Moving house is one of the most stressful times of our life, and it can be even more stressful when we have pets to worry about. Your pet could be more stressed out about the whole experience than you are because they have no idea what’s happening. Use the following tips to try and make the event as stress-free as possible for your pets, and hassle-free for you.
Before the Move
As well as booking the removal company, ensuring that your gas and water are turned on at the new property, and getting everything packed up for the big move, you should take some time to get your pet ready for the move, too.
1. Stick to Your Usual Routine
Animals thrive on routine and can become anxious when it is changed. You will have a lot to concentrate on, but try to keep mealtimes and walks to a similar time every day to avoid stressing your pet out.
2. Consider Boarding Kennels
Boarding kennels can be a stressful experience for your pet. But, compared to the stress of taking them with you on moving day, it could be less stressful for all concerned. You won’t have to stop them getting under the movers’ feet, and you won’t have to worry about your pup escaping through the open door.
3. Free Alternatives to Kennels
Alternatively, if you have dog-loving friends or family, see if they would be willing to provide some free boarding for a day or two. This can reduce the stress for your pet because they know the person looking after them. It also makes it a lot easier to get your stuff out of one house and into another.
The Day of the Move
The big day has arrived. You’ve got a box with your paperwork, house key, and, most importantly, the kettle and coffee in the passenger seat of your car. The last thing you need to worry about is your dog pooping on the back seat, or your cat escaping as you pull up outside your new family home. Remember to grab a travel carrier from ExcitedCats.
4. Provide Plenty of Exercise
The adage that a tired dog is a good dog is true. It will be especially true when you’re attempting to unload the antique wardrobe from the back of the moving van or checking that the boxes with the yellow labels have found their way into the living room. Give him plenty of exercise before you start the move and at any other opportune moment. A good walk may well help your stress levels, too.
5. Limit Food
A lot of animals get car sick. Combine the unnerving undulation of the car with the inevitable stress and there’s more than a slim chance of a messy accident. An overfull belly will only make matters worse. Do make sure they’re fed, but don’t overfeed.
6. Keep Them Entertained
Entertain your dog by taking him for a walk and finding some time to play with him. He wants to know that he’s still important and part of the family. He wants reassurance. Giving him time and attention will help keep his anxiety in check. You can even bring along some lavender to calm him down and make him feel relaxed. Check out smells that dogs like on PetKeen.
7. Take Breaks
If you’re moving around the corner, it may be easier to walk the dog there. If you’re moving miles away and need to take the dog by car or van, take regular breaks. Stop at services. Go for a walk. Make sure you have fresh water ready and pay your dog plenty of attention.
After the Move
You’ve got all your stuff in. All appropriately labeled boxes are in the correct rooms. The movers have done their job and, miraculously, there doesn’t seem to be any damage. It’s time to start the seemingly endless task of unpacking and getting things straight. Don’t forget that your pets will need help adjusting to their new home, too.
8. Ensure Doors and Windows Are Sealed
Your dog may have perfect recall. Your cat may be a homebody that never normally strays further than the front door. But this isn’t their home yet, and you’re likely busy unpacking. Avoid leaving doors open, and ensure that any windows at an easily accessible level are kept closed.
9. Create a Space They’ll Recognize
Your new home isn’t your pet’s new home yet. Even if you plan on replacing their battered bed and threadbare blankets with new ones to coincide with your new home, take the old ones with you. Your cat or dog will not only recognize their look, but they will have the smell of home on them, too.
10. Provide Plenty of Exercise
A tired dog is still a good dog! Play in the yard, take him out for a walk, and use the opportunity to get you both used to the new neighborhood while wearing him out.
Enjoy a Hassle-Free Move
Moving house is a stressful time, for all the family, including the four-legged family members. It is possible to minimize their stress which, in turn, gives you one less thing to stress about. And, don’t forget to change their chip and insurance details, and register with a new vet as soon as possible.