We have many clients with dogs and cats that are moving to a new home.
We asked Dr. Parmjit Dhillon from Oak animal hospital (http://canadapetultrasound.com) to give some advice on how you can make the move easier for your pets.
“Most dogs and cats seem to take moving in their stride and are content with moving, as long as their social group (people and other pets) remains similar”, explains Dr. Dhillon. ‘’But, there are things you can do to make this move smoother.’’
Here are Dr. Dhillon’s tips on getting ready to the move:
Decrease the stress by maintaining a predictable daily routine of feeding, exercise, play, training and downtime.
While preparing for the move, keep boxes and suitcases out of sight. Pack the pets sleeping area last, label the box, and open it as soon as you get into your new home. Carry a water bowl and food for your pet for 2 days in your car. If you want to buy a new crate for your pet, do that while you are still at the old house so they have time to get used to it. Avoid introducing a new bed in a new home at the same time.
If your dog or cat seems overly sensitive and anxious, it is advisable to have someone care for your pet while you are packing and dismantling your house.
Companies such as www.dogtaxi.org will take your dog out for 2 hours of walking and training. They also run a Dog Day Care and Hotel (wash, nails and dry blow).
During the actual move, the dog or the cat should be securely confined or out of the home to avoid anxiety, injury or escape. Our team at Vancouver In the Box, is pet friendly. We have no problem having cats and dogs around. Most dogs seem to be “easy going” while we pack. They hang around for a while sniffing the boxes and move on.
It is best to match the time of your departure from home with a time the pet is normally sleeping or playing. The same technique is used to introduce new pets and people. The basic principle is to associate all that is positive in the pet’s day with the new people in the household.
Older dogs and other pets with chronic illnesses could be more sensitive to changes. Drugs, supplements and therapeutic diets like CALM for the treatment of brain aging and general calming may be helpful.
When you arrive at the new home, take out your pet’s food, water and some toys first. Set up the dog or cat bed. Provide an environment where all the amenities are the same as the previous home. If a dog’s bed or crate has been used in the previous home, then this may help the dog to better adapt.
It is also better to introduce the dog to new rooms and storage areas yourself, to avoid anxiety chewing or spoiling of belonging’s with urine, due to your pet’s natural territorial behavior.
Make this move a positive experience for your entire family, pets included.