If you have decided to downsize to make your home more manageable as it feels like the right thing to do, you should go ahead. But, if you have a pet at home, you need to consider a few factors about how it affects your pet. Unlike humans, animals are not attached to sentimental things, so getting rid of items will not be much of an issue. But the habitat where they reside if you change that, they may find it hard to adjust to the new place. This might stress them out for a bit as well.
This also depends on the pet you own. A cat is more attached to the house you live in, but a dog, on the other hand, would want to stick to the owner more than the house, so it might be easy to relocate a dog compared to the cat.
Nevertheless, any change can be tough on your pet; hence, here are a few tips that could help you downsize with a pet.
1. Consider the Size:
When you think about downsizing, you have to consider whether your pet will have enough space. If you own a large breed dog, then you need some space for the dog. You cannot switch to a tiny apartment with no backyard if your dog is used to having an outdoor space for its entire life. Downsizing with a pet needs you to put in some thought. You can downscale but ensure it will not affect the quality of life you give to your pet.
2. Preparing Your Pet for the Move:
You have to first consider how you are going to move the pet. Are you going to travel by car or are you going to take a flight? Accordingly, you need to prepare the pet. If it is a flight, you will have to crate train the pet to ensure that they can be carried in the live animal cargo area of the flight with no issues. If you plan on traveling by the road, you must get the pet used to short car rides before you plan a long ride. Preparing your pet earlier will stress them less.
3. Prepare Your Home for Sale:
Before you sell your current house, you have to take additional steps to ensure it is ready for the buyer to view. You need to repair any damage caused by the pet and paint over the scratch marks. If you have been using a long hair dog brush on your hairy dog, then your home needs a deep cleaning, and get the rugs and carpets cleaner professionally to remove pet hair. You need to also use an air fresher to get the pet smell out of the house. Use an air purifier to get rid of any allergens from the air. These minor updates can increase the house’s price and make it more valuable for the buyers.
4. Finding Accommodation While Packing:
When the packers come to pack up your stuff, it only makes sense to ensure your pet is not home. Dealing with so many strangers may not go well with your pet, especially when they will be handling your belongings. Also, the chaos may stress the pet, and you will constantly be distracted. It is better to safely ask a friend to take care of the pet or send it to a pet daycare till you pack all your things and are ready to move.
5. Help Your Pet Adjust:
A sudden change can confuse the pet, making it very anxious. The first few days are crucial as the pet needs to get familiar with its new space. Give your pet enough time to adjust. While downsizing, do not get rid of your pet’s stuff because they need familiar things around in the new home. Make sure even if the house is small, you create your pet its own corner also so that it can start feeling comfortable in its new space. Also, do not leave the pet alone at home for a few days as it might feel confused in the new place. It will take a few weeks or months for the pet to be completely comfortable in the new environment, which is natural.
6. Take Your Pet for More Walks:
Downsizing means a smaller house. This might also mean lesser outside space. When you downsize, you should ensure that your pet’s daily physical activity is not affected. Hence, you need to take your pet for more walks now to ensure it gets used to the place’s new smell quickly and gets enough physical workouts.
7. Visit Local Pet Parks:
Wherever you move, you need to socialize your animal with other animals around the colony. Hence, visiting the local pet park is the best way to make new friends. Give the park a weekly visit to ensure your pet mingles with other pets in the area. Your pet might be used to the older pet park and might find it tough to adjust to being around new pets, but you have to encourage it to socialize with other pets too.
8. Get Your Pet Familiarized with the Daily Visitors:
As you move to a new neighborhood, you will hire a new milkman, paperboy, etc. Your dog will start barking whenever it hears someone new approach the door, which can cause a nuisance in the neighborhood. You have to introduce your pet to these daily visitors so that your dog gets familiarized with their scents and does not bark every time it hears them drop by.
The Bottom Line:
Moving to a new home is tedious, but owning a pet can make the process more stressful. You have to not just worry about handling the movers but also the well-being of your pet. A few simple tips that we have discussed above can make the entire process much smoother than you initially anticipated. Get your pet used to its carrier beforehand and set up a new place for the pet before its arrival.