Animals are creatures of habit. So, when you move to a new residence, it temporarily disrupts their routine and can send them into a tizzy. They can become very stressed and on edge because of the new place, new smells, new people and all-new environment. Before you make a move, consider your pet — and try these five simple tips to make the transition easier on both of you.
- Keep your schedule and routine the same. If your dog has always gone for a walk at 3:00 p.m. or your cat has always eaten at 4:00 p.m., keep those times and activities consistent. This will give your pet a lot of comfort, knowing that even though his/her residence is new, the routine is still the same.
- Bring all of his/her favorite things. Moving is enough of an adjustment for your pet; he/she doesn’t need anything else that’s new. Instead, bring all of your pet’s old familiar favorites — bed, crate, toys, food and more — to your new place. Put these items out as soon as you get to your new place, and try to put them in similar spots as they were before.
- Minimize your pet’s anxiety; maximize his/her safety. As you start packing boxes, gauge your pet’s reaction. Is it best for your pet to be there for the preparations and the actual move? If so, make sure he/she is always safe in the midst of the mess. If it’s best that your pet isn’t there for the move, make other arrangements. Do you have a friend or a trusted pet sitter who can take your pet as you get everything ready? In either case, make sure your pet is safe at all times.
- Be patient. A move is one of the most stressful times in your pet’s life. As he/she sniffs around and explores the new environment, there may be some hiding, increased barking or even a few potty accidents. Try not to get mad about this. Your pet is simply adjusting. The “acting up” will stop as your pet gets used to the new place.
- Love your pet always. In transitional times, simply showing your pet some love goes a long way. Give him/her hugs, kisses and snuggles as he/she tries to make sense of this big change. When your pet knows that he/she is loved unconditionally, everything will seem much easier to handle.
If you’re planning a move, or if you’ve already moved and the transition seems to be too hard for your pet, talk to the veterinary experts at your Inland Empire veterinarian. As your Redlands veterinarian, we’re well-equipped to help with these situations. Together, we can help make your move as easy as possible on your pet.