When moving house there are many different things to think about and the impact on pets is often forgotten about. Here are some handy hints to help make changing address a bit less stressful for everyone!
1)Microchip! Microchipping is a quick and easy way to get pets reunited with their owners should they get lost. Remember, in an unfamiliar area dogs or cats are less likely to be able to make their way home should they get out.
2)Keep pets indoors! This really applies to cats – make sure that they have had time to adapt to their new environment before letting them out. Normally keeping them in for a couple of weeks and then letting them out under supervision is a good way to start. And don’t forget dogs – when moving to an area very different to one they are used there may be new experiences they need to adapt to, such as traffic and they need to be exposed to this gradually.
3)Pet Proof the Garden! Make sure the new garden is secure before letting dogs out – remember they will get through even the smallest of gaps in order to explore! Also make sure that the previous owners have not left slug pellets or similar in the garden as these can be fatal to pets.
4)Pheromone therapy! There are synthetic versions of the pheromones that cats and dogs produce to comfort and calm themselves and each other. These come in various formulations and are proven to help cats and dogs settle into unfamiliar environments more easily.
5)Don’t underestimate the impact! Cats and dogs are very in tune with their environment and their owner and it is likely that they will be as stressed by the move as their owner is. Cats in particular can find it hard to adapt to new neighbourhoods where there are likely to be many other, already established cats. Stress can take many different forms including over-grooming and physical signs such as vomiting or diarrhoea so if you have any concerns it is worthwhile visiting the vet.