There are many aspects of moving house that can cause stress for a pet. The process of packing can be quite chaotic and the complications of the journey can easily be distressing to a pet. They won’t understand what is happening, or why. Your explanations will be lost on them.
However, there are things you can do to make the transition easier. And they will adapt over time to their new surroundings once you are settled.
1. Ensure your new home is pet-friendly
Pet-friendly flats in the UK are not always easy to find. Rental properties tend not to allow pets, and noise arguments in an owned property can be difficult to solve.
Once you do find a suitable place, ensure it is secure and safe for your animal(s). Be aware that they may try to escape when you first move in as they may not accept the new environment as home right away.
2. Get their paperwork sorted
Paperwork is a time-consuming element of any move. Your pet won’t need any paperwork for a domestic move, but if you are heading overseas then they will. Countries enforce strict entry rules to help reduce the risk of certain diseases spreading. You will need to have tests done to get the necessary paperwork.
3. Visit the vet
It’s always wise to have your pet checked over by the vet before a move. If you have cat insurance (or insurance for any other animal) it can help avoid the cost of paying for a check-up. This way, you will be able to prepare for things like anxiety, motion sickness and any other health concerns the move might cause.
4. Try to maintain routine
Animals can sense changes in daily behaviour and this can trigger trauma or induce separation anxiety. Try to ensure you don’t miss their daily walk or playtime and ensure meals happen at the normal time. This will maintain a sense of normality to minimise stress.
5. Dealing with behaviour changes
During the move, and when you arrive at the new home, your pet may start acting up. They may do things like:
- Peeing indoors
- Destroying items
- Refuse to play
Any unusual behaviour may be worrying, but you can rest assured it is normal. Pets need time to adjust, so the best thing you can do is have patience and keep maintaining the old routine. It won’t take more than a couple of weeks for a pet to make the adjustment.
Give your pet a spot to call their own in the new home. Lay down the litter tray, set the food and water bowl and/or put their cage in its new spot. Try to make the new place feel like home right from day one. With good planning and plenty of love and attention for your pets, you can keep the stress to a minimum.