Top tips for a successful, stress-free move with your pet

November 27, 2014

Pets are part of your family and will need care on moving day. How can you keep them calm? Try these top tips for a successful, stress-free move with your pet.

Top tips for a successful, stress-free move with your pet

Before the move

Stay calm
Animals sense our stress and have a knack for predicting when change is afoot, especially when it comes to moving into a new home.

  • Try to stay as calm as possible, and avoid making any changes to their routine.
  • Although stress won’t disappear completely, it will be reduced.

Plan ahead
Start thinking about what you plan to do with your pet on moving day.

  • Will you find a sitter? Lock them in the bathroom? Or keep them with you? Also, do you have a transport cage?
  • You should check with the new municipality if you will need a license or tag for your pet.

Veterinary file
Ask for your pet’s file so that you can give it to the new veterinarian.

During the move

Before departure
With all the comings and goings on the big day, your pet will feel the stress, especially if you have a cat or dog. They will be excited.

  • One thing is for certain, you don’t want them to escape through an open door or get in the way. Mostly important of all, you want them to be okay.
  • The ideal solution would be to keep your pet, if possible, in a locked room with their favourite toys, food and water – plus a litter box if you have a cat.
  • If you have a dog, assign someone to take them for a nice long walk while everything is being loaded.

During transit
Even if your pet is used to having free rein and is always calm, stress can make it aggressive and fearful.

  • Put them in an approved pet cage, for your safety and theirs, making absolutely sure they have all the necessities to be comfortable: food, water, a toy or two, and plenty of space.

After the move

Upon arrival, unpack your pet’s items first.

  • Let Fido or Fluffy roam around and discover the place.
  • Unpack an object or piece of furniture your cat can hide under, because it will be their first instinct.

Cats often have more difficulty adapting to a new environment.

  • When unloading the truck, lock them in a room in the new house with food and their favourite objects. The next day they may still be hiding and refuse to come out or even eat.
  • Don’t worry — this is quite normal and they will emerge again when they get really hungry.
  • Leave them alone and let them explore the space at their own pace.

If you're afraid they will mark their territory, spread their odour throughout the house for them.

  • Wipe the corners of your cat’s mouth with a handkerchief. Then rub it on door frames and furniture legs, where they would usually rub. This is a good way to reassure them.

A dog usually adapts more easily to a new home than a cat.

  • Take your pooch for a walk to discover the new neighbourhood and mark the territory, as dogs usually do.
  • Your presence and companionship will probably be enough for them properly adapt.
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