Your guide to settling in with a pet.
Posted by Jenni
Sun 17 January 2021
For all you pet parents out there, we know how much Fido, Fluffy, and King Super Turtle II (Rest In Power, KST I) mean to you. Hell, they may be the reason you decided to become a homeowner in the first place.
Moving to a new home is exciting. But of course, it can take some time for you – and your non-human kiddos – to adjust and feel completely at home. Here’s some advice to help you and all your beloved creatures settle in smoothly — so you can just focus on enjoying the fresh new digs.
How to settle them in.
Regardless of what kind of pet you have, they’re gonna go through some sort of adjustment period when moving, and will definitely need some extra TLC. For them, it’s not just a change of scenery, but also a very noticeable change in sounds, smells, routes, and routines. Here are some tips for helping your furry and non-furry friends get back to living their best lives.
Creatures of habit.
Many pets are creatures of habit so big changes in their surroundings and schedules can really stress them out. Of course, you can’t change the fact that your family is moving everything to a new place in a new neighborhood. But, you can do a few things to help minimize the anxiety for your fur babies.
Moving day tends to be the most stressful part of the move. But, you can make things a lot easier on you and your pets by starting packing early. It lets them get used to all the boxes and supplies and helps reduce your moving prep anxiety. Another important step you can take is making a concrete plan for making sure your pets stay safe during the commotion, and don’t end up darting out the door. Also, sticking as closely to your pets’ routines as possible throughout the entire move will help them feel more secure.
Home is where the heart — and your favorite squeaky toy — is.
Your pet most likely craves the comfort of familiar faces, smells, and things. So, it’s great to have their favorite toys, sleep cushions, and blankets set up ASAP in the new home. As long as your cat knows how to get to his bed and BFF Gary — the grinning one-eyed teddy bear who looks like he’s got some stories — he should feel right at home in no time.
They soak up everything — like furry sponges.
Remember that pets can easily pick up on their humans’ emotions. Not just that, but they can absorb them easily, just like a sponge. Soon enough, 1 anxious human in the home can quickly turn into 1 anxious human, 2 restless wiener dogs, and a nervous parrot who won’t stop singing the chorus to “SOS” by Rihanna. So, try your best to stay calm and not panic during your move, which will make everything much easier on your pets — and you (it’s a good song, but no one needs to hear it on repeat that many times).
Take a staycation.
If you don’t usually WFH, try taking a little time off of work to help your dog get adjusted to the new home. During this time, you can increasingly spend more time away from the house, so your dog can gradually get more comfortable being alone there. If you can’t, you might want to get a pet sitter to spend some time with your pet at first when you’re away, while it gets used to spending time there alone.
All good things come to those who wait.
It’s not unusual for pets to take a little while to really warm up to a new place. You might see them act a little strange — like hiding in nooks of your new place or looking uneasy. But, if you continue to gradually help them get used to their new surroundings, they’ll be back to their goofy, carefree selves in no time. To help your dog get familiar with your new neighborhood and unfamiliar dogs, it’s great to keep it on a leash and let it slowly explore the new area, bit by bit. And it’s important to wait until it truly seems comfortable and familiar with its new home and neighborhood before letting it off-leash.
Save yourself some hassle.
If you’re like us, then you’re probably allergic to drama and hassles, too. So, a word to the wise. It’s good to really read up on your HOA’s, neighborhood’s, county’s, and city’s regulations on pets, so you know the proper etiquette when out and about. You don’t wanna be “that guy.” “That guy” and his dog get laser beam stinkeye at the dog park from the well-mannered owners and dogs. And they never get invites for the doggie play dates or the cool neighborhood parties.
Finding the right people.
Find the right doc.
Of course, one of the most important things to cross off your list is finding a good nearby vet for your pets. Check out this helpful article by Fuzzy Pet Health and this one by CertaPet on what to look for in a vet. Some good resources for getting leads on great pet docs are American Animal Hospital Association, Foursquare, INO Pets Parents Social Network, Mypet.com, and Nextdoor.com.
Just a spoonful of sugar...
Even if your beloved Mary Poppins of pet sitters now lives too far to bring her magic to your abode, there are many ways to find someone to fill her big, enchanted shoes. In addition to Care.com and Rover.com, you can get your search on with Petsit.com, PetSitter.com, Sittercity.com, Thumbtack.com, and TrustedHousesitters.com.
Pet washes and groomers.
Whether you want to find a place to roll up your sleeves and de-stinkify your pup or hire someone to get them ready for their closeup, you’ll probably have plenty of options in your new area. Aside from the popular Petco.com option, you can also start searching on AllPawsPetWash.com homeguide.com, and bark.com.
Finding the right places.
If you want to know what restaurants and other local joints let you bring your furry loved ones, then you should probably check out Bringfido.com and PetfriendlyTravel.com. These sites, along with Nylabone.com, are also great for finding places to walk your dog or let it run wild and free — with the wind in its fur and the sun on its snout.
Whether you have a playful Goldendoodle, an adorkable Siamese, or the cuddliest Python this side of the Pacific, we wish you good luck with your move. And, we know that with just a little bit of care and effort, your house will turn into a home before you and Mr. Bigglesworth know it.