Moving house is stressful for pets – whether it’s a cat, dog, rabbit or something smaller, it isn’t an easy transition. Cats are famous for hating change! However, a well-loved pet really just wants to be with you, so they will adjust if you plan carefully and take care of them before, during and after the house move.
There are lots of things to consider, especially if you’re moving country, or even county! You need to look into the legislation for their transport and for their new home. For instance, in Northern Ireland, Ireland and the Isle of Man, you still need to buy an annual license to own a dog. If you’re moving abroad you need to look into quarantining, documentation, shipping regulations and more. The key is planning, planning and more planning!
Aside from the administrative side of the move, you need to think about making sure your pets are comfortable, safe and happy. The best way to help your pet out is to keep their routine as regular as possible. Don’t cause stress by changing things that could stay the same – for instance, while that corner of the kitchen would be really handy for storing boxes, don’t change the location of their food or water bowls. Keep litter boxes and beds in their regular spots, and leave their toys out until the last practical moment. Make sure they are still fed, played with and cuddled at their usual times.
When the removal team are taking the furniture and boxes out, keep pets safely closed into an empty room – and put a sign on the door if they are loose so the team don’t accidentally let them out. Keep your pet’s food, toys, bed and other essentials out with your own ‘last minute’ box so you can find them straight away in your new home.
If you’re going to be transporting your pet in a new travel carrier, let them see it before the move and get used to it. Yes it might be obvious, but make sure your pet carrier goes with you, and NOT in a removal van! If you’re flying or taking another kind of transport to your next location, check their animal carriage policies before you book your tickets.
Lastly, we recommend you talk to your vet. They will be able to advise you on the best way to move your particular type or breed of pet, and guide you in the best way to reduce their stress before, during and after the move.