Moving with a pet is its own battle—but what about once you’ve unpacked in your new home? The transitional phase while your pet gets used to a new place can be difficult. There’s no way to tell pets what’s happening, and the stress and confusion of a move can be hard on them. However, here are six things you can do to help all your loved ones adjust.
Talk to Your Pet
Chatting with your pets about the move will help them feel included and loved. You push their needs aside during a hectic move. Now that you’re settled, it’s time to return to the relationship you had. Calmly speak with your pets using words they’re familiar with, and reassure them that there’s nothing to fear.
Bring things from your last home your pets particularly loved, such as an old couch pillow or toys. These objects will have a familiar scent and can comfort your animals in a strange location. Eventually you’ll fill your new home with familiar scents, but until then, your pet can feel safe and secure with favorite items.
Establish a Routine
Your pets depend on their daily routine to feel comfortable and at peace. During a move, you disrupted your pet’s daily life. Now you’re settled into a new place and can take steps toward establishing a normal routine. If you’ve always walked your dog at sunset, continue this habit. If your cat likes to sleep in the window during the day, set up a similar spot in the new home.
Be There for Them
Moving to a new city requires readjusting, socializing, and a variety of other things that take you away from the home. If possible, arrange to spend the first week in your new place with your pet to minimize the time he or she spends alone. If you must start work immediately, arrange for a friend or pet sitter to visit during the day.
Keep Your Pet Safe
Make sure your pet has proper identification in case he or she makes a run for it while you’re moving. Learn about potential risks, such as a violent neighborhood dog or environmental hazards. If your pet’s behaviors are unusual after a move, it may not be smart to introduce him or her to other pets right away. Your animal might feel vulnerable and lash out at others until he or she feels confident in the new location.
Be Patient and Loving
Be patient with your pets and do everything in your power to minimize anxiety. If they run away from stacks of boxes, try to unpack sooner rather than later. If your pet exhibits behaviors such as chewing on furniture, pacing, going to the bathroom in the house, or other issues, don’t be too harsh. He or she is going through a lot and may need time to adjust before returning to normal. Most of all, give your pet tons of attention. Loving pets through a move is the best way to make them feel right at home.