Life in Portland Blog

How To Settle Pets Into A New Home

2. Try to avoid having them present for the final packing stages, and when everything is being removed from the house. You can leave your dog with a friend, or even board them if you have a place they have been to and feel comfortable with. Or, in the case of cats, place their litter box, bed, toys, and other favorite belongings into a bathroom or quiet space in the house, and shut the door. This helps keep their stress to a minimum, and ensures their safety by preventing them from running out of the house as people are coming and going.

3. Unpack their toys, bowls, and bed separately, and arrange them in the space before you introduce them to the new house. Being able to quickly identify their possessions amongst the boxes puts them at ease, and signifies that they are at home.

4. Bribe them! One of the main tricks for training animals is to get them to associate something stressful with something good. Like treats, or new toys.  Buy a few new toys and something for the pups or kitties to chew on and play with in order to distract them, release some anxiety, and create a positive experience. 

5. Tire them out. Once your dogs have spent a bit of time exploring their new surroundings, take them for a good long walk around the neighborhood to burn off some of their nervous energy - it will help them relax when they get back to their new home.

6. If you are moving with cats, it is a good idea to set up a special temporary room for them in the new house, filled with familiar items. Keep them confined to this room, or a section of the house, and let them adjust to different parts of the home gradually over a few weeks. Also, it is best to keep them inside the house for the first couple of months while they come around to the idea that this is their new home.

Moving takes a toll physically and emotionally on everyone - not just for us, but for our pets, as well. In fact, in some ways it is worse for them, as they have no sense of what is going on, and moving homes can be a very traumatic ordeal. Communicating the change as a positive to them can be difficult, but there is a good way to go about it. 

Here are some ideas to make moving easier on your critter friends!

1. If possible, visit the new home and neighborhood with them prior to moving in - this allows them plenty of time to familiarize themselves with new sounds, sights, and smells.