Before you pop open the champagne to welcome yourself into your new HUD home, there are still a lot of things you need to do. While we often consider packing and unpacking to be the major steps in fully settling into a new home, they actually aren't.
Learning how to do day-to-day activities in your new abode is just one of the new things you have to work on. And, if you have a furry friend moving with you, part of your task is to help them adjust too.
Knowing you have a lot going on already, we've put together this helpful step-by-step list of things you need to do to help your pets adjust to your new HUD home.
Steps in Helping Pets Adjust to a New Home
Step 1. Preparation
- • Pet-proofing
Helping a pet adjust to a new home doesn't start upon moving in. It actually begins way before that. HUD homes are sold as-is, and the buyer is responsible for any necessary repairs. It would be best to consider your pet even while you're still on this part of the homebuying process. The house has to be pet-proofed to make sure it is safe for pets to play and move around.
If you're moving into a new home with kids, one of the first steps is doing initial child-proofing for their safety. This is done before you even fully set-up furniture and fixtures. The same rule applies if you have four-legged, furry children moving in with you.
Pet-proofing a home includes choosing the area where they will sleep and stay most of the time. It has to be a space far away from cleaning materials or medicine cabinets. In renovating windows, you have to make sure that the windows' edges aren't sharp. Most pets love to bite on things, and they sometimes include the edges of windows, doors, or cabinets. So, you have to consider how and what they are made of.
- • Introduce them to the new home before the moving day.
You can introduce your pet to the new home even before moving in. But, depending on location, this may not be possible for other pet owners. If the HUD home you are purchasing isn't more than an hour drive from your current residence, you can take your pets there to make them more familiar. This is best done less than a week before the repairs and renovations are finished. That way, they will remember the house and will not experience as much anxiety on moving day. It's quicker to make them feel comfortable with somewhere they have been to a few times before.
It would also help to spray a scent they are familiar with before you take them on tour. Most cats and dogs feel comfortable if they smell something they have sniffed before. You can take a pet safe essential oil they are already familiar with at home, mix it with a carrier oil or water in a spray bottle, and spray it in the new house before actually moving in. Or, take their toys and blankies to leave there so they can have something familiar when then drop by throughout the week prior to moving in.
Step 2. Packing and Unpacking
Now, here comes the actual moving day. It's essential to let your pet know that they are not alone during this process. The environment they are used to might be changing, but let them know you are still with them by keeping them company as much as possible.
Many homeowners testify to seeing a sad face on their pet's face while packing to move out. Seeing the stuff they are familiar with getting shuffled may feel unsettling for them. It's best to keep them away while packing. You can have someone else you trust to take them out for a walk or do something else. But if you can't avoid it, you can try the following tips:
- • Have them smell the boxes, packing tapes, and bubble wraps in your house days ahead of moving day so your cat or dog can get used to them. Help them develop positive feelings rather than negative ones toward those things. Associating the stuff you will use for packing to play or treats is an effective way to do so.
- • Make sure to keep them away from scissors, bubble wrap, or other things that may harm them. Ensure they don't go unattended upon letting your pets have the things you will use for packing.
After packing, the next step is to take your stuff to the new home. Do not let them enter your new home with a lot of clutter. Make sure you have already set up their space too. If possible, maintain the same arrangements of furniture they are used to. The less unfamiliar things they see, the less stressful it will be for your pets.
I know it's tempting to get them new feeding bowls or playthings as they step into a new house. But, it would be best to avoid buying new stuff for them. Don't add things they are not familiar with until a week or two after getting used to the house.
Step 3. After Moving-in
Helping your pet adjust to your new HUD home does not end on the day you move in. Like you, it will take time for cats or dogs to get used to a new environment. Showering them with attention while being patient and always being with them can help them a lot.
Changes associated with moves are mostly stressful, so do what you can to keep things the same. Try to maintain their routine as much as possible. If your pet is used to eating breakfast and then going on a walk in the neighborhood, try to follow that same pattern in the new place. Once they have settled in, adjusting to a few additional changes will come naturally.
Helping your pets adjust to a new home can be stressful for you as a homeowner too. This is especially true if you are the only one taking care of the homebuying process. The help of an expert will surely make the whole HUD process easier. If you have a real estate specialist to assist you, you can focus more on helping you, your family, and your pet(s) adjust to change quicker.
Check out our free guide with more tips and steps you can take to help make the move earlier on your pets, click here: PET OWNERS: Tips to Make Your Move Easier on Your Pets
For more information on buying HUD homes, call me, Nancy Braun, a HUD Certified agent and expert, at (704) 997-3794.