Our little furry friends are as much members of the family as anyone, so just like us it is understandable that moving home can have a big effect on our
pets. While the effect on caged animals tends to be easily remedied as they simply take time to adapt to their new surroundings, for more free-roaming and
territorial animals such as cats and dogs things will need a little planning. These animals are more affected by a change in surroundings than we often
realise, but by taking certain steps before, during and after the move you can make sure your pets settle in as quickly as you do:
Before the move
Have an up-to-date identity tag put on their collar. On the off-chance they do escape, this will ensure their return is made easier by having the correct
details displayed round their neck. Pets can try to escape or run away during or after the move, so making sure all details are up to date before they
leave is a good idea.
Register with a new veterinary practice before you move and ensure insurance documents and microchips (if applicable) are up to date. Once again this
simply means that should anything happen to your pet on the days following the move you are well prepared for it. If your animal does not travel well
discuss with them whether any potential medication may be appropriate. Like us humans, animals do get travel sick and it is important to look after them
over the course of the journey, especially if it is a long one.
Finally, if your dog in particular is incredibly protective of you and your home with regards to strangers, it may be worthwhile arranging for a kennel or
friend to take care of them on the day of the move as moving professionals enter your
home in droves to load all of your possessions into their van. So many strangers can be distressing to certain animals, so it is often best to simply take
them away from the situation.
On the day
Remember that upheaval on the day of a move disturbs and animals routine, which can make them anxious and distressed and that is before the commotion of a
removal team entering the property. Get cats inside before the moving even starts and do what you can to keep them there – they will get scared and stay
away if they see a large amount of strangers and there is noise as a result of the moving, making finding them again incredibly difficult.
As mentioned before it is sometimes easier to have a dog looked after while you are moving, it all depends on the animal. If you think they will be ok just
spare them a thought every now and then to reassure them and keep them calm.
After the move
This tends to be where the fun starts, but most animals simply need time to adapt to their new environment and begin to feel safe. Put down new beds and/or
litter trays quickly and assert ground rules in terms of which rooms they are allowed in etc, as this will make things easier moving forward.
Make sure the garden is secure before letting your pets out, patching up and holes in fences and/or installing cat flaps etc. Keep cats inside for a
minimum of a day before letting them out, and make sure they are well fed before you do for the first time should they try to find their way back to your
old property (it does happen).
Dogs simply love routine, so take them to their new local park immediately and try to settle into your new home quickly. They will sense your stress levels
and so as you relax and feel comfortable, so will they.