Ask anyone who has moved house; relocation will always take a toll, one way or another. From physical to emotional manifestations, moving interstate or across the globe has its stresses and celebrations. As pet owners, it is important to realise that your furry friend is no exception. A new house means new smells and new surroundings – this is enough to send any animal into a spiral of anxiety.
It is important to note that while humans experience our fair share of excitement and fun when contemplating our new lives, pets experience a move very differently. As territorial beings who revel in the familiar, the re-establishment of home can be more worrying for them than we may realise.
How can we maintain a calm move for our pets?
Helping your pets settle in begins as early as the planning stage, and careful preparation will help reduce unnecessary stress.
You need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is appropriate pet transport available?
- Do you have the right sized pet carrier or cage to facilitate their travel?
- Have you spoken to your vet about calming medications or other recommendations?
- Do you need to arrange a specific pet carrying service? Airlines all have different requirements for travelling with pets.
- Have you investigated any quarantine regulations that may apply?
- Will your pet need to have a new city council registration organised?
- Is your new home conducive to pet-raising?
- Are there nearby parks and is the community open to pets?
- Are pet care options available in a nearby suburb?
Tips for Easy Interstate Moving With Pets
It is important that while you focus on making your new house a home, that you also ensure the transition is safe, easy and comfortable for your pet. Expect the unexpected, even if you have moved with pets before, as every pet will respond to a move differently, as outlined by Here Pup. There are however, some general ideas for ensuring a smooth move for you and your pet on the big day:
- Be consistent: Pets will be unsure of their new environment so it is important that you maintain a regular schedule to help your pet establish a routine early on. This means established times for feeding, walks, playtime, cuddles and bedtime should be stable. Whether your pet is used to a flap door or specific timetables, retain as much of what is familiar as possible.
- Bring their favourites: While most things will change, not everything has to. As much as possible keep some of your pet’s treasured possessions. If your cat has a string-toy or your dog has a chew toy, make sure to have it within reach. In a time when everything is changing, this is not the best time to introduce new items. Instead, gather and sort through your pet’s belongings – from beds to feeding dishes – put them in similar places in your new house to maintain some sort of familiarity.
- Remain calm: Ease the stress by staying calm. Pets are in tune with their owners, and any feelings or moods you may project are often picked up by your pet. As you begin to dive into your new life, remember to balance your emotions. This is not only for your own sanity but that of your companions.
- Keep them company: Within the first few days, try not to leave your pet alone. If you must leave, keep your trips short to minimise anxiety on the part of your pet, or consider making arrangements with someone familiar to your pet. This will put them at ease and make the experience much more tolerable.
- Plenty of attention: Give your pet the attention they are used to. With everything going on, extra cuddles can go a long way. Keep in mind that difficult behaviours are usually triggered by discomfort and feeling trapped, with no sense of control. Physical affection and emotional support will help your pet understand that you are not going to leave them and that they are safe.
If your pet is exhibiting difficult behaviours, you may need to seek the advice of a professional trainer or veterinarian.
Although change can be big and scary for your pets, by establishing and following a routine, they will eventually adjust and become happy in their new home.
As a pet owner, you are in the best position to make your pet feel comfortable. Knowing your animal and their personality is your best tool. Act and adjust depending on the individual needs of your pet. With a bit of patience, understanding and close monitoring on your part, they will be feeling at home in no time.
Make The Move Easy
For most people,the process of moving homes is synonymous with stress. While there can be challenges to moving, keep the tips above in mind and choose an interstate removalist who will make the transition for you and your pet an easy one.