We can’t deny it - moving house is a stressful experience and when you add pets into the equation, it can take it to another level. Cats and dogs in particular become very attached to their own territory and a house move can be disruptive and disorientating for them. So, we’ve put together a list of do’s and don’ts to help your pets feel at home as quickly as you do.
- Try and get a friend or relative to look after your pet on moving day so they’re out of the way. This can be good for 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
- If you can’t get someone to look after your pet for you, or if you’d prefer to keep your pets with you during the move, try to keep them contained in one room of the house. 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
- Leave packing your pet’s things until the very end. The presence of familiar toys and blankets will comfort them during the packing
- Only wash their bedding a couple of weeks after the move, so that there is something familiar-smelling in the new house
- Make sure your pet’s ID tag or microchip details are up to date and include details of your new home address. If your pet decides to take a walk around your new area, it’s important they can be identified just in case they get lost
- Give them plenty of reassurance and attention, both during and immediately after the move
- Feed them just before putting them into the car as they are more likely to get car sick if you do. Like humans, pets can also suffer from travel sickness!
- Let your pet loose in your new garden without checking it’s secure first. Make sure to check all 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
- 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’re fully settled
- Tell them off 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. Keep an eye on your pet’s behaviour and make sure they are in an area with limited furniture to begin with
- Change 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’ve moved will make the change a lot more manageable and will make your pets feel more at ease