PETS ON THE MOVE … A FEW TIPS
So let’s say you’re second-steppers; you were lucky to get on the property ladder before prices started to spiral but now it’s time to move on. Your first home was ideal 15 years ago and has some happy memories of life BC (before children) but it’s now too small for your growing family.
You’ve found the ideal property which ticks all your boxes, you have a buyer for your old house, your exchange date is set, the removal firm is booked and it’s all you can do to stop yourself packing things in boxes.
It’s often at this stage someone says: “The dog’s going to find everything a bit different in the new place.” And suddenly, you realise you’ve been so busy you haven’t really given a great deal of thought to how the family pets are going to adjust to life away from everything familiar – in fact away from everything they’ve probably ever known.
It’s easy to shrug, park the problem and persuade yourself the animals will be fine given time and lots of reassurance – but there is actually more you can do in advance of The Big Day to make moving home less stressful for your pet too.
First of all, try not to disrupt their routine too much. If you can walk them or feed them at the same time as you usually would despite everything going on around you, it helps to reassure them that things are pretty normal after all. There’s nothing more likely to unsettle your pet than to make sudden and dramatic changes to their routine.
Closer to moving time, have you thought of trying out dog walks around your new home? Of course, it might not be practical if the property is a distance away but, if it’s in the same town or even a reasonable drive, why not visit the area and do a bit of exploring? If the house you’re moving to is empty, even better. You could always visit at let the pets explore the inside of the new property first. While you’re there, you can also check the security of the garden. Can dogs escape easily or, from a feline perspective, is it easy for unwelcome doggie guests to get in? Knowing the answers to questions like these – and having a plan – is reassuring and actually makes the move that bit more exciting.
When it comes to The Big Move itself, the important thing is to try to ensure you don’t get too animated. There’s often something which crops up which puts a crimp on the day, despite all the work you’ve done in advance but animals do pick up on anxiety and stress so, if something – or someone – frustrates you, then it might be worth finding a quiet spot on your own to vent and not do it in front of the dog!
Also, if you can, make the pets’ stuff the last thing you move; that way, the disruption of their own life is minimised. Also, it might be best to resist the temptation to make a clean start and wash all their bedding before you go. Scent is really important as a familiar so, if you can also sacrifice an old jumper which is likely to smell of you (in the nicest possible sense) then it could be an idea to let them have that in their basket or bed too.
We’re an estate agent though and not experts on animal welfare so we’d recommend a little more research too. If you’d like a bit more detail, the Blue Cross has advice on its website which you can find here: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/moving-house-and-travelling-dogs If you’re looking for more advice on moving from a people perspective, we’d love to hear from you. Just give us a call or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org