How should I take care of my pets when I move?

You will need to draw heavily on your organisational skills, resilience, and adaptability when moving house. Unarmed with the powers of humans, pets may find the relocation process confusing. You may have to say goodbye to your dog’s favorite bone or bark-mate. It may be stressful for your cat to live next to new neighbors, and losing claimed territory can also be stressful.

Moving Home with Dogs

It’s essential to secure your dog offsite or out of the way while the moving process is taking place, even though they are often enthusiastic participants. Generally, they tend to run enthusiastically into the path of movers carrying furniture, such as a couch or fridge, which is not great for little Fido or the movers.

The movers should be informed if your dog is going to be present at the house you’re leaving, so they can keep it in a room with all the doors and windows closed. Feed your pet a good while before traveling to the new property to avoid travel sickness.

When you arrive at your new address, secure your dog in a room with water and food available while the movers arrange your furniture. Before letting the dogs out at the new address, prepare their new home (kennel, familiar toys) to help them feel more comfortable.

Moving Home with Cats

Cats are highly territorial and can find relocation difficult. It’s best to make use of your cat-carrier to transport your feline to the new address. As with dogs (see above), cats should be kept secured during the move for their own safety and the safety of humans moving large objects.

Keeping your cat contained at the new property until everything is settled and quiet will also help avoid a relocation temper tantrum. If you let your cat outdoors immediately, there is a risk that it could run away or get lost. You can mitigate this by converting your pet to an “indoor cat” for a couple of weeks, which should be enough time for it to adjust to its new environment and reduce its desire to run. For this reason, you will also want to supervise your cat in the outdoors for the first little while, to make sure it is not involved in any nasty scraps with neighborhood cats who have claimed your backyard as their territory.

Moving Home with Fish

Relocating your watery mates requires a bit of preparation before the movers arrive. Firstly, make sure you mention the fishtank when booking your move, and that you provide the dimensions to the removalist. They can then advise you on whether they can safely move the item (some fish-tanks are massive and need to be relocated by specialists). Second, make sure you’ve completely emptied the tank of water. Several large buckets with lids are a good way to go here, and you can get these at Bunnings or a similar hardware store.Taking as much of the original water with you as possible will minimise the stress on your fish.

Put the fish in one bucket (or split them between two if you have a large number, or they’re particularly fight-y). Put any ornaments or removable parts (including gravel) from the tank in containers as well. The movers should try to pack your fish tank last (give them a reminder if it doesn’t look like they’re doing this). This will allow you to get straight into sorting out the tank at your new address (as the last item on the truck will become the first thing off). Once the tank is in the correct location, set up your equipment, add the water, then the fish, and finally, turn on the heater and pumps. Check regularly over the next few days to ensure your aquatic friends are adapting well to their new environment.

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