A move can be a source of extreme stress on pets. Like small children, they cannot understand what's going on around them when they are inexplicably thrust into a new environment. A lot of their reaction will be based on yours. If the animal sees anxiety or chaos, it will only fuel their insecurity, potentially leading to behavior issues. A cat may stop using its litter box. A dog could bark continuously when left alone in the new environment or may even try running away to get back to his or her old home. As pet owners, we need to help the pet with their transition.
Give Pets a Chance to See the New Home
Take your pet to the new place when you go and visit it before you move there. Give them a little time to acclimate by letting them sniff around all of the rooms and, even, play in the yard. When you do move in, this will help their new environment seem more familiar to them.
Take Advantage of Your Mover's Expertise
If you’re using a moving company, like Bekins Van Lines Inc, then you’ll definitely want your dog or cat to get to know whoever will be handling your things before any items get moved around. Animals can be pretty territorial, and so you should ask whoever is helping you to move things to let your pets sniff them. Although the pets might still be confused about where their human’s things are disappearing, they will at least be slightly more comfortable with whoever is making that happen.
Think of What's Best for the Pet
If having your pet around while the moving is going on proves to be too much and making them anxious, then you may want to consider other options. For example, you may want to put them in a crate for a little while. However, if moving is going to take more than an hour or so, then you might want to consider taking them to a kennel or a friend’s place for the day.
Maintain a Consistent Schedule
Pets have their own internal clocks. They know when it's time for a walk, when they should be fed and when it's time to hit the hay. If your cat is accustomed to getting out at certain times of the day by themselves, keep to the schedule. You may need a leash to ensure they don't get lost in the new environment, though, especially if you don’t have a proper fence installed.
Provide Lots of TLC
Pets need attention as much as we do. But during and after a move, a little extra TLC will help the animal relax. A pet's discomfort with strange surroundings can lead to unwanted behavior. Reminding them you're there for them will reinforce the sense that things are still in their control.
Hopefully, these five tips are able to help you and your pets in your transition from one home to another. You may just be going to a new house down the block or across the country, but your pet will still feel some confusion over the ordeal and that’s why it is important to take their feelings into consideration.