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.
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)
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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