Moving Tips when Relocating with Pets
Moving to a new living place is both an exciting and overwhelming change. In the frenzy of the relocation process, you can easily forget or disregard the fact that relocation might be difficult for your pet as well. Animals experience stress the same way as you do. Although, you cannot fully protect your furry companions from the worries, you can make it easier on them by considering the possible effects of relocation on your buddy.
This period can be quite traumatic for your pet. Animals are sensitive towards any kind of shifts. Just like most people, they are creatures of habit. Cats in particular, are strongly attached to their homes. Keep in mind, that your pet has little or no idea what is happening. The unknown is scary. Fear has huge emotional and psychological impact on the animal. Furthermore, it can trigger a variety of psychological and physiological problems such as permanent anxiety.
The relocation will directly affect their routine, as well as their physical and social environment. Moving to another area involves a period of adaptation. It’s difficult to predict what will be the reaction of your pet. It depends on the animal’s personality, inherited characteristics, their past experience and the sensitivity with which they are prepared for the trip.
To make the whole experience an enjoyable one, here are several relocation tips when moving with pets.
Make Packing Less Painful
Your pet might experience stress even before the actual relocation. Packing is an inevitable part of the moving process, but it is also the first sign for the upcoming upheaval. Your animal might feel that you are invading and destroying their personal space. They might even panic, as they lose their safe shelter.
You can avoid the fallout, by putting your fury friend away from the chaos. Take it to the park, groomers, or let it have a play date with another animal. In addition, you can comfort your pet by letting it have its belongings for as much time as possible. When you pack, leave their toys and accessories for last.
Pick a Mode of Travel
Choosing the appropriate transportation for your animal is a tough decision. Think about what will be the safest option for your pet. Unless it is completely necessary, avoid placing your animal in an airplane. Pets can experience motion sickness just like we can.
If possible, pick road transport and travel with them. In this way you will be able react immediately in case of problem. Another advantage of travelling by road is that you will be able to make frequent stops. This is especially important for dogs as it gives them an opportunity to stretch their legs.
Sometimes the move cannot be made in a day and you will be staying in a hotel. It is always advisable to let the staff know ahead of time that you are travelling with a pet so they can help make yours and your pets stay a more pleasant one.
Get Ready to Move
Make time to visit the vet early. Apart from the general examination of your pet, they will provide you with useful advice on how to act during the trip. If your pet is naturally hyper, it might be a good idea to ask for something to help keep your pet calm.
Moving house might involve choosing a new veterinary clinic. Ask your current vet for the records of your pet. They can also recommend you a good clinic at your new place. If moving out of state, check online for a reputable vet where you are moving to. It is also a good idea to check and see if there are any special registration rules for your pets, especially dogs that are used for home protection.
It is also a good idea to either get your pet a micro-chip or ensure the existing one has been updated. This is a quick and easy process that can be accomplished in just a few minutes at most vet clinics. Also ensure the ID tag is current so you can be contacted if your pet gets away and is found by someone else.
If you are moving out of the country, ensure you do your research and understand the rules of engagement for getting your pets into that country. See what kind of medications or vaccines might be required, as well as the specific laws regarding pets.
Prepare your cat or dog for the long journey is by letting them get used to the crate. This will be their safe spot. You should gradually introduce your buddy to the crate before the trip. Start by placing their food inside first. Create positive associations by putting some treats and toys in there. If you are moving with a cat, you should also add a small litter box. Then you can try carrying your pet in the crate and even drive around your neighborhood.
Considerations on Moving Day
Accommodate your pet in a quiet room or consider leaving Duke or Sassy with friends or relatives until you finish with the packaging. This will definitely spare them from all the madness on moving day! This will also ensure your pet does not run away with all the traffic coming in and out of the house.
It is a good ideal to keep smaller animals such as cats, rabbits and birds in their carrier, while the movers load the truck. The dogs should be kept in a closed area, where they will not run or bite someone. Whether you use Removal Man and Van Ltd or another carrier, they are not responsible for your pet while packing up your belongings. That is your responsibility!
During The Trip
If you are travelling with your pet, you need to pack a separate bag with enough food and water to keep your pet hydrated and happy. You might want to consider getting a disposable litter box, if you don’t have one in the crate too.
You can never be too safe so ensure you prepare a first aid kit for your pet in case of emergencies. Bring any health certificates, vet records, and special medicines with you. Don’t forget to put an ID tag with the updated address and phone number on your pet’s collar.
Moving With Exotic Animals
Fish, reptiles, and insects deserve the same care and attention as your huggable pets. Moving with exotics will require thorough research and planning. When transporting fish, you have two options. You can use large plastic bags that are infused with oxygen, available in aquarium supply shops or move the entire aquarium.
When moving with reptiles, you should take into consideration their sensitivity to temperature changes. If you feel that you can’t manage the relocation, you can hire a removal company that specializes in transporting animals. Like all pet moves, ensure you have checked out any applicable laws, rules, regulations, or procedures you need to take care of before arriving at your new destination.
At the New Place
When you arrive at your new home, inspect the area for hazards such as mouse traps and poisonous chemicals left behind. Then prepare a space for your pet where it feels safe and secure with its toys, food, and water nearby. If possible, arrange your pets setting in a similar way as your old home.
Your buddy should stay there until all your boxes and furniture are received and the movers are gone. Once the house is quiet and the visitors have left, if you want to make any changes in your pet’s routine, now is the time. Make the changes slowly in order to avoid any further stress.
Understand Your Pets Behavior
You can identify anxiety problems by observing the behavior of your pets as they get acclimated to the new surroundings. Reluctance to go outside is a clear indicator of an inability to adapt to the new environment. During this period, your pet might cause damage to your property and possessions, especially in the case of dogs.
Do not interpret the behavior as a sign of anxiety. The atypical behavior can actually be a result of low activity due to the extended travelling period. You might come home one day and find your cushions torn apart. This is not a manifestation of a rebellion, but a result of hyperactivity.
Cats can also display stress related behaviors. Uncharacteristic aggression, urinary spraying, and even not eating or drinking might be a reaction to the relocation. Your pet can even become irritable or distant. If in doubt, schedule an appointment with a local vet.
The truth is, you can never fully avoid stress during the relocation process. However, with a little consideration, you will be able to help your animals accept the changes by following these relocation tips when moving with pets. Have a fun and happy move!
Additional Tips for Moving With Pets:
Moving Tips When Relocating with Pets Infographic by Anita Clark
Pet Lodging via PetsWelcome
10 Tips For Moving With Pets via RealtorMag
13 Pet Moving Tips by Bill Gassett
5 Tips on Moving with Pets courtesy of Karen Highland