Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Stress Free Moving With Pets

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Moving house is a stressful time for everyone. We often think about the impact moving has on adults and children, but have you also considered the stress moving can have on our beloved pets?

With many homeowners also being pet owners, find out how you can make your move as stress free as possible for your pets.

According to Animal Central.net, these are the key indicators of stress in your pets: 

Dogs: Trembling, increased shedding, excessive panting or salivation, inappropriate urination, sweaty paws, increased vocalization and/or growling.

Cats: Excessive shedding, drooling, increased vocalization and/or growling, inappropriate urination or defecation.

Birds: Refusal to socialize, feather picking, hiding or perching at the bottom of the cage, increased defecation, rapid breathing and increased or abnormal vocalizations.

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While Guinea Pigs and Rabbits may seem like easier pets to move, they can easily be distressed during a move too. Look out for these signs of stress in your small animals.

Guinea Pigs: Head tossing, fidgeting, teeth-baring. They can also appear listless and lacking energy if depressed.

Rabbits: jumpiness, frequent urination and defecation. 

If you are concerned about your small animal, please consult a vet. 

How can I make my pet stress free during our move?

When it comes to moving day some pet owners prefer to put their pets in catteries or kennels and some offer small animal boarding for rabbits and guinea pigs (either as a separate business or combined with a cattery/kennel). If this is your preferred option, ring the boarding place(s) in advance as certain times of the year e.g. summer can be very busy. Some owners use a boarding service for only moving day, while others use it for a few days to allow the madness of moving day and unpacking to settle down.

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Boarding your pets can be costly, particularly if you have a few pets. Sometimes a cheaper alternative can be asking a friend or family member to look after your pets during your move. This can be a great idea if you are a dog owner and your dog needs regular walks. Asking friends or family to help can also be useful for child care during your moving period.

If you would prefer not to send your pets away for a little vacation, there are steps you can put in place to help make your pet feel safe.

It is often recommended that your pet is kept in one room, surrounded by familiar items – pet bed, scratch posts, litter tray, toys etc with the door shut and a notice put on the door to advise people “Do not disturb”. This will keep your pet safe, and more at ease if they are surrounded by their home comforts. Plug in stress relievers (bought from pet shops) are a great idea to help calm your pets during this unsettling time.
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If your move is local, chances are you will be doing multiple journeys to and from your new property. If possible, set up a room in your new home for your pet to be transferred into, again set up with familiar items to reassure them. If you are a dog owner and the previous owners were dog owners, take time to thoroughly clean your new house before your dog arrives as your dog may feel apprehensive smelling the scent of a previous dog.  

When the time comes to move your pet, ensure they have a sturdy and secure pet carrier to transport them and if possible, have a familiar face to travel with them to reassure them during their journey.
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When your pet arrives at your new home, allow them time to settle. Even rabbits and guinea pigs will need some adjustment time to familiarize themselves with their hutches and runs. 

Although allowing them time to settle and explore is important, your pets will also benefit from a fuss and reassurance (without overbearing them) – many pet owners will be able to read the expressions of their pets and will know when a good cuddle is required!

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If your pet is microchipped, ensure you visit a local vet to get your details updated to your new address.

For more advice please visit The Blue Cross website for more information: