Moving to a new house is always a stressful event, even though it is often meant to improve certain living standards. Lost in the turmoil of packing, you might forget that it can also be hard on your pet… Here is our advice for a smooth and serene move.
Anticipate the move
You’ve been preparing for several months, but pets are not really aware of the upcoming change of environment, even though it may happen in a matter of days, or even hours! Animals have a strong sense of intuition; no doubt they’ll find these boxes and suitcases intriguing…
Help your dog get used to their new neighborhood: take it out for a walk around your new house so that it feel more comfortable in the area on the D day.
For all of them, take heed of one thing: their health. Make sure to spot the closest veterinarian or pet clinic. If you’re moving abroad, check that their vaccines are up to date.
Until the day of the move, it is best to maintain (as much as you can) your pet’s habits, and limit their anxiety: pack their toys, basket, scratching post, at the last minute. Rodents, birds and cats are very attached to their daily routine, and easily get stressed. Theoretically, a dog should be more enthusiast and open to change, as long as you stay close!
It is the day when fears become reality: the house is emptied, movers invade every room, everybody is running around to get things done… this stress flow also affects animals!
If possible, keep them in a room isolated from all the hustle and bustle, with familiar items. It is even more recommended to have a pet-sitter watch your pet on that specific day! You can make sure they won’t elope (it is common to keep doors opened on moving day, and your pet, in panic, might run away…).
It is usually your responsibility to bring your pet to your new house. Certain moving companies can take care of it, in exchange for payment, but it might just add another source of stress for an animal already feeling anxious… If you’re driving to your new home, make sure to make a few stops on the way, but again, keep a careful eye on your pet so that they don’t run away. Are you flying or taking a train there? Visit your vet beforehand: he/she might prescribe a tranquilizer for your pet.
New house, new habits to create, new cues to find… Your pet may need time before being comfortable in this new environment. Watch your doors, windows and portals carefully; moving is a recurring cause for running away! Set up a cosy corner “just for them”, where you can put their things right away, make them feel like home and help them recover from this stressful day. Cats, in particular, often need to isolate when they come into a new house, before starting to explore this new territory – be prepared, they will most likely find a very peculiar place to hide, and stay there for hours!
Try to stick to your old daily routine, it’ll minimize stress: hours and content of the meals, length of the walks… On the contrary, make more room for playing and cuddling, it’ll help your pet deal with this new situation. Certain animals will need a few weeks to evacuate the stress due to moving; don’t panic: make an appointment with your vet, he/she will prescribe your pet a relieving treatment.
Moving can be a source of stress for your whole family… Pets included! Don’t hesitate to include them in this big change as soon as possible and to preserve their comfort and routine. It is also a good opportunity to test pet GPS trackers: convenient and useful, they will help you locate your cat or dog in case they disappear, and keep track of their exploration of this brand new territory…Certain animals experience stress for several weeks after moving. Click To Tweet