6 Tips to Help Your
Pet Adjust to a New Home
Moving homes is not only stressful for us, but our pets too. Pets may feel unsure about their new surroundings, which can lead to behavioral issues or temporary anxiety. Some animals will even pick up on their owners’ nervous emotions. Pets may become focused on establishing their "territory", or even want to hide under the bed for days at a time. Learn how to help your pet adjust to their new home so the moving process is as seamless and comfortable as possible for all family members.
Keep a consistent routine everyday for walks, playtime, feeding and bedtime. If a dog is used to using a doggy door, make sure to install one in the new home. If your cat is accustomed to going outside, arrange for that even if you have to use a leash and harness initially to keep him or her from running away.
Give Lots of Treats
Punishment will not help keep your pet from being anxious during a move. Instead, make them feel at ease by giving them treats. This will help to keep their mind off of the move and to focus on you, your commands and the yummy reward. In the future, your pet may also learn to associate the fearful situation with a positive one.
Ease your pet’s mind by catering to them during the stressful move. Some animals will feel best being near you no matter where you are, while others will prefer solitude in the safety of their crate. If neither one of those will work, consider leaving your pet at a friend’s house during the move and allowing them to adjust when everything is unpacked and the environment has settled.
Help Keep Them Safe
Make sure to “pet proof” your moving process. Some animals will become upset, hide or run away when the unpacking begins. Create a safe place in the house where they can't get lost or hurt. Make sure your pet has an identification tag with your contact information on it just in case they were to escape; you’ll want them to be returned to you as safely and quickly as possible.
Be Patient and Understanding
Allow your pets to take their time getting to know their new environment. Let them explore as long as you know they won’t have an accident in the house. Their behavior may change for a couple of days, including eating, activity level, pacing or shaking. They need time to get used to their new place, just like you do.
Give Them Love
Give your pet extra love during the move. Extra attention can go a long way as they learn to get comfortable with their new surroundings. Remember that difficult behaviors are a result of their anxiety due to the change and a sense of feeling out of control in unfamiliar territory. Difficult behaviors don't mean the pet is being bad or naughty. Never hesitate to consult a professional trainer or veterinarian if your pet's problems persist.