Helping Your Pets Adjust to Your Move

Helping Your Pets Adjust to Your Move

Helping Your Pets Adjust to Your Move

Moving day can be incredibly stressful, not just for you but for your beloved pets as well. With boxes everywhere and strangers moving things in and out of your home, pets can easily become confused and anxious. To help you and your furry friends through this transition, we've put together a guide to reduce stress for both you and your pets before, during, and after the move.
In the UK, dogs and cats are the most common pets, with around 12 million dogs and 11 million cats sharing our homes. This guide is specifically tailored to help you ease the moving process for these beloved companions.

Before Moving Day

1. Let Your Mover Know About Your Pets
Regardless of the type of pet you have, it's essential to discuss them with your mover. This ensures they are aware of any pets on the premises and can plan accordingly. Every few years, there's a story of a pet, often a cat, discovered in the back of a removal lorry, sometimes having travelled hundreds of miles. If you have exotic pets, animals in climate-controlled tanks, or fish, your mover may have suggestions on how best to transport them or their accessories/habitats.
2. Prepare Your Cat
If you're transporting your cat in a carrier, leave it open in an area they frequent to allow them to get used to it. Consider putting their favourite toys or treats inside. Cats are sensitive to change, and with the upheaval leading up to a move, they may become stressed. It's not uncommon for them to go missing beforehand, so you might decide to keep your cat indoors a day or more before the moving day to prevent this. Additionally, it's advisable to have them microchipped or ensure their collar ID is updated to reduce the risk of them trying to return to their old home.

On Moving Day

1. Keep Them Safe
If you can't arrange for your pet to be with someone else or at a regular kennel/cattery, consider putting them in a closed room with familiar and soothing items. If you have children who won't be directly involved in the moving day, it might be worth having them spend some time with your pets. However, be cautious when leaving and entering the room. A pheromone spray may help soothe cats and dogs, as they contain calming scents designed to relax and de-stress them. You can spray it in both your old and new homes.
2. Move Them Last
If your pet is with you on moving day, wait until your belongings have all been packed up and loaded into the removal vehicle. Then, transport your dog or cat in the car to your new home.

In Your New Home

1. Comfort Them
Set your cat or dog up in a quiet room in your new home. Provide them with their regular food and maybe a treat, given at their usual feeding time. Shower them with attention to help them settle. For dogs, the reassuring scents of your old home on bedding or toys will aid in their adjustment.
2. Allow Them to Explore
During the first few days in your new home, allow your pet to explore their new environment at their own pace. While dogs usually acclimatize fairly quickly, be patient if they take time to settle. Cats, in particular, have been known to return to their previous homes after a move. Only allow them outside, such as in the garden, once they are comfortable inside.
3. Stick to Routines
Try to stick to the same feeding, walking, and bedtime routines as much as possible.
4. Register with a New Vet
If you've moved to a different area, you'll need to register with a new veterinary practice. You can ask for any medical history to be passed on to your new vet.
If You Need Further Help
If you're moving within the UK or abroad with your pet and you need assistance, the BAR has two affiliates who can help:
  • Moving internationally and across the UK: Airpets Ltd
  • Moving internationally: Pets Abroad UK Ltd
By following these steps, you can help make the transition smoother for both you and your beloved pets.
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