Advice • Tips • Inspiration

Introducing your pet

When you’re building a new home, your focus is often on how you and your family will adjust to living in a new house, and a new location. It’s a big transition for everyone, and with months to prepare yourselves for the move you’ve probably driven past the house a few times as well as exploring the neighbourhood a little bit. No doubt you’ve also visited the house a few times in the lead-up to moving day. But have you given some thought to how your beloved fur baby will adjust to its new surroundings? It’s something that’s not at the forefront of everyone’s minds as preparations to move begin, but ensuring you’re making time to let your pet adjust to their new home will make their transition smoother and stress free as well!

Take a Tour of Your New Home

Introducing your pet
You’ve probably been to visit your new house a number of times with your family, and it’s well worth bringing your pet to visit the house as well. Letting them explore inside the house will reduce their stress at suddenly being in a new, unfamiliar place if they’ve visited a couple of times. You can check the perimeter fence for gaps and possible escape routes before you pet visits. Once you’ve done this, taking them outside to explore the front and back yards, and around the perimeters so they can become familiar with their new territory will make them feel a little more at home. This is also a good time for you to make your landscape gardener aware of your pets so they remember not to include any plants that are hazardous to your pet’s health.

Meals, Toys, and Beds

Introducing your pet
Leave your pet’s bed, blankets, food bowls, and toys unpacked until the last minute on moving day to keep them relaxed and happy while there’s a lot of activity in the house. Once you’re at your new home, ensure you’ve decided on a space inside or outside for your pet’s belongings and meal area and pop their things in those areas straight away. Ensuring they have a routine and their own defined space from day one will help them settle in and become familiar with their surroundings while still having their own comfort items close by.

Time for a Walk

Introducing your pet
If you have a dog, a great way to let them settle in and feel comfortable in their new surroundings is by taking them for lots of walks in the first few weeks. Letting them explore the neighbourhood smells by walking the blocks around your home is a great way to familiarise them with their new home. Finding local, fenced-in dog parks where they can stretch their legs and interact gently with other dogs is another good way to build their confidence and reduce their stress levels. It may be a good idea to keep them on their leash the first few visits until they feel more comfortable with their new friends. If your dog seems a little unsettled during the first few walks, just take short walks, allowing the dog lead the way. This lets them discover where other barking dogs and kids live and helps your dog get used to their location in the neighbourhood. Each time the dog confidently walks a slightly longer route, ensure you lavish them with praise to continue building their confidence. If your dog seems skittish and doesn’t want to continue a walk, return home and try again the next day.

Continue with Routine

Introducing your pet
Once you’ve moved into your new home, try to continue with your pet’s existing routine. Keeping meal time, exercise and play time, and bed time on the same schedule that occurred in your previous home means your pet will know what to expect each day and settle in a little faster. This will relieve their stress and anxiety around being in a new location and will make your days calmer as well.

You dog will pick up on your excitement at being in your new home, so it’s also great to involve them in that feeling of happiness with the family whenever possible, whether it’s with a celebratory pet-friendly treat, or some fun and games in the backyard. Moving with pets doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. As long as you give your pet plenty of opportunities to become familiar with their new home and continue to keep things familiar and structured wherever possible, your pet will be settled in to their new home in no time!

For other great tips, tricks, and home ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website.

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