How to Move with Pets
They say that moving home is one of the most stressful events we go through in our lives. Now imagine that you’re moving home but you have no understanding of what’s happening. You take a long journey and then emerge in unfamiliar surroundings. Sounds even more stressful, right?
This is what moving home can be like for our pets. Everything suddenly changes around them, which can be very confusing and stressful. You want to make your move as easy as possible on your pets, so we’ve got some expert tips to help you when moving with cats, dogs, or whatever pets you have.
What to do with your pet on moving day
Moving day is stressful. People are coming and going, carrying heavy boxes and furniture. The last thing you want is your cat or dog running around your feet at the same time. This could lead to dropped boxes and injuries. And you definitely don’t want to accidentally pack them up in the moving container. This might sound unlikely, but it’s happened to us before.
It’s best to get your pets out of the way on moving day. Have a friend, family member, or pet sitter watch them for the day, or just for a few hours while you load up the moving container. Sending them to a kennel or cattery is also a good option.
If you can’t do either of these things, then try to clear a space for them in your home where they’ll be safely out of the way. This could be your backyard or a room that’s already been emptied. Just put their bed, bowls, and toys in there for them to keep them happy.
Packing with your pet in mind
You’ve probably planned to set aside a few things for yourself on moving day, like your toothbrush, snacks for the journey, and a kettle and mugs for when you arrive in your new home. You should do the same for your pets. Packing them an emergency kit will help to keep them happy on the day of the move.
Here are some things you might need to pack for your pet:
- Their bed
- A blanket
- Their favourite toys
- Food and water bowls
- Food and treats
- Bottled water to fill their bowl
- Any medication they need
Keeping your pet safe on the journey
Now, what about transporting your pet safely from your old house to the new? We asked the pet relocation experts for their advice. According to Mick from Dogtainers, it firstly depends on how far you’re going. “We recommend air transport for pets if the road trip is longer than half a day.”
If your journey is shorter than this and you are driving with your pets, then here are a few tips for doing it successfully:
- Use a crate. The best way to keep your pet safe is to secure them in a crate. If you can, get the crate a few weeks before the move so that your pet can get used to it before the big day. Make sure you get the right size crate for your pet.
- Don’t overfeed them. Some pets experience motion sickness on long journeys, especially if they’re not used to travelling by car. And giving your pet too much food beforehand can make this worse.
- Schedule plenty of breaks. Taking breaks is not only good for the driver, but also for your pet. Regular breaks will give them the chance to go to the bathroom, get some exercise, and have a drink and a snack.
Planning air travel for your pet will depend on the airline you’re flying with. Dogtainers has more information on this here. If you do choose to fly your pet, Mick advises against sedation as it can cause complications, especially for snub-nosed dogs like pugs and French bulldogs “because their airways are restricted, they really don’t do well under sedation.”
Prep your new home for your new pet’s arrival
Next is making the transition easier for your pet when you arrive at the new home. It is best to get into the house before your pet to prepare it for them.
Here are a few things to think about when preparing your new home:
- Make sure it is secure. This especially goes for the backyard. Check for holes in fences and any other way they could escape.
- Prepare their space. Bring in their bed, toys, and other familiar items so that there’ll still be things that comfort them in this new home.
- Stick to their routine. Try to keep as much the same for them as possible, like feeding and walking them at the same times as usual.
Remember to give your pet plenty of attention and love during this transition. They may misbehave more than usual, chew things up, or have accidents in the house – but be patient and don’t be too hard on them while they settle in.
You will also need to think about things like finding a new veterinarian in the area and updating your address on their collar and microchip in case they go missing.
Can we help you with your next move?
If you have any more questions about your upcoming move and how to make it as smooth as possible, then get in touch with our experienced customer service team.