Pets moving house  

moveYou may be ready to call your new house ‘home’, but for your pets it will simply be a strange place filled with strange smells. Some pets may find the transition exciting, while others may be stressed

“It’s all about coping skills and how well, or not, we manage life changes,” explains Samantha Walpole, a qualified animal behaviourist.

Vet check

Whether you are moving to the next suburb, another town or across the country, planning is essential to ensure that pets are safe during the transition. All pets should have a check-up at the vet prior to the move. If pets are travelling across provinces or overseas, rabies vaccinations must be up to date. For car trips across the country, keep your vet card handy. You may need to present it if asked by an official.

It’s show time!

  • If you have not kennelled your pets, stick to your usual routine on the night before the move.
  • Feeding arrangements will depend on how the pets will travel the following day. “A rule of thumb would be to feed your dog four to six hours prior to the flight departure time,” says Sam.
  • If pets are travelling with you and will be at home when the movers arrive, ensure that they have a safe room to stay in. Better yet, ask a friend if your pets can spend the day at his or her home. You can pick them up later.
  • If you are co-ordinating the move between the two houses, take your pets to the new house on the last trip.

Settling in

move-2Once the movers have left, get a place ready for your pets as soon as possible. Establish an eating and sleeping area. If you have a cat, put down the litter tray in a secluded area.

Here are some other tips for the coming weeks:

  • Don’t neglect your pets.
  • Give your cat time to get to know the new environment.
  • Even adult dogs can get ‘confused’ in a new environment and may soil the house. Go back to puppy rules for a few days and keep taking your dog outside for a potty break.
  • Don’t have a housewarming party in the first few weeks. Let things settle down first.
  • Now isn’t the time to welcome a new pet into your home. Let the other pets settle in first.
  • If your pet isn’t settling after a few days or refuses meals, consult your veterinarian.

Kennelling your pets

The benefits It is far safer for pets and gives owners peace of mind.

Making a booking Find a reputable company and inspect their premises. Take note of their admission policies and make sure that your pets’ vaccinations are up to date.

When to board To avoid unnecessary stress, board your pets before packing starts and keep them there until you are settled in at your new home. This way there will be less stress on them and no chance of pets getting lost. When the time is right, the travel agency can arrange transport for your pets.

Text: Gina Hartoog
Photography: Monkey Business Images, yoshi-5, Sherwood, bitt24 and Lapina

For the full story get the February 2015 issue of Animaltalk Magazine – packed with ideas and advice for animal lovers and their pets!



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