31 Jul How to settle pets into a new home

You’ve viewed a new house, fell in love and decided to take the plunge. Moving to a new home is an exciting (yet stressful!) chapter in our lives, but it’s an especially challenging experience for our furry friends. Cats and dogs thrive on routine and familiarity, so introducing them to a new environment requires careful planning and consideration. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to settle both cats and dogs into their new home. From preparations before the move to settling in, we’ll cover all the essential steps. 

Plus, we’ll explore the benefits of using driveway gates to enhance the safety and well-being of your pets. Let’s dive in on how to settle a dog into a new home, as well as how to settle a cat into a new home and make this transition as smooth as possible for our beloved fluffy companions!

Preparing pets for a house move

1. Make a trip to the vets

It’s a good idea to visit your vets to ensure your cat, dog or both are in tip-top condition before the move. Be sure to bring up any concerns you have, particularly if they have any health issues to ensure they’re catered for whilst you move homes. It may be that you have to settle them into a cattery or kennel first before bringing them into your new home, particularly if they require special attention.

Plus, if your cat or dog tends to struggle with car travel, it’s best to have a conversation with your vet beforehand. They can provide valuable guidance based on whether the issue is behavioural (such as fear of the car) or physical (like motion sickness), or even a combination of both. Your vet can offer strategies to help your pets feel more at ease during car rides and, if necessary, prescribe anti-nausea medication. 

2. Update microchips

Before you move, ensure that your pets’ identification tags and microchips are up to date with your new address and contact information. This is crucial in case they wander off during the transition period.

3. Pack your pet’s essentials separately

It’s a good idea to prepare a bag with your pets’ essentials, including food, water, toys, bedding, and any necessary medications. This will help you easily access their belongings during the move and in the immediate aftermath. Be sure to include any items they deem their comforts, such as blankets, particular objects or toys, as these will have your old home’s scent.

4. Plug in pheromones

Products like Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs release a specific pheromone that can promote a sense of calm. This can be beneficial when you’re up and about moving items around the house. Pets are sensitive to changes in your environment and are bound to know a big change is coming, so it can’t hurt to have a bit of help from a plug-in pheromone treatment or spray around the house you’re in.

5. Stick to your pet’s routine

This is incredibly important. Sticking to your current routine such as feeding times, walks and playtime is essential to ensure pets feel like there aren’t too many changes happening all at once. This sense of normality in your furry friend’s routine will keep them as calm as possible.

6. Check what security measures are in place in your new home

Driveway gates are one of many ways you can secure your property. In terms of protecting your furry friends, driveway gates keep unwanted animals away and improve privacy. Use the time before your move to look into different driveway gating options for your new home and schedule a time with us to see which driveway gate is right for your property.

The day of the move

1. Secure your pets during the move

Whether you’re moving by car or hiring a professional moving service, make sure your pets are safely secured in carriers or crates. This will prevent them from escaping or getting injured during transit. If there’s room in the carriers, pop a blanket and a small bowl of food or treats to keep them as comfortable as possible. Be sure to have some water handy and stop at a safe place to give your dog a walk and some water.

2. Create a calm environment

On the day of the move, set up a quiet room in your current home where your pets can stay whilst the moving process is underway. Ensure the room contains their familiar bedding, toys, litter box for cats, food in their usual food bowls and a comfortable crate or bed for dogs. This will provide a haven for them amidst the chaos of moving.

3. Plug in your pheromones again

Yes, we’re repeating this step because we want to ensure your pets are as calm as possible. Pheromone sprays or diffusers designed for pets can also help reduce anxiety during the move and release calming scents that can create a more soothing environment for your pets. 

4. Gradually allow your pets to explore

This is particularly true for cats. Allow your cat to explore their new environment gradually. Start by giving them access to one room at a time, gradually expanding their territory as they become more comfortable. Provide vertical spaces, such as cat trees or shelves, for them to feel secure and observe their surroundings. You may notice they hide a lot more often – this is totally normal. Give them room to find their own safe spaces, simply leave food and water out close to where they’re hiding so they can come out in their own time.

5. Get your dog into a routine

Dogs, on the other hand, thrive on routine fairly quickly, so try to establish a consistent schedule for feeding, exercise, and bathroom breaks. This will provide a sense of familiarity and help them adjust to the new home more easily. Be sure to take your dog on leashed walks around the neighbourhood to familiarise them with the sights, sounds, and smells of their new surroundings. Gradually introduce them to new parks, trails, and dog-friendly areas to enhance their socialisation.


1. Consider driveway gates

Driveway gates offer a secure boundary for both your property and keep dogs in. Install a driveway gate to create a safe and enclosed area for your pets to explore without the risk of wandering off or encountering potential dangers. This will give you peace of mind whilst they enjoy the outdoors too.

2. Provide as much reassurance as possible

Spend quality time with your pets, offering reassurance, affection, and positive reinforcement. This will help them bond with you and associate the new home with positive experiences. If you find they’re shy or seem off, be sure to respect their boundaries, as they may be overstimulated by a new environment.

3. Be prepared for toilet accidents

Moving to a new home can be quite stressful, particularly for cats and dogs, and even the most well-behaved ones may have a toilet accident as they adjust to their new surroundings and routine. 

Instead of scolding them for accidents, gently show them where you would like them to toilet in the future. Remember to reward and praise them when they do it correctly. If needed, you can revisit the toilet training techniques you used in the past to help them get back on track. With a little understanding and positive reinforcement, your dog will soon adapt to their new home and settle into their proper toileting routine.

4. Monitor their wanderings outdoors

If you have a garden in your new home, keep an eye on your pets when they venture outdoors during the initial stages of settling in. Take the time to closely supervise their outdoor time and observe how they interact with the new environment. It’s also important to check for any potential hazards that might pose a risk to their safety, such as poisonous weeds and plants, old tools and any weak points to keep foxes out of your garden. To ensure a smooth transition, gradually introduce them to different areas of the garden in a controlled and measured manner. By taking these precautions, you can ensure their outdoor adventures are both enjoyable and secure.

5. Be patient

Remember that every pet adjusts at their own pace. Be patient with their progress and provide a supportive environment as they explore and settle into their new surroundings.

We hope this post has clued you up on everything you need to know about settling your cats and dogs into a new home. Contact us to find out more about how our driveway gates can enhance your property and keep your furry friends safe and secure.