Moving house a stressful time for everyone. Any excitement you feel is often masked by the fear of something going wrong or the stress of the 1001 things you still need to do.
Having pets can contribute to the stress, as you wonder what to do them on moving day. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help the pet as many animals are able to pick up on their owners’ feelings. A stressed owner can lead to a stressed pet.
Therefore, to minimise the ordeal it’s important that you plan what to do with pets on moving day properly.
Before The Move
Don’t leave it until the day to decide what to do with your pet. Start planning weeks or even months ahead.
When it comes to moving day you’ll have lots of the things to do, so, start asking around friends and family to see if anyone is able to help you out. This could mean giving your pet a safe place to stay while you sort the move. Or, it could simply mean an extra pair of hands to help on the actual day.
If you are moving out of the area, take your pet to the vet before you move. Your vet knows your pet well, so they’ll be able to ensure your pet is fit and healthy for the move ahead. The vet can also ensure your pet is up to date with vaccinations and flea/worming treatments, giving you one less thing to worry about in your new home.
Finally, do some research on the area you are moving to. Where will your nearest vet be? Where is the nearest emergency vet? If you have a dog, where would be a good place to take them for a walk? Knowing the answers to such questions in advance will make the move less stressful for you both.
During The Move
In most cases, the best option for what to do with pets on moving day will be to have a friend or family member look after them, away from your home. Ideally, this should be someone the pet is already familiar with and will enjoy staying with. When a friend or family member is not available, you may be able to find a local pet sitter who can look after your animal for a few hours on the day.
By doing this, the pet will be oblivious to the mayhem happening at home and you can concentrate on the actual move.
However, this isn’t always possible. If you are moving a long way, have a particularly nervous pet, or simply cannot find anyone able to help you out, you may have no choice but to keep the pet at home during the move.
In this case, the best thing you can do is find the quietest room in the house and make sure everything has been moved out of that room in advance. Then, put the pet in that room with plenty of food and water, toilet facilities (where possible), a few favourite toys, and a warm bed. This will give them somewhere safe and secure to wait out the move.
If you have a cat or a dog, it’s worth placing a pheromone spray in the room such as Feliway for cats or Adaptil for dogs. These give off pheromones that will help to keep your pet calm and reduce their stress levels.
Make sure that no one enters the pets ‘safe’ room though, the last thing you want is your pet getting out on moving day! Put a lock or a sign on the door if needed, and make sure you tell everyone involved in the move why they shouldn’t enter that room.
After The Move
Remember, whilst you understand exactly why you are moving house, your pet won’t. It will be confused, and perhaps scared, having been taken from familiar surroundings to somewhere strange. This may result in the pet behaving differently for a while.
This could include being destructive, urinating on things, or just generally being disobedient. Try not to get upset with your pet for such behaviour as this will only increase their confusion and fear. Instead look to try and calm the pet as much as possible.
The pheromone spray you used during the move will come in handy so be sure to use it in the new property. The technique of creating a ‘safe’ room like you did on moving day will also work wonders for your pet, giving them a place they can retreat when it all gets too much. Don’t try and force your pet to explore the new home, let them be free to do it in their own time.
You’ll also want to go around the new property and ensure its ‘pet-safe’. Are there exposed cables your pet may chew on? Are there any small gaps that need blocking off so your pet doesn’t get stuck? Make safe anything that could be a potential risk.
One of the most important things is to get into a normal routine as quickly as possible. Pets love routines as it takes away uncertainty and reduces anxiety. The sooner you can get things back to ‘normal’ the better.
So, try and get at least one or two rooms fully unpacked and as you want them. If you have a dog, start taking it for walks at set times from the very first time. Make sure mealtimes always happen at the same time too.
There isn’t a way to ensure that moving house is completely stress-free for anyone, let alone pets. However, by following these guidelines of what to do with pets on moving day, you can help make the process of moving as smooth and as calm as possible for your pets.
If you haven’t yet found your perfect, pet-friendly removal company, use our handy form to find and compare local removal companies in your area.