A helpful guide to moving with pets
Moving house can be a stressful experience for even the most organised and temperate individuals, but imagine the same scenario but with a complete lack of understanding – your stress levels would probably be sky high, as well as the fact that you would be very confused. Unfortunately, this is often the reality for many of our pets, as they cannot understand what is going on around them and use logic to keep calm. For this reason, it is important for us to take responsibility for our pets during the packing, removal and moving process to ensure they stay as calm as possible.
Here at Fragile Removals we are a leading removals company and over the years we have learnt a thing or two about dealing with pets of all kinds, from dogs and cats to small furries such as hamsters and mice, and we’d like to share this knowledge with you. But it is important to bear in mind that every pet is different, and if you are extremely worried by your pet’s behaviour, we would urge you to go to the vet just to make sure that there is no underlying problem. Read on for our guide to moving with pets…
Prior to moving day
Pets can be incredibly perceptive and sensitive to change, so it is wise to ensure that your pet is confined to one room at the opposite end of the house to the packing so that they can settle down with their bed, food and water whilst you bustle back and forth packing everything into boxes. Even if your dog or cat is not stressed by the activity, they may get under foot, so it is advantageous for both you and your pet. Birds can get particularly stressed, and snakes won’t appreciate the constant vibrations of movement through the floor, so if you can move this kind of animal, it is advisable.
If you intend to move your pet into a carrier, try to get them used to it prior to the journey so that they won’t feel worried or confined. Putting their usual bed inside the carrier is a great way to help define the space as ‘theirs’ and safe. Cats will more than likely enjoy an enclosed cosy space, and dogs will also appreciate knowing exactly where to go when you tell them to get on their bed. If they see the carrier as a punishment, it will only heighten any stress on the day, and therefore should not be used for this purpose. If you are finding it particularly difficult, you could employ the use of treats each time they go into and settle in their new carrier bed.
Your pet might be used to you leaving for long hours during the day and enjoy your presence at weekends, but they are likely to notice if you are around for a period of consecutive days. During this time you will be packing, but to keep a sense of normality, try to maintain your daily routines. If your dog is used to being walked before work, make the effort to get up at a similar time, as well as any feeding routines. There are anti-anxiety medicines available for particularly nervous pets, however they can make your pet drowsy which they won’t appreciate, so if you can avoid using drugs of any kind that would be best, and careful preparation prior to moving day will ensure that this is the case.
On the day of the move, employ the same technique of keeping your pet in a secure and quiet environment until you are ready to load them into your car or other mode of transportation. Cats can be particularly crafty, so be sure that they are in a secure room with no open windows or air vents to climb into. As for small furries, you may not need to move them out of their cage if it is only small, but if you do, have a plastic carrier with plenty of ventilation ready. Mice can squeeze themselves through the tiniest of spaces, so a cardboard box handled carefully with air holes in the top and some bedding and an empty toilet roll to hide in is ideal. To ensure a caged pet is kept warm, place a blanket or old towel around it as insulation from sound and cold.
During transit ensure your pet carrier is secure. A toppled carrier during transit can be incredibly traumatic for any kind of pet, and may well result in injuries or, in extreme cases, death. Mice, for example, do not cope with very high levels of stress due to their tiny hearts and it may be all too much for them, so it’s especially important in their case. If you would like to travel with a small pet carrier on your lap that is fine too, but always put your own safety first and do not neglect your seat belt or compromise your safety in any way.
If you are moving early in the morning, give your pet a smaller meal than normal. You will know if your dog or cat suffers from travel sickness after taking them to the vets or for walks somewhere special, however moving day can be an entirely different atmosphere which may have unexpected affects, so it’s always best to play it safe. They will not suffer from the lack of food, and will be all too happy to tuck into the rest of the portion upon their arrival!
And after you’ve unpacked, ensure your pet knows their boundaries as well as resuming their normal routine as soon as possible. Then you and your pet can settle into your new home and enjoy life on the other side!