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Moving Pets to Your New Home

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 20 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
Moving With Your Pets House Moves Pets

If moving house was not stressful enough it’s even tougher when you have pets to consider as well. Cats and dogs, in particular, become very attached to their territory and, in the days and weeks leading up to the move, they’ll probably be more aware than you think in sensing that ‘something is going on’ as you move items around the house and pack certain things away so you’ll need to give them extra attention during this period.

The actual day of the move will require you to be focused on the task in hand and you can be sure that you’ll have far too much to think about than to need to worry about your pets too. Similarly, if you have a cat or a dog, they’ll be stressed out as well with all the comings and goings on removal day and, with the front door and gate likely to be open most of the time, you won’t want them to escape. Therefore, you should make plans to have your pets looked after on the day of the move. If you haven’t got family or friends who could take them in for the day, it’s far less worry to have them stay in a kennel for the day than to put them (and you) through the stress of the move. It’s also useful to get new tags for them for when they reach their new home in case they wander off and get lost in, what will be unfamiliar territory to them and, if you haven’t done so already; this would be a good time to get them micro-chipped.

What If You Intend Taking Them With You On The Day Of The Move?
In this event, you should not feed them for at least three hours before you intend to leave home for the last time. They’re bound to be nervous and edgy with all the activity going on and could get upset by the comings and goings of removal men so you should ensure that they’re kept in a quiet room, such as a spare bedroom or even the bathroom whilst all the moving is going on. And, if they have a sleeping basket, take that upstairs with them as a bed is always a good source of comfort for a cat or a dog. If you suspect that your pet is the type who will get so nervous that they might try to escape, it’s important that you keep the door of the room firmly closed and put a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign outside.

If your dog or cat suffers from travel sickness or severe anxiety in the car, you should have a word with your vet beforehand as they may be able to suggest some kind of calming medication which you can give to them before they begin the journey. Depending on your own preferences or how your pet might usually travel in a vehicle, you may wish to consider buying a pet-carrier or some kind of cage to keep them restrained throughout the journey. If they’re not used to this, let them get familiarised with it before the day of the move. It often helps to put in an old blanket with their scent on it and, maybe even a cuddly toy or two as this may prevent them from getting too agitated.

Longer Road Journeys
If you’re relocating to a place several hours drive away, don’t forget that your pet will need regular ‘toilet stops’. Make sure you have supplies of water with you and food or treats if it’s a particularly long journey. Keep its lead handy so that you can let it stretch its legs for 10 minutes or so each time you stop. Also, remember that you should never leave a pet unattended in a car for much longer than a few minutes, especially in hot weather, as the inside of a vehicle can soon resemble the heat of a furnace and your pet could be injured or even die.

Small Pets
Small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters and birds should be transported in their cage and you should cover the cage with a cloth or similar. These kinds of pets can get dehydrated very quickly indeed so make sure you’ve got adequate water supplies. Birds, in particular, are highly sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. If you’re transporting pet fish, it’s probably better to talk to an expert as to how to transport them as moving fish can be very tricky, especially if they’re tropical.

Last but not least, don’t forget the pooper scooper if you use one and some bags to dispose of their waste in. It could be a very unpleasant journey if you forget these items!

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