Helping pets stress less when moving house

Moving house can be stressful on pets.
Moving house can be stressful on pets.

MOVING house is not just all about packing boxes and bubble wrap when you have a pet.

Whether it’s moving overseas or even just across the same suburb, there are things you can do to help your pet adjust to the uncertainty of a new home.

Pet Insurance Australia’s Nadia Crighton said moving home was a stressful situation for anyone.

“For our pets, this heightened stress can lead to anxiety and a general feeling of insecurity,” Crighton said.

“So it’s important for pet owners to prepare well in advance for their pets, take it slowly and be patient with your pet.

“If you are concerned about any unusual or new behaviour your pet is exhibiting after a move, seeking veterinary advice is paramount.”

Tips for moving house include ensuring your pet is kept in a room safe from all the hustle and bustle of the move, lots of visits and cuddles, take your pet over to your new home when a suitable ‘safe’ room has been set up and play classical music to drown out the loud noises.

“Smell plays a big role, so when you do move your pet make sure they are going into a room that smells like home, like a bedroom,” she said.

“This space will then become their ‘retreat’ area when they first explore their new dwelling.”

 

FOR DOGS

Take them on an adventure before the move to their new off-leash area.

Double check fences are secure.

Allow them to explore slowly, when it is quiet, and do not overwhelm them.

Make sure collars, tags and microchip/registration details are up-to-date.

Stick to your daily doggy routine.

Consider using a pheromone diffuser to help.

 

FOR CATS

Allow your pet slowly to explore the house and do not force them.

Keep your cat indoors for at least one week after the move.

Ensure collars, tags, microchips and registrations are up-to-date.

Consider using a pheromone diffuser to help with the adjustment.

 

MOVING INTERSTATE OR OVERSEAS

“Ask the travel company if you can have access to the travel crate as soon as possible,” Crighton said.

“It’s important that your pet sees this crate as a comfortable zone and not something to fear.”

When you get the crate, consider feeding your pet inside. Start slowly at the door and gradually move the food until your pet is eating all the way inside. Add your pet’s favourite toys and blankets and make it smell like home.

“Many pet owners make the mistake of washing everything before their pet leaves for the big trip,” she said.

“Remembering that you want your pet to feel comfortable and the smell of home will give them a huge sense of security.

Washing blankets and soft toys will only remove the scent of their family and familiar environment.”