Moving Home with Pets

Australia is a Guinness World Record titleholder for the highest percentage of pet ownership, with over 60% of its citizens currently housing an animal companion and 83% having owned a pet at least once. Thus, it comes as no surprise when a study by the Pet Industry Association Australia corroborated the record and proved that more Aussies live with a pet rather than a child.

In previous blogs, we have covered a wide variety of topics on preparing for a move—what to do, how to pack, along with some tips and tricks on how to get through moving day as stress-free as possible. However, one thing that we haven’t previously put emphasis on is what to do if you have pets with you. Sure, you can simply drop them off at a friend’s or relative’s house or perhaps even hire a designated pet sitter while you pack and move, but what if you are left with no choice but to take them with you throughout the whole moving process? Read on as we talk about HOW TO MOVE HOUSES WITH PETS!

DOGS: Who let the dogs out?

Topping the list of the most commonly owned pets at 40%, dogs undoubtedly make for a great companion to Australians. As follows are things that you should do to prepare your dog for a move.

  • Keep your chill. When they said that a dog is a man’s best friend, they really weren’t kidding around. A research study has confirmed that dogs can, indeed, sense and pick up on human emotions. While this might be a very pleasant surprise that could make you feel much closer to your furbaby, it also means that you should try your best to avoid panicking and remain calm about the whole ordeal.
  • Prepare pet pheromone products if necessary. Just in case your dog has been showing signs of intense panic or uneasiness, you can also opt to get specialised diffusers or dog collars that release pheromones in the air. This particular chemical signal aids in soothing both puppies and adult dogs.
  • Keep them in a specific area while packing. Unless you want your active pooch to slow down your packing and preparation, especially during the actual moving day, this would be the best course of action. Moreover, you can also distract them with a few toys or treats to keep them settled in one place.
  • Stick with your dog’s regular schedule. Dogs are fond of routines, so the more that you follow their regular schedule despite the hassles of moving, the easier it would be for your dogs to adjust and avoid feelings of anxiousness.
  • Get your dog microchipped. There have been instances in which dogs have gotten lost during a move, so ensure that your dogs have some form of identification on them. Getting them microchipped is a great option, but if it’s not available, putting your number on their collar tag is also a great idea.
  • Pack their things last. Only do so about one or two days before the moving day so that even though you’re busy packing other things, they’d still have playthings to amuse themselves.
  • Utilise their excellent sense of smell. You can do so by taking their beloved blankets, toys, or cushion with them as these will give them a familiar scent, consequently helping them settle in. Eventually, when you get to your new home, you can further spread the scent by rubbing these things onto furnishings.

CATS: A purr-fect moving day!

The tips that we have for moving with our canine and feline friends are quite alike in many ways, so make sure to also read the previous section as well! Similarly, if you own a dog, you can also find more helpful tricks here to help your dog feel at home in the new place.

  • Use a cat carrier. To those who have never had any previous experience of using a cat carrier, the thought of caging their furbabies might sound rather extreme. However, doing so will actually help ease their transition to the new surroundings, especially if they are quite jumpy and averse to change. Once you get to the new house, put the carrier in a conspicuous area and leave it open. This will serve as your cat’s safe space in the event that it finds the different environment a bit too overwhelming.
  • Keep a close eye on your cat. It’s not an uncommon occurrence for cats to attempt going back to their old homes—and it doesn’t matter whether you’ve moved to a nearby city or an entirely different region. So, if you can, try to bond with your cat as much as possible to help them get more comfortable. Moreover, it is recommended that you keep it indoors for at least two weeks before allowing it to explore the outside world.
  • Accompany your cat outside. Once the two weeks is up, try accompanying your cat outside. Maybe play together or bring a few treats—anything that would further make settling in more pleasant.
  • Be vigilant of neighbourhood cats. Cats are territorial animals and being the new cat on the block doesn’t exactly help. Until you and your cat are familiar with the other ones in the neighbourhood, make sure that you chase them away to avoid the possibility of a catfight.

FISH: Nemo is home now!

Unlike the previously-mentioned pets, fish aren’t as fickle when moving houses. Sure, they still get stressed, but you wouldn’t have to worry about them going missing or having to get them microchipped. What’s tricky, though, is transporting their tank. It’s stressful enough having to move it to another room, what more taking it with you to a totally different location?

