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Top Tips for Moving House with your Pets

Considering a big move overseas? Or even just a hop across the neighbourhood with your pet in tow? Here are some tips to help your dog or cat adjust to the uncertainty of moving home.

“Moving home can be a very stressful situation for anyone!” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “For our pets, this heightened stress can lead to anxiety and a general feeling of insecurity, so it’s important for pet owners to prepare well in advance for their pets.”

When moving overseas Pet Insurance Australia advises desensitising your pet to their travel crate well ahead of time.

“Ask the travel company if you can have access to the travel crate as soon as possible,” Crighton recommends. “It’s important that your pet sees this crate as a comfortable zone and not something to fear.”

When you get the crate consider:

✔️ Feeding your pet inside – start slowly at the door and gradually move the food until your pet is eating all the way inside.
✔️ Add your pet's favourite toys and blankets.
✔️ Make it smell like home

“Many pet owners make the mistake of washing everything before their pet leaves for the big trip,” Crighton says. “Remembering that you want your pet to feel comfortable - the smell of home will give them a huge sense of security. Washing blankets, soft toys will only remove the scent of their family and familiar environment.”

When moving closer to home it’s also a good idea to get prepared.

Top tips include:

✔️ Ensure your pet is kept in a room safe from all the hustle and bustle of the move.

✔️ Lots of visits and cuddles.
✔️ Take your pet over to your new home when a suitable ‘safe’ room has been set up.
✔️ Play classical music to drown out the loud noises.

“Again; smell plays a big role, so when you do move your pet make sure they are going into a room that smells like home, like a bedroom,” Crighton suggests. “This space will then become their ‘retreat’ area when they first exploring their new dwelling.”

For Dogs:

✔️ Take them on an adventure before the move to their new off-leash area.
✔️ Double check fences are secure in your new home.
✔️ Allow them to explore slowly – when it is quiet - and do not overwhelm them.
✔️ Make sure collars, tags and microchip/registration details are up-to-date.
✔️ Stick to your daily doggy routine.
✔️ Consider using a pheromone diffuser to help.

For Cats:

✔️ Allow your pet to slowly explore the house - do not force them.
✔️ Keep your cat indoors for at least one week after the move.
✔️ Ensure collars, tags, microchips and registration are up-to-date.
✔️ Consider using a pheromone diffuser to help with the adjustment.

“It’s important to take it slowly and be patient with your pet,” Crighton says. “If you are concerned about any unusual or new behaviours your pet is exhibiting after a move, seeking veterinary advice is paramount.”

MEDIA RELEASE, 14th May 2019

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