Moving Home is Stressful for you and your Pets.
Moving home is right up there on the list of life’s stressful events! And if it makes us humans crazy, imagine how your pet must be feeling!
I moved home and country several times. It does not matter how many time you move with pets there is always a bit of worry involved.
One thing is for sure you learn over the years what to do and what not to do.
What does a move mean for your Pet?
Losing the familiar sights and smells of their old house can be upsetting for your four-legged friends. You should not be surprised if it takes up to a few weeks for them to settle into their new surroundings.
In addition to the stress of adapting to new surroundings, the journey getting there can also be very traumatic for animals.
You have the benefit of knowing what’s going on and that the trip will end with you being settled into a new home.
By contrast, your pet doesn’t know this. Therefore, we suggest that you be patient with them and try to follow the tips listed below.
Few days before you move. Keep Calm and don’t stress.
There are a few tips that have been proven over time to reduce the stress levels in pets, and in doing so, you also lower the stress-level in you.
You can get the Adaptil diffuser or dog collar for your dog to keep him calm. Or when you have a cat you can use the Sentry calming collar or sentry diffuser. I have used both and find those are the best solution that works for me. Yes, you can use essential oils but in my experience with a higher stress level, those Collars and diffuser work better.
Click here to go to calming products.
The primary suggestion is to allocate one room in your existing home and pack it first. Then keep your pet secure in that room while you are doing all the packing and unpacking.
Take time to place their food and water bowls in that room along with their bedding, toys etc.
This may seem a little extreme, especially if the pet is used to spending most of their time outdoors, however, with the massive increase in activity, the changes they sense might make them want to hide somewhere.
My Cat was hiding in our launch casing at the bottom inside. We spent a whole day to look for her. My kids were crying because they thought their cat is gone.
The last thing you need to happen when you are about to move is for your pet to “go missing”, even if it ends up being in a tight corner in your yard, or the neighbour’s yard.
Moving Tip Nr. 2 Bedding and Blankets.
Another tip that people often overlook is NOT TO WASH your pet’s favourite toys and bedding before you move.
The reasoning is that by not washing them, the familiar smells from the old home are retained for them when they’re in the new home – the toys and bedding become like a child security blanket.
I never washed our pet’s bedding before we moved. Only after we moved and stayed there for 1 month I was washing the bedding and blankets. It is a good idea to keep two sets of your pets favourite bedding and blankets.
Moving Tip Nr. 3 Soothe your Pets Nerve.
A difficult suggestion to follow, because it runs counter to our natural instincts, is not to “soothe” our pet’s nerves (and satisfy our own feelings of guilt) be giving them treats or feeding them in the hope that they’ll be distracted and/or less active if they have a full stomach.
Try to make the last meal/food intake 3-4 hours before the move.
To avoid the effects of travel sickness, and its associated distress, consult your vet as required.
There are little essential oil diffusers available for the car use it and put some lavender essential oil inside and diffuse it before you leave. ( Please dilute the oil with a carrier oil first)
Click on the link if you like the diffuser for the car.
Do not leave it on the whole time. Switch it on depending on the distance every hour for a couple of minutes 5 to 10 minutes.
Moving Tip Nr. 4 Keep your Routine
You’ve no doubt come to realise that all pets like to have a routine.
It makes them feel secure. Therefore, if it’s at all possible, try to stick to your normal patterns leading up to the move and as soon as possible after you’re in your new home.
We all love our pets as if they were children, and we would do anything for them. Try to be even more attuned to their needs than normal, and spoil your pet with lots of attention before, during and after your move.
That’s the best way to nullify any possibility of them coming to the idea while you’re engrossed in packing that they’re being left behind and not coming with you.
Moving Tip Nr. 5 Avoid putting your Pet into Pet boarding homes.
There are some alternatives that will suit some situations better than others. Let’s say that your pet has already stayed once or twice in a kennel or cattery and they feel ok you might want to bring them there.
If you know your pets are not happy in a pet boarding place, don’t put them there. The stress will be too much for them and it will take you a long period of time to get them back to normal.
Download our free ebook “For the love of Pets” Click here
Another obvious alternative for some would be to ask a family member or friend that your pet is comfortable with to house them for a week or so, during the period covering you’re moving and unpacking the other end.
If you know in advance that your Pets react negatively to unusual noises, like packing and strangers, keep that one room in the home closed and lock it. Keep the key with you or in a place where the Movers will not have access.
To avoid that the Movers go in there by accident and the pets escape without anyone knowing it.
If you choose the pet boarding then make sure to book your pet in some time in advance, and have all the vaccinations for your pets up to date.
Moving Tip Nr. 6 Using GPRS Tracker Collars.
Use a GPRS Tracker when you are moved into the new home those are available for cats and dogs.
They are actually quite good and do a great job even after moving. Just going for a walk they are very useful.
We used them for our stray cats in smaller form and they are quite good. You can hook them up with your smartphone and the tracking is easy to handle and check.
For cats use Feliway and for dogs, Adaptil Stress relieve
The Day you move to take a few things into consideration.
• There is no “one size fits all” advice here. Common sense should prevail.
Don’t treat your pet as an afterthought by entrusting the pet carrier(s) to removalists to load into the moving lorry/van. Take your pets yourself. Don’t stress them more than necessary.
