Tips on introducing pets to a new home

Moving can be stressful for the entire family, but it can be particularly difficult for our four-legged friends. When preparing to move, there are a number of ways to make the transition as seamless and easy as possible for pets. The following are six tips on how to successfully introduce pets to their new home.

1. Prepare an overnight kit
When moving, most people pack an overnight bag that has all the necessities for the first few days. Pets need an overnight kit too! Keep an easily accessible bag or container that contains any food, kitty litter, toys, and grooming tools they will need as they adjust to their new home. Likewise, try to bring as many familiar things from the old house as possible; having their cat condo, bed, or crate can make a new home feel more safe and familiar.

2. Keep pets away from the action
Doors opening and closing, loud noises, and strangers moving in and out of the house can all cause animals additional stress when moving. Try to keep animals as calm as possible by keeping them away from the action. This often means relegating them to a quiet room with a door that can be closed; other options include leaving them with friends or family for the day, taking them to a doggie day care facility, or boarding them at a kennel. If you’re keeping pets in the home during the move, make sure they have plenty of food, water, and opportunities for interaction. Likewise, don’t forget to put a sign on the door to warn movers or helpers that there is a pet inside!

3. Update their information
As soon as possible, update your pet’s tags or microchip with your new address. This will ensure they can be safely returned to you if they escape from the new house for any reason.

4. Check the house for pet hazards
Give your new home the once over for any potential pet hazards. Watch out for:
Poisons: Cleaners, paint, antifreeze, medications, and some houseplants
Choking hazards: Buttons, pins, Legos, needles, game pieces, or other small toys
Heat sources: Furnaces, fireplaces, electrical cords, or space heaters
Escape route: Check fences, doors, windows, and gates for possible escape routes

5. Keep routines consistent
Keep consistent routines and rules in the new home to help pets feel more secure. This can include walking at the same time of the day, using their familiar beds or leashes, or continuing to not allow them on countertops or furniture.

6. Introduce them to the neighbors
Bring your dog with you as you start to explore the neighborhood! This will help acclimate them to the sights, sounds, and smells of their new home. This also serves to familiarize your new neighbors with your dog – talking about pets is also a great way to break the ice!

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