Downsizing With a Pet: Tips for a Smooth and Stress-Free Move

Posted by Jessica Brody on 28 January 2022

Everyone knows that moving is stressful, but moving can be hard on our pets as well. Dogs and cats thrive on routine and familiarity. When you uproot your life to move somewhere new, your furry friends might have a tough time transitioning to a new environment, especially if your move means disrupting your regular household routine and adjusting to life in a smaller space. Here are some tips from Hillbrook to help you keep your pets calm and stress-free during your downsizing move.

Prepare Your Home for a Quick Sale

The less time your home sits on the market, the sooner you can move into your new home and start the process of getting settled with your pets. Preparing your home for sale can help it sell faster. As Redfin explains, there are a few important things you should do before listing, including making updates, performing repairs, cleaning, and decluttering.

Unfortunately, signs of your pets may turn off potential buyers. Make sure your home is free from pet stains and odors before people come to look at your home. You may want to hire professional cleaners to give your carpets a deep clean and get rid of any pet hair that may be lingering in hard-to-reach places.

Declutter Your Things

Downsizing often means moving into a condo or apartment. Make sure you and your pets will be able to adjust to this lifestyle! Keep in mind that you can always use interior design tricks to make your home appear more spacious. Smaller living doesn’t have to mean compromising on the things you love, but it does mean getting by with less stuff. You may have to declutter some of your pet supplies to make space in your new home. Just be sure to hold onto a few blankets or toys that can help your pets feel comfortable as they settle into an unfamiliar space.

Find the Perfect New Home

As you’re hunting for a new home, keep your pet’s needs in mind. Think about your routines and what your pet likes to do. For example, if you have a dog that needs to go outside for regular bathroom visits, you might not want to downsize into a high-rise apartment building. Remember to also check the apartment building bylaws to ensure it allows pets. It’s a good idea to look for homes with hard flooring to make clean-up easier and less expensive.

Keep Your Pets Safe on Moving Day

Moving day can be incredibly stressful for pets. Your pet may act out of character under the stress of moving day, so take some precautions to keep them safe. Fox Valley Animal Hospital recommends ensuring your pet’s ID and microchip are up to date, packing their things last, and leaving your pet with a friend or family member until the work is done.

Train Your Dogs for Apartment Living

If you’re moving from a house to an apartment, make sure your pet is prepared for apartment living. Start your training before your move so you can proactively manage problem behaviors like barking or accidents. Research training strategies to stop your dog from barking too much, especially at the sound of people walking by outside your door. Make a plan to keep your pet busy while you’re out so they don’t revert to barking, chewing, scratching, and other destructive behavior.

It’s common for pet owners to be concerned about how their pets will react to downsizing. Whether you’re worried that your dog will bark at the neighbors or your cat will try to escape every time you open the door, planning ahead will help you alleviate your list of concerns so you can look forward to your move!

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