Moving with your Dog

Animals are often sensitive to changes in their routine and surroundings, more so than most people realise. Understanding how a move can affect your dog will help you to plan ahead and make it as stress-free as possible for them.

We’ve consulted our in-house specialists in pet moving to provide specific advice to help your beloved family member feel at ease.

Before the move – plan ahead


  • Register with a local vets in your new area
  • Update the address on your dog’s microchip and/or collar
  • Ensure all vaccinations and paperwork are up-to-date, including any medication stock(s) your dog will need
  • Arrange for any dog escape routes in your new home to be fixed

Top tip: if your dog is sensitive to fireworks and loud noise, avoid moving on or around major celebrations

Moving day

Can your dog stay with friends or family on moving day? It is usually advised, however, if this can’t be arranged please see our advice below:

  • Make sure your dog is well exercised prior to the moving process
  • Set aside a doggy room with their food, water, bed, toys and blankets
  • Put a sign on the door and make sure the removal team are aware there is a dog in the room
  • Assign one person to be responsible for checking up on your dog throughout the day
  • Prepare a box filled with all your dog’s essentials for moving (towel, water, poop bags, treats, lead etc.) and pack these things last

Top Tip: Keep your dog’s routine as normal as possible (walks, feed times etc.) and don’t wash your dog’s bedding prior to moving – their own smell will be familiar and comforting to them.

Travelling to your new home

  • Make sure your dog is well exercised before you travel
  • Keep your vehicle cool and make sure the car is well ventilated
  • Stop regularly for toilet breaks and ensure your dog has access to fresh water
  • Never leave a dog inside a hot car
  • Always make sure your dog is on a lead before you let them out

Top Tip: If your dog is prone to travel sickness, it is advised to not feed him/ her for 3-4 hours before travelling

Arriving at your new home

There will be new smells, sights and noises in your new home, which may take some time for your dog to get used to.

  • Make sure your dog is kept on the lead when first arriving at your new home
  • Unpack the doggy box you prepared and make sure they have their bedding straight away
  • Let your dog outside (advisably on a lead) to explore the new environment

Top Tip: It may help if someone stays at home for the first few days to help them settle in. Make sure you look out for signs of dog anxiety, such as a loss of appetite, uncharacteristic behaviours or whimpering/ whining more than usual. Consult your vet if you have any concerns.

We wish you a very happy move with your dog! At Pickfords, we understand that all dogs are different. Should you have any questions, or would like more information on our pet moving service within the U.K or overseas, see here.


How to Create the Feeling of Home in a New Area

A big move can be a daunting experience, so make it easier for yourself with these helpful ideas

Original article first published on Houzz

Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor

If you’ve ever made a big move, whether to a different county or a different country, you are probably familiar with that uprooted feeling that comes along with leaving everything known for something different and new. It can be exciting but also… terrifying. How do you build a life in a new place? When you’re wondering how to find the supermarket, navigate the tube and perhaps even learn a new language, having a warm, cosy, comfortable place where you can rest your head becomes even more important than usual. Making a home away from home is hard — get the ball rolling by trying out one or more of these ideas.

Set up a routine
When you arrive in a new place, whether it’s a different city or a different continent, a daily routine can help create a feeling of normalcy. Seek out a few spots in your local area – a café, bakery and newsagent, for instance – and visit them each day. Smile and say hello (or bonjour or ciao) to the shopkeeper, sip your coffee, eat breakfast and repeat. After a few days of this, you and the shopkeepers (and maybe a few other regulars) will get to recognise one another, making the greetings more familiar and perhaps warmer.



Shop and cook à la Julia Child
Channel Julia Child, who famously explored France, often solo, while her diplomat husband Paul Child was busy working. Although Julia must have stuck out in a sea of native Parisians, she fully embraced the experience by tapping into her passion for food — something people of all cultures understand. Give yourself a mission to explore the markets and local foods of whatever area you have moved to, whether that’s Paris or Edinburgh.

Learn more about where you are
It’s natural to feel out of sorts when you first arrive in a new place — but don’t let that discomfort turn to feeling judgmental or bitter about the differences between where you are now and where you used to live. Read books about the area and the culture. Sign up for a language course or join a conversation group. Cultivate an attitude of optimism and curiosity about your surroundings.



