Guide to Moving Home with your Pets

Written by Lucy Marcham, Academy Trainer

Moving house can be a stressful experience. As difficult as moving day can feel for us, uprooting our lives certainly has a bigger impact on our pets.

Our dogs, cats and smaller animals are likely to be feeling nervous and stressed both on the day of the move and leading up to it. Our pets notice the packing away of items, general disruption and pick up on any pre-move anxiety from us.

The key is to be prepared, so here is our guide to help you have a stress free move: 


Before the Move

Create a Comforting Space

Before the dreaded moving day, clear out an area and use this as your furry friend’s room. Ensure they have water, food, toys, and a litter tray. For dogs ensure there is an outside space close by for toileting.

Get your pet used to this space before the big day, this way they already feel comfortable and safe. 

Psst: With very nervous pets, it is better to completely remove them from a stressful environment. Consider placing them in a cattery/kennel or using a trusted pet sitter/ friend on the day of the move.


Prep the Car

According to law (Highway Code Rule 57) all animals must be restrained in the car. This can either be a suitable sized carrier, dog guard or car harness.

If you are travelling far to your new home, make sure your furry friend has lots of breaks and is well hydrated. 


On Move Day

Wait for Calm

If you can, set up your pets safe space in the new house ahead of time. 

The hustle and bustle of moving day is likely to be too much for your furry friend. Wait until all belongings have been taken over and the home is calm (and quiet!)  to bring your pet to their new home.

Psst: Your scent is a huge comfort, so pop some of your clothing in your pet’s safe space to help them relax. 


Use Calming Products

An extra dose of support will be important during a house move. Before your pet arrives, plug Pheromone diffusers around your home. This provides a reassuring and comforting scent which will help settle your furry companion into their new home. 

Herbal products such as spot-ons can be used on the pet for an extra dose of soothing.

Psst: Check out our blog Choosing a Calming Treatment for more tips.


Give them Reassurance

Our pets often look to us for comfort in times of uncertainty. Give your pet lots of reassurance, cuddles and attention during the move and once you get into your new home.

Take their mind off their new surroundings by giving them something fun to do, like using an interactive Frogg treat toy.  


After the Move

Update their Details

Remember to update all the relevant details for your pet. It is the law (Control of Dogs Order 1991) to have an up-to-date address on your dog’s ID tag.  Our stores offer a free ID Tag engraving service, so find your local store here.

Microchips also need to be changed and depending on how far you have moved you may need to register at a new Veterinary Practice. It is worth noting that from June 2024, cats will be required by law to be microchipped. 


Keep Cats Inside

Keeping adventurous cats indoors, especially those used to roaming, can be difficult. As hard as it can be, ideally, cats should be kept indoors for at least 3 weeks. 

This is because our feline friends need to establish their territory inside the house first. This makes it less likely when they venture outside that they will get lost. For help keeping your new temporary house cat amused, read our Guide on Playing with Cats.

Psst: Try popping some old mugs, boots, or pots from your old garden into your new outdoor space. This scent will be familiar to your feline and will help guide them back home after their daily walkabout.

Always allow your pet to explore at their own pace. Sometimes new houses can be daunting but by being patient, getting back to routine and maybe giving a few tasty natural treats, they will feel right at home in no time.