Moving can be very exciting moment for a family, but it can also be so stressful. It is not just stressful for us humans, but sometimes much more for our furry family members. So here are some top tips when moving with your pets. This will help lessen your pets’ and your stress.
WHY IS IT STRESSFUL FOR DOGS AND CATS TO MOVE HOUSE?
Cats and Dogs are a territorial animals. They even mark their territory with their scent by peeing. That’s their way of saying “This space is mine!” The know the smell, how it looks, the surroundings, how the front or backyard looks, the streets, which door to go when they see or hear your car when you come home.
When you move house, they are taken away from that space or territory. When they are taken away, that is when the stress comes in. They become anxious. The would feel the separation anxiety. They now will need to familiarize and orient themselves with the new surroundings.
SIGNS THAT YOUR PET IS STRESSED
There are ways to tell that your pets are stressed. It is when they show unusual behaviour. Dogs are easier to spot. They are stressed and anxious when they are barking excessively, howling, hiding, panting and pacing, shivering, peeing more frequently, running away or escaping, destroying stuff, sometimes not eating. Cats on the other hand exhibit more subtle signs such as grooming excessively, pulling fur, peeing or pooping outside the litter box, also sometimes not eating.
AVOID THE SURPRISE, THINK AHEAD AND PLAN
Check the laws in your locality. Find out if you need to renew license, what the guidelines for leashes. Is there a particular breed that is banned in the locality. Your new landlord might be ok with a Pitbull but the suburb associations, local council, and home insurance companies do not allow such breeds.
Ask your vets if they can recommend anyone near your new home. If not, google is your friend. Don’t wait until your your pets gets sick. Dig deep and research if your babies need any new vax or any meds. Is your new home clear of ticks or heartworm?
Update your pets microchip collar with your cell phone number and new address.
Make sure your dog has id. Since you’re a fur parent, I know you have heard of stories about a dog that got lost during the move. But soon was reunited with the owners after having to travel across the country. Better to have an ID tag on the pet’s collar and have your veterinarian microchip the dog for permanent identification.
PREPPING FOR THE MOVE
You may have noticed your dog gets anxious when you pull out a suitcase out your door for a trip. Just imagine how your pets will feel when the whole house is being packed up! Start training your dog by placing boxes or suitcases out so they would not associate boxes with you leaving.
Be patient and train your dog to stop barking at your command. This will be very helpful if you are moving to a much smaller home or an apartment where you and your neighbors are just walls apart. If your new home doesn’t have pet doors train your dog to have bathroom schedule. Prepare you dog as well with the new home, by introducing them to new environment. Pay a visit with the dog once or twice to your new home before moving.
DURING THE MOVE
Its a good option to give your dog a break by checking them in in a pet hotel/pet boarding facility or send your dogs to a pet sitter. This way, you can focus in loading up and travel of your valuables. If you can not send your pets for pet sitter, then pack for your pets. Basic needs food and water are good, but include few toys with extra towel and beddings. Speaking of food, don’t feed you pets like there’s no tomorrow. Feed them slightly until they are not hungry, not until they are full. You don’t want to see your pets throwing up in your car. Speaking of car, before you hit the road, you have to plan for the route specially on a long drive. Look for pet stops, off-leash areas, short hikes, or dog-friendly parks along the way. Pets need some break as much as the owners. Scout ahead for dog-friendly restaurants.
HELP YOUR DOG SETTLE TO YOUR NEW HOUSE
Firstly, pet proof your new house. Set up fence or leash them until you get settle and unpack. Create similar space like bed in the corner or by the door. Don’t clean and wash stuff as much so soon. Pets have very good sense of smell. This will help them settle. Finally, walk your dog in the neighborhood and let your pets smell the surrounding. Dogs most specially are very active animals. They need an output on that energy.