Moving house with a pet

Author picture Jessica

Why do pets get stressed during a house move?

It can be unsettling and confusing for a pet to move from its familiar territory to a totally new one. There is SO much that has to go on during the process – packing, throwing out junk, the dreaded exit clean and the stress of resettling into a new home. If you are stressed, it's not surprising your pet might pick up on this!

We put together a few tips to help make the experience of moving as relaxed for you and your beloved pets as possible.

How to help your pet through a house move

Plan and prepare in advance

Make a to-do list and start early - and always give yourself double the time to prepare for a move! You will have enough on your plate as it is, so leaving plenty of time to incorporate your pet into your moving plans is a good idea.

Get your pet ready to travel

Familiarise both cats and dogs with their travel crate or box before the big move day. Make this a nice experience for your pet by placing treats inside their crate, and their favourite toy or blanket. The crate will soon feel like a place of safety and comfort for your pet.

Keep your pet safe inside their travel crate and out of the way in a quiet space while removalists do their work. A spare room or laundry works well.

Do a safety check of your new house

Check over the new home before introducing your pet to it. For example, remove any safety hazards from around the garden or house like small chewable objects or rodent and pest traps. Also, make sure all fences and gates are secured (and windows and doors if your pet is kept indoors). And make sure your pet is clearly collared and microchipped!  

Moving tips for cats

Take time introducing your cat to the new home. Allow them their own quiet room with water, food, litter and some familiar toys for a few days before opening up the rest of the house. A feline pheromone spray can calm your cat in a new environment – ask your vet to recommend some products.

Cats are shy creatures by nature so giving them boxes to hide in is a great idea – this really helps reduce feline stress! Be careful to note any potential new hiding holes so as not to lose them, and always supervise them outside.

Moving tips for dogs

Dogs will want to get to know the new sights and smells of their territory as soon as possible. As such, give them plenty of regular walks so they get a good sniff of the neighbourhood. This can also burn nervous energy and reduce stress. It's also a great idea to leave your dog’s unwashed blankets and toys at the new home for a sense of safety and familiarity.

Plan to work some time into your schedule to play with your pooch. The fun and exercise will help prevent excessive barking and stress-associated behaviours.

Ask for help

Many removalists offer pet transportation services. If you need to fly your pet interstate or internationally, there are plenty of great options to be found. Also, keep your vet’s number handy should anything of concern should come up.

Be sure to greet your new neighbours and let them know about your precious pets. Animals are a perfect icebreaker for meeting new people! 

Use a pet sitter

Last but not least, Pawshake is a perfect tool to ease the stress of moving with a pet. From taking your dog for walks or boarding your pet while removalists are in your home. We have international communities (Canada, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong and Singapore… to name a few) if you are heading overseas - you’re never alone with Pawshake at hand.