5 min readAre you planning to move to a new place? Have you moved before or is this your first time? Let’s be honest, moving house is a hectic task, to say the least.
Now just imagine a scenario where you can’t understand all the chatter around you and can see all your belongings being packed up into boxes without your say so. Doesn’t it sound even more stressful? This is the exact scenario your pets face.
You may see a change in your pet’s behaviour as you start preparing to relocate or even after you move. Just like you, they also experience stress when their daily environment and routine is altered. For this reason, you need to take special care of your pets during the transition to get them settled comfortably into your new place. Here are five essential tips for moving house with a pet.
Essential tips for moving house with a pet
1. Preparation is a must.
Pack and organise your moving boxes in a single room so that your dog doesn’t chew or damage them or the items within them. We all know that a situation with puppies, tape, bubble-wrap and cardboard boxes isn’t going to end well.
Pack your pet’s essential belongings in a separate bag. This will be helpful for you to get through the moving day and also a few days post move. Here is the list of items that you need to include to keep your pet happy:
- Poop bags
- Favourite toys
- Something to keep your dog occupied (bones, treats, favourite toys etc.)
- Cat litter
- Water bowls
- Pet food
- A crate, doggy gate or cat carrier
If you have a cat, place treats inside the cat carrier and make the space comfortable with a blanket. Cats have a strong aversion to travelling and they do not like to be trapped in confined spaces. So in the days leading up to the move get your cat used to the carrier by placing it’s food inside at feeding times and making it a cosy shelter for them to use.
Hopefully, transporting your pup to a new home won’t be too stressful for you or for your dog. However, you want them to be prepared for the new environment. For dogs, smelling is a crucial sense that they possess. So it is recommended to introduce your pet to the common smells around the new home and perimeter of the property. This will make them feel comfortable and at ease with their new surroundings.
Start your research for a new veterinarian if you are moving to a new area. Write down the phone numbers and addresses of the closest pet emergency hospitals. This way you will be prepared for any unexpected emergencies at the new location.
2. Become familiar with rules & regulations.
Your new landlord or body corp may have specific pet rules and regulations. You may even need additional medications, vaccinations or certain certifications for your pet depending on the place you are moving. If you’re in an apartment complex you’ll also need to check the rules for use of outdoor spaces and scope out dog parks close by to exercise your pooch. Typically a call to your body corp or local council can help resolve all your burning questions.
This is also a great time to talk to the current vet. If you know your pet is averse to travelling your veterinarian can suggest training techniques or medication that’ll help ease the transition.
3. Look for a new vet.
Search for a new veterinarian before your moving day. You should visit the old vet to get a copy of your pet’s medical records prior to moving. Your current vet may even be able to recommend a good vet in your new suburb.
4. Moving day essentials.
One important thing you need to figure out before moving day is a method to keep your pet safe and happy amongst all the moving chaos. Moving day involves a lot of coming and going and open doors, and if you’re not careful, your beloved pet may go walkabout. Looking for your pet on the street is the last thing you want to do on moving day.
Keeping your dog or cat in a crate, installing a pet gate in a doorframe or sending them to a pet daycare or friend’s place for the day is a great way to keep them safe and content, as you load and unload the moving boxes. Additionally, your pets can become hopelessly lost if they escape in the new unfamiliar location. Make sure you have a tag on your pet’s collar with your current contact details in case they get lost.
If you’re moving interstate with a cat or dog, make sure to check the airline’s rules and regulations beforehand. Transporting pets via plane usually means booking them their own ventilated pet container on board the aircraft in the cargo hold.
5. Settling in after the moving process.
Some pets find it really difficult to adjust to a new environment. While dogs can usually easily get used to a new home, moving house with a cat can be much more challenging. To help cats adjust easily and faster, you need to maintain consistent mealtimes and a bedtime schedule for them.
Some extra tips for helping your pet settle in:
- Make sure you have a fixed place in the home for food and water, litter tray and for their bed.
- You should also take them on a tour of the new property to get them familiar with the unique smells and different rooms. Don’t overwhelm your pet with too much at a time. First, introduce them to a single room and keep their beloved toys, food and treats in that room too.
- To reduce their anxiety, involve them in daily walks and offer them plenty of exercise, attention and playtime daily. Just don’t let them roam around the yard by themselves as they might get lost or run away due to the stress of unfamiliar surroundings.
Moving with pets isn’t a simple task. It requires a considerable amount of effort and patience. We recommend not trying to handle the entire moving process by yourself if you have a pet with you. Hire a professional moving company to make your move relatively easy and smooth. This way your pets will settle in just fine as you’ll be present to look after them and not preoccupied with the move. Now throw your worries out of the window and snuggle up with your adorable furry friend.