Moving house is not just stressful for us, it’s also stressful for our pets. We’re taking them away from their safe place, away from their territory and everything that’s familiar to them.
So, it’s important to remember them when planning your move and to take some simple actions that will help ease those stresses.
Unfortunately if you don’t, your dog for example, may show destructive behaviour and you may come back to find all of your boxes chewed up or your cat could suffer with things like cystitis or other stress related problems. So, there’s lots of simple things that you can do to help alleviate these stresses.
It’s important to remember all pets could be affected and not all pets show stress in the same ways. So although outwardly some dogs might be overexcited or struggling to sleep or showing destructive behaviour, some might just be very withdrawn and quiet.
I think it’s a really good idea to set up a safe room so in the weeks leading up to you moving house, start placing all of their familiar items like their bed and food and water bowls into one safe room. When you get to your new house, it’s important to do the same procedure in reverse. So, all of their familiar items their bed and things that smell like your old house and set them all up in the new room and they have this room as their little safe area in your new house and make sure you make time to spend with them.
Which pets are affected?
Every animal is affected by moving in some way but sum pets like cats which are very fastidious about their routines can be more stressed than others. It’s important to think about all of your pets particularly if they’re elderly or they’ve lived in that house for a long time or obviously if they’re poorly or on medication from a vets, make sure that you stick to that routine and remember those medications.
For some pets actually putting them into a kennels or a cattery is going to be less stressful for them. You will also be less stressed because you’ll know that they’re safe. Remember if you are taking them to a cattery or a kennels they will have to be up to date with their vaccinations.
The first few days
Sticking to your normal routine both before and after you move house, will help your pet to settle in. So, feed them at your normal times, make sure water is constantly available and if they exercise, make sure they do that at the same times as you normally would
The first few months
After you’ve moved house, you’ll need to update your contact details at your vets and on your microchip if your pet has one and then it’s also worth contacting the owners of your old house, because sometimes especially with cats, pets can wonder back there and even taking their telephone number and giving them yours so if your pet does happen to turn up there, they can obviously phone you and you can be reunited. Take time to consider the impact of moving house on your pets, do your research and talk to experts.
This planning and preparation can really help to pave the way for a swifter and more confident happy ever after for you and your furry friends.