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If you are getting ready to move to a new house with your emotional support pet, you’ll have to think about how the move will affect your loved one and how you can make things easier for them. Here is our short guide to helping your pet manage a move to a new home.
1. Prepare the new place for your pet
Your new home will be exciting and unfamiliar for your pet. It can be hard for a dog or cat to adjust to a new environment, because they are creatures of habit. They find comfort in the familiar, and you will want to take time to let them adjust to the new place. This can mean bringing them over to the new house before you move in, just like you would with a young child at a new school.
This may not always be possible, especially if your new home is very far away, so you can do other things to help them adjust gradually. Start by making their area of the house as familiar to them as possible. Bring in all their food and water dishes, blankets, sleeping mats and litter box without cleaning up any of these and erasing the familiar smell.
2. Make moving relaxing and comfortable
Whether the move is a short one or a long one, you should be thinking about your pet’s comfort, safety and emotional state for the entire trip. If you don’t have a pet carrier for travel, then you may want to get one. If you’ll be flying to your new home, make sure to get an airline approved pet carrier.
For car travel, be sure your pet has plenty of space. If your pet is anxious when you travel, then you may want to consider using a sedative to calm your pet’s nerves or put him to sleep for the duration of the trip. This is completely harmless and will ensure that your pet doesn’t mind the travel.
3. Manage your pet’s stress
Your pet is going feel overwhelmed and perhaps a bit scared by the new place. There will definitely be some curiosity as well, but you should expect to have to manage a rollercoaster of emotions. Don’t expect your pet to handle the move as well as you do, since they haven’t had the time to prepare mentally for the move like you have. After all, your pet has been there for your emotional states, and you should be there for theirs as well.
You may want to let outdoor pets sleep inside at first, particularly close to you so that they can adjust easier. You should consider letting your pet stay with you for the first day or two as he gets used to all the new changes. Make sure to write your new address on your pet ID tags or collar tag, so if your stressed pet escapes or wanders your neighbors will be able to bring them home safely.
4. Wait to make other major changes
New homes often come with big changes, but you want to try to keep changes to your pet’s life as small as possible. If you are thinking of introducing a new animal to the house, then you should hold off on that until your pet is ready.
5. Help your pet to adjust over time
You don’t have to introduce your pet to the entire house and property all at once. You can gradually introduce new rooms by keeping some areas of the house closed off to your pet at first. Feline Culture explains that this is a great way to let your pet adjust incrementally and ensure that he is ready to handle each new part of the house. This will also give you time to ensure that each room of your house is safe for the pet and doesn’t contain things that your pet might destroy or get into trouble with. Keep in mind that with new environments pets will tend to act unpredictably. They may not behave in ways that they normally would, and you can get ahead of those problems by allowing your pet to gradually be introduced to the house.
Adjusting to a new home will be a learning process for you and your pet. You’ll both have to figure out how to adjust to the changes, and if your pet is having real trouble, then you can always consult with your vet for advice, but if you follow our guide, you should do just fine.