Moving and relocating is not an easy task for anyone, especially families with small children and pets. Pets can fill the stress of relocation just as much is the rest of the family and can get a little disoriented as well when their natural environment is being interrupted. If you’re planning on a move in you have pets there are some things to do to make a little bit easier for everyone involved.
Here are 8 things to consider when moving with pets.
#1. Work up a plan.
Make sure you have a good plan on how you’re going to relocate. If it’s just across town it may not be as difficult but if you are traveling out of state, have a plan for where your pets will be during the traveling process. Will the dogs sit up front with you or be kenneled or in a cage? What’s the plan for overnight stays if necessary? Do you need to map out hotels that accept four-legged family members ahead of time? Make sure you have an overnight kit that has enough pet food, any toys and grooming materials as well as betting and something familiar from home, such as a favorite pillow or toy.
#2. Communicate with your vet.
If you are changing that’s, ask if there’s a way to transfer documents electronically from one vet to another. Ask if there are any special requirements you’ll need for your pets when traveling or advice they might have once you get to your new location.
#3. Get a pet sitter.
It’s best to keep your pets away from the action of packing and moving, especially on moving day. You don’t want them to feel stressed and if you don’t want to leave them with the kennel for the day, at least remove them from the action. This could mean emptying out a room and giving them all of their favorite items to fill comforted while the rest of the house gets packed up and moved.
#4. Be cautious when letting pets out of kennels or cages in the new location.
Don’t open the kennel and tell all of the doors are closed and there’s a safe environment for them to explore their new home. The last thing you want is to lose your pet in a neighborhood that is unfamiliar to them. This is also a great way to transition them into their new home by keeping them inside for a while or on a leash if they need to go to the bathroom.
#5. Moving with unique animals.
What if you have fish, gerbils, lizards, or snakes? It’s important to know that fish respond strongly to stress and moves can be traumatizing to them. Transport fish in bags filled with their existing tank water but if you have a long way to go, it may be time to pass them onto a trusted friend or family member. If you’re relocating with rodents, make sure they’re in a warm, small, and comfortable carrier is shaking them around can be traumatizing to them. Birds can be tricky as well as they are also nervous about change. Make sure your birds stay in their locked cages, secure any doors, and transport them with as little of jostling as possible.
#6. Find out about any state or local rules and ordinances about having pets.
Does your new homeowner association allow for pets? Are there any rulings or registration that needs to happen in your new location? What about any new vaccinations, permits, or health certificates?
#7. Have your pet microchip if it’s not done already.
The very last thing anyone would ever want is to lose a pet while relocating from one place to another. Breaking free from a leash during a rest stop could be devastating so it’s important to have your pets microchipped and that the information is up-to-date as much is possible with at least an accurate phone number in case someone finds your pet. Have accurate collars, leashes, and pet carriers that are appropriate for the size and weight of your pet.
#8. Give them time.
We can’t simply sit down with our pets and tell them what’s going on so we have to be as kind and loving as possible during this stressful time. Give them space and time to get used to their new environment and offers much love and affection as possible.
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