Visualize. Image you’re in the midst of preparing for a move. You’re excited but a tad anxious. Your current home is in disarray. Boxes, packing materials and piles of seemingly disorganized stuff fill all corners of the home. Unfamiliar people circulate in and out of the house. Move coordinators, packers, family and friends all drop in and out.
Now. Imagine the view from your beloved pet’s point of view. Do you think they might be stressed?
Don’t overlook the fact that stress affects pets too. Unlike their owners, pets don’t have the luxury of knowing what’s going on. They simply experience the stress of unfamiliar events without being able to understand or control them.
When making plans for YOUR move, don’t forget to include tactics to make your PET’S move equally smooth and stress free. Here are some easy ideas to adopt:
- Let your vet know if you are moving out of the area. They may be able to recommend a new vet and you’ll want to arrange the transfer of medical files. Don’t forget to take adequate amounts of all medications with you.
- Isolate your pet from the move site whenever possible. The activity will stress them and may prompt a ‘fight or flight’ response. Having pets underfoot is also hazardous for movers and other service providers. Find an understanding friend or a local kennel to keep them safe until the house is packed up. Alternatively, isolate your pet in a crate or quiet secure area of the house. Provide them with familiar toys, water and routines. Don’t forget to pop in occasionally for a cuddle.
- Transport them to the new house in a vehicle they recognize and with people they know.
- Consider using non-drug stress reducing agents such as Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs during the relocation process.
- Allow time for them to acclimate to new surroundings. Introduce them in stages to the house, the yard and new walking routes. Keep the routes the same for a number of days until they feel comfortable with the area and have left their own markings along the route.
Like you, your pet will need time to adjust to the new surroundings. Like you, they will gradually settle in and make it a home they love. Give them time, provide familiar structure and watch them thrive in their new home.