Before you pick out your dream home, make sure your pet will love it just as much as you will. When it comes to square footage, cats’ and dogs’ needs differ. It is a good idea to walk through the neighborhood to see whether the area is safe for your pets. Be on the lookout for neighborhood dogs that seem aggressive or wander.
Look at the move from your pet’s point of view. Their current home is more than their home; it’s their territory. Cats, especially, are very fine-tuned to their surroundings and prefer to be in a familiar environment. Dogs tend to adjust much more easily to moves.
Learning to Crate
Many pets haven’t spent much time in crates or cars. In the weeks or months leading up to the big day:
Prepare your pets by gradually acclimating them to their crates.
Practice carrying your pets around the house in the crate or taking a short drive in 10 minute intervals, increasing over time to match the time the trip will be the day of.
For dogs, consider taking your dog to your new neighborhood for walks before you move in. Walk near your new house and let your dog familiarize itself with the smells of the neighborhood. Go inside the new house if possible.
While you are packing, try not to confine your pet in a crate. Instead, include them while you pack and move boxes, enabling them to investigate and take part in the activity.
It is a good idea to pet-proof your new home. Make sure that all windows have secure screens, remove any poisonous indoor or outdoor plants and confirm that no pest-control traps have been left anywhere in the house that they can get into trouble.
On moving day, keep your pets in a quiet room with the door shut, the bathroom is a great choice. Be sure to provide food and water, and a litter box for pets that need it – and a closed door, of course. A sign indicating “KEEP CLOSED – PET INSIDE!” is also helpful.
Another option is to designate a responsible family member to be the dedicated pet sitter, or have a friend watch your dog for the day.
These options will ensure that your pet won’t get scared and try to make a quick getaway while the movers load up the truck. During the moving process, try to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible.
Once the movers have left and you have the house to yourself, let your pet move around the house inside and out. The sooner they get used to the new surroundings, the sooner they will feel at home.
It will be tempting to set your dog or cat loose in the house to explore. However, a new and unfamiliar space can be overwhelming to your pets. Start by allowing them to adjust to one room. This can be the room you had them in during the move. Make sure they have everything they need such as water, food, and a litter box.
You can relocate your cat’s litter box from the “safe” room to a more permanent location by moving it slowly over time.
Sticking to the routine after the move is very important. Maintaining the same schedule for treats, grooming, and bedtime will help your pets adjust even more quickly.
Be wary of leaving your dog outside unattended during the settling-in period. Dogs are known to jump fences to return to their old, familiar homes.