Moving House: 5 Top Tips for Helping Pets Settle In

Moving home can be a stressful time for everyone. From endless amounts of boxes to numerous trips from house to house, there’s so much to think about. According to research, two in three people think that moving to a new house is more stressful than any other life events, including divorce and starting a new job!

However, it’s not just humans that can be affected by this major life event. Our pet’s lives are based on routine, especially cats and dogs, and moving house can really unsettle them if you don’t take the right precautions beforehand. From taking your pet to get to know your new area to making sure that they have their favourite toy with them once you arrive, there are plenty of ways you can get your furry friend ready for their new home. Here at Asda Money, we want to make the moving process as easy as possible, so here are five top tips for helping your pets settle in.

The One Room Rule

On the day of the move, it is advised that you keep your four-legged friend away from all of the mess and upheaval. A good way to do this is to keep them in one room, away from the packing and stress. As well as helping their well-being, this will reduce the risk of any heavy furniture or boxes injuring them in the process. It will also stop them from running away if they feel uneasy at any point.

Before you put them in their designated room, make sure it’s a relaxing and calming environment. Pick a quiet room away from the noise, and clear out any items you’re going to want to move. Then, put their bedding, toys, water and food in the room so they feel more comfortable. Alternatively, it’s also a great idea to get a friend or family member to look after your cats and dogs on moving day, so you don’t have to worry about them and can focus on the move.

Routine is Key

Just like humans, cats and dogs hate disruption to their routine. Dogs in particular tend to know what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis, and they know the general times when they’re usually fed, walked and let outside for the toilet. Causing disruption to a pet’s routine can cause stress, anxiety, and even depression in extreme cases.

No matter how busy you are when moving house, the best way to avoid your pet feeling worried is to make sure you’re taking care of them the same way you usually would. Be sure to walk and feed them at the same time as usual, as it will help them transition into their new environment a lot easier, whilst also feeling a lot calmer and more relaxed.

Ensure Your Pet is Microchipped

Of course, it is essential that your cats and dogs are microchipped, but it’s even more important if you’re moving to a new home. It’s not uncommon for pets, particularly cats, to try to return to their old home, so you need to make sure you’re prepared for this if it happens. A good idea is to let your old neighbours know that you’re moving, just in case your furry friend does try to return.

Having your dog microchipped isn’t just safer for your pet, it’s actually now a legal requirement once they’re over the age of 8 weeks. From April 2016, dog owners must microchip their pooch, or face a hefty £500 fine if their dog is found to be unchipped by the police or local authorities.

Familiarising Surroundings

Whether you’re travelling to a new city or simply down the road, there’s a strong chance that your pet is going to be confused by their new surroundings. If you aren’t moving too far away, it’s a great idea to take your pet for a wander around your new area, as this will make it familiar when you do eventually move.

With cats, it is advised that you keep them indoors for at least a week or two before letting them roam free outside. Introduce them to each room individually, letting them explore every room one by one. Once you do start letting your cat out again, it’s a good idea to send them out on an empty stomach, as they’ll be more likely to return home for food.

Use Pheromone Diffusers

If you can get access to your new home a couple of days before you move, it’s a great idea to plug in a pheromone diffuser to make your cat feel more comfortable when they arrive. Your cat will have marked their territory in their previous home, and moving to a new environment without their familiar mark will likely make them feel disorientated and confused.

Pheromone diffusers work by releasing comforting chemicals that cats naturally give off from their body, which can help to relieve stress. You can also get these in a spray form, which are perfect to use all over the house if your cat likes to explore.

Whether you’re moving across the road or packing up to a whole new city, having comprehensive pet insurance for your furry friend is incredibly important. Here at Asda Money, we offer a range of pet insurance cover types, including Accident Only, Value, Vital Lifetime and Superior, for both cats and dogs. All levels of cover include a free 24-hour vet helpline too, so there’s always somebody on hand if you need advice.

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