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Pets: a moving tale

Moving disturbs everyone’s routine but can be particularly stressful for pets, as they have no comprehension of what is happening, or why their world is changing.

Pets that spend most of their time in cages and aquariums are relatively easy to move. Their enclosure is their habitat and as long as their feeding schedule is fairly consistent, they probably won’t even notice the hustle and bustle of moving.

Dogs and cats, on the other hand, can become worried and stressed by the change in activity or when their favourite chair or sofa is suddenly gone and everything smells different.

Here are some tips for making the move less distressing for your pet and consequently easier for you.

– Keep to routines where possible, particularly with feed times and walking.

– If possible, get your pet away from the house before the removalists arrive. Not only is it going to become hectic, but there will be a lot of movement, open doors and noise.

– Rent or buy crates that pets can spend time in when people are coming and going. Put bedding, food and water dishes in the crate along with some favourite toys. For cats, put the litter box in the crate, too. Crates keep animals safe and will become the animal’s safe den.

– Don’t leave doors and window open with the dog or cat loose in the house and don’t leave them unattended in the backyard. Even the most reliable dog or cat may bolt from the stress. People coming and going might accidentally leave a door open, also allowing an escape.

– Discuss the upcoming move with your veterinarian, who might have some good suggestions for caring for your pet during the move.

– Make sure your pets are up to date on vaccinations and get copies of all of their records for their new veterinarian.

– Let the pets wander around and sniff the packing boxes, and encourage them to play. Playing exercises mind and body and relaxes them. Be sure to spend time giving the pets their usual cuddles and attention.

– Don’t get upset if the cat doesn’t use the litter box or the dog starts relieving himself in the house. The different activity can make them anxious. It might also take them a little while to get used to a new outside potty routine at the new home.

– Consider kennelling dogs during particularly busy times. Doggy day care is an excellent outlet for energy and anxiety. Cats might not kennel as comfortably, but a nice-sized crate in the bedroom can give the cat a sense of security.

– Kennelling while the movers are working might be a safe decision for the dog.

– Plan the trip to the new home. Make reservations at pet-friendly lodgings and do some research on pet-friendly parks and restaurants on the route.

– To settle your dog into its new home, take it for a walk round the house and garden, letting it sniff and take its time. Give it a feed and show it where it can go to the toilet.

– Cats, being territorial, take a little more work to settle into a new environment. Find a room where your cat will be least disturbed by the unpacking, and fill it with familiar things such as a comfy chair or old t-shirt as well as its own belongings. This will change the unfamiliar smells and let the cat understand that its family is in the house. An old wives’ tale wisely suggests wiping the cat’s paws with butter so that the first thing it does is lick them, establishing both acceptance and gratification.

– Have your cat use a litter tray and keep it inside for the first few days until it understands that the family is here now and all is going to be okay. When you let it outside for the first few times, stay nearby and keep it company while it explores. Be aware of any aggressive locals who may try to assert their superiority – this is almost inevitable, but better if it happens once your cat is confident and established.

– Finally, remember to get your dog or cat registered in the new location, and tagged with their new address and phone number. This is especially important as cats and dogs may wander and get lost in their new surroundings.

It might not be wise to leave the dog or cat alone in the new backyard until they settle in. Dogs will go looking for their people and might escape. If they need to be outside while everyone is at work and school, consider getting a kennel to keep them safe while they adjust and if possible, come home at lunch time to check on them.

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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