According to research, moving house is more stressful than going through a divorce or even starting a new job. The stress of moving house for cats and dogs can be considerable too so we’ve put together some really useful tips to keep your pets happy and healthy before, during and after your move.
Before the Move
- Plan Ahead
As soon as moving house is on the cards, start to make arrangements for how you will care for pet during that time. Leaving your pet’s needs until the last minute will have a negative impact on both you and your cat or dog.
- Book into kennels or cattery
Favourite toys, smells, spaces and hiding places all being changed and boxed up will make your cat or dog feel extremely anxious so aim to book your pet into a boarding home for the packing phase. If this is not possible, find a quiet room in the house where they can take refuge during the packing process. Remember to watch out for your pet escaping as there will be lots of doors being propped open whilst items are being removed.
- Favourite possessions
Don’t pack favourite toys and blankets, keep them close to your pet in their quiet room and/ or carrier until you get to your new home.
- Routine, routine, routine
Cats and dogs are creatures of habit.You will be up to your eyes in boxes and packaging but if your pet is at home with you throughout the packing phase ensure that they are fed, watered and walked at the same time of day so as to minimise any disruption to their routine.
- Update personal information
Ensure that your cat or dog has your new contact details on their collar and their microchip data is updated withPetlog.
During the Move
- Secure your pets
Ensure your cat or dog is secured in your vehicle either in a cage or carrier. Don’t be tempted to open the door to comfort them en-route as they may jump out and escape, putting themselves at risk.
- Travel essentials
Provide food, water and litter for a cat if you are going to be travelling for long periods. Keep your dog on its lead when taking him or her out for a toilet break.
- Travel sickness
Ask your vet about anti-sickness tablets if your pet suffers from travel sickness.
- Favourite possessions
Let them travel with their favourite toy and/ or blanket.
After the Move
- Check fencing
Before letting your dog explore their new garden, ensure that all perimeter fences are secure so that your dog cannot escape into unfamiliar territory.
- Exploring together
After the move, take your dog for a walk as soon as you can around the new area so that they can get to know the sights and smells. It will be exciting and reassuring for them.
- Moving house with a cat
Butter on the paws may be an old wives’ tale but the theory is that it will help a cat to make her way back home if she gets lost. In reality she’ll most likely just lick the butter off and it won’t help. When moving house with a cat, do bear in mind that many cats will and do attempt to make their way back to their old home as they are governed by their territory. To alleviate this, it is recommended that cats are allowed to acclimatise in their new home for 2-4 weeks prior to being let outside.
- Plug-ins and home comforts
Pheromone plug-in adapters are an effective way of calming the nerves of some cats and dogs, plug one or two in your new home to ease their stress. Keep favourite toys and unwashed bedding close by so that they have a familiar smell to comfort them.
- Allow for accidents
Don’t make a fuss if your pet has an accident in your new home, allow a few weeks for your cat or dog to feel ‘at home’ and always praise him or her when they go to the toilet where they should.
By following these simple tips moving house with your pet should be a lot less stressful for everyone involved. If you are concerned for your pet always seek advice from your vet who will be able to provide tailored information for you cat or dog.