Rehoming your pet is not just an emotional challenge for you; it’s a significant transition for your pet as well. This guide will help you create a safe and comfortable transition for your pet, minimizing their stress and helping them adjust to their new home more easily.
Preparing for the Move
Before the move, take some time to help your pet get used to the idea of change. This might include introducing them to their new owners, if possible, or helping them become comfortable with a crate or carrier if they’ll be traveling a significant distance.
Packing a Comfort Kit
Pack a “comfort kit” for your pet to take to their new home. This might include their favorite toys, bedding that smells like home, and a supply of their usual food and treats. This will provide some familiar smells and tastes in their new environment, helping them feel more at ease.
Some suggestions for your comfort kit:
1. Your pet’s food and water dishes, even if they are old. Routine and familiar objects can go a long way towards helping your pet adjust.
2. Pack small blankets or towels with your scent on them to help your pet feel more secure.
3. Consider including a natural calming aid, such as lavender or chamomile, to help your pet relax, if needed.
4. Bring a few of their favorite chews or bones for the new owner to offer them.
5. Include a copy of their medical records and any necessary medication along with detailed instructions.
6. If your pet is prone to anxiety, consider adding a thunder shirt or similar calming garment to their comfort kit.
7. Send a familiar (but clean) litter box for cats or potty pads for dogs to help them adjust to their new surroundings.
8. If your pet has a favorite bed or crate, send it along to help them feel more comfortable and secure.
9. Don’t forget to pack their leash or harness for walks.
10. Consider including a few new toys. Interactive toys, like puzzle feeders or treat-dispensing balls, will help keep your pet mentally stimulated and take his mind off of missing you.
11. Send along a list of your pet’ favorite activities for the new owner. A game of “keep away” in the back yard might be the perfect remedy for feeling “out of sorts”
Saying goodbye to your pet is a personal process. Some people prefer a quiet farewell at home, while others might want to spend a special day with their pet before the transition into the new home. Do what feels right for you, keeping your pet’s comfort and stress levels in mind. Remember, pet’s can sense how we are feeling, so try to stay as “upbeat” as possible for their sake. You can cry and feel sad later on.
The First Few Days
The first few days in a new home can be the most challenging for a pet. Encourage the new owners to give your pet plenty of space and time to adjust, and to maintain a calm, quiet environment as much as possible. Discourage the new owners from having friends or family over during this delicate time until your pet starts to show signs that they are “liking their new home and family after all”.
Staying in Touch
If the new owners are open to it, consider staying in touch to see how your pet is adjusting. This can provide reassurance for you and continuity for your pet. However, be sure to respect the new owners’ boundaries and understand that your pet is now part of their family.
With careful preparation and a focus on your pet’s comfort and safety, you can help ensure a smoother transition for your pet during the rehoming process. Remember, it’s a big change for them too, and they’ll need time to adjust. But with patience and love, they can thrive in their new home.
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Deborah G. Moore
Pet Rehoming Network
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