Moving to a new home is a stressful task on its own and can be exhausting when it comes to planning, readjusting, and the physical task of moving.
But the thing about moving houses is that it's not just a chore for family members, but it can also be stressful to pets when being introduced to a new environment.
Let’s explore different ways to introduce pets to a new home without causing too much stress on your furry friends.
Why keeping pets happy during the move matters
Introducing pets to new surroundings can be a hit or miss, depending on your furry friend, Animals like dogs are very territorial, and relocating them to a new home can cause some stress and anxiety.
Likewise, pets may also act out when they're forced to reorient themselves in their new environment.
Some ways that cats and dogs show stress is by exhibiting destructive behaviours Marking their territory, forgetting their potty training, destroying furniture are some ways that can show their signs of stress.
In some cases, you don’t see a change in behaviour until after the move. It's not uncommon for your pets to lose their appetite and refuse to eat right after the move.
Like humans, your pets would quickly miss their old home after moving to a new location.
How to prepare for your pets before the big move
Before moving to a new place, make sure that the new home has been scouted well and has been made pet-proof.
Some ways that you can make your new home pet-proof is securing the area for any possible places for pets to escape, removing potential hazards such as electrical cords and other possible harmful things.
Preparing a spot for your furry friends should also be factored in before your moving day.
When moving homes, ensure that you can allocate a spot for your pets to feed, litter and sleep so it could be easier to retrain them after the move.
If the new home is just a short drive or a walk away from your old place, it will be helpful to regularly visit the new place with your pets before the move itself.
Having your pets visit regularly before moving in allows them to get easily accustomed to the place, which can reduce their anxiety after the move.
How to handle your pets during the actual move
Moving day itself can be the most taxing for your pets - especially if you're bringing them on the same day that you'd be unpacking your belongings in the new house.
As much as possible, avoid bringing your pets to the move when you know you would be focused on unpacking and not giving your pets the time and attention they crave.
Helping your pets readjust would require your undivided attention, you might need to play with them using their favourite toys to make them feel more comfortable.
The car ride going to the new place can also be stressful if you're travelling far; it's better to keep them outside their crates. If it's necessary to cage them, you can try throwing a blanket over the crate as a means to make them relax or sleep.
Some veterinarians may also recommend the use of pheromone sprays and diffusers since these are natural stress relievers for your pets.
In cases where you know that your pets won't get much attention from you on moving day, you may also opt to consider leaving them in a pet daycare or hotel, which can also serve as a great transitioning place for them. Another option is to get a friend they are familiar with to pet sit for the day.
What should the new house be like for your pets?
The moving process can really be a stressful time for your pets, and they will definitely appreciate a little extra care and attention as a reward for adapting to the move.
Buy your pet's favourite food and treats and make sure you have them on stock for the next few days or weeks as a welcoming treat.
Also, it's a good idea to have all your pet's necessities prepared before moving into their new area, such as a litter tray, food bowls, water bowls, and pet beds.
Your new house should also be as pet-friendly as possible. Having fences around the house should also be considered as pets may try to escape when placed in new homes.
Avoid having open doors as well since it's not uncommon for pets to go out and try to look for their old home.
What should be done after the move
Once you're all settled in, it’s the perfect time to be with your pet and allow them to get settled in as well.
Walk them around the house and let them explore, let them familiarise with the new smells, the new corners, their new play areas and other things to make them feel more comfortable.
Schedule playtime with your pets so they can associate their new home as a stress-free environment.
If you have a yard in your new property, let your pets wander and run around. After all, most pets love the outdoors and allowing them to explore would make them enjoy their new home much better.
What you should know about the new neighbourhood for your pets
Part of keeping your pets happy during the move is ensuring that their welfare is properly taken care of.
Make sure to find the veterinarians in the area, as well as pet sitters or doggy day care - you'd never know when you'd need them.
Ensure as well that your pets are complete with their vaccinations as to keep them safe when interacting with other animals in the neighbourhood.
And lastly, if your pet doesn't have an ID tag yet, get one for them. There are ID tags where you can embed your home address and contacts in a microchip, so your pet can be better tracked if they go missing.
And if they already have one, ensure that you update the microchip details right after the move.
Embrace the new chapter!
Moving to a new home can be very stressful for your pets, but it can be a fun experience for them too.
All you need is a little patience and understanding and your pets will get accustomed to your new place in no time!