Moving with your pets

Credit: Downsizing Diva

If you thinking moving is stressful on its own, you are absolutely correctly. But what if you have your dog, cat, rabbit, whatever pet it is you have? What are some of the things you should be aware of to make your home transition easy for them as easy it is for you?

Pets, like any family members, are sensitive to the stress of moving and do not respond positively to extreme changes in environment and routine. Planning ahead for their transition will relieve much of their anxiety and yours.

Long distance travel?

If long distance travel is involved, look for transportation options for your pet(s). Moving companies are not permitted, by law, to transport animals. Your pets will have to travel with you, which will require leaving appropriate space in your vehicle and allowing frequent stops on the way. You may make special arrangements for air or rail travel, but bus companies commonly will not permit pets other than special needs dogs accompanied by their owners. Knowing in advance how your pets will travel allows you to consider other factors. If your pets are not good travellers, you may wish to seek your vet’s advice on keeping them calm. Prepare a food and water supply, provide an appropriate crate or other carrier and have identification tags updated with new contact information.

Medical records?

Remember to obtain medical records and make sure vaccinations are up to date.

Small animal?

Birds and small animals travel best in their own cages. Fish cannot travel safely in plastic bags unless if it’s a very short distance. You may have to give your fish away, transport the aquarium dry and replace the fish once you are settled in your new home.

Habits?

Maintain routine feeding and exercise habits while preparing for the move to protect your pet’s health.

Pet sitter?

If you have ever seen a pet’s confusion and stress on moving day, you will want to spare your pet that distressing experience. You don’t want to risk accidents due to pets being underfoot or losing a pet while doors are open. If possible, place your pet in a kennel or with a pet sitter on the day of the move to ensure that a happier, more contented animal arrives at it new home.

Upon arrival, reinstate familiar habits as soon as possible. Keep outdoor cats inside for a few days until they begin to settle in. Take dogs for frequent walks around the neighbourhood beginning with short trips to help them become accustomed with the immediate area.

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