Moving home is often cited as a stressful process but the upheaval can also take its toll on four-legged members of the family.
In Hampshire, five star housebuilder David Wilson Homes takes pet moves extremely seriously and has launched a new initiative to help ensure a smooth and enjoyable move for pets as well as their owners.
The housebuilder has joined forces with Oscar Pet Foods to provide a trial pack of dog food to anyone moving into its new developments in Petersfield and Clanfield.
‘The majority of our new homes at Foxfield Grove in Petersfield have been bought by people with dogs so it seemed like a great idea to ensure they receive a warm welcome to their new home,’’ said sales director Michelle Storer.
And to mark the new partnership, David Wilson Homes has compiled its top tips for movers in Hampshire for keeping their pets safe and stress-free during and after the move.
Update your microchip
New laws brought in in April make it a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped. Owners must also keep their details up to date on the database or face a fine of up to £500.
Make contact with the database your dog is registered on before you move home. You can find contact numbers for all the databases at dogstrust.org.uk
Check the garden before you move in
A quick security check of your new garden is vital to ensure your pet is protected. Look for any gaps in fences that could provide escape routes and if you can’t fix them straight away, consider keeping your dog on a long lead in the garden until the work is done.
Create a familiar
It can be stressful for cats and dogs being in a new environment. Set out their basket, toys and blankets as soon as you step inside so they have familiar items and smells around.
It’s likely that you’ll have the door open or on the latch most of moving day, which poses an escape risk for cats and dogs. If you can’t ask a friend to look after your pet consider keeping your four-legged friend in a secure room within the house, with their food, water and basket nearby. Having a radio on can sometimes comfort dogs when they are separated from their owners.
The great escape
It’s advised to keep cats indoors for the first few weeks when you move into a new home. Once they’re used to the environment, accompany them on their first garden visit and lay out some of their favourite treats on the lawn to encourage them to return once they’ve explored the local area.
Michelle says: ‘There is a lot to think about when you move house, particularly if you have pets.
‘However, if you’re prepared and follow some simple steps it’s easy to make moving a stress-free experience for your four-legged companions.’