They say no home is complete without one or two, but when it comes to moving house with pets, it can be a challenge. No doubt, this adventure with your furry friends will increase your stress levels both in the run-up to and on the day itself as you worry about their well being. But there are several things you can do to reduce the tension and keep everyone happy:
We strongly believe you are not packing your dog in a box, right? For sure, it would be a fun experience for your furry friend but let's not get carried away. Anyways, removal vans aren't the most hospitable places and can get very hot, so they aren't suitable for transporting pets. Remember that moving your beloved pet will be your responsibility, and so you need to plan accordingly. Better contact your vet for expert tips on how best to transport your animal friends, especially if you're transferring more exotic animals like tropical fish, reptiles or amphibians. Please, we repeat, PLEASE don't try to sneak them into your boxes and keep them quiet!
However, if it is just about packing and moving your pet's belongings - don't hesitate to ask us for recommendations for transportation. Again, we may need special equipment, materials or skills to do it.
Arrange for a separate place for pets on moving day
On the day of your move, your behaviour will affect how your pets behave, particularly if you're feeling a bit stressed.
To avoid unnecessary upset and to keep the paths clear for our removal crew, arrange for one room in the house away from all the activity to be used as a temporary pet room. Clear it out first, then put your pet(s) in there along with anything that will keep them comfortable for the duration, such as bedding, toys, food, water and litter trays.
Keep the doors and windows shut and place a sign on the door so that your removal crew know why they can't go in there.
Better still, see if pets can stay with a family member or friend on the day of the move, eliminating them from the chaos altogether. It might be the best idea to ask them to pet-sit over the whole moving period so that you're ultimately settled in and fully unpacked before your inquisitive pet arrives.
Set up a comfortable place for pets on arrival at your new home
When you arrive at your new home, the same applies – find somewhere quiet that's out of the way where pets can sit calmly while you move in. Make it comfortable and help them feel at home with their familiar things.
Check on them regularly to make sure they're not too distressed about everything going on around them.
Try to keep your pet's routine when you move
Much like with children, when moving house with pets, it's always best to keep to any routines you have as best you can - sticking to their regular walking and feeding times where possible helps maintain stability and avoid too much confusion.
Help your pet get familiar with their new area in advance of the move
If you're not moving too far away, it is sometimes a good idea to take your dog (or whatever pet you are walking) to the new area before the move so he or she can get accustomed to their new walking route. Once in your new house, check that fences and gates are secure before letting them out into the garden.
Keep cats indoors for a little while at first
With cats, it's always advisable to keep them in the new house for a week or so post-move to help them adjust to their new surroundings.
Cats tend to be more stressed by a house move than dogs and will need a bit of time to get their bearings.
Introduce them to each room in the house one at a time, keeping a close eye on them (particularly anxious cats will seek out places to hide and may get stuck).
Keeping meal times the same will help settle them as they'll recognise their old routine. Once you start letting them out, do so on an empty stomach so that they get used to returning to their new home to be fed.
Talk to old neighbours about the move in case your pet visits.
It's not uncommon for cats to try and return to their old houses, particularly if you're only moving a short distance away.
If you're worried about this, warn your old neighbours to keep an eye out and tell them not to feed or pet the cat if they do see him – this will only confuse him and encourage him to keep returning. Also, making sure your cats (and dogs) are tagged and microchipped before the move is always a good idea.
Register with a vet in your new area.
If you're moving further away, don't forget to register your pet with a vet in your new area, for the wellbeing of your animal and your serenity.
Here is some essential information from the EU about travelling with your pet to another country
EU rules make it easy to travel to another EU country (in this case, the 27 EU countries + Norway ) with your dog, cat or ferret. These rules also cover travel to the EU from a country or territory outside the EU.
With a few exceptions, your pet can travel with you to another EU country or from a non-EU country to an EU country if it has:
been micro-chipped or has a readable tattoo if applied before 3 July 2011;
been vaccinated against rabies;
had treatment against the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, where necessary (not required for dogs travelling directly between Finland, Ireland, Malta and Norway);
a valid European pet passport, when travelling to another EU country or an EU animal health certificate, when travelling from a non-EU country.
Travel documents for your pet dog, cat or ferret
European pet passport
A European pet passport is a document, which follows an EU standard model and is essential for travel between EU countries. It contains a description and details of your pet, including its microchip or tattoo code as well as its rabies vaccination record and contact details of the owner and the vet who issued the passport. You can get a European pet passport for your dog, cat or ferret from any authorised vet (permitted by the relevant authorities to issue pet passports). A pet passport is valid for life as long as your pets rabies vaccination is in date.
EU animal health certificate
An EU animal health certificate is another type of document containing specific information about your pet (identity, health, rabies vaccinations) and is based on an EU standard model.
If you are travelling from a non-EU country or territory, your pet must have an EU animal health certificate endorsed by an official State vet in the country of departure not more than 10 days before your pet arrives in the EU. The certificate is valid for travel between EU countries for 4 months from this date or until the anti-rabies vaccination expires, whichever lapses first.
In addition, you should also complete and attach a written declaration to your pets EU animal health certificate stating that its relocation is for non-commercial reasons. This declaration is also required if your pet is travelling under the responsibility of a person authorised by you. In this case, your pet must be reunited with you within 5 days of your relocation.
Pets travelling without their owner
As a rule, pets must travel with their owners; however, you may give written permission to another person to accompany your pet for you (this written declaration is described above). You must, however, be reunited with your pet within 5 days of its relocation.
Travelling with more than five pets
You can travel with up to five pets, but if there are more than five pets (dogs, cats or ferrets), you must provide proof that:
✅they are participating in a competition, exhibition or sporting event (by providing, for example, a registration document);
✅they are more than 6 months old.
Travelling with other pets
European pet passports are issued for dogs, cats and ferrets only. If you are travelling to another EU country with any other pets, such as birds, ornamental aquatic animals, reptiles, rodents or rabbits, check the national rules of the country you are planning to visit for information on the entry conditions.