Pet owners: Don’t make these mistakes when moving to a new home

Dog and cat in manufactured home

Moving to a new manufactured home is exciting, but also involves some tasks, such as planning, packing, enlisting help, and lots more. Moving with pets can add even more to your to-do list. To help keep your animals calm and safe when moving to a new home, we've compiled a few tips from experts at the online network Rover. To make a smooth transition, avoid these mistakes:

  1. Keeping pets around on moving day
    Moving day may be chaotic, so boarding dogs, or having them stay elsewhere is a good idea, says Nicole Ellis, a professional dog trainer with the online network Rover. Cats can be confined to a specific room in the old or new place to keep them away from the activity, says Mikel Delgado, a cat behavior expert at Rover. She suggests placing a sign on the closed door that reads, “Cat Inside: Please Do Not Open Door,” to prevent escapes. Knowing your pet is safe and out of the way will make the move less stressful.
  2. Washing pets’ things before the move
    Familiar smells ease pets’ anxiety, Ellis and Delgado say. It may seem like a good idea to wash your pets' belongings or buy them new things before a move for a fresh start, but don’t. Beds, blankets, toys, litter boxes, and food and water bowls bring the scent of the old home into the new one, and this substantially reduces pets’ stress and helps them adjust, they say.
  3. Not keeping an eye on them in their new environment
    Once you've moved, Ellis recommends watching your pets closely as they explore their new place—and checking (inside and outside) for possible escape routes. She also suggests walking them around the community to ease them into new sights and sounds, which can be overwhelming. Plus, introduce yourself and your pet to neighbors.
  4. Changing their setup or routine too much
    Cats are territorial and feel safest in familiar spaces, setting up a “safe room” with your cats' necessary and favorite things for the first few hours, days, or even weeks helps them adjust. For dogs, Ellis recommends arranging beds, crates, and toys as close to the old setup as possible. Giving dogs a sense of familiarity with where their stuff is located makes them feel more at home.
The bottom line is that settling pets into a new place will take time. How much depends on the individual animal, the pet experts say. But, soon, you’ll all be comfortable and happily enjoying your new home … together.

Source: Adapted from article by Erica Sweeney

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