Expert Tips For Moving With Pets
Moving house is stressful at the best of times. Moving house when you have a pet – or several pets – can be even more stressful. What’s more, your pet is likely to be even more stressed than you are, which just makes the situation more fraught.
There are lots of things you need to consider when you’re moving house with furry friends in tow. Do you need to make special preparations for your pets on the day of the move, for example? Or, how do you calm your anxious pets while you’re packing?
When you have pets to factor into your moving preparations, you need to have a strategy well in advance of your move. So, what should your strategy involve to make your move go smoothly?
- If your cat or dog becomes anxious when you start to pack things up, make sure he has somewhere to retreat to – such as a bed or crate.
- In the run-up to the move, maintain your pet’s regular routine as much as possible. Your pet is stressed enough without throwing in unexpected changes.
- Leave packing your pet’s things – toys, bedding, etc. – until the last minute. Seeing his things being packed will just distress him more.
- Make sure you have a new ID tag for your pet with your new address on – you’ll need this for the day of the move!
- Avoid washing your pet’s bedding before you move, so that there’ll be some familiar scents on the day of the move and when you get to your new home. Your pet will be comforted by the familiar scents of ‘home’.
Tips For The Day Of The Move
- Moving day will be hectic. If you can, arrange for a friend or family member to take care of your pet while everything is being loaded into the moving van.
- If there’s no one to take care of your pet, keep your pet in a secure room, carrier or on a lead so that he can’t bolt in fear.
- If you have a cat, ensure that you have a secure cat carrier to transport him.
- If you have a dog, make sure that he is safely secured in your car when you’re travelling to your new home.
- Be prepared for travel-sickness in your pet – even if he doesn’t normally experience it. Stress can induce travel-sickness.
Settling In Tips
- Your new home will be a strange environment for your pet, so use his bedding to bring a familiar scent into the new house.
- Check your new garden is completely secure before you let your dog loose in the garden.
- Keep cats indoors for at least the first few days. Cats tend to try to get back to their familiar environment, so a settling-in period will be necessary.
- Expect a few toileting accidents in your new home – and make sure you don’t punish your pet for these. It’s not his fault – it’s due to stress.
- If your new home has carpets or furniture left behind by the last owners, and the previous owners had pets, the smell of the other pets will add to your pet’s anxiety. Do a deep clean, using a steam cleaner and pet-safe detergents to reduce the stress levels.
Other Things To Remember
- Register your pet with a new vet once you get to your new home.
- Ensure that you update the details on your pet’s microchip.
- Try to explore your new neighbourhood in advance if you have a dog, so you can figure out some walking routes.
- Some pets may experience upset digestion due to stress. Be prepared for this!
- If your pet suffers from severe anxiety during the move, it may be advisable to seek a vet’s advice – there are medications that can help.