Moving house is one of the most stressful events us humans have to go through, but it can also be a big deal for your pet. After all, the things they know and are used to will suddenly change. Here are some ways to minimise your pet’s stress:
Hopefully you have already chosen a house or apartment with your pet in mind. They will need a certain amount of space, and older animals may not be able to handle lots of stairs.
You’ll most likely need to scope out a new local vet for your pet, as well as pet stores and good parks and walking spots if you have a dog.
If you think your pet is particularly prone to stress, talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medication before the big day.
Try to keep your pets routine as normal as possible. On moving day, keep your pet in one room with the door shut or at a friend’s place. As you pack up your home, try to do so quietly, perhaps with your pet in a different room that you will pack up last.
You should already have your pet microchipped (it is compulsory in most Australian states and territories) but if you are moving house this is a must. There will be a lot of people coming in and out of the house so it can be easy for your pet to escape
Few animals enjoy car trips in a carrier, so try to get them used to the carrier beforehand. Leave the carrier out for your pet to sniff and explore, and leave some food inside so they have positive associations with it.
Cats can become particularly stressed during a move as they are territorial and creatures of habit. When you transfer your cat to their new home use a good cat carrier with some blankets or toys from the old home.
Only bring your pet into their new home when it is quiet – most moving should be complete and no renovations should be happening. The house should also be pet-proof, so keep an eye out for any electrical cords, chemicals, pest control traps, and open windows or poisonous house and garden plants.
Have a ‘home base’ room for your pet with all their favourite and well known things – food and water, blankets, toys and litter tray and scratching post for cats. You will need to introduce your pet to the new environment slowly to avoid them becoming overwhelmed, so start room by room, with some doors shut. If your pet is too nervous to explore, you could entice them out by hiding dry food around the house.