Friday, 18 January 2013

Moving With Pets

So you have decided to move but are unsure how your pet will deal with relocating... Enjoy these tips on how to make your move less stressful for both you and your furry little friends!

Professional household movers do not accept the transportation of live animals, so expect to make these arrangements yourself. Some of the reasons why animals are not allowed on the truck include:

  • Keeping pets safe - A good mover will pack the truck securely so furniture does not shift around, however accidents can still happen, and household items can still move while in transit. It would be tragic for a pet to be harmed by furniture that has become unsecured. 
  • Reducing anxiety & stress - Moving trucks are dark and unfamiliar to pets, which can frighten them and cause more anxiety than the move may be causing already. There is no need to stress out your pet more than necessary. 
  • Nature calls - Animals can't always control their bladders as well as us humans, especially when they are frightened. No one wants their furniture wrecked and smelling of animal excrement (Yuck!).

As stated earlier, moving is a stressful time, not only humans but also for our pets. The following includes some tips on how to reduce stress on your pets prior, during, and after the move for both local and long distance relocations. 

While preparing...
  • Keep routines as consistent as possible, even when your house looks like a tornado went through it while sorting and packing your household goods.
  • If you have access to your new house or apartment prior to the move, take your pet over so they can begin to familiarize themselves with their new home. Take dogs for walks around the new neighbourhood so they can understand the new location of their home.
  • Be sure you have easy access to any pet toys, blankets, medication, leashes, collars, and of course plenty of food and water. You will need all of this during the move. 
  • Remember to update any collar tags with current addresses, phone numbers, and any other contact information incase your animal wanders off during the move. 
During transit...
  • It is best if you can leave your pet with a friend or family member during the day of the move, or if you know of any great kennels, consider leaving them there for the day. 
  • If you must keep your pet with you, make sure they are travelling in your personal vehicle. Purchase appropriate crates or seatbelt harnesses so your pet is secure while in transit, they deserve safety in vehicles too! 
  • Cats especially should be transported in crates, as they startle more easily than dogs and can effect the safety of the driver and passengers. 
  • Bring along any blankets and toys that will keep them comfy and distracted. 
  • Make frequent stops so they can stretch their legs, relieve their bladder, and drink some water, and eat. Never feed them in a moving vehicle, they can choke or become sick easily. 
  • Do not leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle, especially during warm summer days! Cracking your window is not a solution, your pet will get overheated, dehydrated and have some serious health risks. 
Long distance moves...
  • For long drives, try your best to stop at least every 2 hours and be sure to have an extra supply of food and water on hand in case your travels are delayed.
  • If driving to your new home is not an option, check with your airline, as many pets can travel in crates with the luggage. Otherwise, look into a professional pet moving service - yes they do exist!!!
Upon arrival...
  • Establish old/new routines as soon as possible. Let cats roam around your new home so they can become familiar with their new territory, if they are outdoor cats give them a couple days indoors until they become more relaxed in their surroundings. Again, take dogs for frequent walks in their new neighbourhood. 
For more tips, do not hesitate to ask your local veterinarian, breeder, or kennel!

By: Andrew Brown & Michelle Langdon