Moving house packs a one-two punch, even if you are just moving across Dublin. Leaving one home always has an emotional jolt, even if you are moving to a wonderful place that you prefer. On top of that, the details and hassle involved can feel endless. When you are moving house with pets, it all gets more complicated. Your pets have no idea what is happening, and they can become frightened and upset.
Too often pets go missing when their humans are moving house, so the first priority is to keep them safe during the actual move. If you have friends or professional movers coming, the safest thing is to board your pets at a kennel or cattery so they don’t run out of the house and become lost when people are carrying things out of the house. If that isn’t possible, confine them to one room during the move. Lock the door and put a note on it so no one accidentally lets them loose. Be sure they have everything they need to be comfortable: food, water, familiar bedding and a litter box for cats. Taking your dog for a long walk before confining him will help him relax. Pheromone treatments can also be used to help pets stay calm when they see you packing your moving boxes.
Getting sturdy plastic boxes for moving can come in handy. As opposed to cardboard boxes, plastic boxes will keep your goods safe from sharp claws and curious noses. Renting them will also save you from having to store them before you start packing and after you unpack. No one wants to come home to find shredded cardboard all over their new carpets! Moreover, Buska collects your empty boxes for you after you’re done unpacking, making it one less thing to worry about.
Before you even get your home moving kit or hire a moving van, you can take some steps to prepare for moving with pets. Make sure your animals are microchipped and that your details are current in the microchip database. Provide your mobile number and email as these won’t change with your move. Their collars should be in good condition with ID tags with your mobile number. Check out the options for veterinary care in your new neighbourhood if staying with your current vet isn’t convenient. Your current vet might be able to recommend someone in your new neighbourhood.
Dogs and cats operate largely by smell. They will be most relaxed in their new home if it smells like home, so don’t wash throw rugs, blankets, or their bedding just before you move. If you must, washing them a week in advance of your move means they’ll still smell like home when your pets arrive in your new place.
Moving house can be even more stressful for pets than it is for us humans, and that can lead to destructive behaviour. So go ahead and treat your buddy with a new scratching post or some chewy toys, and if they’re open to it take some time to play with them.