It’s moving day! Boxes and vans and chaos are everywhere! As if things weren’t crazy enough already, you’ve also got to figure out what on earth to do with Fluffy and Fido.
Fortunately, this is an area where we have plenty of experience. Moving across town or even across the country with pets is easier than it appears. The key is to prepare adequately for the move. Even if you’re doing this at the last minute (which is totally understandable), a few simple tricks help your four-legged, two-legged or no-legged friends make the journey safely and comfortably.
Starting Your Move Homeward With Pets
The first person you should talk to about moving your pets is their veterinarian. There are several things your vet can do for you.
You need to get your pets’ medical information transferred to their new veterinarian. Your current vet can take care of that for you.
If your pets have a tendency to get carsick, get appropriate medications and special feeding advice.
While you’re at it, obtain sufficient refills of their current medications, too. Make those part of a just-in-case kit that also includes a supply of food and first-aid materials.
After you’ve talked with your veterinarian, get yourself and your pets ready for the move by making the following preparations:
Find pet-friendly hotels along your moving route. Make reservations if you have a long drive ahead of you.
Start acclimating your animals to the drive by taking them on short trips as soon as possible. This is especially true for pets who don’t like car travel.
If you’re traveling by air, check well in advance regarding the airline’s pet travel requirements. You may need to purchase a special under-seat crate.
If you’re making an international move, it is essential to find out whether the new country has specific animal quarantine policies. Determine what documentation to bring. Requesting forms, permits and traveling documents for your pets probably involves fees.
Lastly, make your pets’ new ID tags with the future address ahead of the move. Change the information associated with your pets’ microchips before you leave the old address. Have these items ready to wear on moving day.
At Home on Moving Day
Ease your pets’ stress on the big day by first maintaining their normal routines as much as possible. Keep them away from the action until everything else is ready. Feed them and walk them at their normal times, even if you’re really busy with 800 other things.
If they are indoor animals it’s best to keep them confined in a room with food and water, except for bathroom breaks. Place your pets and their travel crates in a room in the house that’s already empty, along with all of their toys and other objects that belong to them inside that room. Keep that room off limits to movers – this helps your pets avoid frightening noises and unfamiliar people. Your pets and their things should be the last things to move.
For dogs, it’s often better to let them stay at a friend’s house or a kennel for the day, so they can stay away from the chaos of packing a home. Plus, your dogs will be happy around other canines, and playing with other dogs on moving day can help them relax.
Give your pets their food and water about four hours before beginning the journey. That way, they have time to finish digesting their food before getting into the car.
On the Road on Moving Day
If your pet or pets are still nervous on the last day at the old place, there are a couple of options. Your vet might be able to prescribe sedatives to help them relax and sleep. Just remember that sedatives do come with some risks. A more practical application is to place an old piece of your clothing in your pet’s travel crate. They find your familiar scent comforting and relaxing.
If you plan to drive to your new location, it’s important that your pets travel in your own car, if possible. That’s because they are familiar with that vehicle in terms of both sight and smell. Place a blanket over the travel crate to shield your pets from the view of the changing environment outside the car windows.
Place all traveling animals inside well-ventilated travel crates while making the trip. Under no circumstances should any animals of any size be allowed to run around loose inside a vehicle or in the bed of a truck. Doing so presents a major safety hazard for your pets and the human occupants of the car. Imagine what happens if a scaredy-cat crawls underneath the brake pedal!
Make sure that during long trips, your pets get food and bathroom breaks at least as often as you do.
The New World
When you arrive at your new home, don’t just set your pets free inside – that may freak them out badly. Give them time to adjust!
Set them up in a single room, and make sure the room is fully furnished and includes objects familiar to them. Gradually allow them over a few days to get to know the rest of the house. For cats, move their litter box gradually from that first room. Scoot it a foot at a time over a few weeks until it is in the desired permanent location.
Watch for any unusual behavior after the move. Keep your new vet posted.
Moving companies like On the Go Moving Services are pet-friendly and help you with many aspects of getting your pets ready. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you with relocating your pets, whether you’re staying nearby or traveling across the country!