Pets are an integral part of the family. Having a pet can bring you happiness, companionship and can also teach you a valuable lesson of patience in life. While moving to a new place with your family can be difficult, with pets it can be a lot more stressful. Just like humans get attached to things and places, pets (especially cats and dogs) develop a sense of attachment with their territory and a house move can be very discomforting for them. And that’s where our guide comes in. This blog offers useful tips for moving house with pets that can help make the process easier for you.
So, let’s begin!
Tips for Moving House With Pets: A Checklist
House shifting is a three-step process that entails planning that happens before the move, all that happens on the day of the move and tasks you perform post-move. All of this can get slightly more challenging if you have a furry little friend with you.
Don’t worry. Our tips for moving house with pets can help you out.
What to Do Before Moving
Keeping the pet out of stress is very important so that you don’t have any extra thing on your plate to worry about. Dogs as well as cats have certain routines aligned with you including morning or evening cuddles, food and evening walks of dogs and disruption in that routine can cause anxiety and in your pets.
Use of Pheromones
Pheromones are chemicals capable of making cats and dogs feel secure and calm in a place and provide a homely feeling. Investing in a pheromone diffuser can prove to be a great decision if the new home you are moving to is unfamiliar to your pets. Plug-in diffusers or dog collars can be bought that can diffuse Dog Appeasing Hormones (DAP) into the air and the process should be started well before you start packing.
Maintain The Routine
Keep following your routine before moving house with pets, considering these creatures are sensitive to any sort of change in their environment. You would want to keep taking your dog to the morning walk, food and rest time. The routine gives them a sense of security and control of their environment otherwise a panic situation might arise.
Establish A Safe Zone
Packing and unpacking can get a little noisy and chaotic. Ideally, dogs should be moved to kennels and cats to a cattery so that a safe and trouble-free environment for them can be ensured. If a friend or any other family member can take them in just for the shifting and moving part, a feeling of familiarity, home and comfort can still be provided to them. The final option is to slowly start moving their items like food bowl, water, toys and bed etc. into a separate room and close the door for as long as the shifting continues. This won’t be disturbing for them because it will be like a ‘home within a home’ feeling.
Keeping the door closed at all times is very important in case of cats because of their curious nature to look around. Clear instructions should be provided to movers about the room your pets are in so that they cannot sneak out.
Traveling With Your Pets
If your pets have motion sickness and don’t travel well, you might need to consult with your vet who can advise you on what would help. Dogs can adjust in the car on the back seat very comfortably but cats should be carried in a carrier. To acquaint them with the carrier, keep the cover open and place toys and treats inside so that it’s easier for them on the day of traveling.
Packing Your Pet’s Items
Packing your pet’s items should be the last on your list so that they are not alarmed and become anxious of what’s going on around the place.
Day Of Traveling
Once everything is packed, traveling wouldn’t be very difficult unless your pets have traveling issues.
During a long journey, while moving house with a dog, make frequent stops so that your dog can toilet and do a quick walk (on a lead) with you. Always remember not to leave your pets in the car alone while making a stop especially with the windows closed. The temperature inside the car rises rapidly and can be dangerous.
Unpack Your Pet’s Belongings First
It might be easy for you to get comfortable with your new home but for your pets it will be hard initially. Since your beloved companions are sensitive to their surroundings and can easily identify change in their territory, unpack their items like bed, cushion or blankets first so that it feels (read: smells) like home to them when they first enter. Rub a soft cloth on your dog’s face and then lightly rub it on your furnishing and walls at your pet’s heights. This will help them track their own scent around the house and develop a homely feeling.
Since these pets are very sensitive to smell, we might find it odd but for them it provides a feeling of home and security.
It is obvious that the new house you are moving into will be secure but it always helps to be cautious.
Before getting your pets out of the car and/or carrier, check for any live wires inside or outside the house. Exposed electrical cables can be potentially fatal for you and your pets. Also, make sure there aren’t any holes in the fences or spaces in the wall around your house from where your pet can run away. This would require very keen and objective assessment of the house. Also, if the house has a garden, check out for plants if they are completely safe for your pets.
The toughest part of shifting is over and now it’s just a matter of helping your pet settle down in your new house. There are a couple of things you should know and measures you should take.
Don’t Wash Their Beds Until A Few Days
It’s recommended that owners don’t wash their pet’s bed and blanket until a few days have passed in the new place. As stated above, your four-legged friends are sensitive to change. Their unwashed bed will give them a feeling of a calm and secure place they can come to.
Let Them Explore
Cats as compared to dogs are much more curious in nature. They would want to explore the new place, smell people coming in your house and develop a connection and familiarity. Once the place is secure, let your pets explore the place. Some dogs might be not confident and they will feel good about you giving them a tour to the new place.
Train them according to the new place for food and toilet as soon as you move in so that it is not troublesome for you to clean up after them every time.
One thing to keep in mind is that don’t let your dog out without a leash unless you are satisfied with their behavior and it’s safe for them to go out. Unfamiliar surroundings and people can trigger anxiety putting neighbours in danger.
Re-training Might Be Required
Feeling at home in a new house can be tough on both you and your pet. The stress of a new place can cause toilet accidents and telling them off is not going to be an advisable solution. You will need to show them where to release and may reward them for their learning. If this gets prolonged, you should revisit old toilet training tricks or consult your vet for a better approach to the problem.
Measure To Avoid Runaways
An important measure you should take is to inform you previous house owners and new movers about your pets and give them their details. The new owners will be able to contact if the dog or cat runs away from the place and visits the old house.
Getting their routine set quickly will help your pets to develop an association with the new place. To help your dog get acquainted with the new neighbourhood, you would have to take him to walk quite often.
If you found this piece informative, you might also want to check out our tips on how to make your home more pet-friendly. Stay connected to Zameen Blog – the top lifestyle and real estate blog in Pakistan – for similar tips and tricks. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Zameen Newsletter and Facebook page to receive the latest property-related updates.