There's no arguing that moving house is incredibly stressful, disrupting your life and moving everything you own to a new location is hard work – but it can also be strenuous on pets, both large and small. With so much going on during a home move, it can be easy to forget how much of an impact the process has on animals – but there are things you can do to alleviate some of those stresses for both yourself and your animals. Today, we're going to take a closer look at how to move house with pets.
Disruption to your current home doesn't just happen on the day you move; it starts when you begin packing.
Both cats and dogs produce pheromones when they feel secure, which helps them identify their home – you'll notice this particularly in cats, who spread their pheromone by rubbing their faces on things. Packing up everything in your home disturbs these scents and can lead to feelings of unrest in your pet. Buying a plug-in diffuser that releases these pheromones into the air or a pheromone infused collar can help cats and dogs feel calm and safe as their normal environment beings to change. Any diffuser you purchase should be plugged in at least 24 hours before you start making changes to your old home.
Your pets are used to a routine – it may not feel like it sometimes, but they know when feeding time is, when it's time to rest, when you are likely to be around and when they will be alone. Moving house can throw off their routine, so try to ensure you keep as much of it the same – like feeding, walks and playtime – as possible to lessen the impact.
Designate a space somewhere in your home where your pet can go to get away from the disruption of packing – this will also help establish a safe space for your pet on the day of the move itself. Slowly begin to move your pet's food, water and bedding to a quiet room like a spare bedroom to establish a pet-safe zone that they can get accustomed to before the move. This will also help them adjust to the shock of an empty house, particularly if you've chosen to take advantage of self-storage like Kangaroo's household storage in Edinburgh.
You'll have a lot on your mind when you move, but don't forget to ensure your pet is registered at a local veterinary practice close to your new home. You should change the address registered on their microchip and make sure you keep up with their flea and worming treatments.
The big day has arrived, you're all packed up, you've got the keys to your new home, and the removal van is waiting outside. So, how do you ensure free-roaming animals like cats and dogs don't get under your feet, lost or feel too stressed?
This might not be possible, but it may be best to leave your dog or cat with someone else during your move if this option is available to you. Introducing an animal to a new, empty house whilst all your belongings are still in self-storage, like our household storage in Glasgow, can be as stressful as the packing and transit itself.
If leaving your pet with someone else is not an option, ensure they are kept in the safe zone you've previously established in your old house whilst the house is being emptied. This will reduce the risk of them getting hurt or lost whilst also providing a safe space to relax in.
Once it's time to get on the road, travel with your pet as you would normally. If you're moving a cat, keep them inside a secure carrier and use your car's seatbelts to strap them in. A dog should always be in a crate or harness whilst travelling in a car or van, as unrestrained dogs, particularly those going through the stress of moving, can be a hazard.
Before you release your pet into their new home, ensure you've set up a safe area similar to the one in your old house. Put all their food, bedding and toys in a quiet place, along with something like an unwashed pillowcase or piece of your clothing that will have a reassuming scent on it. Cats should be allowed to explore independently – don't force them out of their carrier before they are ready. When letting a dog explore a new home, make sure the house is secure, or keep them on a lead if that isn't possible.
If you've been using self-storage, like our household storage in Dundee, it is a good idea only to introduce your pet to your new home once you've removed everything from storage. This way, your pet is introduced to a relaxing environment full of familiar things.
Of course, cats and dogs are not the only animals that we keep as pets. While they may be the animals that are likely to be problematic when moving, it's essential not to forget about smaller critters or exotic animals that require specialist environments to be comfortable.
Cold-blooded pets like lizards and snakes need special consideration when moving since they cannot regulate their body temperature. If they aren't travelling in their vivarium, make sure you provide a heat source to keep them comfortable, like a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel. For creatures like frogs who require a wet environment, place wet sponges or damp towels inside their carriers to provide moisture.
Birds are naturally skittish and anxious creatures. Therefore, they are best transported in their cages whenever possible; however, if their cage is too large for your car, consider a roomy carrier with a comfortable perch to keep them happy on a bumpy car journey.
Small mammals should be transported in a carrier with enough room to move around freely and rigid enough that they cannot chew through it and escape. For nocturnal creatures like chinchillas and hamsters, avoid disrupting their sleep schedules by covering the carrier with a towel during the move.
We hope you found this guide to moving your pets helpful and wish you luck with your big move – remember, it can be stressful, but it's also exciting! Putting your belongings in self-storage is a great way to alleviate some of the stress of moving, so contact us at Kangaroo Self Storage today and see how we can help with our self storage in Altrincham and other locations.