Pet peeves: how to give your pets a positive house move

It’s fair to say that cats and dogs enjoy moving about as much as they enjoy attending fireworks displays. They are creatures of routine and familiarity, so when the upheaval of a move descends on a home, they need extra care and attention to ensure that they remain calm, happy and safely settled in their new place.

Here are the key things to consider when moving home with a pet:

1. Try to devote one room to your pet

If you can, set up a room for your pet away from the main move action, both at your current home and in your new place. Place your pet’s food bowls, bed and toys in this room, and allow time for your pet to get used to it and comfortable being in there.

2. Don’t feed them just before travelling

Feeding your pet just before you travel could upset their stomach, especially if they’re nervous. Instead, give them small amounts of food during the day to keep them occupied and distracted.

3. Consider using pheromone treatments

Pheromones are natural scents that can help keep your pet calm, and are available in various forms, including a room diffuser (which you may want to place in the room you have set aside for them). If you’re unsure as to how to calm a particularly nervous dog or cat, speak to your vet.

4. Make sure your pets are microchipped

If your pet has not been microchipped, it’s worth doing before you begin your move preparations. If it has been chipped, make sure you notify your pet insurance company of your pet’s new address. If your pet does go missing during the move, you’ll have a better chance of being reunited with them quickly.

5. Be patient about settling them into their new home

Spend time with your pet to reassure them and check that they’re settling in. Take your dog for a walk before you arrive at your new home, and keep them on a lead as you show them their new garden (check its secure beforehand). Cats should be kept indoors for a couple of weeks to allow them time to get used to their immediate surroundings.

6. Consult the experts

When it comes to looking after our beloved creatures at move time, we defer to the experts. Take a look at the PDSA’s guide to moving home with pets and the Vets4Pet’s web pages on moving house with your pet for the best advice on how to ensure a stress-free home removal for your dog or cat. Also, speak to your vet about the forthcoming move. Chances are that they will be familiar with your pet and able to give more specific advice based on its age, health and temperament.

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