Moving House With Your Pets?
Buying a new home is an exciting time, but the actual moving process can be extremely stressful – in fact, most people rate it higher on the anxiety triggering list than starting a new job or going through a bad breakup. Although our pets don’t have to deal with mountains of paperwork or unpacking hundreds of boxes, they can find the moving process equally unpleasant. Here’s how to keep them calm while you relocate.
Keep them secure
Strangers stomping around the house with big removal boxes can be terrifying for timid pets, so it’s important to give them a safe space. Consider booking them into a boarding facility during the move if they are likely to benefit from a mini break from the chaos or move them into a secured room with their toys and bedding. If your pets are home throughout the move, make sure everyone (including the movers) knows which room they’re in so they don’t accidentally leave open a door.
Maintain a routine
Pets thrive on routine, so making as few changes as possible will help them settle into their new home faster. If your dog is used to being let into the garden first thing in the morning and then being fed and walked, try to follow the same pattern in your new property. Buying fresh new towels and bedding may be tempting when you move into a new place but try to resist washing or replacing your pets’ gear until they’ve settled in – the smell is familiar and comforting to them.
Update their information
Cats in particular are prone to returning to their old home, especially if you’ve only moved a short distance. Minimise the risk by keeping them indoors for a few weeks until they are familiar and comfortable with their new environment. You should also update their collar and microchip information with your new address as soon as possible and if you’re on good terms with your old neighbours, leave them your new address and phone number so they can let you know if your pet has wandered back to your previous home.
Pets dislike change and it can take a while for them to get used to their new environment. Try to avoid leaving them alone in the new house at all for the first few days and then build up your absences gradually, starting with very short time periods. When you leave, make sure they have a favourite toy or familiar object (such as a crate, bed, or blanket) to comfort them while you’re out. Giving your pet plenty of love and attention during the transitional settling in period will help, but if they struggle to adjust you can try an anti-anxiety aid such as a thunder jacket or calming pheromone diffuser.