Moving house with pets can be stressful – for both you and them. Cats and dogs in particular become very attached to their own territory and a house move can be very disruptive and disorientating. We have put together a list of do’s and don’ts to help your pets feel at home as quickly as you do.
DO try and get a friend or relative to look after your pet on moving day so that they are out of the way. This can be a benefit to both you and your pet; it gives you the space and time you need to move without worrying and your pet will be away from any loud noises and stressful situations.
DO keep your pet contained in one room of the house. If you would prefer to keep your pets with you during the move, set aside a quiet room in your old house and keep the doors shut to reduce the amount of noise. To keep your pet calm, make sure they have their usual bedding, toys, food and water.
DO leave packing your pet’s things until the very end. The presence of familiar toys and blankets will comfort your pet. Do not wash their bedding until a couple of weeks after the move so that there is something familiar-smelling in the new house.
DO make sure your pet’s ID tag or microchip details are up to date and include details of your new home address. In the instance your pet decides to take a walk around your new neighbourhood, it is important that they can be identified, should they get lost.
DO give them plenty of reassurance and attention, both during and immediately after the move.
DON’T feed them just before putting them into the car as they are more likely to get car sick. Like humans, pets can also suffer from travel sickness, so if you’re likely to be in a car for a long time,
DON’T let your pet loose in your new garden without checking it is secure first. Make sure to check all perimeter fencing and walls, looking out for gaps or broken panelling. When you do let your pets out to explore your new garden, go outside with them until they’re more confident in their new surroundings.
DON’T assume your pet will immediately adjust to your new home. Pets are creatures of comfort and sometimes they can take a little while to settle; allow them time to relax and become familiar with their new surroundings. Try not to leave your pet on their own for too long until they are fully settled as this can cause anxiety.
DON’T scold them if they chew things or aren’t house trained within the first few days. Change takes time to adjust to and dogs in particular can become very anxious and stressed from moving. Monitor your pet’s behaviour and make sure they are in an area with limited furniture to begin with.
DON’T avert from your usual walking and feeding routine if you can help it. Sticking to your pet’s daily routine before moving and then continuing it once you have moved will make the transition a lot more manageable and will make your pets feel more at ease.
For more advice on reducing stress, you can always speak with your vet and they should be able to advise on how best to keep your pet safe and calm.