#TuesdayTips – keeping your pets happy during a house move

Posted 19 April 2016 by Helen Christie

This month is National Pet Month, and Barratt Homes has partnered with Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home to provide pet owners with hints and tips.

One of the most stressful times in life is moving house, and while cats and dogs take most things in their stride, moving house can be just as difficult for the family pet as it is for their owners.

To ensure happy pets during a move, the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home recommends:

Before the move

Moving house takes a lot of preparation but when packing up it is important to keep your pets routine as normal as possible.

Sticking to regular timings for everyday activities such as feeding and walking can stop your cat or dog from feeling anxious during the upheaval of packing. Other normalities such as keeping bowls and beds in their regular place will also help keep a bit of custom in the home. These should be one of the last things that you pack along with toys and equipment so that your pet is comforted by the presence of familiar things.

While you do the hard work, try to confine your pet to a quiet and comfortable room where it can rest and be safe and you do not have to worry about it. Alternatively, you may wish to make arrangements for your pet to stay with a friend or relative that it feels comfortable with – this will mean that you can focus on the move without worrying about escapees.

On the day

If you’re moving far away then it is a good idea to plan the journey ahead. If your cat or dog is used to travelling then you shouldn’t face any problems but if travelling in a car is something new for your pet, then it’s a good idea to speak to your vet about ways to make the journey less stressful for them.

Try to stop regularly on long distance journeys to allow dogs to get out of the car for a quick toilet break and to stretch their legs. Cats should be kept in a secure travelling crate with a litter box and fresh drinking water.

When you are at your new home, make sure that you add a new identification tag to your cat or dog’s collar with a note of your new address. You should also contact the UK’s pet registration and database, Petlog, to have your dog’s records changed to your new address as soon as possible. Unpack your pet’s possessions such as bowls, toys and beds as soon as possible to give them something familiar in a surrounding that is new and slightly frightening. 

The new home

There is nothing more exciting than moving into a new home but during this landmark occasion it is important to remember to check that the property is set up and safe for your pet.

Boundary fencing in the garden should be looked at to make sure that it is secure, a sufficient height and hole free.  If you need to make a few adjustments to the garden to make it pet friendly, then take your dog out on a lead until you are able to make the necessary improvements.

Cats should be kept indoors for a few weeks following the move and taken into the garden in a box before you can eventually let them outdoors on their own. On your cat’s first couple of solo excursions, try to encourage them to stay close to home by providing some of their favourite treats and toys.

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