Moving House With Pets
We love our little furry friends, and if moving house is a stressful time for us, it’s a doubly stressful time for them. When moving to a new property it’s wise to follow a few safeguards to ensure your pooch or puss* have a perfect property transition.
You can follow all the guidelines in this article, but sometimes things go wrong. That’s why it is so important to ensure your dog or cat not only has a collar with contact details on the tag, but also ensure they are microchipped AND that the microchip details are up to date. Before you move, take your pet to a local vet and ask them to scan the microchip. If there is no chip, then get one inserted there and then (it is compulsory for all dogs in the UK to be microchipped failure to do so can result in a fine of £500). Bear in mind that when you move you will need to update the register where the microchip details are stored, with the new address. If you don’t your pet will be classified as not being chipped. If your pet goes missing once you have moved, you will be grateful for having their details up to date, it will make returning them much easier.
Showing Your Home
You love your pets. You love them so much that your brain has turned your nose off when it comes to smelling them. If you have pets, your house will smell of pets, guaranteed. The smell and the fur can be off-putting for some buyers. Before any viewing ensure all soft furnishings and carpets are cleaned thoroughly. If your animal has a particularly smelly bed, this can be moved into the shed temporarily or even into your car. Open all the windows in the house for as long as you can prior to the viewing to air out the property, but close them with enough time to get the house up to a nice temperature in time for the viewing. Move all toys out of the way, clutter is a big no-no when showing your home. Ensure that the animals are out of the property during the viewing if possible, so that you can focus your full attention on the buyer. Remember some people are afraid of dogs, some people have allergies. It sounds like a hassle but that’s why our Property Launch method is so good for pet owners, we get all your potential buyers to view on the same day, keeping hassle to a minimum.
Size of the Pet
If you have a large dog, it will need a large yard or garden. Dogs have a roaming instinct which triggers them to go to the toilet, if their yard isn’t big enough you might find them roaming indoors and going to the loo inside. You will also need to have access to nearby areas where the dogs can be walked. It is much kinder for dogs to walk on areas of soil or grass, rather than concrete and pavement. Also remember in summer tarmac can get incredibly hot for a pet’s feet, and in winter the road grit can damage your pooches’ paws, and they can become ill when they lick this ‘salt’ off their feet. Walking your dog on grassy areas prevents both of these seasonal problems.
Move Your Pet Last
Your pets associate safety with the smells of home. The more of your belongings you have in the new house, the more that new property will smell like home. On moving day clear one room and leave your cats in there with water and a litter tray whilst you pack the rest of the house. You don’t want them roaming; there’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to finally leave only to realise your puss is nowhere to be found and having to wait around until they decide to show their faces. Cats’ law states that in any given situation a cat will do the opposite of what you want.
Transporting Your Pet
When transporting your pet ensure they are well secured in the vehicle. For Dogs, a harness attached to a seat belt provides protection should the vehicle stop abruptly for any reason. Also, if your dog isn’t used to traveling in a vehicle you might find they get travel sick, particularly over longer distances, so place a couple of old towels down that you don’t mind getting messy. With cats, ensure their cat carrier is secure in the vehicle. Place a towel or blanket in the bottom of the carrier as they will find it easier to stand up and move than with a plastic carrier floor. Place some of your cats’ favourite toys, blankets, bedding etc in the carrier with them to help them relax.
There are also calming sprays you can buy that can be sprayed on fabric. The calming pheromones help your animal to relax. (In most cases do not spray the liquid directly onto the animal)
If your dog or cat is a people person, you can always give them the t-shirt you have been wearing whilst packing up the house, to have with them during transport. You might think that t-shirt smells gross, but to your animal it smells like safety and love, it will help them relax.
Settling Your Pets Once Moved
Cats are much harder to settle than dogs, and they should be kept indoors for a minimum of two weeks, otherwise you might find them back at your old place. Let them roam the house, let them scent mark everything, feed them nice foods and provide plenty of contact and affection. However, if they take themselves away somewhere in the house, let them come out in their own time. Don’t force them to be sociable if they aren’t ready just yet. Everything is new and scary, they will come round in time, but until that happens keep them inside.
Dogs are also territorial and would need to be kept in a secure area until they can imprint on home. Start walking them close to home, and gradually go further and further afield as they get used to where they live.
Check Your Garden
Be aware that there a great number of plants that are toxic to animals, including Mistletoe, Philodendron, and Poinsettia. Identify every plant in the garden and check its toxicity to animals or humans (if you’ve got children for instance). If you can’t identify a particular plant, ask the former owner if they can help. If you can’t identify it, then it would be safest to get rid of it and replace with something else.
Bee friendly flowers and plants are fantastic for bees, and we’re all for helping preserve bee happiness here. However, if your pet tends to chase and eat insects, having bee friendly plants might not be wise. It’s possible for pets to be just as allergic to bee and wasp stings as some humans.
If you follow the above advice, things should run smoothly on the day. If you can think of any other tips for moving your pets, feel free to send them through to firstname.lastname@example.org
*Preston Baker are aware other pets exist, but we can’t give information on all animals, much as we would like to. If you have a giant land snail you’re on your own
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