Contrary to what most people think, moving homes is just as stressful for pets as it is for their human parents. Leaving a familiar environment where they’ve created so many memories and struck a level of comfort can be a challenging adjustment. Fortunately, pet owners can take certain measures to ensure that the move is as smooth sailing for their loyal companions by planning ahead and preparing them for the impending changes that lie before them.
A successful move into your new abode with your beloved pet is all about planning and seeing the move from your pet’s perspective – a pet’s home is not only their safe haven, but instinctively their piece of territory, so moving for them is a big deal! Keep in mind that cats are more sensitive to change than dogs as they are not usually socialised from a young age like their canine counterparts, thereby helping them adapt to new people, pets, situations and smells.
Do your homework prior to moving:
- Have you checked pet-related local laws that are applicable in the suburb, city or province you are about to move to?
- Have you explored veterinarians in the new area who can become the new medical guardian angels to your beloved companion?
- Do you know if your pet is comfortable in a carrier so that they are at ease being transported in one to their new home?
In the hustle and bustle of the move, it’s possible that your furry friend may, out of curiosity, venture into their new neighbourhood, consequently getting lost. It’s therefore critical to make sure that your pet has proper identification such as ID tags and veterinarian microchips updated with your new address and contact details.
Prepping and Packing
Whether you’re moving across country or to the neighbourhood next door, you can guarantee your kitty’s safety whilst being in a carrier. Gradually introduce them to the carrier by placing a cosy blanket and yummy treats inside, leave the door open and ensure they start to feel at ease with the experience. When this is achieved, begin with 10-minute drives and then progress to 20-minute drives so kitty becomes less anxious as they acclimatise to the new sights, scents and sounds of travelling in a car.
Proactively manage your pet’s stress-related behaviours that are likely to surface when they witness the entire house emptying by the day.
They may associate the boxes and suitcases with potentially being abandoned so leave any signs of moving material out ahead of time, so they become accustomed to the changes.
Allow your pet to roam around and inspect your home rather than locking them up for your own convenience.
A new home may demand new rules that your pet must learn to abide by, so training them beforehand will make the transition easier for everyone involved. If your new neighbours are in a much closer proximity to you than your last home, training your pooch not to bark before the move is a beneficial tactic. If a doggie-door isn’t an option, ensure to introduce a toilet routine ahead of time.
If you’re moving to a nearby neighbourhood, try taking your furry mate on frequent walks around the area and into your new home so that they can familiarise themselves with their new surroundings and smells while introducing them to all the new friends they’re about to make!
If you’re driving a fair distance, research pet-friendly overnight stopovers beforehand and book ahead of time. If you’re flying, contact the respective airline and enquire about anything they or your pet may require when flying with them. Their medical records should be accessible to you at all times on the flight. You may also have your vet prescribe calming medication to appease any anxiety they may experience during the trip.
When D-day arrives, your cay will be safest and happiest in their carrier, placed in the car – provided it’s not too hot or cold. Alternatively, put them in a quiet bathroom, with the door locked and ensure they have access to their litter box, food and water.
It’s probably wisest to ask a responsible and familiar family member or friend to take care of your pooch on moving day.
Whilst embarking on the trip, make sure that you’ve packed all your pet’s supplies as they should be readily accessible at all times. If they have a sensitive stomach, don’t feed them too much before the ride as it may disturb them during the trip. Most importantly, keep your pet safe, secure, well ventilated and hydrated throughout the journey.
When you finally make it to your new home, be sure that the place is pet-proofed to avoid any mishaps. Garden fences should have no holes in them and pools should be covered or fenced off if your pet is unfamiliar with them.
Welcoming Kitty to their New Home Sweet Home
On arrival, inspect the house for any holes your cat could disappear into and ensure to keep all doors and windows closed.
Cats are sensitive souls and may react to their surroundings by withdrawing into their carrier, cupboards, or under beds. They may also temporarily lose their appetite and their ability to use the litter box.
Provide your cat with their own sanctuary kitted out with food, water, scratch post, litter box and all the other trifles they find comfort in. Only once they are comfortable, allow them to explore their new home one room at a time and place a litter box where you plan to keep it permanently. They’ll eventually come to realise that their family forms part of these new surroundings and will begin to accept it as home.
Welcoming your Pooch to their New Home Sweet Home
Your pooch will take to the new home more confidently if initially walked around the property on a leash by your side. They may take a while to acclimatise to a smaller property, but by instilling a routine as soon as possible, they are bound to feel at home in no time. Try to keep as close to your previous schedule as possible: walk, meal and grooming times should be approximately the same time as they were at your previous home. Ensure your canine companion is supervised at all times in case they make an attempt to break out in search of their familiar terrain.
With some planning, patience and perseverance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your furry loved one will take to the move with ease and resilience, making a potentially stressful transition, uncomplicated and exciting.
Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson
Disclaimer: The information produced by Infurmation is provided for general and educational purposes only and does not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of your vet or other qualified health care provider prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you suspect that your pet has a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.