Create a sanctuary in your bedroom
Exploring a new city can be exhausting, especially if there are language differences involved. Give yourself the gift of an utterly safe and comforting place in which to land at the end of each day by making your bedroom the ultimate sanctuary. Soft lighting, lovely bedding, a scented candle, cosy slippers and perhaps a small radio or a phone dock so you can listen to your favourite music will help the space feel like home.

Discover tranquil bedroom ideas



Embrace the local coffee (or tea) break
From English teatime to the Swedish coffee-and-cake break known as fika, it seems nearly everywhere in the world has its own break-time tradition.

So wherever you are, do as the locals do. In Italy enjoy a shot of espresso taken in a single gulp while standing at the bar in the café, like the locals do on a quick break from work.

A small shift in the way you do things, even in your own home, such as taking afternoon tea rather than coffee, can be a gentle way to nudge yourself into a new culture.



Treat yourself to lots of fresh flowers and candles
A simple but highly effective way to make your new home feel cosy and welcoming is to go a little wild with candlelight and fresh flowers.

Cluster candles on trays, put one on your bedside table and line them up at the centre of your dining table.

Visit a flower stall or grocery store and treat yourself to fresh blooms once a week. When your mood needs bolstering, light all your candles, put on some lovely music and inhale the scent of the flowers gracing your space.

Check out how to display flowers

Connect online with people back home … but not too much
This is the digital age, after all – you might as well take advantage of it! Connect with friends and family through video calls and social media, if you like. But remember, connecting with long-distance loved ones should be a nice treat, not a substitute for getting out there and building a satisfying and interesting life in your new area.



Put personal treasures on display
Books, photos, artwork and other personal items become even more important when you’re in a new place.

Take an afternoon to display your things in your new place – hang up photos of friends and family, organise your bookshelves and put your favourite linen on the bed.



Reinvent your style … if you want to
You’re in a new place, and no one knows you yet. Why not take this as an opportunity to try out a new look? Edit your wardrobe, organise your wardrobe and go shopping. Besides, shopping is a great excuse to get out there and explore a new area.



Make a personal connection in the new place
Easier said than done, but well worth the effort. If you’re finding it hard to meet people, try seeking out a local group related to one of your passions or hobbies. Take a class, volunteer for a local charity or attend an event that sounds interesting. If you’ve moved to a new country, connect with the local expat community. If you’re a parent, seek out a play group to join. Once you’ve made one connection, it’s bound to lead to others.



Tend a garden
Planting something, even a potted garden on your balcony, makes a statement that this is a place you plan to stay in for a while.

If you love gardening but don’t have a garden of your own, see if there is a local community garden where you could get a small area to tend — it could also be a great way to connect with other like-minded people.

Get more garden inspiration

Collect moments of beauty
Of course, there are places we immediately think of as beautiful, but every place has its own charm. Grab your camera and head out on a daily walk, snapping pictures of the little things that catch your eye.

If you want to make it interesting, issue yourself a creative challenge – take photos of a single colour, or find the first letter of your name or a heart shape. The creative project will loosen you up, and you may end up with some frameworthy shots to boot!

Reignite your wanderlust
Plan a day trip to a region you’ve never explored. After the shock of being somewhere totally new, you may realise that the place you come back ‘home’ to feels exactly like that … home.

Make your home feel sweet, even if it is temporary
Those who move frequently, learn that home is where you make it. No matter how long you think you’ll be staying where you are, you might as well make it the best possible experience while it lasts.

How to Turn Your Home into a Haven

Create a welcoming haven every time you open the front door with these tips for designing a home that makes you smile

Original article first published on Houzz

Amanda Pollard, Houzz Contributor

It’s where you come back to at the end of every day, and the first place you see in the morning, so it’s important that where you live brings you joy. Follow these inspiring ideas to spread a little happiness in your home.



Let in the sunshine
Nothing will lift your mood more than sunlight beaming in through your windows. So to ensure your home gets its full quota of rays, keep the glass clean and free from streaks and finger marks.

Of course, for the outside it’s best to call in a professional, but the insides are easy to clean yourself. Use a dry brush to sweep away dust from the frames, then sponge the glass with soapy water. Finally, remove the water by making ‘s’ shapes on the window with a squeegee. Windows need to be cleaned at least twice a year. Don’t think yours are dirty? Give them a clean and you’ll immediately notice the difference.



Promote a warm welcome
Ensure you feel good every time you come home by creating an inviting hallway. You’ll need some good storage for all your outdoor paraphernalia, so that the entrance is tidy as you enter. Include some hooks for your coats, a shoe rack and some baskets for scarves, gloves and umbrellas.

