Moving home can be a stressful time for us, and most people forget how stressful it can be for your cat or dog. Pets become attached to their territory as they feel safe and secure when they are there, so when they are uprooted and placed in a home that is unknown to them, it can cause issues and behavioural changes. It is important to give your cat or dog care and attention when moving to ensure they feel safe and secure. There are a number of simple steps that can make moving home go as smooth as possible for you and your pet.
BEFORE THE MOVE:
It is important to remember that moving home takes a lot of preparation, and forgetting to plan for your pet can often happen, therefore ensure you know how your dog or cat will be involved on moving day. Enquire if family or friends would be willing to look after your pet during moving day. If you plan on using a removal company your pet could become upset with strangers walking through the house, there is also the risk of your dog or cat escaping through doors being left open.
Pets can become stressed during the packing process as items they associate with safety and comfort are being removed, therefore you should find a calm, quiet room for your pet to relax while you pack up your belongings.
DURING THE MOVE:
If your pet will be with you during the move then it will be a distressing time as their normal routine is disrupted and they become confused about what is happening. If you are travelling by car or van with your pet, ensure there is time for toilet and water breaks.
When you arrive at your new home it is ideal to confine them to a secure room so they are unable to escape or injure themselves. Ensure the room contains their bed and any possessions they associate with comfort as this will help to keep them calm. For your dog, Adaptil collars or diffusers are ideal, and for cats Feliway spray or diffusers, as these are scientifically proven to reduce stress levels in pets and can be used before, during and after the move. If your pet is unwilling to wear a collar, or there is no plug within your secure room, then Zylkène capsules can also be used to reduce stress levels in pets.
AFTER THE MOVE:
When you finally move into your home, your pet will need time to adjust to their new surroundings. It is essential to check any fencing or gardens to ensure your pet cannot escape when they are let out for the first time. If your pet wears a collar or is microchipped, ensure they are updated with contact details, such as phone numbers and your new address.
It is important to stay calm with your pet during the few weeks after moving as they will still be adjusting and getting used to their new surroundings. This may lead to accidents in the home; you should not punish or make a fuss if this happens as it may make the situation worse.
You should also try to walk and feed your pet at the times they are used to. Getting them into their old routine in the new environment will hopefully speed up the settling in process.