We are known as a nation of animal lovers, estimates show there are now 34 million pets in the UK. This includes 12 million cats, 12 million dogs as well as guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, birds, and reptiles. Our pets are part of our family and moving house can be very stressful for them too, whether you are moving short or long distances. Your pets well being before, during, and after the move are an important part of your planning. This is why we have put together this handy guide to try and help make it an easier move for you and your pets when the big day arrives.

Moving with Dogs

Routine is key when moving with dogs, keeping to your pet’s regular routine as much as you can will help.

Whilst it can be tempting to put your dog into kennels or leave your dog with a friend or family, it can be very confusing for the dog not to see what is happening. If possible, a couple of days before your move use a pet diffuser to help calm your pet. Keep your dog with you and ensure they are busy and engaged with puzzle games and regular walks. Leave packing your pet’s toys and belongings until the last minute. Your calmness and being with you should help your dog to settle, and hopefully, see this as a new adventure. If you are moving during the summer and it is warm you may need to consider having a cooling mat or coat to hand.

When you arrive at your new home, unpack your dog’s bed, bowls, etc. provide fresh drinking water, and plugin the pet diffuser. Seeing their familiar items will help your dog to settle. Once the removal team has left and the house is secure allow your dog to explore the house and garden, get back into your regular routine as soon as possible, and make time to walk and play with your dog. As your dog sees more familiar items being unpacked they should feel more secure. Some dogs they may also wish to sleep closer to you while they settle. To minimise any distress while they settle we would suggest that they are only left alone for very short periods of time after the move, this can be built gradually back to normal as they settle and feel more secure.

Moving house with dogs

Moving with Cats

Although cats don’t like change they are very curious and like to get involved in moves. Some really like to “help” with the packing and play with the packing materials. As your move approaches, we would suggest that you use a pet diffuser to help keep your cat calm. You may wish to keep your cat inside the house for the day or two before the move, just in case they decide to go out and explore! On the day of the move, keep your routine as normal as possible, then when the removal team arrives ensure your cat is closed into a room or put into their secure pet carrier. They should always have with them familiar blankets, toys, and water, you could also include an old towel or piece of clothing of yours just to help reassure them. If you are moving during the summer when it’s warm you could use a cooling pad for the bottom of the carrier. Keep your cat with you on the journey.

When you arrive at your new home and the removal team has left, place their food, water, litter box, and toys in a similar way to your old home and let your pet explore. You may wish to also plugin the pet diffuser again for a few days, while you unpack. You should also restrict your cat to the house for a few days after the move before letting them explore the neighbourhood.

Moving house with cats

Moving with Small Animals and Birds

If you have small animals or birds you can use either small pet carriers or specialist transportation boxes. You should ensure they always have access to food and water.