Selling your property and moving to a new house can be a stressful experience for pets – as well as for you!
Here’s Sims Williams’ Top Tips for helping your beloved pets settle quickly into their new home.
Like us, cats and dogs get very attached to “Home Sweet Home” and feel safe and secure in familiar surroundings.
Preparing for your move day
Watching you pack up and move your belongings can be distressing for your pets – especially if you have strangers (removals people) coming in and out of your house.
Consider a “mini” holiday for your pets
Consider asking a friend or family member to care for your pet for a few days while you pack and complete your move.
If your pet is used to kennels or a cattery, maybe book them in for a couple of days to provide a more stable, calm environment.
Not having to worry about your furry friends will help you speed up the packing and moving process.
Make sure your pet has an identity collar
Cats and dogs are the most likely pets to escape, so ensure your new property details are on their collar so they can be safely returned to you if they get lost or run away.
Talk to your vet
Your vet can easily update your pet’s microchip with your new address details. If your pet isn’t already micro-chipped, now is a good time to get this done.
If your pets suffer from travel sickness or are likely to become extremely anxious on moving day, ask for calming sprays or anti-motion sickness tablets to help your pet stay calm during the journey.
Nominate someone to be in charge of your pets on moving day
This will ensure there is always at least one person who knows the exact whereabouts of each animal at all times.
Keep your pets in a secure place on moving day
With the front and back doors open and people coming and going, it is easy for your pets – particularly cats and dogs – to wander off.
Keep them in a safe, secure place and let your movers know to keep the door shut and avoid disturbing them as much as possible.
If your cat was to wander off, they might not return home before the move, which can be hugely distressing for both the animal and you.
Arriving at your new home
Identify a comfortable space for your pet and put down food, water and a bed.
Bring a blanket or pillow from your old home and put this in their bed as it will smell familiar and be comforting.
Introducing your pet to their new environment
Once you start bringing out all your belongings, the home will begin to smell more familiar to your pet, and you can help by rubbing your pet with a cloth and transferring their smell to different points around the home.
Check your property boundaries are secure
If you’re a dog-owner, make sure your garden is secure and there are no weak points in the gate or fence.
Cats will need to be kept inside for at least 24 hours to adjust to their new homes, but with supervision, your dog can immediately start exploring their new garden and marking out their new territory.
Re-establish your routine
Try to feed, bathe, walk, clean the cage of, groom, etc. your pet at the same time as you normally do to get your pet back into a familiar routine quickly.
Allow your pets time to settle in
Keep a close on your pets for the first few days after your house move and try not to leave them alone for long periods until you are satisfied they are not anxious and have started feeling “at home” in your new place.
You will probably know when your dogs or cats are happy as you’ll once again be fighting for the best spot on the sofa!