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7 Tips for Moving with Pets in London: A Stress-Free Guide

Updated: Apr 18

Moving to London with pets? A bit of planning goes a long way in ensuring a smooth relocation for your furry family members.  This guide provides essential tips covering everything from preparation and transport to settling in safely.

Tip 1: Prepare Your Pet in Advance

Like humans, pets are sensitive to changes in their environment.  The hustle and bustle of moving can be unsettling, so start preparing your pet early for a smoother transition. Here's how:

  • Gradual Introduction: Don't spring packing boxes and moving supplies on your pet suddenly.  Introduce them weeks in advance, allowing time to sniff and explore.

  • Positive Carrier Association:  Make their carrier a cosy place for short periods, using treats and favourite toys. This is crucial, even if they won't need it for the actual move.

  • Preserve Routines:  Even with the unavoidable upheaval, try to keep feeding, walking, and playtime as consistent as possible. Familiarity provides a sense of security.

Important: Pay attention to your pet's behaviour.  Signs of increased anxiety (withdrawal, loss of appetite, etc.) might warrant a chat with your vet for advice.

Tip 2: Pet-Proof Your New Home

Checking your new London home for potential hazards is always wise, but even more so with pets around. A quick safety assessment helps prevent unforeseen accidents and lets them settle in with greater peace of mind.

  • Hazard Hunt: Think like your pet! Check for exposed wires, unsecured balconies, houseplants that could be toxic if nibbled, and any small escape routes (especially for cats).

  • Secure Spaces:  Identify any tight, awkward spaces where your pet might squeeze into and get stuck.  Block access to these areas, particularly during the initial settling-in period.

  • A Room of Their Own: Designate a quiet room as their initial safe haven. Place familiar items – their bed, toys, water bowl – to create a comforting space while they adjust to the bigger move.

Additional Note for Flat Living

If moving into a London flat, be mindful of noise levels. Rugs/carpets can dampen sounds for quieter paws as your pet explores.

Tip 3: Choose Pet-Friendly Transport

London offers excellent transport options, but bringing your pet into the mix requires extra thought.  Here's a breakdown of your choices:

  • Public Transport Considerations:

  • Check Policies: Each company (train, bus, Tube) has its own rules about pets. Familiarise yourself with these beforehand to avoid unnecessary stress on moving day.

  • Consider Peak Times: If possible, travel during quieter periods for extra space and a calmer journey.

  • Carrier/Harness: Most services require dogs to be on a leash or harness, and cats/smaller pets in secure carriers.

  • Private Car Travel

  • Safety First: Ensure your pet is safely secured with a carrier, harness, or pet seat belt if travelling by car.

  • Plan for Breaks: If your move involves a long car journey, factor in regular breaks for water and leg stretches.

  • Pet Relocation Services

  • Stress-Reduction: For very anxious pets or complex journeys, professional pet transport companies can be a lifesaver. They offer tailored service and specialised vehicles.

Remember: Choosing the right transport is about your pet's individual needs and comfort levels. Don't be afraid to try different options until you find what works best!

A woman walking her dog on a London street near Big Ben

Tip 4: Update ID Information

Moving to a new home, even within the same city, means the information on your pet's microchip and collar tag needs updating. This is absolutely vital in case your pet gets disoriented and lost in the unfamiliar surroundings.

  • Microchip Matters: Ensure your contact details (especially address and phone number) linked to the microchip are current.

  • Not sure where it's registered? Your vet can scan the chip and tell you.

  • Collar Tag Update: Replace the old tag with one displaying your new London address and a mobile number where you can easily be reached.

  • Extra Precaution (optional): Consider a temporary tag with your mobile number as a backup while settling into your new home.

Remember: Even indoor pets can find escape routes during the move's commotion.  Keeping their ID updated offers peace of mind.

Tip 5: Find a London Vet Quickly

Establishing a relationship with a new vet in London sooner rather than later provides a safety net for your pet's wellbeing. Here's how to find the right fit:

  • Get Recommendations: Ask friends, neighbours, or local pet shops for trusted vets in your area.

