Moving home is stressful for everyone, but it is even harder for your pets. Unlike you, they don’t know what’s going on or why everything is being packed. They will probably sense something is afoot, which could induce anxiety and leave them unsettled in the weeks before you move. Even though you will have 101 things to worry about, you need to make sure your pets are safe when you move home. The following guide should help you.
Before the Move
In the days and weeks before you move, make a plan for how you are going to deal with your pets when you move. If you are only moving locally, ask a friend to take care of your dog for the day. Cats are trickier, but outdoor cats can be collected once everything has been removed by Small Moving Inc. Indoor cats are best deposited in a boarding cattery for the day, to make sure they don’t escape as boxes and furniture are removed from the property. Take smaller pets to your new home via car, along with the rest of the valuables.
If you are moving out of state or to a new country, the process is more complicated. Small pets such as hamsters and fish may need to be rehomed if they won’t cope well with a long journey. If you are traveling overseas, investigate the costs of specialist pet transfers. For overseas relocation, your pets may need a pet passport, microchip, and vaccinations.
Keep pets well out of the way on removal day. The removal men will be in and out all day long, so dogs and cats will be in the way, not to mention upset and stressed. If possible, ask a friend or relative to take care of your pets and then pick them up once you have settled into your new home.
After the Move
Don’t underestimate the stress of moving home. Animals are very sensitive to a change in environment. Your new home will smell differently, which is likely to upset them. Pet owners often throw away old pet beds and invest in new ones when they move, but this is a huge mistake. Dogs and cats will settle in better if you keep their old bed that smells familiar. If this isn’t possible, at least retain a blanket or two.
Look out for signs of anxiety after the move. Dogs tend to be happy as long as their human friends are nearby, but cats will often make their displeasure known in the form of a ‘dirty protest’. Work to restore a normal routine as quickly as possible, including walks and a feeding schedule.
Keep cats indoors for at least a week, or there is a risk they will wander off and get lost. Have litter boxes ready and make sure you warn children not to leave windows and doors open.
Moving home is stressful, but if you follow the tips above, it shouldn’t be too stressful for your pets.