While the stress of moving might have you wishing you could resign from adulting and take a long nap, don’t forget to consider your furry or feathered friends in the process.
Moving house is taxing enough for humans, let alone animals who have no idea what’s going on. It’s important to treat your pets with extra care during this big, scary change.
Help make your move less stressful on your pets for a smoother transition to their new environment. They give you cute photos for your Facebook, so you kind of owe them.
Before the Move
Keep Routines as Normal as Possible
Like many people, animals don’t like change – it can make them feel a loss of control. Stick to their usual routine of sleeping, feeding and walking times to reduce disruption as much as possible.
Pet-Proof Your New Place
Make sure your new house and yard are ready for your pet to move in. Check fences are secure and have security screens and doggy doors installed if need be.
Visit Your Vet
Take your pet for a check-up and make sure they’re up to date with all their vaccinations. Ask for copies of their medical records, and let your vet know about your move. They may recommend giving your pet a mild sedative for the journey.
Find a New Local Vet
If your move sees you on the other side of the city (or the country), scope out your new area for a vet. Introduce your pet and keep the contact details handy in case of an emergency.
Introduce Them to Their New Environment
Taking your dog or cat for a walk around their new yard and neighbourhood before moving in will help them get a feel for the environment and become familiar with the sights, sounds, and smells.
Get Them Used to Their Carrier
If you’re using a carrier, crate or cage to transport your pet during the move, place it in their normal space a few days prior so they can get a feel for it. This will help them feel more comfortable about hopping inside on the big day.
During the Move
Keep Them Out of the Way
Having your pets underfoot while lifting furniture and moving boxes can cause stress for both human and animal. Not to mention the risk of stepping on tails! Keep them away from the chaos in a safe and quiet room with their favourite items (bedding, toys, water, snacks).
You might even like to send them to a friend’s place or kennel so they can avoid the stressful changes happening in your home.
Make Their Trip Comfortable
Make sure your pet is safely secured in your vehicle during the drive. If it’s a long trip, regular water and toilet breaks will make sure your pet is comfortable. If you stop for a break yourself, remember your vehicle can get hot fast, so don’t leave your pet inside!
Unpack the Essentials
Having all their favourite familiar items in the new home will help them feel comfortable and adapt to the new environment. Keep their stuff in a bag or box that’s easy to reach and unpack as soon as you get to your new place.
After the Move
Update Their Identification Information
Be sure to update your address on any identification tags and microchips. You might even like to introduce your pet to the neighbours when introducing yourself so they can be identified if they wander next door.
Stick to Their Routine
Again, maintaining a normal routine will help your pet adapt to the new environment. Keep feeding, sleeping and walking times to their usual schedule if possible.
Take Them Exploring
Plenty of walks and exploring around your new neighbourhood will help your pet get to know the area. This will also increase their chances of making their way home if they ever get out of the yard.
Monitor Their Behaviour
The stress and confusion of moving to a new environment can cause pets to misbehave or even become ill. Keep an extra close eye on their health and visit a vet if you notice any concerning changes. If they misbehave or have an accident inside, go easy on them – they’ll need a bit of TLC for the first few weeks.
Check out our tips for savings time, money and stress when moving interstate to make your move easier on the humans of the family (and your wallet).