Moving home can certainly be stressful with all of the planning, packing, moving, change of address notifications, setting up new utilities and the like. We can become so busy that it's easy to forget about the impact of a move on our pets. But it’s not just humans that can feel the stress of moving, animals will do to. But by following some simple tips, you can make moving home less stressful for yourself and your fury loved ones.
1. For the move day, it might be worth leaving your pet with family or friends or book them into a cattery or kennel for the day. Even better, give them a "pet vacation" and introduce them into their new surroundings when things have calmed down.
2. If you can’t find someone to look after your pet for the day/few days, then try to keep them as calm as possible on the day that you move by maintaining as much of a routine as is possible around feeding times, exercise times etc. Also, try to keep them in a quiet room when movers are in and pack up any of their familiar items such as bowls and toys at the last minute.
3. If your pet seems to be getting stressed, try a pheromone diffuser to help them relax. Plugging in a diffuser or putting a pheromone collar on your dog or cat should be done a couple of days before your move.
4. When you get to your new home, introduce the pet to it by walking it around the rooms, gardens etc. Let it become familiar with the new space. Also put out the pets bedding, toys and feeding and water bowls as soon as possible. This will help the pet settle into its new surroundings.
5. Scent is important to dogs and cats and will help them feel safe in a new environment. Putting out blankets, cushions or clothes with yours and their scent will help them settle.
6. Given the importance of scent, if the home you are moving to previously housed a dog or cat, then try to clean it thoroughly before introducing your pet to the environment.
7. If you intend to let the pet wander in the garden, check the perimeter first to ensure that the pet cannot escape. For cats, make sure that windows and doors remain closed so they can't get out.
8. For cats, you should consider keeping them house bound for a few weeks until the familiarise themselves with and scent-mark their new surroundings. Consider incrementally increasing the parts of your home that the cat has access to.
9. Make sure that pets are microchipped and advise the microchip company of your new contact details/address in the event that the pet gets lost. Also, get new collar tags made for dogs and cats with their new address or contact numbers.
10. Try to get back into the normal routine of feeding time, play time, walk time etc as soon as possible.
11. Remember to register with a local vet as soon as possible after the move.
12. For the first few days after the move, the pets are likely to remain unsettled so try not to leave them alone in their new surroundings for too long.