Moving is a massive undertaking for humans, but it’s even more stressful for pets. They didn’t go through the process of finding a new place to live, filling out paperwork, and preparing the move.
For them, everything came at once. One day they were in their comfortable home – the next day they were somewhere completely different.
It’s paramount that you do everything in your power to keep your pet happy during this time. Follow these tips to limit the effect a move has on your furry friend.
Making Your Pet Comfortable
Moving is a stressful endeavour, and your pet will pick-up on the signals. It’s common for cats and dogs to become uneasy when you’re only packing for a holiday – let alone a full relocation.
Keeping your pets calm and complacent is one of the best ways to keep them happy amid the moving confusion.
Pack your belongings over the course of the week/month, instead of all at once. If you’re running around the house a day or two before the move, your pet will likely share in your stress and confusion.
Packing in shifts will not only make your pet’s life easier, but it will also be easier on you. You’ll already have most of your items taken care of, which will limit the work you need to complete on move-in day.
If you can, it’s better to get your pet out of the way when move-in day hits. Even if you’ve managed to spread your packing days out, move-in day is still incredibly stressful for your furry friends.
Take them to a kennel they recognise or leave them with someone they trust. If they’ve spent a lot of time at a sibling’s house, this is probably the best place to keep them when moving day hits.
There will be a lot of hustle and bustle whether you hire movers or complete the job yourself. Your pet is going to get in the way, even if you have the most relaxed cat or dog in the world.
Removing pets from the moving equation should be your first option. It will make a move easier and will limit the stress they experience.
If you can’t find a place for your dog or cat to stay, the next best option is to place them in an isolated room. Tell the movers or your friends not to disturb them in their room, and take out most of the items before closing the door.
Of course, you should check on your pet now and then to make sure they’re safe and happy, and to let them know you’re still home.
If you have a dog, you might need to take them out once or twice during the process. Try to pick a time when everyone is out of the house, so there isn’t too much excitement.
When it’s time to bring your pet with you to the new house or apartment, you should take similar steps to the ones you took while you were moving out.
If you’re leaving them with a friend or family member, keep them there until everything is in place and the moving staff have gone. If they’re still with you, keep them in a quiet room with some familiar scenery.
Before letting them explore the entirety of the house, it’s a good idea to confine them to one room. Cats adapt particularly well with this strategy, so leaving them in a room with some food, water, and a cat box will give them the best chance of acclimating quickly.
When the chaos is over, let your pet out and walk around with them, exploring the scenery. Let your dog or cat pick up on the new smells, and find a few places where they’ll spend their time.
After the Move
Once you’ve settled into your new home, it’s time to explore the surrounding area. Take your dog for a daily walk, but keep them close, so they don’t go running off to explore new smells and sounds.
If you usually let your cat explore the outdoors, you should keep them inside for a week or two before opening the door to them.
Let them become accustomed to the new area, so they don’t go running off to find their previous home.
Keep Your Routine
The change of scenery will be massive for your pet, and it’s essential that you keep change to a minimum. If you move to a new city or town and completely change your routine, your pet won’t know what to do.
Keep everything in your life the same for a while as your dog or cat adapts to the new environment. Changing everything at once – such as when you come home and when you go for a walk – is too much stress for a pet.
Keeping Them Safe
Of course, you should always know where the closest vet is located in case of emergency.
You should also ensure that your pet has a collar with your name and new contact information, in case they run away from your new home.
Update their microchip information if they have one to ensure they don’t get lost exploring their new environment.