Moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, there’s so much to think about and organise. With getting your movers booked, packing everything up and making checklists it’s easy to forget about your pets in the move. Our pets take comfort in our routines and moving house shakes that up.
Here are some top tips for relocating with your furry friends…
1. Start the packing & boxing up early
Give your pets plenty of time to get used to the packing and boxing – if you have room, start stocking up on boxes several weeks before your move. Place less used items in the boxes and leave them open, your pets will be curious, but they’ll soon get used to them. Conditioning your pets ahead of time helps reduce disruptions (and boxes being attacked!) as you get closer to your moving day.
2. Try to stick to your routine to reduce the stress on your pet
Your pets are creatures of habit, the more your schedule changes, the higher their anxiety is likely to get. When you’re leading up to a house move it’s tempting to skip the everyday routines if you’re in the midst of packing and organising. To keep your pets stress levels down in the weeks leading up to the move, and on the moving day itself, make sure you do the following:-
- Feed them at the same normal times as usual.
- Don’t skip their regular walks or playtime.
- Give them some extra love and patience around this stressful time.
Make sure dogs have plenty of chew toys as they can be prone to chewing when anxious.
3. Speak to your vet about your house move
Vets know best about managing pets in stressful situations, especially as most animals are anxious at their visit to them! They are great to talk to about how to reduce your pet’s anxiety and potential stress-reduction tactics or supplements.
You can also make sure they are healthy and stocked up on any regular prescriptions if you’ll be moving far away to a new vets. You can double check their vaccinations, request copies of their medical files and ask your vet recommendations and any additional tests or vaccinations they think might be suitable depending on where you’re moving to.
4. Create a comfortable, secluded space for your pet
Boxes and half-taken furniture can quickly turn your house into a mountain of clutter. Whilst it’s pretty unavoidable to keep the space tidy, keeping one space clear and comfortable for your pet is essential in keeping them happy.
Whether it’s a small room, a corner or even an open cupboard, it’s really important they have somewhere they can retreat to when the chaos overwhelms them. At the time of your move it’s a good idea if you have a friend, family member or trusted kennel to keep your pet for a couple of days. If your pets have to be with you for the actual move, prioritise getting their space ready first when you get to your new place.
Place their blanket, bed, or crate in a comfortable spot that’s away from the hustle and bustle – it’s a good idea to put them in a room with a door that can be closed during move out / move in, as the front door is likely to be open a lot -the last thing you want is an escapee on the loose! Check on your pets regularly, as they will be anxious about their new surroundings.
5. Pack an emergency moving bag for you pet
To reduce the stress of moving for both yourself and your pet, make sure your pet’s necessities are all packed and on hand. Water bowls, favourite toys, blankets, food, treats etc are all things to think about. Also include a roll of paper towels, wipes and disposable poop bags to help with unexpected clean ups!
6. Prepare your vehicle for a safe move with your pet
If your pet hasn’t been used to travelling in your car, it’s best to get them used to it prior to your move, especially if it’s a long journey. Your pet should be secured in their crate or carry box, or be securely fastened in with a seatbelt. Make sure there aren’t any loose items that you’ve packed that could fall or injure them. You could choose to put a blanket over your pets crate to reduce visual stimulation if you think that will help reduce their anxiety.
7. Pet-proof your new home before you arrive
A new home for your pet means a new space with unexpected hazards. Here’s some pet-proofing tips to make sure they will be safe in their new home:-
- Secure all screens, windows, gates and doors.
- Be aware if you have a balcony to make sure your pet cannot squeeze through or jump over railings.
- Make sure there’s not any electrical cords visibly on show that can be chewed.
- Check outdoor fences for potential escape routes.
- Make sure all vents have covers.
- Make sure toilet lids are down, so your pets can’t get in!
- Check that the previous homeowner hasn’t left any traps or poison left behind.
- Check the garden for any poisonous plants before letting your pet out.
We hope these tips are useful for when you move house with pets – by making a plan the move will be a happier and easier transition for the whole family.