Moving House with Pets

Posted: Tuesday December 15, 2015

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Moving into a new home doesn’t just cause upheaval for the humans in your family. Upping sticks can cause some serious confusion for your pets too, and if you don’t put some thought into how to make them comfortable in their new surroundings it could lead to your animals feeling quite distressed. To help you combat the stress of moving with a pet, we’ve put together a list of top tips so the move is as easy as possible for everyone.

On the day: Having a cat, dog or rabbit getting under your feet while you’re moving boxes could lead to a trip or fall for you, or an injury for them. Ask a family member or friend to look after them for the day so you can be sure they’re taken care of, or look into putting them into a cattery or kennel for the day.

Travel time: If you’re moving quite a distance from your old home, ensure you’ve fed your pet nice and early so they have time to digest their food before travelling. And if your pet is prone to travel sickness, ask your vet for some advice on medication that could solve the problem. During the journey, keep an eye on your pet if they’re in a crate or travel box to make sure they’re relaxed and safe.

When you arrive: Once at your new home, allocate a ‘safe area’ to your pet while you bring in the furniture and boxes – choose a room with a door that fully shuts, so you know they’re not roaming the house. Leave them with some food, water and a piece of clothing that smells like you or your old home so they’re around a familiar smell and feel more secure.

Letting them out: The way to approach this varies on your animal. But whether you own a cat, dog, rabbit or other roaming pet, you should check your garden is safe and free from hazards (including escape options) as soon as you arrive at your new house. If you own a cat, it’s wise to keep them indoors for at least a week before letting them out. If you own a dog, you can do it sooner but ensure they’re on a lead until they become completely comfortable in the local area. Cats and dogs should always be wearing a collar with clear identification, so make sure you have their ID tags updated.

Outdoor pets: If you have a large hutch or pen for outdoor animals, ask the removals company in advance if they have room to include this on the lorry alongside your usual furniture. Most will, but it’s worth checking so you’re not left with a crisis on your hands at the last minute.

Scaly sidekicks: If you own a large aquarium for your fish, it’s not just as simple as moving the tank from A to B. There are a lot of things to consider, including feeding time, bagging up plant life, allowing the heaters to cool and saving some of your fish water. Aquatic specialists, Aqua One, has put together a handy guide to make things easy for fish owners: http://aquaone.co.uk/moving_fish.php.

Something Exotic: If you own a reptile, there’s a lot to consider before your move – such as the different travelling conditions for venomous/non-venomous species, the temperature of your car and settling your animal in its new surrounding ASAP. Read this post from wikiHow to make sure you’ve got everything covered: http://bit.ly/1QYEwj5.