Entry #93, May 18, 2010
When most people move to another home, the number one concern is the family and how they’ll adjust to the new home. What about your furry family members who have to make the move too?
When we moved on Christmas Eve last year, the worst thing happened when we had to hand our house over to the Realtor – I couldn’t find
our cat, Meow Meow. (Cute name, yes?) The house was completely clear of all furniture, boxes, everything, and I looked in every cabinet and closet, and Meow Meow was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, the Realtor said I could keep the key and come back later that night, to look for her again. Christmas Eve night, we returned back to the home, and Meow Meow was at the front door, ready to go!
In hindsight, we should have moved her before all the moving people, the loud hammering, and everything else associated with moving out on the last day.
Apartment Therapy has a wonderful article on keeping your pets happy during a move. I should have read this article 5 months ago!
I included some of the comments from their reader’s too, to show you how many great ideas you need to think about when moving with your pet.
We didn’t move far (just to a new unit in our same condo association), so lots of things about her life stayed the same, but our new space is very different in layout and scale – the ceiling height is much higher – and all of us (humans included) felt the effects of the general pandemonium that is part and parcel of packing, moving and unpacking on the other end.
She’s been a trooper, but we’ve noticed a few things: she is barking a bit more when she hears passersby, she’s eating a bit less and she’s essentially been stuck to us like glue at all times. All understandable, and all getting closer to “back to normal” each day.
To help out in the process of her getting back to her relaxed self, we did a few very basic things to make her feel at home as quickly as possible:
1. Her food and water bowls were unpacked and set out first thing.
2. Ditto with her bin of toys.
3. We walked her a few extra times each day as we settled in to help acclimate her to the new route in and out of the building.
4. We’ve been bringing her along on any errands where dogs are welcome to reduce the amount of time alone at home.
5. We set up a favorite “naughty” spot for her to claim right away – she LOVED hopping in and sitting in the knitting basket shown in the top photo whenever it was left on the floor in our old place, which was a bit of a no-no. So, to help make her happy in this new home, we put a cushy towel inside and left it out in a prominent spot for her to claim, which has worked out really well. It’s quickly become her spot in a new and unfamiliar space.
Please share any tips you have for keeping pets happy during a move with us in the comments below – both Beatrix and I thank you!
1.) I recommend having at least one room clear of boxes/moving debris for pups to just hang out in, best if it is the room they sleep in. They really hate the disorder of unpacking and maneuvering through the mess.
2.) I’ve put my poor cat through numerous moves and found that scooping the litter box clean, but not emptying and disinfecting it, works great on move-in day in the middle of all the chaos. That gives her a familiar scent and spot in a new unfamiliar place, which I’m sure she appreciates because the more nervous she is, the more she goes.
I also put out her bed, water and food dishes out immediately.
posted by Artichokesoup on May 17th 2010 at 1:06pm
3.) … We also did these things for our pup. We moved 3,000 miles away though, and she spent days in a giant moving truck with us. She was a real trooper. At every motel we stayed at the first thing I did was get out her toys, food and water, and her bed, then I’d take her out on a walk. We’d also always ask for a room away from other guests, otherwise she’d freak out at every voice she heard. We left the tv on all night to drown out any other odd noises that might upset her. She acclimated pretty quickly to our new home and the new climate. When we arrived she knew this is what all the long hours in that big truck were for, and she took off running in circles around her new giant backyard.
I know for our dog a must have almost immediately is a spot where she can hop up and look out the window. It makes her feel better when she can see what’s going on outside.
For more comments and the article, visit Apartment Therapy.