Moving home with pets

Whether it’s making sure mealtimes are met or finding a kennel on the big day, our tips for moving house with pets could help your furry friends enjoy a stress-free change of environment.

Whether it’s making sure mealtimes are met or finding a kennel on the big day, our tips for moving house with pets could help your furry friends enjoy a stress-free change of environment.

Chris King
From the Home team
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Posted 21 JULY 2020

Pet-proof your new home

Prevent your pets from causing chaos by pet-proofing your home before the big move. You may want to use child locks on cabinets, and cable ties to prevent tails tangling with wiring. And be wary of lily plants that could have been left by the previous owners – these plants can be lethal for cats.

Be sure to clean your new place thoroughly to remove any existing odours that might unsettle your animals, especially if other pets have lived at the property before.

Find a kennel or cattery

Keeping your cat or dog away from the action of packing and unpacking will make things less stressful for everybody. Many kennels and catteries specialise in looking after your beloved pets during house moves, although you’ll have to make sure their vaccinations are up to date. Or you could save on costs and leave your pets with a friend or family member. Bring your pet into your new home once everything is settled. That way, they should feel more relaxed in their new surroundings.

Make sure you have suitable transport

If you’d rather have your pets with you on move day, it’s best to keep them in a room of their own, away from people lifting heavy loads. Once you’ve given them pet toys, bedding, and something to eat and drink, you’ll have to consider transport. Use a well-ventilated carrier or cage, with room for water - and a litter tray if your pet is a cat.

If you’re travelling for a considerable amount of time, make sure they have the chance to exercise. For example, you should accommodate cats in a larger carrier for a longer journey, and schedule in walking stops for dogs.

Keep creature comforts close

Pack your pet’s favourite toys, bedding and treats in a box of their own that you can keep within easy reach of throughout the move. If you have your pets with you during move day, box your pet’s items last and unpack them first at your new home, so they feel comfortable for as long as possible.

Keep things consistent

Sticking to the usual walking hours, mealtimes and sleeping arrangements will prevent cats and dogs from feeling threatened by all the change going on around them. However, you’ll need to leave plenty of time between feeding and travel to avoid any potential pet car sickness.

Use smells to your advantage

Pheromone diffusers can be a great way of helping to calm your pet in their new environment. Cats and dogs usually give off these odours when comfortable in their surroundings, so it’s a good idea to start using the diffusers before, during and after your move. Diffusers can be bought as sprays, plug-in sprays, collars and wipes.

It’s worth taking your cat or dog’s unwashed blanket from your previous home along with you to your new home, as this can help calm your pet in the first couple of days, after the move.

Settle in slowly

Aside from familiar smells and sticking to old routines, there are a few more tricks to help your pet settle into their new home. Keep your cats indoors for the first month after your move. Then start to let them go outside just before mealtimes, to quickly entice them back to their new home.

You can help your cats feel at ease by emptying some of their litter tray around the garden. However, this may not be a good idea if you have young children who will play in the garden.

And remember to pay your pet extra attention after your move to help them feel safe in their new environment.

Allow for accidents

The potential for accidents is huge when moving home with pets – think toilet mishaps and chewed wires. And some pets may even try to return to your old home. Leave the new owners with a photo of your cat or dog, your contact details and ask them not to feed your homesick animals.

Don’t forget the vet

It’s important to register your pet with a local vet as early as possible. That’s because strange environments can lead to unforeseen accidents involving pets. And if you have a cat, there’s always the possibility that it could get into scrapes with territorial cats in your new area.

You should also enquire about updating your pet’s microchip details with your new veterinary surgery. And don’t forget to update pet passport address details, too.

Consider your insurance

If you haven’t already got insurance that covers accidents caused by pets, now might be the time to consider it. Accidental damage pet insurance could cover the costs of damage caused by pets inside your new home.
If you’re moving into a property you don’t own and are worried that your dog might be uneasy in its new surroundings, consider pet insurance that covers third party liability. This could cover damage caused to other people or other people’s property.

Think about switching pet insurance

You’ll need to tell your pet insurance provider that you’re moving. But you may find that your insurance gets more expensive. That’s because vet consultations, surgery and medication can vary across the country, and the cost of cover will reflect this.

If your updated pet quote turns out to be expensive, you could see if you can switch to a better deal. However, any cover you might have for pre-existing conditions would be excluded, if you change your pet insurance.

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