Pets are often like small children: It is extremely difficult to explain things to them and they need special attention and care. This becomes really evident when you move. The familiar habitat of the pet is changing and it no longer understands the world. No matter how much you pat and cuddle, for dogs and cats this is pure exertion. When moving with animals, don’t ignore them, but think about how to ensure the pets are exposed to as little stress as possible. 

A dog and a cat in a moving box

Stress level depends on the animal species

Different animals, different needs. Moving with small animals is usually a lot easier, as they live in a cage most of the time anyway. With cats and dogs, it’s a different situation. Cats, in particular, are quite sensitive and won’t particularly enjoy the relocation.

Preparation: Ideally organize an animal sitter on the day of the move. It is very important that the animal already knows this person. Perhaps someone from your family or friends is suitable? You yourself will have many other things on your mind on the relocation day. Remember that you must also properly deregister your dog from the old district! Make sure you have a cage and harness ready for your cat. If the transport takes longer, the cat must be able to stretch its legs. Also look up the telephone number of a vet in the new area. It’s better to be prepared.

Meow: A smooth transportation

The cat should be transported in a suitable carrier, smaller animals too and the dog must also be kept in accordance with the load securing regulations. In this case crates or dog seat belts are advised. It is important that there is no risk to all passengers during transport. It can happen that you suddenly have to use the brakes.

To keep the stress for your four-legged friends as low as possible, make sure that they are surrounded by familiar things like favorite toys and blankets. A familiar food bowl with their regular food and a few extra treats also have a calming effect. For small animals it is best to cover the cage with a towel. The darkness automatically relaxes them and protects them from light and noise.

Fill a few bottles of water from the old apartment and take them along. It can happen that animals do not tolerate unfamiliar water well and have stomach problems. So the change is not quite as radical if you can get your pets used to the new water bit by bit.
Allow sufficient breaks during the journey. Not only humans but also animals have to get some fresh air and stretch their legs. In between, always check how your pet is doing and if it has enough to eat and drink.

If you have an exotic pet, e.g. a poisonous snake, a spider or an attack dog, you must observe the registration requirement. Ask your local council whether the obligation to register is necessary. If terrariums or aquariums have to be moved, it is best to ask in a pet shop how this can be done.

Tip: Of course, it is perfect if your pet stays with friends before the move and you pick it up once the move is complete. This also means less stress for you. If this is not possible at all, you can consider placing your pet in an animal boarding house for a few days. This can be expensive, but you can be 100% sure that your little darling is in good hands and well looked after.

Everything’s new: time to get accustomed

Ideally, a room in the new home is ready for your pet and the usual sleeping place for your four-legged friends can be provided. It is best to put the cat tree in the corner as soon as possible. Familiar things make getting used to the new environment much easier. Be there when your pet explores the new habitat. If the renovation work is still in full swing, you must be careful that paint pots and other sources of danger are not standing around.

Cats take quite a long time to get used to a new environment. They should only stay inside the apartment or house for at least four to five weeks. Only then can you leave them on your doorstep with a clear conscience. Read everything you need to know about the relocation with cats here. It’s a little easier with dogs. If you go for a walk with them, you can get to know the neighborhood together – the dog will quickly find its way around.

Prepare for all circumstances when moving with animals

If your pets get lost, it is advised to leave the new address to the neighbors of your old place. Especially if you haven’t moved very far away, it can happen that cats and dogs appear at the old home. And, remember – your dog is taxable and must, therefore, be registered in the new district. For now: Happy settling in the new place!