Moving house with cats and dogs
Moving is stressful enough already, and having a cat or dog can make the experience much more complicated. Some of Australia’s top pet experts share their tips and recommendations for alleviating the stress of moving with cats and dogs in tow.
1. Keep them out of the action
Samford Pet Resort offers your pet the chance for a holiday at the same time as you. The 40 acres overlook the Samford Valley with plenty of room to run and play in the fresh air. Understanding what keeps your pet happy, Samford Pet Resort suggests keeping them away from the stress of moving as much as possible.
If your pet has a favourite room in your current home, this should be the one you pack up last say the pet experts. This can help to lower their anxiety levels as they will still have that room to relax in amidst the chaos.
On moving day, it’s better to leave your pet with a trusted friend or family member or care facility like doggie day care at Samford Pet Resort. This way, you’ll know your pet is safe while all the chaos of moving is going on. Your pet will feel much calmer if they come straight to an unpacked and tidy new home.
To help transition your pet from their old home and into their new home, Samford Pet Resort uses products throughout the resort containing synthetic pheromones, such as Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs. This can be a great help when it comes to calming your pet throughout the transition.
2. See it as an opportunity for a holiday
Moving house with cats and dogs is no small feat, so why not pack their bags for a small holiday to ease the process? Beenleigh Pet Motel provides both short and long stay care for all kinds of pets. They also can help with transport, pet health and grooming. Your pet can enjoy a break while you get on with the process of packing and moving.
If your furniture is already placed when they enter your new home, this will provide them with instant familiarity. But don’t forget the garden, warns Beenleigh Pet Motel. It’s essential to make sure the fencing in your new yard is secure. You don't want to worry about them trying to run away while they grow accustomed to their new home.
Having high-quality pet care in place while you attend to the move could help reduce stress for both you and your pet. With all the moving, Beenleigh Pet Motel encourages you to make sure you have safe, secure transport appropriate for your pet.
3. Train your pet in advance
It’s a good idea to crate train your pet in advance, says West Coast Pet Centre. This way, wherever you move in the future, your pet will always have a safe and familiar space they can retreat to, making the process less overwhelming. A crate can also make your life easier as it’s a convenient way of relocating pets.
West Coast Pet Centre is a full-service pet care centre and boarding facility for cats and dogs, based in Perth. The centre also runs dog training programs, which could come in handy when you’re planning on moving house with a dog.
Just as the crate training can help your pet feel more comfortable, establishing a routine is also important say the trainers. Make sure you give your pet an identical, predictable daily routine for the first couple of weeks in your new home. Your pet will feel more confident if they know what to expect each day, such as what times they’ll eat and go to the toilet.
4. Make it an exercise in discovery
Try turning moving house with cats and dogs into a game! MiniMovers suggest hiding your pet’s food or treats in different locations around the house. This fun exercise will encourage them to explore their new surroundings in an exciting way. They will also learn to associate the new space with fun and food!
For over 30 years, MiniMovers has been helping Australians with their local moves. The company has plenty of experience helping owners settle their pets into their new homes.
MiniMovers suggest not limiting the exploration to the house alone. Introduce your pet to the yard as well. They can then familiarise themselves with the sights, sounds and smells of the area in a controlled environment from the beginning.
While this is relatively easy for dogs, cats can pose more difficulty. One method MiniMovers suggests is to place your cat in their transport cage. ‘Place the cage in a shaded spot of the garden and let the cat view its surrounds. Don’t leave it unattended though,’ say the removalists. Alternatively, use a cat harness to walk them around the yard.
5. Keep it consistent
Keep your routine consistent as soon as you arrive when moving with cats and dogs. Pet Circle says this will help your pet know what to expect. The environment may be different, but if the movements of the family are the same, your pet will find it easier to settle.
Sydney-based Pet Circle supplies pet goods throughout Australia from their online store. In addition to selling pet products and food, the company also employs two in-house vets and a team of vet nurses as part of their customer service offering.
They stress the importance of ensuring your pet’s diet, bed and toys are the same as they were in your old house. This will give your pet the familiar tastes, smells and sensations they’ll need to reduce stress and gain a sense of belonging.
Consider calming sprays for both cats and dogs during and after the move. An ‘anxiety wrap’ may also be helpful for a particularly nervous pet. This garment has the same effect as a hug, making your pet feel calm and secure.
6. Play with your pet
A couple of weeks before you move, introduce your pet to a new toy, recommends the Aussie Dog Products Company. The manufacturer creates and distributes over 30 safe and durable play products for dogs to enjoy both with their owners or alone.
If possible, take them on a visit to your new home. Spend some time there playing with your pet and the toy. On the moving day, give them the new toy with a treat inside when you get to your new home to create positive associations. Two products
that can help are the Aussie Dog Tucker Ball and the Home Alone. If you need to return to work, these can be helpful as your dog can play with them unsupervised.
The Aussie Dog Products Company explains ‘both products offer the dog a slow treat reward whilst also encouraging the dog’s natural instincts of taste, smell, noise and touch and sight.’
Moving house with cats and dogs can be a stressful time – but there are steps you can take to ease the process. Make your life easier by ensuring your pet is comfortable with the move. The advice of these pet experts can help make the transition to your new home a happy one!