Moving Home with Kids and Pets
As a parent or pet owner, there are number of steps you can take to make sure your child or pet is happy during the moving process.
Preparing your Children for the Move
Children can become quite upset when moving house - whether it’s the unfamiliar surroundings or perhaps leaving friends behind.
Prior to Moving Day
A family meeting is often the best way to explain that you are moving house. This way, you can address any questions or concerns your children might have in an environment where they’ll feel secure and supported.
Explain to them that you’ll need their help and cooperation so they feel like they’re part of the process. Even if you only give them a small job to do, such as packing up their toys or books, they’ll feel they’re playing a vital part.
You might find that taking your child along with you to view potential new houses will make them more comfortable with the transition. Their feedback on the home is extremely important, so take some of their comments and concerns into consideration.
Moving cities or states can be an extremely hard process for some children, as they’ll need to leave their friends behind. Make sure you host a leaving party for your kids at your home or at their school to ensure all proper goodbyes and “see you soon’s” are said.
On Moving Day
When moving day rolls around, give your children an array of small tasks they can complete themselves.
These jobs may include holding on to some of their favourite toys during the trip or unpacking some items in their new play areas.
Set up the childrens’ bedrooms and play areas on the first day at your new home, and, if they are old enough, give them a say about how their furniture is arranged. This helps to create familiar surroundings for them and gives them areas in which they can occupy themselves while you unpack.
Getting Ready to Move Your Pets
Moving houses can be just as stressful for your animal companions as it is for you. You’ll need to make sure their journey and transition to your new home is made as comfortable as possible.
Prior to Moving Day
If you’re moving states and own a dog, you’ll need to organise the registration of your pet in your new destination through the city council.
It’s best that you and your pet take a quick trip to the vet to ensure it’s in good health. While you’re there, you can update your pet’s ID tags and microchips and discuss any concerns about moving with your vet. You can also ask for recommendations for vets in your new area, and then make sure to register your pets there in time for any follow-up appointments.
If you plan to move your pet by car and it has not done much car travel, you could take a few steps weeks before the move to get them more comfortable. Begin by letting your pet explore the back seat of the car while it’s parked and turned off. Then you can move on to take short trips around the block to get them used to the movement.
Relocating a pet - and travelling long distances - can take a toll on their bladder and digestive systems, so try not to feed your pet within six hours of the move - especially if it’s going on a long journey.
Make sure your animal has access to a supply of water and has its own pet cage in your car. Place newspaper in the bottom of the crate or cage to soak up any accidents or spills.
At your new home, set up an area where the animal can enjoy a stretch. Outside, dogs should be kept in a fenced area where they can survey their new surroundings, but you should let them have free rein of the house so they can sniff everything out.
Cats should be confined to a particular room for a few days with food, litter and some familiar toys so they get used to their new home. After that, you can start slowly introducing them to new areas in the house.