Downsizing With a Pet: A Smaller Space Still Holds Plenty of Love

Downsizing With a Pet: A Smaller Space Still Holds Plenty of Love

Written by Guest Blogger, Tim Burton

It’s normal to be concerned about your pet if you have to downsize your living space. However, just as your pet quickly forgave you when you had to work late, they will also adjust to a new, more intimate living environment and, with some thoughtful preparation and adjustments of your own, will eventually thrive in it. So set about choosing your smaller living quarters with confidence knowing that with some pre-planning, and researching suitable properties, you and your pet will soon adjust and enjoy new scenery and new routines. Today, FearLess Pet explains exactly how to make it happen.

Practical Points for Your Pet and You

One of your first and most important considerations is to make sure you’re moving to a place where pets are welcome. You don’t want to fall in love with a place and put down a non-refundable deposit or earnest money payment only to discover that there are landlord or HOA (homeowners’ association) breed restrictions or other policies that would curtail activities that are important to both of you.

If you have a dog, research leash laws and other practical pet considerations, such as cleaning up after a potty “deposit,” for each neighborhood you are considering. Remember to include HOA restrictions in your research, not just municipal codes. If your animal companion is a cat, you’ll need to research any codes and policies that apply to felines. While cat restrictions and regulations are not as uniformly common as those for dogs, some municipalities and neighborhoods don’t allow free-roaming cats and could pick up your faithful feline if they stepped outside without a collar and I.D.

Pet Prep

Now you can focus on preparing your pet for a change in their routine and living environment. If your new place doesn’t include a large fenced yard that they’re used to for untethered freedom, start getting them used to being leashed for the daily potty routines. Include more frequent on-leash walks to incorporate exercise that they would normally get in their yard. Speaking of yards, while you’re cleaning up the surprises your pet leaves behind, you might also want to take care of those gutters. Get quotes from the professionals by searching for clean gutters near you.

If you will be in closer proximity to neighbors in your new home than your current one and are worried about your dog’s barking, work with a trainer now to get trips on limiting unwanted barking behavior. Include a few visits to the new neighborhood, walking your dog on a leash to familiarize them with the neighborhood, and introduce them to any neighbors you meet along the way. Include visits to any nearby dog parks, paying close attention to any park restrictions and the demeanors of frequent canine visitors

Make adjustments to the new indoor environment, as well. A smaller space may require different forms of stimulation, so consider investing in additional pet toys, or a fun cat climbing tree that you can place by a window. Anticipate that your dog will experience some stress that may manifest in unwanted behavioral issues. This can be complicated if you’re already stressed about the move, work, or anything else. Our pets are directly in tune with our emotions, so your stress ultimately becomes their stress. So, look for ways to keep anxiety low, such as spending more time with them and reassuring them that everything will be okay.

Remember the Benefits

Instead of stressing about your move, focus on the benefits of your strategy. You may be saving money that can go on pet-friendly vacations with your companion. The yard you gave up may now be replaced with proximity to the beach and pet-friendly activities there for you both to enjoy. Remember that regardless of the square foot contained inside your walls, all your pet cares about is you having enough space in your heart to continue to care for and love them.

FearLess Pet was born out of a need for better dog products and safer dog training methods. We take the "fear" out of both. Have a question or comment? Let us know!

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