  • Take your fish out. First and foremost, you cannot move houses with your fish still in the tank. Aside from possibly losing your fish in the process, it also has the tendency to make a big watery mess in your removalist’s truck. This should be done during the actual moving day to lessen the amount of time that your fish have to stay in containers.
  • Catch and bag your fish. Use a net to catch your fish one by one and put them in clean polythene bags that are filled with only a quarter to a third full of water to allow for sufficient air. Make sure that you round off the bag with a piece of tape to prevent smaller fish from getting stuck in corners. Once done, seal the bag with either a knot or some rubber bands. Lastly, put it within another bag—or preferably, a polystyrene box—to lower the chances of leakage.
  • Don’t feed them 24 hours before the trip. This would significantly reduce the amount of excrement that would pollute the water in the bag. Worry not, though—this is totally harmless to your fish!
  • Keep tropical fish warm. If you were able to follow what was said in the previous tip to put the bag inside a polystyrene box, you can skip this part. If not, though, you can make use of insulated picnic boxes or perhaps wrap the bags in blankets to trap heat and keep your fish warm.
  • Pack up decorations and accessories. Dry them up and pack them as you normally would, with the bubble wrap, boxes, and all. In the case of living plants, however, put them in bags filled with water, similar to how you bagged your fish.
  • Put the bags in the middle of the vehicle. This is the most equidistant part from the wheels, so putting them in this location would guarantee a smoother ride. Furthermore, placing the bag sideways would be beneficial for the fish as they wouldn’t have to be disturbed or sent forward every time that you pull the brakes.
  • Secure the fish tank. Wrap it in bubble wrap, thick blankets, cushion, or even cardboard. Additionally, it is recommended that you take it with you in the trunk of your car instead of leaving it to the removalists. In this way, there will be less space for it to move around and fewer items for it to bump into while in transit.
  • Check it for leaks. If you’re worried that it may have been damaged en route, try filling it with tap water first.

BIRDS: Fly away, skyline pigeon, fly…home.

Though each bird may have their own unique personality, birds, in general, are known to be remarkably sensitive to change. Therefore, it might be a daunting task to move houses with birds, but don’t give up just yet! Continue reading to learn about techniques that would make moving with birds seem effortless.

  • Take them on short trips. This is done for two reasons: (1) to help them become accustomed to travelling and (2) so that you can see whether they get car sickness. Since you’re probably travelling by car, chances are, your bird will actually find it enjoyable especially if they can see out the windows—that are closed, of course! Keep in mind, though, not to keep your bird directly exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time.
  • Put them in a carrier. If ever your bird makes a fuss about travelling, you probably won’t want it to just fly around the car, would you? Make sure to put it in a carrier with a few of its favourite toys to keep it distracted.
  • Prepare some food. Guarantee at least a month’s supply of your bird’s usual food in case the local pet store in your new neighbourhood doesn’t have it. In addition, don’t forget to bring some snacks (fruits would be great) should your bird get hungry in the car. As for water, only offer on stops.
  • Maintain a consistent temperature. Birds really aren’t good at dealing with change, so before going on the trip, see to it that the air conditioner is working, and the car temperature is favourable.
  • Consistency is key. When you get to your new home, try to set up your bird’s cage and perches the same way that it was back in your old place.


For animal companions that were and weren’t mentioned earlier, here’s a short, generalized list of things that you should take note of when moving.

  • Consult your veterinarian. About a month or a few weeks before moving, take your pet for a check-up with your vet to see if your pet is in a good enough condition for a stressful situation like moving.
  • Stay at home for the first week. If it’s possible, take at least 3-7 days off from work following the move. Aside from allowing you to unpack and get some much-needed rest, your presence would be soothing to your pet and help it adjust to the new environment more quickly.
  • Find a new vet. This would come in really handy if the move ever takes a toll on your pet. For instance, birds can get so stressed that they might start picking their feathers, so it would be great if you already have the local vet’s number ahead of time.
  • Make it fun. No matter how prepared you might have been, sometimes, your pet just won’t cooperate. And it’s totally okay! Even though the trip might not be as smooth as planned, just make it up to them by helping them associate your new home with “fun”. Play some games, spend some time, give them treats—you’re a wonderful animal parent and you got this!

Want to make the moving day extra chill for everyone? Then you might want to consider hiring extra hands. Lucky for you, our team here at Botany Removals is adept at moving houses. Contact us now at 1300 903 922 and get a free quote!