How To Move With Pets

House moving is stressful not only for people but for animals too. They can get anxious if they are introduced to a new environment. It is always better to know and prepare how to move with pets before the actual removal day. We have a list of a few tips which an help move smoothly and stress-free with pets.

Moving with pets

Is moving house stressful for animals?

Yes, moving house can be stressful for animals. Pets thrive on routine and familiarity, and a change as significant as moving to a new home disrupts both. The process involves a lot of unusual activity and noise, from packing boxes to the arrival of hired house movers, which can be unsettling for pets. The new environment itself—new sights, smells, and sounds—can also be overwhelming. Some animals may exhibit signs of stress like excessive vocalization, changes in eating habits, or even temporary behavioural issues.

However, the level of stress varies depending on the animal’s temperament, age, and past experiences. Proper planning and supportive measures can help mitigate the impact and help your pet adjust to their new home.

Pre-move preparations

The first and perhaps most crucial step in ensuring a smooth move with your pets is the pre-move preparation. Proper planning can significantly reduce stress for both you and your furry family members. Here’s how you can get your pets ready for the transition.

Understand Your Pet’s Temperament

Different pets have different reactions to change. Knowing your pet’s temperament will help you tailor your preparation steps.

  • Dogs: Generally adaptable but can get anxious with sudden changes.
  • Cats: Creatures of habit, they usually dislike changes to their environment.
  • Birds: Sensitive to stress and require careful handling.
  • Small mammals (hamsters, rabbits, etc.): Generally easy to move, but still require a familiar environment.

Start with the Carrier

The pet carrier is going to be your pet’s “safe zone” during the move. Follow these steps to get them comfortable:

  • Choose the Right Carrier: Make sure it’s well-ventilated, secure, and appropriately sized.
  • Introduce Slowly: Place the carrier in your pet’s current home several weeks before the move, so they can get used to it.
  • Make it Familiar: Put some of their favorite toys, blankets, or even a piece of your clothing inside.
  • Training: Encourage your pet to spend time in the carrier. Start with short periods and gradually increase.

Practice Car Rides

If your pet is not used to car travel, now is the time to start practicing:

  • Short Trips: Take short drives around the neighborhood.
  • Gradually Lengthen the Time: Start increasing the duration of the car rides.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Reward them with treats and affection for good behavior during the ride.

Modify Meal Times and Walks

Begin subtly altering feeding times and walks to match what they will be post-move. This will make the transition to a new routine easier.

Consult the Vet

Discuss your moving plans with your vet. Make sure to ask:

  • Is my pet healthy enough to travel?
  • What advice do you have specific to my pet’s needs?
  • Should I make any dietary changes leading up to or during the move?

Packing Their Stuff

Don’t pack all your pet’s belongings away in boxes. Keep their favorite toys, food, and other essentials accessible. This will help reassure them in the new environment.

Introduce Scents

If possible, bring a few items from the new home or environment and introduce them to your pet. Familiarizing them with new scents can make the transition less startling.

Set Up a Pet Essentials Moving Day Kit

Pack a bag with enough food, medications, toys, grooming tools, and other essentials to sustain your pet through the move and the first couple of days in the new home.

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Vet visit before the house move

Scheduling a vet visit before your move is essential for ensuring your pet’s well-being during the transition. Your vet can perform a general health check and update any vaccinations that may be due. This appointment is also the perfect opportunity to discuss any travel-related concerns, such as motion sickness or anxiety, and to obtain copies of your pet’s medical records. Taking these steps helps you prioritize your pet’s health, making for a smoother and less stressful move for everyone involved.

Moving With Pets Travel Logistics

Choosing the right mode of transport can make all the difference in how smoothly your pet adjusts to the move. Depending on the distance and your pet’s specific needs, you have several options to consider.

Car Travel

For many pet owners, driving is the most convenient and pet-friendly way to move.

  • Safety Gear: Invest in a good-quality harness or pet seatbelt to keep your pet secure.
  • Travel Kennel: For smaller pets, a well-ventilated and comfortable travel kennel can be placed in the back seat.
  • Rest Stops: Plan frequent breaks to let your pet relieve themselves and stretch a bit.
  • Keep the Environment Familiar: Bring along some of their favorite toys and a blanket to help them feel at home in the car.

Air Travel

If you’re moving a long distance, flying might be the most practical option. But it comes with its challenges:

  • Airline Policies: Different airlines have different policies regarding pet travel; some allow pets in the cabin, while others will only transport them in the cargo hold.
  • Advance Booking: Pet-friendly flights fill up quickly, especially during peak moving seasons.
  • Health Certificates: Many airlines require a health certificate from the vet, issued typically no more than 10 days before travel.
  • Prepare for Security: Know the TSA guidelines for pet travel through airports to make the process smoother.

Train Travel

Train travel can be a more relaxed way to travel with pets, though not all train services allow them.

  • Check Policies: Ensure the train line you plan to use allows pets and under what conditions.
  • Book a Pet-Friendly Compartment: If available, this offers a more comfortable journey for your pet.
  • Potty Breaks: Some train services offer stops long enough for a quick potty break, so be prepared to take advantage.

