There can be so many things to think about when planning to move house that pets can often be forgotten and neglected! But a bit of foresight and planning can help to prevent any accidents, such as a pet getting injured in the move or going missing, which can cause distress to all members of the family.
Having a checklist of things to do for pets before or during the move can help to ensure that things go smoothly and reduce stress and worry.
Your House Moving Checklist
1.) Have you thought about what do with the pets during the move? Remember, even the calmest pets can become disturbed by the upheaval and noises and strange removals men on their territory and they may panic or attempt to escape, leading to a traffic accident or a pet going missing. Alternatively, over-curious pets can get in the way and possibly pose a danger to others (e.g. tripping people or getting stuck in furniture and requiring rescue). For these reasons, it is best to remove pets from danger during the moving process.
2.) Have you found a safe place for your pets to stay at during the move? Boarding kennels and catteries are good options if your pets is used to them, otherwise friends and family may have suitable homes for a temporary stay. Pet stores may be willing to look after smaller mammals and birds for a short time, for a fee.
3.) If your pets are remaining on the premises, have you found ways to safely contain them? It is just too dangerous to have pets wandering loose while removal companies are packing up the house and moving furniture. Smaller dogs and cats should be safely contained in a crate or cage and larger dogs may be tethered in a sheltered, secure area.
4.) Have you checked the fastenings, joints and screws on the cages of birds and small mammals and the enclosures of any reptiles? Again, it is very easy during a move to accidentally knock these containers over and a panicked animal may easily escape – either leading to the pet going missing or valuable time being lost as everyone tries to recapture it. All small animals should be secured in their own cages/enclosures and moved safely out of the way.
5.) Have you updated your dog’s or cat’s details on their tags? And confirmed contact details with their microchip directories? Pets often escape or go missing during a house move and it is vital that they carry up-to-date identification and contact details, to increase the chances of them being found successfully.
6.) Do you have a good, clear, up-to-date photo of your pet? Again, this is very helpful should they escape and get lost in the process of the move.
7.) Have you collected all your pet’s equipment (e.g. lead) and other necessary items in one place for easy access? You may suddenly need these things either during the move or as soon as you’ve settled in your new home and it is important to be able to find them easily.
8.) Do you have your veterinarian’s contact details handy, just in case of an accident or any other emergency?
Have you prepared a small supply of your pet’s usual food, so that it is easy to find when you need to feed it after arriving in your new home?
9.) Have you thought of a safe place you could keep your pet in your new home? There will still be a lot of upheaval and unpacking in the first few days and it would be good to find a quiet spot away from all the disturbances where your pet can have his bed, food, favourite toys (or cage/enclosure) so that he is not unduly stressed by what is going on around him and also so that he doesn’t get in the way.
10.) Have you prepared a litter tray for your cat? Even if your cat is used to going outdoors, it is advisable to keep your cat indoors for the first week at least as many cats try to return to their old homes and get lost or injured in the process.
11.) Have you set aside time to spend with your pet, once you have settled in your new home? Just like us, pets can find a house move very stressful and it can help greatly if you can spend some bonding time with your pet in the new place. This can be as simple as game or cuddles in the lounge – or with a dog, the symbolic act of going for a walk (even a short one!) and returning to the new house, can make a big difference and help the pet accept its new home.