How to Make Moving Home Less Stressful for Your Pets

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How to Make Moving Home Less Stressful for Your Pets 

Moving home can be a stressful time for any person, but it can be even more overwhelming for our pets. The sudden change in environment can be a lot for them to handle, leading to anxious behaviour and possible health issues. But with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can ease your pet’s anxiety and make the transition to their new home as smooth as possible.

Preparing your pets for the move

It's essential to start preparing your pets for the move a few weeks in advance, as it may take them a bit of time to get accustomed to the idea of moving home. If you need to travel with them in a crate or pet carrier, start by gradually introducing them to it and allowing them to get comfortable inside. Once they are content, start taking small trips, so they become accustomed to the movement. On the slim chance they get separated from you during the move, remember to make sure your pets are wearing their collar tags with up-to-date contact information.

Why moving with pets can be tricky

Pets often become very attached to their routine and surroundings, as the predictability gives them comfort that their needs will be met from day to day. Moving to a new home can disrupt this, as everything is unfamiliar and routines may get thrown off slightly, which can lead to stress, anxiety, and behavioural problems. In some cases, stress and anxiety can cause health issues such as vomiting, diarrhoea and weight loss, so it's essential to try and keep disruptions to a minimum while making the move.

What to do on moving day

Moving day can be chaotic, and your pets will undoubtedly pick up on the energy around them, so try to keep them in a quiet room away from the hustle and bustle. Leave them with all their essentials, including food, water, toys, and medication, and ensure they have easy access to their travelling crate. If you can't keep them in a separate room, set up a temporary space for them in your current home, or in your new home, that you can keep as peaceful as possible, away from all the commotion.

Helping your pets stay calm during the move

Travelling can be stressful for pets, so it's important to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Signs that they’re feeling anxious about being in the car can include a reluctance to get in, whining, yawning, panting and lip licking. If you notice any of these signs in your pet, it’s essential to address the issue, so they don’t suffer.

Setting up a cosy crate with familiar toys and bedding can help soothe their anxiety. You may also want to consider using calming treats or pheromone sprays to help pets relax. It’s also a good idea to avoid feeding them before the move if you have far to go, as this could increase their chances of motion sickness, which can be a cause of stress.

How to welcome your pets to their new home

Once you’ve arrived at your new home, set up your pet’s designated space with their favourite toys and bedding, and let them explore their new surroundings at their own pace. Big life changes can sometimes cause anxiety and depression in pets, so remember to give them plenty of attention and love, so they feel secure in their new home.

Making sure your pets can get settled 

It’s essential to establish routine and normalcy within your new home, to help your pets get settled. This means ensuring they have their own safe space in the home, with their cosy bed, favourite toys, and plenty of fresh water and healthy food. Setting up their space before you bring your pet into the home can immediately offer them some home comfort. Maintaining a routine that is consistent with their previous routine can also help them adapt quickly.

Helping your cat settle in

Cats might find having access to too much new space in one go stressful, so try to gradually introduce them to your new home a room or so at a time. If they’re an outdoors cat, be cautious about letting them outside too soon, as they’re at risk of getting disorientated. It’s good to leave it two to three weeks, so they can become familiar with the scent of your new home. When the time comes, allow them into the garden with you to explore. Sprinkle some of their used litter around the perimeter of the garden or by your door, so it smells more familiar to them.

Helping your dog settle in

Dogs love the company of their owners, so accompanying them as they explore their new home can be reassuring for them. Making the new home smell like your old familiar one will also offer them comfort, for example by placing their toys around the home and avoiding washing their bedding until they’re feeling more settled.

 

Moving with pets can be challenging, but with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can reduce the stress and anxiety that they may experience. Remember to provide them with plenty of love and attention during the move and afterwards, so they feel secure in their new home. With these tips, your pets will soon feel at home in their new environment and be back to their happy selves in no time. For more tips and advice on caring for your pets, check out our pet care blog.

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