Moving home isn’t just a landmark occasion for us – it’s a big event for our pets, too. And with more than 3.2 million UK households having welcomed a pet since the start of the pandemic, and 34 million pets overall across the country*, there’s no doubt that our furry companions are a crucial part of our lives.

We caught up with Emma Hogarth from Let’s Talk Behaviour to get her top tips on making the moving process as smooth and stress-free as possible for our four-legged friends…

Moving home can be exciting and daunting all at the same time, not only for you, but for your pets.  Animals are very sensitive to changes in their environment and routines, which can lead to extra pressure for everyone. There’s a lot you can do to prepare your pet for the big day, and steps you can take to help settle them into their new home. Here are my top tips for moving home with your pet.

 

‘Pup’date their details

Make sure that your pet’s microchip details are up-to-date and have your new address on them before you move.  This will give you peace of mind that if your pet should go wandering, they’ll be brought back to your new home.  It’s also sensible to update their collar and/or tag details.  It would be a good idea to leave a contact number with the new owners of your old home as some pets may venture back there if they aren’t yet familiar with new surroundings.

Albie from West Sussex

 

Purrfect ways to keep them calm

There are a range of pheromone products available that mimic the pheromones produced by mother animals to their young and can help to settle any anxious pets.  Some commonly used companies are Adaptil™, Feliway ™ and Pet Remedy™.  Speak to your vet about how to use these products and begin using them before you move, as well as during the moving process, so that your pet is familiar with the scents. 

George from Oxford

 

 

Draft in doggy daycare

It may be better for your pet to be left with a family member or friend while the moving process happens.  This will give them the comfort of familiar surroundings and people, preventing the stress of all the changes to their environment and lots of strangers in their home.  Be sure to provide the person looking after them with some nice treats and games to play to help them settle for the day!

Reuben from Peterborough

 

 

‘Fur’st things ‘fur’st

When you begin the unpacking process in your new home, unpack your pet’s things first.  New homes can smell completely different so use their toys and bedding to leave their scent on familiar objects around the house.  Place their food and water bowls, bedding and toys somewhere familiar, for example if the toy box is always next to the television, do this in your new home too.  If there are familiar smells they enjoy in your old home, where possible, provide them in your new home so that things smell similar.

Harvey from Erskine

 

 

Keep a ruff routine

As hard as it may be on such a busy day, try to stick to your pet’s usual routine.  The day will already see a change in location so keeping a familiar routine will help your pet to settle.  Feeding and walking routines are easier to fit in but if you do give your pet to a family member or friend for the day, share your pet’s routine with them so they can stick to it as much as possible.  Cats should be kept indoors somewhere on moving day, with family or in a cattery, so that there is no need to hunt for them later or have them come back home halfway through the move.  Make sure your cat is comfortable using a litter tray too.

Coco from Tring

 

 

Rover’s Return

When bringing your pet into their new home, time and patience is key.  Assign a specific room for your pet to get used to in the home first, as access to the whole house at once may be overwhelming.  Cats can be set up in one room with all their toys, supplies, litter tray, food and water while dogs will likely be kept in the living room/kitchen areas.  Spend time with your pet and take time to reward them for good reactions to their new environment.  Sniffing and exploring can be rewarded with food and cuddles to build positive memories of discovering new things.  Play their favourite games or take time out for a cuddle and a puzzle feeder.  Cats should be kept indoors for at least 2-3 weeks after moving home so they can establish where they are returning to when they go exploring.  When you begin to let your cat outdoors again, spend time with them in the garden with some food and games first so they begin to recognise surroundings and associate them with your family.

Bree from Linlithgow

 

If you are ever worried about your pet’s behaviour in a new home or during the moving process, speak to your vet or a behaviourist for advice.  You can find registered behaviourists on the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellor’s website.  Above all, try to spend lots of time with your pet in those first days and weeks after your move, it could be just what you both need to help you relax and settle into your new surroundings!

Zula and Makemake from Tring

 

Make sure to share your pet pics with us on Instagram @calahomes #calapets

Harvey from Oxfordshire

 

* PFMA Annual Pet Population Data 2021

 

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