Between the packing up and moving and preparing your new abode for your arrival, it can be strenuous. You also want to make sure that the transition for your pet is as easy as possible. Here are some ways to help your handicapped pet adjust to a new home that may make the changeover less tough on everyone involved.
Identify Areas of Concern
Before transplanting your pet into your new home, it is a good idea to identify areas of concern. Determine what you and your handicapped dog will need to move safely through the house. Whether your pet experiences mobility issues or loss of one of its senses, you want to make sure that you have the equipment to lend support. Walkin’ Pets offers a range of handicapped pet products from safety aids to help with transport or securing an area to harnesses and braces to ease mobility troubles in cars, on stairs, or on slippery unknown surfaces.
Take a lap around your new house to predict potential problems for your pet will help with its arrival. Remove any obstacles or tripping hazards, especially if your special needs pet needs space to maneuver their wheelchair around the house.
Take a Tour
As you introduce your pet to their new home, you’ll want to take a tour together. Doing this lends a sense of safety as you explore together. You may also be able to determine additional areas that could be problematic for your pet as you enter each space. This will help you gauge any additional support that will be required to make the relocation easier. This should be done once your furniture is placed so that you and your pet can navigate around it. Resist moving furniture, as your pet needs to become familiar with the setup.
For dogs dealing with vision loss or blindness, mapping the house together is a great way for your dog to learn the layout of their new home.
Once you and your pet take a tour together, you can let them explore a little on their own. Obviously, close off spaces that you don’t want them in, but slowly adjusting and getting to know the territory is a good thing. It will help increase comfort as your pet sniffs and discovers the new territory. You may even ease into the process by making a little available at a time and allowing for exploration of a room at a time.
Keep a Routine
Routines are important to our pets in general because it’s how they are able to predict what’s happening from day to day. During the moving process, things can get hectic, but if you can maintain your pet’s routines and schedules to the best of your abilities, it’ll help smooth things out at this time.
Routine is especially important for special needs dogs. Regularly scheduled meal times also allows you to plan your dog’s pee and poop schedule, which is especially important for incontinent pets. Meals and bathroom breaks still rank high on the list of importance, and you want your pet to know that they can still count on that being the same, even if everything else is different. If your pet relieves themselves outside, the sooner he gets used to the terrain, the easier it will be to find prime potty spots.
Help Expel Energy
A lot of emotions can cause your pet to be abnormally excited. Helping the release of some of that energy can be helpful. When possible, play with or let them run around and let out the built-up vigor. If your pet goes outside, take some time to help them expel that energy, however they do it. Heightened levels of stress accompany too much energy, so relieving anxiety through this adjustment period is important.
Unpacking and getting situated can take a bit of time. Just as you would pack your own essentials to be able to easily access them during this period, pack your pet’s essentials. Food, water bowls, treats, and toys that are accessible may take a high-pressure situation down to a manageable one with a quick grab from your pet’s bag. Your pet’s familiarity with these items eases the strain accompanied by everything else being different.
Your animal will need its own space set up immediately. This is their safe haven where things smell and feel familiar. It lends comfort when needed. Setting up your pet’s space should be one of the first things you do, so they may relax while you do the move-in work. A retreat like this will help your pet think of home and help to keep them comfy while you get settled.
Even though moving is chaotic, it’s important that you give your pet a little extra attention during this time. Be generous with affection and love, even if it’s just sitting quietly together. Quality time between tasks can make a difference in the way the whole experience feels. Who knows—the little moments spent together may ease a little bit of your own anxiety as well.
For the first few days, it may be best to stay home and not leave your pet in an unfamiliar place. The more you can be with them at the beginning, the easier the experience will be as anxiety decreases. You don’t have to stay home indefinitely, of course, but perhaps just the first week until you’re seeing normal behaviors and are sure that your pet isn’t experiencing issues getting around to the necessary items or areas in the home. When you do leave for a lengthy period the first time, consider tiring your pet out before you go, so they are more likely to rest while you’re away. You don’t want them attempting things unsupervised that could cause injury.
Patience and compassion are the name of the game when it comes to ways to help your handicapped pet adjust to a new home. Acknowledgment of what they may be going through and physical and emotional support are both essential. Abnormal behaviors are most likely a reaction to the stress and anxiety accompanied by the move. Refrain from getting overly upset or angry if there are accidents or other issues and understand ways that you can be soothing during this time.
By taking time to become aware of possible issues that may arise in the event of a move with your handicapped pet, you will both acclimate faster. Like anything, the passing of time will eventually lead to your pet getting comfortable and secure so you may share the joy of your new home in no time at all. Eventually, your lives will return to normal after this adjustment period is dealt with sensitively.