Guide to moving with pets
Moving house can be one of the most stressful experiences you and your family can go through – finding the perfect home, being accepted for your mortgage or rental agreement, planning, packing, transporting and unloading all of your belongings can be a long, costly and overwhelming process.
For parents, there’s also the difficult task of explaining all of this to young children who may not understand why they have to leave their home. And with all of this going on, it can be easy to overlook how your pets will respond to the upheaval!
Whilst your goldfish or hamster will be fine, companion pets, such as dogs and cats are likely to feel the stress of moving too. The hustle and bustle of moving day, the disturbance to the normal daily routine, busy people coming and going and the introduction to a brand new environment can have a huge impact on your furry friends, so it’s important to plan their move as much as yours to ensure they settle into their new home as quickly as possible!
Moving With Pets Checklist
A few weeks before the move:
- Decide whether your pet will accompany the move, or be put into a boarding kennel or cattery for the day. If you plan to board them try to choose a kennel or cattery you’ve used before, this will limit the stress on your pet.
- If your pet will accompany the move you will probably need a carry case or cage. Be sure to trial your pet in the cage a few times before moving day to get them used to it – use plenty of treats and reassurance to ease their stress.
- Another option to consider, which can be useful if you are moving a long way, is sedation. This is something you will need to discuss with your vet prior to moving to ensure it is suitable for your pet.
- Whichever you choose, it's essential you ensure your pets vaccination record is up to date, to keep them safe in a new area.
- Make sure you get new ID tags, with your new address and phone number on ready for moving day so if they do wander off, the local pet warden will know where to find you.
A few days before the move:
- Begin packing as early as you can. Your pet will notice as soon as something out of the ordinary begins to happen, and if you leave all your packing until the last minute and have to rush, it will make him or her anxious.
On moving day:
- Moving day will be stressful for everyone, but the biggest concern for a loyal companion is being left behind so it's important you pay plenty of attention to your pet on the day.
- Try to keep the familiarity of your feeding and walking routines the same.
- Remember to avoid feeding your pet for a few hours before transit, hopefully this will prevent any unpleasant toilet accidents during the move.
After the move:
- There’s always the worry that your pet will try to go ‘home’ until they are used to the house. For cats this is more difficult as they are much more independent, so keep them inside for a few weeks and when you do let them, try them on a cat lead while they explore.
- When your cat finally makes it out alone, it's likely they’ll bump into other cats and try to mark out their new territory. This is inevitable, but be sure to check him or her over for any injuries regularly.
- If you have a dog it's essential you supervise them for a few weeks until they have properly explored the garden – if there’s a hole in the hedge, they will find it and having to fetch your dog back from a neighbour’s garden isn't the best way to introduce yourself!
- As soon as possible after moving in, update your pet’s identity chip details. This is the best way to ensure a vet or pet warden will be able trace you if your pet slips its collar.