Movers cannot move your pets. We tried but they kept chewing off the bubble wrap!
Moving is stressful for humans but even more so for pets. Pets are creatures of habit and attached to their current, known surroundings. Everything for which they were familiar will be changing with travel and their new home. Many pets have an instinctive fear of a new environment. The following are some helpful tips on making this experience as best possible for your pets and you as their caretaker.
Prior to the move: Make sure your pets have an updated embedded microchip, a collar with their name and your name/cell number on the tag. Take some recent pictures. Loss of pets during a move followed by pet injury are the top two concerns.
Ensure Pets Are In Good Health
Before you move a pet anywhere, make sure their health is good along with their shots and records being current. You will need a copy of their records with you.
a. If your pet has had issues travelling before, ask your vet for some meds to help them with the trip.
2. Make sure you have a 30-day supply of any ongoing pet medications before you leave.
3. Ask your current Vet or friends for a new Vet referral or you can contact the AAHA.
4. Check the community, city, state or country you are moving to determine if there are additional steps necessary for your pet to live there. This could include restrictions on types/breeds of pets, numbers you can house and exotics.
Keep Them Isolated During the Moving Process
During the move, pets need to be placed in a room by themselves, door shut, kenneled or taken off site. Pets on the loose are a tripping and potential biting hazard not to mention them getting injured or running off with the door being open. Prepare their move day area with familiar items, toys, food, water, litter box and soft music. There will be new voices and noises being made by the movers that can be unsettling for many pets no matter how calm they normally are. Check on them frequently so they are comforted by your presence.
Transporting Pets During A Move
Whether you are going across the state, the country or the world, pets must travel to get there too. Driving them across town is much different than transporting them for days across the country. They are kind of like kids, good for an hour then its “Are we there yet?” with behavioral and biological challenges. Other helpful tips for moving with pets!
Pets in Cars
Make sure your pets are travelling in a pet carrier, not roaming loose in the auto’s cabin. This is for the safety of the pet and driver. Before opening any door to take them out of their carrier, make certain their leash is affixed to the collar. Some pets can bolt from a vehicle if not secured which could result in loss or severe injury. Do not feed or water your pet just before starting your drive. A few treats during the ride will keep them satisfied. Plan regular stops for hydration and a short walk. Take a container of fresh water with you, because a sudden change in drinking water may cause a temporary upset stomach or worse.
Pets on Planes:
Contact airlines for their rules and regulations, transportation charges and pet insurance. You will be responsible for a shipping container/carrier to transport your pet. Make your reservations well in advance, because pet approval is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Feed your pet no less than 5-6 hours before flight time and provide water about 2 hours before takeoff. Fly direct when possible. Multiple stops add to the stress of your pet.
Pets in Hotels
Book ahead with hotels that are pet friendly. Do this as early as possible as some areas have limited pet accommodations and those rooms book quick. Make sure you have some familiar items for them like their favorite blanket, toy and treats. Wait to move the pet into your new residence, if you can, after the movers have left. If not, again you will need to set them up in a closed room with comforting items. New surroundings, smells and noises can be another “ruff” day for your critter.
Fish, Reptiles, Birds, Rodents, Insects: Make certain the community you are moving to allows the type of pet you wish to live with you. There are limits as to quantities and types you can own. While your pet Ostrich might be OK in one state, it definitely may not in another area or require additional permits or special enclosure. The Department of Agriculture is highly restrictive concerning this category of “pets.” Find each state’s requirements on the USDA site. Some types of pets can actually be harmful to your new area’s ecosystem and if were to get loose can create irrevocable harm to the environment and indigenous species. Toxic and poisonous pets are highly regulated and moving them without proper certification can result in significant fines and destruction of those pets. You should get professional advice on how to transport any type of exotic that is not a domestic dog or cat.
Moving a Pet to Your New Home
Before you let your pets roam your residence or property, make sure you have performed a thorough site evaluation becoming aware of any hazards you may need to remedy before your pet finds them. Check that doors close and latch, no open windows or screens and weird cat hiding places. Try to acclimate your pets into one room in the home for the first day then gradually the remainder of the home. Remember, most pets are more sensitive to smell than sight so prior animal scents in your home could be confusing or all the new smells they will encounter. Expect your pets to be a little skittish for up to a month until they become acclimated with the entire residence and your outside property. Your pets may require more bio breaks or using the litter box until they become more secure with their surroundings. Plan on spending more time with them until they are settled.
Your best friend(s) is ready to resume “normal” life with you, so some extra TLC is purrrfect!