If you own a car and your pet is already used to going on trips with you, your job will be a whole lot easier.
Even if that is the case, place your pet in a carrier for this journey. It’s for their safety as well as yours.
If you intend to transport your pet in your own car, or in a friend’s car or taxi, try to ensure that you can sit in close proximity to your pets so that they can see and smell you, and “talk” to them in a calm voice, just like you would during the one-on-one time at home.
Once you’ve moved into your new home start a routine from day one.
Spoil your pet a little bit if time permits. They’ll appreciate and respond to your attention and affection.
However, regardless of how “well” they seem to be adjusting to their new surroundings, it’s strongly advisable for a few weeks after you have moved to keep your pet indoors. Especially for cats.
This may seem like a long time and of course, some pets will make the move in their stride and others not. This is for their safety, because their natural instinct may be to try to find their way back to their original home.
You can put your cat on a leash and harness if she is ok with it. Walk her outside. ( be careful she might bite and scratch you because she does not like it.)
It can be quite noisy when you have a cat or dog that loves to talk and communicate with you.
If you do have a secure garden and decide to take your dog outside, make sure you go with them and that they are wearing an up-to-date identity collar.
Before taking that step in the new home, we strongly suggest that the pet is microchipped.
It may sound a little over the top but even if you have the best-trained dog in town, don’t let them off the leash until they have had time to get used to their local parks and landmarks.
Cats are best kept indoors again for a few weeks until they have also gotten used to their surroundings and scents.
Download our free ebook “For the love of Pets” Click here
Last Tip…Find a good Veterinarian in the area.
Probably the last tip but by no means, the least important is that you will (probably) need to find the best vet in your area. That is if you have moved further away.
We’ve found that local pet shops are well connected and only too pleased to make a recommendation, and your neighbours or dog walkers/carers in the area are another great source of local knowledge.
A gentle reminder would be to also ensure your pet records are sent from your old vet to the new one.
To help your Pet to overcome this move as easy as possible you can use some essential oils to calm them down.
Sprinkle a bit of Lavender oil onto things around them, Please do dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil. You can use olive oil or neutral coconut oil.
In case your pet gets lost you can contact the web address below.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Moving house with cats and dogs is stressful for you and your pets. Important things you must know when you relocate with cats and dogs.
Do you have experience moving with your pet, please share your Tips and Experience with us. Share with friends and family. Please like us on Facebook.
Please visit our other blogs
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This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary-related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at mypetshopworld.com is exclusive of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.
Edmonton Moving Companies says
Moving with pets is really difficult, one needs to take care of a lot of things. I was worried in the starting but now I am much relaxed. Keep posting more such blogs.
Yes, moving with pets is stressful, done it now 3 times and it does not get better the worry is always there. There are a lot of things to consider and I have learned one thing that is if I am stressed my pets are stressed as they pick up on my energy. So we try to be as calm as possible when we move so that our pets are more relaxed.
One thing that has always helped us with moving is keeping the toys and the beds of our pets out and taking them with us last. So the surrounding changes but there is some familiar smell.
There are several products available to calm down pets with anxiety and they help to a certain degree. The best thing that works for us when we move with our pets is to stay calm yourself and the pets will know there is nothing to worry about.
Fantastic advice! I am moving across state in June and I have been so worried how my pets will handle such a big change. I have 1 dog and two cats. One of the cats (Lilly) is very easily startled and she hates to travel so I was worried about her the most. She is older now too and I do not want to stress her out more than she has to be. I bookmarked this page and will come back the close I get to the big move. Thanks for the information!
I moved now exactly 3 years ago with my cats and my dogs. I was also worried about my cats so I bought the GPRS Tracker and I have to say it was the best decision I made. It gave me a peace of mind and it helped me to track my cats and dogs. When I am ownest than I must say it took me a while to figure those trackers out. You really have to take time and actually read the instruction and to trial periods with your pets. When you figured it out it works really well. I am so happy with those trackers all went smoothly. I still use the trackers when I go off road with my dogs as I want to make sure if they go off ( never happened fingers crossed) I like to know where they are.
Happy to give you some advice on what I did with my cats as one of our cats is a little scary one, she is spooked about everything. She is a stray.
Have a great day
I had my own share of experience when we moved to a new home in kentucky
at first our pet dog was very nervous when it saw the whole house was being packed up so we had to get a calming medication from our vet which sort out the issue a bit
Secondly the first week we moved in, it was just looking for ways to escape and roam outside the house. This was really surprising because we had gotten it new toys and beddings before we started to notice this behavior.
Well, It took about two weeks before our dog finally adapted to its new home
It wasn’t easy but it was a great experience
When moving do not wash or replace the old bedding or toys, as this is familiar with the smell and the dogs need this. Moving is not only stressful for people it is also stressful for pets. It will take around 2 weeks until the dog or cats settling down. It is a good idea in the beginning only to go out with the dog when it is on a leash. At least they can mark their territory and get used to the smells and noises. This is the same for cats do not let them outdoors in the first 2 weeks. Until they get used to the smell and noises. Pets get easy lost during moves as the area they moved to is not familiar with them.
I am glad all worked out for you and your dogs are happy.
Have a beautiful day