Published: July 22, 2016
Moving your pets to a new home can be difficult. The physical process of moving is difficult in and of itself, but that’s just the beginning (read our post on how to make moving with pets easier). Once you’ve gotten your pets to your new home, it’s important to help them adjust so that they feel comfortable in their new surroundings.
Dogs tend to be a lot easier to acclimate to new surroundings than cats. The first step in helping a dog adjust to his new home is to create a “safe space” for him to treat as his home base for whenever he feels stressed or overwhelmed. If he’s crate trained, this is where you should keep his crate and any of his toys. Keep him in this room at first until he feels comfortable, before letting him roam through the rest of the house.
To help your pup figure out the new bathroom situation, be sure to take him out regularly throughout the day, and reward him with a treat every time he uses the bathroom outside the way he should.
Be positive with your dog and make sure he feels happy and comfortable in his new environment. Give him a lot of attention until he starts to feel more at ease. Remember that dogs are creatures of habit, so establishing important food, water, and sleeping designations will help him become more acclimated.
Cats tend to be a little more finicky when it comes to moving to a new home. Similar to the way you would a dog, pick a small, quiet room in your home to be the cat’s new safe haven. Make sure kitty has everything she needs in the room—food, water, litter box, scratching post, toys, and carrier—so that she can adjust to her new territory.
Be sure to visit your cat’s room often and take time to monitor how your cat reacts. If she gets scared and immediately hides, she’s not ready to explore the rest of the house yet. After a period of time (days or even weeks), she will become more comfortable and will be ready to explore the rest of the house. Leave the door open and let her explore at her own pace, with the option to return to her safe haven whenever she needs to.
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