To make moving easier for your beloved pets, here are some things to consider:
Preparation before moving house
The most important thing is to make sure that your pets are out of danger. All the upheaval and noise in the days leading up to and during a move (not to mention the strangers walking through your home) can cause your pet to panic or even be hurt in an attempt to escape. To avoid your pets being a danger to themselves or others, such as your removal company, the safest thing is to remove them to somewhere safe and retrieve them once you have settled in your new place.
If you don't have the option to ask trusted family or friends to look after your pets, you might place them to a more quiet and safe place such as the bathroom. Just put a reminder on the door saying DO NOT ENTER so the removals team won't get surprised when they open the door, and your pets won't escape or get disturbed.
As soon as you know your new address, make sure you update your cat's or dog's ID tag with up-to-date phone numbers! In addition, organise a veterinarian’s phone number and address near your new place in case of any emergencies.
Prepare all your pet’s equipment in a bag so that you can find things easily, should you suddenly need a lead, for example. Ensure the bag isn’t loaded onto the removals lorry until the last minute, or even keep it with you in the car in your Moving Day Survival Kit.
Make sure you have a small supply of their usual food and treats readily accessible, so that you can easily feed your pet during the trip and when you’re arriving at your new place to help settle them.
The day of moving
Do not feed your pet at least 3 hours before you're leaving on the trip. To actually move your pet from one place to another, use a high-quality pet carrier. Most pets won't like it, so make them familiar with the cage before the moving day and teach them to associate the cage with good things: put the blanket or pillow your pet usually uses into the carrier, serve the food or little goodies in the cage or add a piece of cloth with your scent on it – this will comfort the pet when nervous.
Bear in mind that especially small pets get dehydrated very quickly. Give your pet fresh water during the trip and never leave it in a parked car during warm weather, since this can severely harm them.
Once you've moved
Give your pets a warm welcome at their new place! Show them where 'their' new place is and put lots of things there that are familiar to them. Take some time to show your cat or dog every room (and the garden, if present). Although you might feel under pressure all the time, try to give them some extra affection – this will also calm you down!
If you are moving internationally there will be a significant number of additional tasks to complete before your pet can be relocated, such as organising vaccinations, a pet passport and microchip. The requirements will differ depending on the country you are planning to move to, so make sure you talk to your pet’s veterinary surgeon to discuss the process and what will be required to allow you to move your pet abroad.
Our article about moving abroad with pets can provide you with the important information about an overseas move with an animal.