Moving house with pets this summer?
Moving house is a very stressful experience and the process can be demanding. From hiring removal services and packing to contacting various suppliers to change personal details, the ordeal can become hectic. So imagine how taxing it can be if you are moving property with pets? The transition needs to be carefully planned to ensure your furry friends do not get frightened or upset. Organisation is the answer, to make the move as stress-free and easy as possible. Pets are bound to become somewhat alarmed as their daily routine gets interrupted but you can prepare in advance:
- Make your pet feel comfortable and happy with a new toy or edible treat. This will keep them entertained during the transit and distract them from everything going on.
- If your pet is microchipped, make sure you update the details of the new address and don’t forget to get a new name tag made with the correct address and contact number.
- Get your pet a Bow Wow Meow smart tag, for extra protection if they manage to wonder off while you're distracted on the day. If they already have a smart tag, make sure you update their online profile with your new address and any new contact phone numbers.
- Remember - an engraved ID tag is a legal requirement. The tag needs to show the owner's name and address, or they risk a fine of up to £2,000 if the dog is found in a public place.
- Before you move, get your local vet to carry out a routine health check to ensure everything is in working order. If your pet is prone to anxiety or travel sickness, enquire about medication. You may need to find a new vet closer to your new home, so look into this before you move and perhaps even ask your vet's advice.
- Pet-proof the new home before you move your dog or cat there. Make sure your new garden is secure. Check for any holes in fences, gaps in bushes and introduce your pets to your neighbours and their pets.
- When packing all your belongings away, don’t forget to leave a water and food bowl out, some toys and their bed to rest on. You may decide to purchase new toys and equipment for your dog or cat for the new house but refrain from putting these into place at the start. Your pets will feel uncomfortable and restless in their new surroundings so until they settle they will appreciate their old items. Keep familiar toys and smells around them during the move and at their new home for at least a few weeks – an old blanket that smells of their old home will help them settle down.
- If you are moving a long distance, your pet will require water during the transit especially if the weather is warm to avoid dehydration, and make sure you offer them plenty of toilet breaks in the shade. Avoid giving too much food right before a long journey.
- When the removal team come to the house to help you move, try and see if a neighbour or relative can look after your pet, especially if it is a dog. With doors being left open and strangers walking in and out of the property, dogs can get distressed or lost. If you can, lock them in a room and open up the window for some fresh air, or tie them to a long chain in the garden where they are shaded and have plenty of water.
- Make sure you keep cats indoors for at least 24 hours after your move - longer if possible. You can always attach a long lead to them outside while they explore their new surroundings and become accustomed to where they need to return to.