How to Move with Pets

Whether if it’s Rover or Luna, we know that your pet is part of the family. That’s why we’re here to share our advice on how to make the big move a joyful adventure for your dog or cat.

Published on October 31, 2021
by The Neat Team

Maybe it was laughing uncontrollably while your kitten tried catnip for the first time or secretly teaching your puppy how to fetch the remote. There’s a memory in every nook and cranny of this house which makes the thought of packing up and moving that much more unbearable. After all, it’s been the only home they’ve ever known, so moving will undoubtedly be a confusing experience for your beloved family pet.

We wanted to do our part to help you and your furry friend, so we’ve put together this handy guide to make the transition just a little easier. We’ll go through what you can do before, during and after your move. And before you know it, your dog or cat will be back to their playful selves.

Puppy in moving box

Preparation before the move

Moving is stressful enough but add a dog or cat into the mix and might just have yourself a “pawful” time. Get used to it because we’re not stopping with the pet puns. The first place to start is with a little preparation. Just like you have your own to-do list for the move, there’s a few things you should take care of on behalf of your dog or cat.

Schedule a visit to the veterinary

The move is the perfect time for a visit to the vet. Not only can you get that yearly check-up out of the way but you can grab a copy of any records.

  1. Get your pet microchipped If for some reason your pet hasn’t been registered or microchipped, use this move as an opportunity to do so. With the anxiety of new surroundings, the likelihood of your pet becoming lost increases dramatically. A microchip provides a permanent form of identification giving you the best chance to reunite if this unfortunate event does occur.
  2. Grab a copy of any records If you’ve already found a new vet, ask the staff to forward any health records to the new clinic. Otherwise, just ask for a copy to keep on hand. Your pet’s health records should include a history of visits, vaccination certificates and a details of any surgeries or prescribed medications.

Plan a visit to the new neighbourhood 

Both cats and dogs are territorial in nature. For this reason, abruptly placing them in a completely new environment can be more than distressing. Introducing them early on to their new “territory” will help reduce their anxiety when moving day finally does arrive. If you’re a dog owner, consider taking the weekly “walkies” around the new neighborhood block, letting them take in all the sights, sounds and smells.

Research local pet laws

As a responsible pet owner, you should get acquainted with the local bylaws in your council. This is especially true if you’re moving interstate, where pet ownership restrictions can vary drastically. Take public transport for example. While in Melbourne you can board a tram if your pet is crated, in Sydney pet travel is banned on trains altogether. In other circumstances, it’ll be up to the discretion of staff and crew members.

There are many more examples of such differences, but here are just some of the most common restrictions to look out for:

  • ID and registration laws
  • Strata bylaws
  • Leashed and off-leashed areas
  • Pets and assistance animals
  • Breed restrictions

Making the big move

cat in moving box

Hire a pet-sitter or crate your pet

If you have the option of hiring a pet-sitter on moving day, you should consider it. From the screeching sound of tape dispenser to the strangers (removalists) walking in out and out of the house, moving day will be sensory overload for any cat or dog.

If hiring a pet-sitter isn’t an option, then the next best thing you can do is crate them. This will also come in handy as a safe transportation method.

Cleaning after your pet

As most pet owners will know, no matter how hard you try, your dog or cat will find a way to make a mess. If you’re a tenant and need to bring the property back to it’s original condition (as per your bond cleaning requirements), you may require the help of industry professionals. When ending your lease, the most common services for pet owners are bond cleaning and pest control.

Tenants are generally responsible for getting rid of pests and vermin if the issue arises after they have moved in and if it was caused by the tenant’s activities or lack of cleanliness.

If your pet has had the unfortunate luck of picking up fleas, you will need to ensure that the property is pest-free and eradicated through proper treatment.

Settling in to your new home

Recreate that safe haven

Creating a space that is familiar to your pet will help that acclimate to their new surroundings. You can start with the basics, especially those items that may still have their natural scents on them.

  • Beds
  • Blankets
  • Toys
  • Scratching posts

For the first few days, consider keeping their “territory” limited to a single room, expanding to other areas of the house as they get more comfortable.

Exhausted dog after moving house

Re-establish a routine

Cats and dogs are creatures of habit, so falling back into the same consistent routine of feeding and exercise will give your pet the structure it needs to adjust to its new environment. Taking them to their favourite parks or playing with their old toys will be a good distraction from the other changes happening in their lives.

Monitor behavioural changes

After moving house, your dog or cat may not seem like their usual playful selves. They may exhibit behavioural changes or physical signs of stress such as:

  • Excessive barking or growling
  • Destructive behaviours
  • Loss of appetitive
  • Separation anxiety
  • Excessive grooming or fur pulling
  • Urinating or defecating outside of the litter box

While all pets are different and will need varying amounts to adjust, if these signs continue over the long term, speak to a veterinarian about your concerns.

This is Neat Cleaning Customer Service

The Neat Team