Prior to Moving
Moving is a stressful experience. Your dog and/or cat is probably feeling stressed as well – particularly when they start to see everything being packed away as well as witnessing you acting like a tightly wound spring. They will definitely feed off your energy so the less tension in the air, the better.
If you are moving locally you might want to walk your dog in the new neighbourhood a few times so they get used to sights, sounds and smells. If possible, you could even bring the dog into the new property and let them see you relaxed in the new house. You could even bring the cat in the crate. But don’t let it out!
If you are moving to a new council area ensure you have registered your pets with the new council. Some councils do not require feline registration but it’s always better to check. If you have received new tags for your pet’s collar, keep it in a safe place so you don’t lose it. You will have to attach it to your pet’s collar on the day of the move.
If you are moving interstate or overseas there is a reliable option to fly your pets to your new location rather than a long road trip. Check out jetpets.com.au. Their website is full of information on the moving process as well as some good advice. And I can vouch for their reliability from personal experience. You just need to make sure that if your pet is flying to a new destination that you (or somebody you know) is at the other end to pick them up. Although I think Jetpets might even arrange boarding if you are not able to do so.
Any pets travelling should get a vet check-up before-hand particularly if your pet is older. You may even want to try a product such as Adaptil. This can be sprayed on a bandana for your dog to wear around their neck. Adaptil is a hormone that can help to keep your dog calm and less anxious. Talk to your vet.
On the day of the move try to keep everything as routine as possible. Easier than it sounds. But in terms of your pets feeding times, toilet breaks and walking – try to maintain the regularity. Keep your pet’s bedding, pet food, bowls, leashes, chew toys, litter trays and any medications out and away from items that are being moved into your car or a removalist truck. You will need these things throughout the day and as soon as you move into the new house.
Your pets need to be confined into a quiet room or the backyard where they are not going to be able to get out or get in the way of shifting furniture and the like. Ensure your cat crate is out and accessible by the cat so your cat can see it and smell it and it’s not going to be a surprise when it comes time to go. Keep your pet’s bedding with them on the day as well as any favourite toys.
If you have a friend that can mind your pet on the day, that could be an option as well. Boarding them for the day is also a possibility but might cause some anxiety.
When it comes time to move your pets, put them in your car as it will be familiar to them. Move your pets last once everything else has been moved.
Once you have moved into your new home set up your pets bedding, food/water bowls, litter trays etc. Don’t wash any of the bedding because it will have a familiar smell to it. Check to ensure the backyard is adequately fenced and that there are no spaces where your dog can get out. Also check for anything dangerous they can chew on especially look after for rat poison that may have been put out by the previous owners/tenants. Keep your cat indoors for several weeks until they understand this is their new home. Both cats and dogs may try to return to the old home if they are able to get out – particularly when you have to leave them in the new home alone for the first time.
There is an old wives’ tale about putting butter on an outdoor cat’s paws so they can find their way back to the new house. But it’s just that – an old wives’ tale that I don’t think holds much credibility. If your cat is a usually an outdoor cat, you will have to keep them confined in the house for several weeks. More and more people are keeping their cats indoors these days as a safety issue. Outdoor cats can get in fights with other cats, get fleas easier and cats and traffic are not a good combination. Your cat might need to hide for a while somewhere in the new home. This will be normal.
If you aren’t a fan of the look and smell of kitty litter trays, there are some inventive options. Get yourself an old short wardrobe or TV cabinet off Gumtree, cut a hole big enough for the cat in the side and put the kitty litter tray in there. You can use a plug-in scent dispenser in the room to mask any smells. But scooping the tray every day and changing it every couple of weeks will also help to cut down on the smell.
Feed your pets in the new home. Food can be comforting for your pets. Make sure you show the cat where the new kitty litter box is and how they can access it. Keep your eye on your pets for any sign of anxiety. Put the new council tags on your dog’s collar if you have moved to a new council area. Ensure the identification tags with your mobile phone number on your pet’s collar are up to date. You will also need to update the address information with the microchip company.
Stay calm and relaxed in the new home. Pets are mostly adaptable to new environments and will soon become familiar with the different living conditions. Keep up the same routine as much as possible. Plenty of cuddle time and attention will help with the transition. Check out the local dog parks in the area. It’s always a good way for you and your dog to meet like-minded people.
Fish, Birds and other Small Animals
Fish and other small pets can get stressed as well. Keep them in their cages as normal and when it comes time to move you should put a cover over their cages. Fish can be transported short distances in a plastic bag filled with the water from the tank. I wouldn’t recommend shipping fish long distances. You can always give your fish to a friend and buy more in your new location.
In all instances make sure your pets are put under the least amount of stress as possible and that, in all situations, they have access to fresh water, shade and shelter.
This article is for information purposes only and is not legal advice. Always consult a professional before making any decisions. Monkey Conveyancing makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on our blog or found by following any link(s) included therein.