Find out how to keep pets happy when moving house to avoid accidents, help them settle in, and so they feel happy, safe and loved throughout.
Moving house is known to be one of the most stressful things we, as humans, can go through. But did you know that it can also be incredibly stressful for pets? Your little furry friends can feel the impact of a move, too, especially if you don’t keep their needs at the forefront of your mind when you’re dealing with the logistics of the move.
The good news is, there are lots of ways your pet can feel more comfortable about the move, with things you can do before, during and after to help them find the process easier. Let’s take a look at the entire moving journey in regards to your pets, so you can have a happy furry friend at the end of the process:
Why Are Pets Sensitive To A House Moving Process?
Dogs and cats can be impacted by a change in routine, so it is no wonder a house move is stressful for them. You are also likely to exhibit more stress, which they pick up on. Their things are being moved around, there are new smells and people, and they might not get as much attention as usual, too.
Signs Pets Are Stressed During A Move:
- More needy than usual
- Less sociable than usual
- Poops and pee out of the litter tray, up the walls or anywhere they shouldn’t
- Isolating themselves
- Not eating as much
If your pet is behaving differently, you should always check with a vet to ensure that there isn’t something medical going on. Your vet can also be a great source of information when it comes to supporting your pet during a house move, too.
It’s Not All Downhill
Your pet is likely to exhibit some signs they aren’t keen on the house move, but it isn’t all to be expected. With lots of proactivity on your part, your pet can be as happy and calm as is possible, ensuring they settle in quickly to the new place.
The Before, The During & The After
One of the easiest ways to navigate the moving house journey in regards to your pets needs is by labelling it as before, during and after. Each section requires you to do slightly different things to keep your pet happy. Let’s take a closer look:
Before you move you can do some really easy and simple things to keep your pets happy. The first is to keep a routine. Animals love routine, especially dogs, and by feeding them at the same times, walking them at the same times and maintaining any other part of their routine like you normally would, they will benefit. It won’t always be possible to do it, but the more you can, the better they will handle the changes.
Additionally, if there is a lot of chaos around with trades people visiting, or lots of items being moved around, place the pet in a calm and separate environment so they aren’t going to get stressed by everything happening around them.
Lastly, do also increase the amount of affection given to them, whilst ensuring their physical items of security like blankets and beds are with them. It can be tempting to pack all their stuff, but they get comfort from the items that are theirs, and by removing those things you could get them very stressed. The only exception is when you take something with their smell on to place it in your new home, so that they gain comfort from that scent when you move.
During the move you should try and place the pet into the care of professionals, or friends and family. This is for their safety and to help keep them calm. It will likely be much better for them to come to the new house when all the moving chaos is over. Additionally, when they are brought to the new house, do also try and keep them in one section of the house like a spare room for a short time so they can get used to it. This isn’t really relevant with dogs, but with cats who are territorial it is important.
After the move
Pets need time to acclimatise and so when they are eventually taken to the new home, they should be given lots of quiet time to get used to their new surroundings. Importantly, don’t punish pets for ‘acting out’ during this time and seek help from your vet to best help them feel better. If they are peeing on the carpet, or barking, or anything else disruptive, it is a sign of them being stressed from the move. Punishing them will only cause your bond with them to suffer, especially with cats who don’t respond to negative training at all.
Additionally, get them straight back into their routine so that they can feel more ‘normal’ as soon as possible. With dogs, this should include walks around the local area to enjoy the new sights and smells. If your dog has any triggers, it could be worth taking a walk around the local area yourself first just to get an idea of the best routes for your pooch.
Q & A’s
Here are some of the most common questions people ask about keeping pets happy when you move house, and answers to those questions:
Are there any medicines I can give my pet to keep them calm on moving day?
Only your vet can answer that to give you a safe answer. However, you can use pet-safe plug-ins, classical music and pet-safe calming sprays on their bedding to help reduce their stress levels.
Is it better to pack all in one go, or slowly to keep my pet less stressed?
Packing slowly is better as it enables time for adjustment, and doesn’t cause one quick stressful frenzy.
Will my pet be sad when we move?
For some animals the loss of the home they had before can cause them to display behaviours that suggest they are unsettled. With the right support and understanding, though, they can recover quickly and find new love for the new house.
How long are pets stressed after moving?
Every animal is different, but do be ready for them to be unsettled for a good few weeks. If they seem upset for longer than that, you might need to get extra support from the vet to see what else you can do to help them feel settled.
Can I leave my pet alone after moving?
It will help to spend extra time reassuring your pets and giving them extra cuddles. When the environment is unsafe, you, their human, are their safety so they will take comfort in being around you.
Paws For Thought: Your Pets Happiness Matters When You Move
As you start your journey to building a life in a new home, always remember those furry members of your family. They deserve happiness, care and attention during such a stressful time, and the more you can accommodate their needs, the better they are able to handle the entire process. Moving house can be chaotic for all of us with emotional and practical challenges. But it can be confusing and stressful for pets. With your love, guidance and patience, they will settle into your new place comfortably, strengthening your bond together ready for this exciting new chapter.