presence will help offer some security. BarkBusters.com recommends that pet owners put a leash on their cat or dog and take them around the inside of the new home as well as around the outdoor areas. This will also help them develop a routine of going to the bathroom outside, which will increase their comfort at the new residence.
Give your pet more confined time early on
When moving your belongings into a new home, it's best to keep the pet confined in a crate. This reduces the risk of an escape and protects them from injury as large objects and heavy foot traffic flow into the residence. It also allows your pet to be introduced into the residence more gradually. Only let your pet out of a kennel or crate when all the doors and windows are closed.
Ease into your new routine -- especially when leaving your pet at home
While you might look at your new residence with the excitement of having a new home, your pet won't make that connection. It will take some time before pets come to recognize the unit as their own. According to the Oregon Humane Society, pet owners should be aware of this when leaving the pet at home, especially early on after the move. Pets left in a residence for long periods of time may start to feel abandoned, and they certainly won't feel comfortable in their new home.
Spend time away from the home in small doses to ease your pet's anxiety while showing them that you will always return. The more you can do this in the first few days, the better your pet's adjustment will be when you're forced to spend full days out of the home.
Pet relocation can be a headache if you aren't considerate of your pet's experience. By being sensitive to those fears and stress factors, you will help avoid negative reactions while enjoying a better transition to your new home.