Though moving into a new home can be exciting and rewarding, it can be equally exhausting and stressful. Your pet will not only pick up on your tension levels, but they’ll also experience their own as their surroundings change. But you can follow these tips to make the move less stressful for Fluffy or Fido.
Two primary points to remember to help acclimate your loved one: continuity and positive reinforcement. Try to keep as much continuity in your pet’s daily routine as possible.
Moving Tips for Dogs
Keep food type and feeding times the same as usual. Familiar objects such as bedding and toys will decrease his anxiety. Don’t leave your dog unattended in a fenced-in back yard until you know it is escape proof. Taking short frequent walks in the new neighborhood accompanied with lots of praise and treats will increase his confidence and security. Remember, he is the new kid on the block.
Moving Tips for Cats
Your kitty will have their own transitional challenges. On moving day, make sure you have a secure carrier and keep your cat in a quiet area. For the first few days, confine your cat to a comfortable room, then gradually introduce them to the rest of the house.
The litter box should contain the same type of litter as previously used and should be in a quiet, out-of-traffic area or in a location that most resembles the box’s location in your former home. Placing a second litter box in an alternative location will give your cat a choice of approved toilets rather than the new Oriental rug. As with dogs, cats are comforted by familiar items, so make sure they have access to their favorite toys, bedding, and climbing trees.
The best positive reinforcement you can give your pet at this time is your attention. Research shows that petting your dog and stroking your cat can reduce your blood pressure and slow your heart rate — all positive health signs. So take the time to love on your pet, be good to yourself, and both of you will enjoy your life and your new home.
This copyrighted article first appeared in the Residences section of The Palm Beach Post. It may have been updated since its original publication.