Moving is a busy and stressful time, and that’s the case not just for the people who are moving home but for household pets too. Reptiles, bunnies and aquatic animals are all reasonably easy to keep happy and safe during a move. However, in a household with cats and dogs, you’ll need to take them into account and plan with them firmly in mind. Therefore, we have created an excellent guide to moving home with pets to help make the move stress free.
“A whopping 48% of UK households have pets.”
A whopping 48% of UK households have pets, with 19% of those being cats and approximately 23% having dogs. Most cats and dogs will find moving stressful and as intuitive as they are, will pick up on the impending move well before moving day.
Stress-induced behaviours to look out for include:
Dogs barking more than usual.
Aggressive behaviour in your dog.
Spraying or peeing in the wrong places.
Hiding away or howling.
Cats being more aggressive or skittish than usual.
Felines, in particular, tend to become quite attached to the environment they live in. As a result, they find change stressful. The trick is to make the transition for both cats and dogs, as smooth as possible. While you are busy packing, make sure you take time to give your pet attention. Ensuring dogs are still receiving the exercise they need is also very important.
Moving day for cats and dogs
If you have a cat, on the day of the move put them into a room away from all the action. Put their basket, scratching post, litter tray and food in there with them as this will shield them from the bulk of the moving day action. Make sure you check on them from time to time, particularly if you have a large house that takes a long time to empty.
Make sure you have a suitable pet carrier for your cat, preferably something you’ve used before, so it’s familiar to your animal. Pop in a blanket or their favourite toy and food and water too if it’s going to be a long journey. Feliway is a great product available for both cats and dogs. In spray format, it is ideal to spray on bedding and inside carriers.
If you can gain access to the new property ahead of your move, pop a Feliway plugin on in the room your pets will spend most of their time in. This will help calm them down when they finally arrive at your new property.
Consider how your pets will react to new smells
Dogs don’t like walking into a new house that smells of the previous occupant’s pets. Before you bring your dog in, make sure you’ve given the place a thorough clean and have aired it out if possible too. Make sure that when you bring your dog in that, you also bring something in with a scent. A scent they’ll be familiar with, a toy, blanket or bed is ideal and will help them feel settled.
Once all the moving boxes and furniture are in and things start to calm down, helping your pets settle in at the new property is very important. Be calm and attentive and make sure they know where their bed, litter tray, food and water is. Give them lots of fuss and attention too. Just like us, they will be uncertain, and lots of reassurance will go a long way to helping them feel happier and calmer.
Ease the stress of moving home with pets
However, If your pets are particularly anxious a cattery, kennels or a friend’s house might be the best place. You should consider this service for a day or so while you move. If you are concerned, be sure to talk to your vet well ahead of the move. They will be able to give you expert advice for your pet’s individual needs.
Having moved with pets on numerous occasions, I can confirm that moving with animals doesn’t have to be stressful. A happy move will be achieved without too much distress to your furry friends. All it takes is a little bit of additional planning.
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