At Aubrey and Finn, we love our pets, in fact if you pop into our office, you will often find our A&F resident mascot "Cricket" holding court, so we know what an important time moving home can be for your pets
Moving home can be a stressful time for you, there’s so much to organise and get done, but knowing you are moving means that you can psychologically and emotionally prepare for the move. For pets, moving home can be equally stressful, and although you may be telling them what’s going on, they obviously won’t be in the know (as you are) that change is coming and when, so here are some tips on how to make moving home less stressful for your pets.
Packing Boxes and Cases at the ready!
Some pets, dogs and cats especially, tend to get anxious and start to behave strangely at the first sign of a suitcase, especially if they know that this means that holidays or changes are coming, so in the weeks leading up to the move, leave the odd suitcase or packing box out in your home, so that your pet can get used to these items being around and they hopefully won’t feel as nervous around them when moving day arrives.
Give your Pets a Moving Home Holiday
There will be enough going on during the move, without having to worry about your pets also, so if possible, why not send them off to have fun elsewhere. This will make life easier for you and hopefully also reduce their anxiety levels, especially if it’s somewhere familiar such as a friend’s house or the local Cattery or Kennels. You will also then have of the peace of mind of knowing they are being well looked after and safe. Let’s face it, the last thing you need on moving day, is your beloved pooch running around excitedly underneath your feet, or your pet cat or even worse your pet tarantula doing a disappearing act!
Create a “Safe Zone” for your Pet
In your new home, create a safe space for your pet to acclimatise to their new surroundings, including somewhere where they can “hide” away if they need to. Find a part of the home where they can feel comfortable, or give them a cardboard box or their trusty bed. Then take their favourite blankets, toys or familiar items and place these in this area. Maybe also include a few treats for them to find too!
Keep Calm and Keep Routines
Changes around moving home are stressful enough, so it’s important to try and keep an animal’s normal routine in whatever location they may be in. Ensuring that they are eating and hydrating, going for walks, or having outside or cage-free time at a similar time each day can help your pet to feel reassured that their familiar routines are still in place despite their new surroundings.
Try to avoid any other large changes for your pet around moving day, including toilet or litter training, having your animal neutered, or any other big life changes. This may be easier said than done if the move involves a change in people living in the home, but hopefully by trying to avoid too many big upheavals at once, your much-loved family member will adjust to their new home more easily.
There are lots of products on the market which offer calming measures for your pet around stressful situations, including diffusers and sprays which mimic your pets’ natural chemicals and pheromones to help relieve stress and anxiety. Some owners may find these kinds of products are helpful for their pets and you could try these to help your pet to cope with any anxiousness towards their new environment.
Get your Pets familiar with their new surroundings asap
Your four-legged friends may need time to get to know their new surroundings. Cats need to be kept inside for around two weeks after moving home. Dogs still need to get outside, but they need to get used to a new area. Ensure that garden and outside spaces are secure so that animals can’t wander off on their own in the early days.
Taking your Dog for lots of walks around the local neighbourhood, or even your cat or bunny outside on a lead in the garden and beyond, in the early days, can help them to get to know their new surroundings, without getting confused and lost. Perhaps let them explore the garden first, before venturing further afield.
For smaller furry friends, or reptiles, ensure that their new home is secure, properly set up and functioning effectively before placing your pet back into it, and give them time to adapt to their new surroundings. Making sure that they have opportunities for water and food at regular intervals can help with this.
Find your local Pet Services
Spend some time researching the most convenient and best places to buy food and equipment for your pet in your new area, especially if you are moving a substantial distance. A pet’s health is very important to their owners, so finding a good vet in the local area should also be high up on your list of things to sort. Other services to look out for may include a local Cattery, Kennels, Pet Sitter, Dog Walker or Grooming Service.
All they need is Love!
No doubt, it’s natural for your pet to feel a little anxious and unsure about their new unfamiliar surroundings when you move, so during this time, most importantly, they will need lots of reassurance from you. Giving them extra love, care and attention and being understanding if they resort to cheeky, attention seeking or anxious behaviours, will hopefully help them to feel that their new place feels like home in no time.
At Aubrey and Finn, we’re always happy to help with any moving related questions, so please do pop into the office or pick up the phone and have a chat with us if you need any help with your next move.