Moving home with your pet
How to avoid stress when you’re moving
Moving house can be one of the most stressful experiences in life, both physically and emotionally. So imagine how confusing this time can be for our pets, who can’t understand why all these changes are taking place.
PDSA vet nurse, Nina Downing, said: “Worrying that your pet might struggle to settle into a new home can add yet another layer of stress to the moving process. But there are steps owners can take to help their pets feel more relaxed.”
Some pets may benefit from staying elsewhere to avoid the flurry of moving-day tasks. Once you’ve had a few days to settle in and everything smells more like home, you can then introduce your pet to your new home.
Even confident pets can be daunted by all the comings and goings ahead of moving day, so try and keep at least one room free of too much change, where they can get away and find a bit of normality. Leading up to the move, gradually place food and water bowls, litter trays, toys and beds into this room. On moving day they should then be happy to remain in one secure room for a number of hours, with regular visits to go to the toilet and for reassurance.
There are also plenty of things you can do to help your pet settle more quickly. Here are some simple tips to follow:
- Ensure your pets are microchipped, and give the microchip company your new address. Microchips increase the chance of reuniting pets should they escape during the move.
- Pets can feel the effects of travel sickness, so don’t feed them close to travelling time. Small amounts of their usual food throughout the day will be gentler on their tummy if they are feeling anxious.
- At your new home, place some of your pet’s toys and bedding into one room with a piece of clothing that smells of you. Dogs will usually prefer for you to spend some time with them to help them settle, but most cats will be keen to explore and may prefer some time alone to investigate their new surroundings.
- Once they seem confident and you are all moved in, let them explore the rest of the home. Cats should be kept indoors for a few weeks to help them become familiar with the home, so that they know it’s their new base once they are allowed outside.
- Your vet can recommend a pheromone diffuser which can help your pet feel more relaxed. Pheromones are natural scents that are undetectable to humans, but will help keep pets calm and reassured in their new environment.
PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. For more pet care tips log onto pdsa.org.uk/pethealth