Other Public Transport (Bus, Subway)

If you’re moving locally, you might be considering buses or subways.

  • Pet Policies: Most public transport services have specific rules for traveling with pets.
  • Off-Peak Hours: Choose times when the service is less crowded to make the journey easier on your pet.
  • Short Trips Are Best: Due to the limited space and frequent stops, it’s best to keep trips on public transport as short as possible.

Settling In: Making Your New Home Pet-Friendly

After the hustle and bustle of moving day, your focus shifts to making your new residence as comfortable as possible for all family members, including your pets. Creating a pet-friendly environment will help your animal companion adjust more quickly and reduce their stress. Here’s how to go about it:

Designate a Pet Area

Choose a quiet space in your new home where your pet can relax and feel secure.

  • Familiar Items: Populate this area with familiar items like their bed, blanket, and toys.
  • Accessibility: Make sure this area is easily accessible but also offers a retreat from high-traffic zones in the house.

Pet-Proofing the New House

Curious pets might get into places they shouldn’t, especially in an unfamiliar environment.

  • Check for Hazards: Look out for open electrical outlets, loose wires, or accessible cleaning supplies.
  • Secure Windows and Balconies: Make sure that windows and balconies are secure to prevent any accidental falls.

Gradual Introduction

Your pet may feel overwhelmed with the new environment, so it’s crucial to introduce them to the home gradually.

  • One Room at a Time: Allow your pet to get familiar with one room before moving on to the next.
  • Supervised Exploration: Initially, supervise your pet as they explore the new spaces to prevent any mishaps or destructive behavior.

Stick to Routines

Maintaining a sense of routine can be grounding for pets who have just been through a move.

  • Feeding and Walk Times: Try to feed and walk your pet at the same times they’re accustomed to.
  • Play and Attention: Dedicate time to play with and cuddle your pet to help alleviate any stress they may be feeling.

Update Identification

In case your pet manages to wander off while exploring their new territory, make sure their identification is updated.

  • ID Tags: Update the address and contact information on their ID tags as soon as possible.
  • Microchip Information: If your pet is microchipped, remember to update your contact details in the microchip database.

Vet and Emergency Services

Find a new local vet if you’ve moved a considerable distance, and locate the nearest emergency pet services.

  • Initial Visit: Schedule an initial check-up to introduce your pet to their new vet and get any local health advice.
  • Emergency Contacts: Keep a list of emergency numbers handy, just in case.

Creating a pet-friendly environment in your new home will help your four-legged family members settle in more quickly and easily. The less stress your pet feels, the quicker they’ll adjust to their new surroundings, making for a happier and more harmonious home for everyone.

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Considering a Pet Sitter: Why It Could Be Beneficial During Your Move

Moving day is often hectic and stressful, filled with a whirlwind of activities from packing last-minute items to coordinating with movers. Amidst this chaos, maintaining your pet’s routine or keeping an eye on them can become challenging. This is where hiring a pet sitter can be a game-changer.

Benefits of a Pet Sitter on Moving Day

  • Stress Reduction: Pets pick up on their owners’ stress levels. A pet sitter can help by providing a stable environment while you manage the move.
  • Maintained Routine: With a pet sitter, feeding, walks, and playtime can occur at the usual times, providing some consistency on an otherwise chaotic day.
  • Safety: There’s a lot of activity during a move, which increases the risk of your pet escaping or getting injured. A pet sitter can ensure they stay safe and secure.
  • Focused Attention: A pet sitter can give your pet one-on-one attention, helping to distract them from the disorienting changes happening around them.

Emotional Support: How to Help Your Pet Adjust

Moving to a new home can be a stressful experience for pets, leading to changes in behavior or even health issues if not managed properly. Emotional support plays a critical role in helping your pet adjust to the new environment. Consistency is key: try to maintain your pet’s regular routine of feeding times, walks, and playtime as closely as possible. Additionally, spend quality time cuddling, playing, or simply being present with your pet to reassure them that despite the changes, the bond you share remains strong. Providing familiar items like their favorite blanket or toy can offer additional comfort. In essence, the more love and attention you give, the quicker your pet will acclimate to their new surroundings.

Pet-Friendly Moving Companies: Why and How to Choose Them

Choosing a pet-friendly moving company can make a significant difference in the stress levels and well-being of your animal companion during a move. These specialized companies have both the experience and resources to handle the unique challenges that come with transporting pets. They often offer specialized services such as custom pet carriers, climate-controlled vehicles, and trained staff who are knowledgeable about animal behavior and needs. This expertise ensures that your pet’s transition from one home to another is as smooth as possible, and provides you with peace of mind knowing that your pet is in capable hands.

When selecting a pet-friendly moving company, there are several factors to consider. Start by conducting thorough research; look for online reviews, especially those that mention the company’s handling of pets. Don’t hesitate to ask specific questions: inquire about their experience with your type of pet, what pet-specific amenities they offer, and what safety protocols they have in place. You can also ask for a tour of their facilities to see where your pet will be kept during transit. Lastly, make sure to get a detailed cost estimate that includes any additional fees for pet-related services. This way, you can compare different options and choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.

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