Stress is often the first thing that’s spoken about when it comes to moving, and that’s just with people involved. For pets, they have the added pressure of having no idea what’s going on, and it’s important to acknowledge how much the upheaval of moving affects their stress levels, before the big day – so you can make it go as smoothly as possible for them (and you) while you settle in your new home together.
Believe it or not, fish are the most likely to find the whole process traumatising. If you are moving just a short distance, it is best to fill bags with their tank water and transport them that way. If your move is further afield, there’s a good chance that your fish may not make the journey, so it may be best to re-home them before you move.
Another little pet which doesn’t enjoy change, guinea pigs need some extra TLC while moving from one place to another, because their hearts are not good with stress. You can make this easier for them by using a warm, small, cosy and comfortable carrier.
Dogs and cats both associate smells with territory and home, so this can be a big part of the moving process. If the previous occupiers of your new home had dogs and cats, it would be beneficial to your pets if you went in and did an extra clean to remove any trace of their scent. This applies to the garden too – it would be good to give this a once over to check that your pet can’t escape, but also to remove any presents that the previous occupiers may have left… Back in the home, you can also reduce their stress by buying a pheromone plug in or pheromone collar and using it with them around 24 hours before any big changes – like extensive packing – that will be happening.
Unfortunately pets tend to associate carrier boxes with the vets, so it would be good to keep their toys and blankets with them while they travel, so that they can keep that all important reassuring scent with them, and of course, have them travel with you in your vehicle. If there isn’t room to keep their toys with them, make sure that you can easily access their favourites when you unpack.
When you are in your new home, set up a space specifically for your pet, where they won’t be unsettled by people continuously going back and forth, and they won’t be tempted to slip out the door while the boxes are coming in. If this isn’t possible, it may be worth considering leaving your pet with a friend or a kennel or cattery.
No matter what pet you have, be sure to keep as close to your routine as possible, as this will do a lot to keep them steady throughout the whole process.
If you’re moving away from your usual vet practice, be sure to register with a new one just before or not long after you move. Either way, remember to update their microchip and tag information with their new home address and phone number, so if they do go exploring, they can make it home to you.
No matter what you need a hand with when moving, we’re always here to help. If you would like any more information or advice, please get in touch.