Making sure your furry friends are ready for the big move
Moving home can be an extremely stressful occasion for us humans. However, although you might be caught up in all of the packing and planning, don’t forget to look out for your furry friends. Carefully planning your pet’s move will really help them to transition as smoothly and as stress free as possible.
Before you move
PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing says: “In the lead up to your big move, there are a few things that you can do to help settle your four-legged friend’s nerves. Ensure that one room is fully packed up and empty and move your pet’s food and water bowls, toys and litter tray into that room ahead of moving day. This way, your furry family member will be happy to stay safely in a secure, familiar room while all the packing goes on around them.
“Avoid feeding your pet close to travel time as they may feel travel sick. Instead, offer them smaller amounts of their usual food spaced throughout the day. This will also keep them occupied for longer and may be gentler on their tummy if they are feeling anxious. For nervous furry friends, using a pheromone diffuser in their room may help them to feel more relaxed, as these emit comforting scents. Ensure that your pet is microchipped, as if they decide to make a dash for it during the move or autopilot back to your old address, you will be able to be reunited with them much more easily. Don’t forget to update the details once you are moved!
On your travels
“Whether your new home is a long distance away or just around the corner, think about how to keep your pet safe in the car, such as strapping up with a doggy seatbelt or securing a cat carrier. It might be a good idea to take dogs on a walk to calm their nerves too. If your pet finds it hard to deal with change, consider booking them into a kennel or cattery for a few days while you move, so that you can have your new home fully set up before they arrive.
At your new home
“When arriving at your new house, ensure that you have a room designated for your furry family member’s toys and bedding, along with a piece of clothing that smells like you in order to make the new environment feel like home. The garden will also be a brand-new environment for your pet, so it is important to let them explore and mark their territory.
“Taking your pooch on a tour while on a lead is a safe and secure way to let them adjust, but you’ll need to make sure your garden is secure before letting them off lead. However, for cats, we would recommend keeping them inside for a few weeks to allow them to become familiar with their new space.
“Don’t rush your four-legged friend, let them explore at their own pace, walk around with them and be a figure of reassurance. Although moving can be a very busy business, make sure that you make time to play with and comfort your pet in order to help them settle in. Most importantly, our furry family members really appreciate routine and consistency, so try and get back into your daily way of life as soon as you can.”