The Impact of Moving House With Cats and Dogs

moving with pets and the benefits of using short term self storage

Moving house is a really stressful time for people but moving with pets can add another level of anxiety for you and them. The biggest challenge is timing as the best thing to do is a ‘staged move’. It’s almost always better to gradually move things into your new home to reduce the level of stress for your pets. In this article, we share some expert tips on moving with pets and how you can benefit from short term self storage.

How to Prepare for Moving Day With Your Pets in Mind

Considering pets are part of the family, it’s important to make sure that they are healthy, well-fed, and taken care of before they leave. Whilst the most important thing about your pet is that you love them, they look to us for guidance especially during a move. That’s why we have created this handy guide on how to take care of your beloved furry friend and the right way of using short term self storage.

Before you do anything, make sure to follow this moving checklist:

  • Get a crate or special pet carrier
  • Visit the vet for a check-up
  • Get the details of the local vet at your near home
  • Pack a leash, food and water bowls
  • Don’t forget their favourite toys
  • Keep paper towels, dryer sheets, and cleaning spray handy
  • Check the expiration date on their pet food and don’t overfeed them

Organise Your Move With Short Term Self Storage

Manage your move better with a short term self storage unit as you can temporarily keep your belongings safe. This includes furniture, clothing, sporting equipment and extra pet goodies.

As mentioned earlier, the best way to move with pets is by taking a staggered approach. For example, pack up one room at a time and put things aside that you don’t need at the new place right away. Once you’ve done that for the entire house put whatever you can in a short term self storage unit to make things easier for you, your pet and the moving company.

Tackle one room or area per week so it doesn’t impact your pets too much. It will also give you more time to decide what you are keeping, throwing out, recycling or donating. This way you can ensure everything goes smoothly and your pet isn’t overly stressed.

Top Tip When Moving With Pets

Remember, animals can sense when you are anxious so you must stay as calm as possible. To help reduce stress, keep your pet in a quiet room whilst packing. Make sure it’s secure so they can’t get out and make sure you inform removal staff and family members that they are in there.

Tips For Moving With Dogs

Moving house can be twice as stressful for dogs as they are more sensitive to change. You need to plan how you are going to move your dog and consider their needs. If you don’t, they will suffer greatly and so will you. Here is some expert advice on how to move with dogs.

  • Keep to their daily routine as normal as possible while preparing for the move (walks, feeding times etc.)
  • If your dog doesn’t travel well, take it with you in the car a few times before moving
  • Don’t rush to pack their toys, bedding and dog dish so they are comforted as much as possible
  • Don’t wash their bedding for a while, even when you arrive at your new place as a familiar smell will help them adapt faster
  • Prepare a new tag for your dog with your new contact details and put it on them on moving day. Visit the Kennels Club Shop for more information on tags
  • Register your dog with Petlog and make sure they are micro-chipped
  • If you need a new vet, do you research early on and find one that is right for your dog
  • Check out your new neighbourhood beforehand and identify walking paths to ensure your dog gets back into a routine as quickly as possible

How To Manage Dog Anxiety After Moving

Upon arrival at your new home, keep your dog in one room with its favourite toys and unwashed bedding until your furniture and belongings arrive.  Remove any furniture that has been used by another dog as the smell could make your dog more anxious.

Many people will collect unwanted furniture from house clearance companies to second-hand furniture shops and charities. If you want to keep the furniture for whatever reason, simply put it in a short term self storage unit.

If there’s a garden, check for any gaps in the fence and routes that your dog might use to escape. Make sure you introduce your dog to the neighbours, postman and every person they would often come across. You could buy or rent a GPS tracking collar until your dog becomes familiar with its new surroundings.

As hard as it might be in the beginning, try and get back to a normal routine for walking and feeding as it will help your dog settle easier. Be extra patient with your dog in the new house as they will likely have a few accidents on the carpet and make a mess. Don’t punish them or make a fuss as they are just feeling unsettled and everything should go back to normal once they feel at home.

How To Move With A Cat

Whilst dogs seem more sensitive to change than cats, they also need special attention. Some cats may adjust quicker than others but it all depends on the size of the new property and how different it is from the previous one. Kittens typically adapt faster than older cats since they are still learning about life while older cats have become used to their territory and will naturally take longer. Here are some important tips to remember when moving with a cat.

Tips For Moving With Cats

If you are using a removals company, make sure they know which room you’ve put the cat into. Give your furry friend a reassuring cuddle or soothing stroke and place them into a travel basket with a fresh supply of water just before the moving company arrives.

If you think your cat will get overly stressed, you could spray their basket with a calming pheromone which should be available from your vet or larger pet stores. You can also cover the basket or carrier with a cloth to keep it dark and help them stay calm.

As with dogs, if your cat wears a collar, remember to put the new identity tag on with your new contact details. Make sure you also provide the necessary information to their microchip registration company. If you are moving to a new area far from your old home, you need to register your cat with a new vet.

Recommended: ‘How To Choose A Moving Company

Considerations When Moving With Cats

If you haven’t moved too far, cats can easily get out of the house or garden to find their way back to the old house. To make sure they adapt faster, and stay safe, here are a few things you can do.

  • Keep them indoors a little longer until they see your new home as their safe territory.
  • Ask the new owners of your old home not to feed your cat or allow them back into the house if they do go back
  • When introducing your cat to their new garden and outside area, keep the outings short and ideally just before mealtimes
  • Once they’ve explored for a few minutes, make familiar feeding time noises, such as clanging bowls or shaking of food bags to entice them back inside.
  • Over the next week or two, gradually extend the length of their outdoor visits
  • Don’t let them out after dark or completely unsupervised until they’re confident in their new surroundings
  • Take extra precautions if you know that something is coming up that could alarm your cat – like fireworks or a storm

How To Calm Anxious Pets

 As we’ve established, keeping things organised during a move and following a staggered approach can greatly reduce moving anxiety for you and your furry friends. If you have an anxious pet, consider using nutracalm which is specially formulated by vets. It will naturally calm anxious pets and reduce unwanted or unruly behaviour in both dogs and cats.

If you can’t leave your pet with friends, family or a boarding kennel, create a “safe space” by setting up a room or area where they will feel comfortable while you are moving about. This will help reduce the risk of accidents or them running away as it gives them a safe place to relax.

Pack your pet’s goodies last so they don’t feel too disrupted with their possessions being taken away from them. When answering the question of “how to move with pets”, the most important thing to remember is being ready for anything!

Where To Rent A Short Term Self Storage Unit

Moving home is already stressful as decluttering, organising and packing can easily result in anxiety. One simple and affordable way to help during a move is by renting a short term self storage unit. At Space Centre, we have a wide selection of ground floor or first-floor units ideal for short term self storage.

Our friendly and experienced staff are here to help with all of your questions and requirements. We have self storage facilities in BristolStroudGloucester and Stonehouse where we also offer FREE storage insurance up to £3000. You can use your own or storage insurance providers such as Surewise, Insurastore and Store-Insure.

Have look at our Price And Size Guide for a visual illustration of how much storage space you need based on the size of the moving van. Please give us a call or get in touch via the website for more information.

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Mark Dangerfield

About Mark Dangerfield

Mark started his career in precision engineering before establishing Space Centre Self Storage in 1995 with his father Paul. The company started in Stroud with just a handful of storage units and has now expanded to include three branches and over 800 individual units in Gloucestershire & North Bristol. Mark's great grandfather started a Stroud based removal company J H Dangerfield & Son in 1900, and the family have been in the industry ever since. With storage facilities in Gloucester, Stroud and Bristol, Mark has a wealth of experience and is passionate about providing local affordable, quality self storage