Imagine being torn away from the house you know and love and forced to live in a new house that possibly smells like a dog or a cat you’ve never met.
Now imagine that nobody explains to you what’s going on. Imagine that, even if they did explain, you wouldn’t even understand because you have don’t speak hooman.
How would you feel? Unsettled, right? Bit nervous? Kinda like chewing a table leg or something, yeah?
Well, that’s how our dogs, cats, goldfish and sea monkeys feel every time we move house. They might well be getting a bigger yard, more hidey-holes to sleep in, and even their own en-suite, but they don’t know that. All they know is that they’re going to follow you until the end of days because they love you.
Moving can be a distressing time for our animals. Here’s how to make it a little less distressing. And save you from a few ‘accidents’ too.
1. Take them to the new place first
Once you’ve got the keys to the new digs, take your four-legged friend for a visit. Let them roam around and have a sniff before all the chaos kicks off. When everything starts getting moved out of the old place, your pet will likely be beginning to feel a bit anxious. Introducing them to the new place ahead of the big move will alleviate some of that anxiety come the big day – especially when they notice that the power and Wi-Fi are already set up.
2. Call in a favour
Unless your pet is of the extremely-chill variety, you might want to consider taking them to a friend or family member’s house on the morning of move day. All the movement, banging around, and the slow destruction of their beloved habitat is likely to put them on edge. By shipping them off for the day you’ll not only be helping ease the transition, but you’ll also be saving yourself from worrying about them too. If that’s not an option, keep them in a separate room, away from the disruption, and check on them regularly. They’d also probably be keen on snacks. Lots of snacks.
3. Give them time to adjust
Once you’re in the new digs, don’t let Fido roam free around the neighbourhood just yet. While he’ll most likely stick close to you, a new area comes with new smells, stimulants, and surprises – and the last thing you want is for him to take himself walkies. Keep him on the lead for the first week or two, until he’s adjusted to his new environment. This goes for other animals, too. Birds are especially prone to bolting skyward after a big move – get them settled gradually.
4. Think of the fish!
As chilled as they look, fish are very on-edge at any given time and are extremely susceptible to stress – it can actually kill them (gulp). To minimise discomfort for your fishy friends during a move, be sure to only take them short distances (in plastic bags with tank water). If you have a long way to go, best to offload them to a local friend or family member for good. You’ll be sad to say goodbye, yes, but not as sad as you would be if you accidentally sent them to fishy heaven.
5. When in doubt, lots of pats
No matter what stage of the shifting cycle you’re in, showering your sweeties in all the pats, cuddles and treats you can muster is a sure-fire way to help ease their anxieties. Except for fish, actually. We’re not sure many fish have ever responded positively to a cuddle – although we’re open to being proven wrong.
6. Plan ahead, stress less
You know pets pick up on your stress, right? Save yourself some headaches by sorting out all of your internet and energy switches well in advance. It’s nowhere near as tricky as you think it is. Especially if you bundle your services up with Dodo.