Freshen up the area by painting the walls and door. Here, everything has been kept white to make it feel really bright and airy. However, a bold colour would work just as well. The key is to choose a scheme that makes you happy. Add some mood-lifting extras such as flowers, a mirror, or a beautifully scented reed diffuser.

Essential style tricks to give you hallway a boost



Make your bed
A good day needs a cheery start, so one of the most positive things you can do at home is make your bed. By tidying your sleeping area when you wake up, you’ll begin your day on a good note. This simple act will make you feel super organised and ready for action.

Then later on, when you head sleepily up to bed, you’ll find a restful space to relax in.

Get a good night’s sleep
To make sure your sleep is even more restful, it’s best to be in a completely dark room. When it’s dark, our bodies produce more of the hormone melatonin, which makes us feel tired. Light, on the other hand gives powerful cues to the brain that it’s time to wake up. To stop street lamps or early- morning sunlight poking in, put up blinds or curtains with a black-out lining.

Similarly, keep a low-wattage incandescent lamp on your bedside table to help you wind down before you go to sleep.



Bring in fresh flowers
A vase of beautiful flowers instantly cheers up a room, and lifts the mood of whoever is looking at it. By putting some flowers on your kitchen table you will connect with nature every time you come into the room.

Your choice of flowers can be anything from a huge mixed bouquet, to a simple seasonal sprig. Start in January with some early daffodils and hyacinths, then keep checking what’s around throughout the year. If you have some outside space, try growing flowers that you can cut. A great choice are pretty, fragranced sweet peas, which you have to cut every day to encourage growth.

Find beautiful vases for your flowers


Photo by Life on a Wall

Fill it with happy memories
Display things around your home that remind you of friends, family and places that you’ve visited. Put travel souvenirs where you can see them, to remind you of experiences, and to perhaps prompt you to make new plans.We all have hundreds of photos on our digital equipment nowadays, but we often forget to print them out. Put an evening aside to sort through them all, get a selection printed and plan a creative way to display them. The bright photo-collage on the back wall of this kitchen has really brought the room to life.

Discover dining room design inspiration



Share it with animals
Want to instantly de-stress after a long day? How about curling up on the sofa and stroking your pet. Studies have shown that the simple act of cuddling an animal releases the chemical oxytocin, which makes us feel calm.

The benefits don’t stop there though. By keeping a pet at home, you’ll have the opportunity to form a new relationship with another creature, and hopefully you’ll be rewarded by lots of fun and cuddles.

Do those quick fixes
Those troublesome household irks, such as leaky taps and broken door handles shouldn’t be ignored. Every time you come across something that needs fixing, you could find yourself irritated by it. So rather than putting these annoying jobs off, get stuck in instead.

A little effort will result in a well-run home with no tricky hindrances, and you’ll get a welcome feeling of accomplishment to boot.



Make a space for you
In a busy household it’s important to find a place to gather your thoughts and spend a few minutes by yourself. Being alone for a while will allow you to recharge, and get ready to face the world again.

If you can’t grab a whole room for yourself, a cosy corner will do fine. Here, the armchair is ideally located next to the fire, with an angled table lamp placed perfectly for reading.

If you have a hobby, such as crocheting or painting, create a designated space for it. Devise storage that will keep all your equipment to hand, so you can easily dip in and out whenever you have some spare time.

Connect with your neighbours
What really makes most of us happy are our relationships with other people. By making friends with your neighbours, you’ll be able to nurture those relationships every time you’re at home.

Make the effort to start a conversation every time you see your neighbours, offer to water their plants while they’re away and invite them round for a cuppa. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to turning your street into a real community.

Discover ways to nurture a happy neighbourhood




Make healthy eating easy
Encourage a positive lifestyle, by making sure healthy food is within reach. The most obvious way is to put a bowl of fruit on the table, but there are other things you can do.

Avoid last minute dinner decisions by displaying a meal planner in the kitchen, with nourishing options for the whole week. If you have children, get them involved by asking them to contribute their ideas.

Think up ways you can make it easy to choose a wholesome snack. Keep nuts and granola bars in tempting glass jars. If you’ve invested in a juicer or yoghurt maker, don’t let it languish in the cupboard. Make room for it on the worktop so you’ll be more inclined to use it.