For many of us our four-legged (or two winged, scaled or furry) friends are as much a part of the family as the people in it. But there can be one slight issue… clear communication.
While Fido might understand “walkies” and Tiddles may understand “dinner time”, neither is likely to grasp “We’re going to move house. It’s absolutely fine and nothing to worry about, but there’s going to be a lot of strange activity going on for a few weeks. Please don’t get upset as you’ll love our new home!”
For our animal friends the build up to move day can be stressful enough, with strangers looking round the house, packing boxes appearing and things being moved around. With that heightened sense that ‘something’s not quite right’, move day itself can all be too much for them.
Here are our top tips for making sure your move is as stress free as possible for your ‘fur babies’:
- If at all possible, keep your pet out of the way on move day. See if a family member or friend can have them, or if needs be consider a kennels or cattery. It will be very stressful for them to see so many strangers in the house and boxes and furniture being moved around – and it’s easy for them to get underfoot and accidentally get hurt or cause some damage. Doors will be open, and you don’t want to risk them bolting and not being able to find them as your removal van is sat waiting to depart.
- If there is no option but for them to be at home, keep them confined to one empty room. Put a sign on the door and make sure everyone involved in the move is aware that door must not be opened. Make sure they have a comfy place to sleep and food/water and visit them regularly to give reassurance and to sort toilet trips.
- If your pet gets really stressed in the run up to the move, talk to your vet about things which might be able to help like pheromone diffusers or sprays.
- Make sure your pet is microchipped if appropriate – just in case they do somehow go walkabouts at your old address or your new one.
- Pack anything your pet will immediately need at the new house in your vehicle, or in a clearly marked box. You don’t want to be scrabbling around to find their food, bed, medicine or favourite toy when you reach the new house. Don’t wash things immediately so they retain a familiar and reassuring smell.
- Pets of all kinds should travel with you, not in the removal van. Make sure you’ve considered or sought expert advice on how to best transport them safely. Don’t feed them immediately before travelling in case it makes them car sick.
- Be patient with your pet – they may act out of sorts for a while in their new home. Just give them plenty of reassurance and take it slowly, introducing them to the garden or local area safely whilst on a lead – dogs and cats alike!
We’re always happy to help with any removals related questions – give us a call if there’s anything we can help with. And if you are moving we wish a very happy new home to you and your faithful friend!