  • Online Directories: Websites offer searchable databases of vets in your local area:

  • Find a Vet - Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons:

  • Vets Now: 

  • Consider Your Pet's Needs: If your pet has specific health conditions, look for vets with relevant specialisations.

Transferring Records:

  • Contact your current vet well before your moving date.

  • Request a prompt transfer of your pet's medical history to the chosen London vet.

Remember: Taking the time to find a vet you trust will give you peace of mind in your new city.

Tip 6: Explore New Surroundings Safely

Even the most adventurous pets need time to acclimate to a new London neighbourhood.  Take exploration slow and steady to create positive experiences:

  • Leads/Harnesses are Key: This applies to both dogs AND cats if you plan to introduce them to the outdoors in London. Start with supervised walks in your immediate area.

  • Gradual Expansion: As your pet becomes comfortable, gradually increase the length of walks, exploring new streets and parks.

  • Observe and Respond: Pay close attention to your pet's body language. If they seem overwhelmed, shorten the outing and try again another time.

  • Scent Mapping: Let your pet sniff and mark their territory (within reason!) to establish a sense of belonging in their new space.

City-Specific Tips:

  • Busy Parks: Opt for smaller, less crowded parks initially, and avoid peak times when possible.

  • Noise Sensitivity: If your pet is sensitive to loud noises, stick to quieter routes away from major roads, particularly in the beginning.

A woman walking her dog drinking a coffee, you can see a double decker bus and a phone box along with a black london taxi

Tip 7: Minimise Separation Anxiety

Moving can be particularly disruptive for pets prone to separation anxiety. Being in a new environment, combined with changes in your routine, can heighten those feelings. Here's how to help:

  • Familiar Comforts: Surround your pet with their favourite toys, blankets, and items that have their scent for reassurance.

  • Consider Pheromones: Calming diffusers or sprays with synthetic pheromones (like Feliway for cats or Adaptil for dogs) can provide additional comfort.

  • Limit Time Apart: If possible, arrange your schedule to spend extra time with your pet in the first few days after the move.

  • Pet Sitters/Walkers: If you need to be away for extended periods, consider hiring a reliable pet sitter or dog walker to provide company and exercise.

Important:  Be patient and understanding. Every pet adjusts at their own pace.  Shower them with extra love and attention to ease the transition.

Moving with Special Needs Pets

If your pet has existing anxieties or disabilities, consult your vet for additional support strategies tailored to their specific needs.

London Parks and Pet-Friendly Spots

Explore London's Green Spaces

  • Hampstead Heath (NW3, NW5): Vast park with off-lead zones. Parking can be found along surrounding streets, but arrive early on weekends.

  • Regent's Park (NW1): Central park with dog-specific areas. Nearest tube stations: Baker Street, Regent's Park.

  • Victoria Park (E9): Popular East London spot with open fields and a lake. Consider parking in nearby residential areas and walking in.

  • Greenwich Park (SE10): Scenic park with a designated dog area near the Pavilion Cafe. Blackheath Station is a short walk away.

  • Primrose Hill (NW1): Having completed many Camden removals over the years, we can safely say if you are after the best views in London, take your pup to Primrose Hill enjoy the panoramic views over central London.

Dog-Friendly Pubs

Many London pubs now welcome furry friends, here are a few favourites:

  • The Holly Bush (Hampstead, NW3): Cosy pub with a dog-friendly area and garden.

  • The Spaniard's Inn (Hampstead, NW3): Historic pub with a reputation for being exceptionally dog-friendly.

  • The Albion (Islington, N1): Modern gastropub with designated dog-friendly seating.

  • The Cow (Westbourne Grove, W2): Notting Hill favourite with water bowls and dog treats on offer.

Helpful Tip:  Use websites like Bring Fido (] for a wider selection of dog-friendly spots across London.

Settling into Your New London Life with Your Pet

With a little planning and patience, moving to London with your furry companion can be a smooth and happy experience.  Remember, these tips are your starting point – every pet is unique, so adjust them to suit your best friend's needs.

Ready for Your London Adventure?

Let Denix Moving take the hassle out of your relocation.  We offer the lowest prices on London removals and provide award-winning service for worry-free transitions.  

Book your move online with ease and start your new chapter with confidence!

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