Unless you have somebody else tackle the entire process for you, moving house is stressful. It makes complete sense that your pets will also find it anxiety-inducing.
Animals, especially dogs and cats, are territorial. Unable to understand what’s happening, they’ll find the change disorienting and disruptive.
Let’s take a look at the most significant do’s and don’ts to reduce their tension levels and help them settle in your new place.
Moving will be stressful, no matter what. However, you can reduce the confusion your pet has to face.
Feeding Them Before Moving
If you’ll drive the entire family to your new house, pets included, don’t feed them right before you take off. It’ll only cause car sickness and increase the discomfort.
Letting Them Loose
If you have a backyard, you’ll face the temptation of letting your dog or cat go outside as you’re unpacking. However, failing to check whether it’s secure first exposes your furry friend to potential threats.
Pet-proof the yard and spend some time in the garden with them to ensure they’re comfortable in their new surroundings.
Pets are creatures of comfort, and they’ll take a while to relax in a brand-new space. The initial anxiety could lead to bad habits on their end, such as chewing or scratching the furniture.
While you should nip these behaviors in the bud, be patient with them for the first few days. Give them extra treats and attention, and the issues are likely to go away by themselves.
Straying from the Routine
Moving disrupts your everyday routine, and it can take some time to settle back into the ease of your daily life. However, try to stick to the usual walking and feeding times.
It’s all about patience and care as your pet gets used to the new place it calls home.
If you expect the moving process to last the entire day, get a friend or relative to look after your pet. Alternatively, ask one of your kids to spend the day outdoors with them while you tackle the boxes.
You could also get a service to move your furniture and big boxes a day before you leave. From UMoveFree experience, having the items transported beforehand makes people feel much less stressed on moving day. The benefits only double if an extra frightened soul requires your care.
Keeping Them Away
If you can’t get them outside, leave the pet in one area of the house and close the doors. Choose a quiet, well-lit, and spacious room. Return once every few hours to check on them, even if you find yourself swamped with tasks.
While they’ll dislike the isolation, it beats having to deal with loud noises and a crowded area. Provide some comforting cuddles in the evening, and they’ll forget about the few sad hours.
Packing Pet Items Last
You could even leave their favorite toys and blankets in the car. Items they know can put them at ease. Don’t wash their things for a few weeks after the move, either – they’ll appreciate a familiar smell.
Once You Settle
You’ll want to work on creating a comfortable atmosphere for your animal friend over the next few weeks to help them adapt.
While you can’t do much, making their space as comfortable and familiar as possible can help. Another useful strategy includes opening the unknown house up to them room-by-room.
Finally, maintain their routine. That way, you’re showing your pet that you’re still there to care about them, and they have familiar parts of the day to look forward to during the turbulent times.
The Bottom Line
Overall, there’s only so much you can do. The territorial tendencies won’t disappear until your pet starts seeing the unusual, foreign place as their home.
Stay attentive, patient, and loving towards your animal companion, maintain the routines to give them a sense of grounding, and don’t leave them alone for too long at once. If the signs of stress don’t decrease with time, speak to your vet to find ways to make them calm and happy.