Helpful Tips for a Successful Relocation When Moving With Pets
Moving house with pets can be stressful for everyone involved. Before and during the move your pet’s needs should be a priority taking special care to minimise the stress they will encounter as much as possible. Preparing for a move with pets takes planning including things like packing their favorite toys just before the move so that they are not denied access to them.
You should also transfer any medical records to a new vet if you are moving out of the area where they are kept. Give yourself enough time to plan all the details to ensure that your pet will be as relaxed as possible during the entire process. If are selling your home before moving there are extra things to consider such as sending your pet to friends or family to keep them out of the way during showings and open houses.
The following guide includes tips on how to make your upcoming move as easy as possible when moving your pets.
Decide How You Will be Getting There
Figuring out the best way to get to your new home is important, especially when you have to take pets into consideration. If you are moving across the country you may need to take a long road trip. Your planning will have to include what will be best for your pet.
If you are emigrating Overseas with your pet you must check with the airline what their pet policies are way ahead of the move so that there is enough time to adhere to them. You may have to purchase a pet carrier that conforms to the specifications of the airline and check with your vet whether you will need some form of medication to relax your pet during the flight. If you are moving to Europe and will be driving for hours you will need to take enough food and water and plan stop-overs so that your pet can relieve itself if necessary.
If you are hiring a moving company or helpers to assist with a DIY move, make sure that everyone involved is aware that there is a pet in the house or arrange for a pet sitter to take care of your pet for a while.
Make Use of an Appropriate Travel Carrier
If you do not already have a travel carrier for your particular type of pet, it is highly recommended to get one. Whether furred, finned, feathered, or scaled, it is essential to transport your pets from their present cage, aquarium, or vivarium to their new home in an appropriate pet travel carrier. If your pets are not carrier trained you should start introducing them to a cage or crate as soon as possible before the actual move. If you are traveling with a dog in a car make sure you have a harness to secure the carrier to the interior of the vehicle.
Review your Pet’s Identification Tags
If your dog or cat does not already have an identification tag you should have one made and get your pet used to wear a collar and tag before moving. Include your new address on the tag along with your personal details in case your pet escapes or goes missing during the move.
Pets are highly sensitive to change and will pick up that something is out of the ordinary when you start packing up your belongings. To minimize the stress a good idea is to confine packing to certain areas and leave some spaces box-free.
Here are some tips for the day of the move:
- Put someone in charge of caring for your pet’s needs for as long as it takes to get all your furniture and belongings out of the house and onto the moving vehicle. If your pets have to remain at the house, the person you have trusted with caring for them must know how to keep them secure, safe, and out of the way and see that their needs are met, including feeding, adequate water supply, and, if necessary, walking.
- If you will be traveling by car or plane, reduce the food intake of your pet by a third the day before the move to help quell the possibility of an upset stomach.
- Administer any calming medication at least 30 minutes before the movers arrive or before traveling.
- Reserve an empty room to keep your pet and his toys that are separated from the noise and chaos of the move.
- Inform movers and anyone else helping that you have a pet and where is being kept so that they can take extra caution when working nearby.
- Double check that your pet’s travel kit is ready on the day and if possible place it in the car or a safe place where it doesn’t run the risk of being packed into the moving van.
- Double check that your pets are wearing their identification tags.
- When you are ready to leave with your pet, make sure that the travel carrier is secured from the outside and that it cannot be opened from the inside by a clever dog or that your snake is not able to escape by lifting the carrier’s lid.
- Be aware of the outside temperature, especially for pets who are sensitive to cold or heat.
- When you arrive at your new home do not let your pet out and allow it to roam freely right away. Keep your pet in its carrier in a quiet room to help it become acclimatized to the new environment. Once the movers have left you can slowly introduce your pet to its new space.
Helping your Pet to Settle In
Moving takes a lot out of humans and pets alike. However, the more relaxed you appear to be in your new home the easier it will be for your pet to settle in. Give your pet time to become accustomed to their new space by keeping them in a room they can retreat to when they feel scared and uncertain. If possible arrange the room to resemble the space they occupied in the last home as closely as possible by placing familiar objects in it. Animals like cats and dogs take comfort in the things that smell like their old house so don’t wash the scent out of your dog or cat’s bedding before moving.
During the settling-in period keep a close eye on your pet for any signs of stress and anxiety. If there is any unusual behavior or something that causes you concern, take them to the vet immediately to prevent it from becoming serious. If you have moved far away you should by now have secured the services of a new vet in your local community.
Home Sweet Home
It will take a few days and even weeks before you will be able to arrange your space in such a way that you can start calling it home. While it is a daunting task to move with pets, it is well worth it in the end as you will have the companionship of your beloved pet to help turn your new space into a place that once again feels like home.