As stressful as moves can be for us, we need to remember that our pets are probably even more frazzled than we we are. A worried pet can act out by making messes, being destructive, or running away. However, there are ways to make the move easier on our pets, and ourselves.
Visit the vet
The veterinarian can check to see that your pet is healthy enough to travel, as well as give you good advice for specific travel needs. For example, the vet can advise you on proper medicines in case of motion sickness or anxiety. The vet can also help you get a collar, an ID tag with your phone number, and microchip your pet. That way, even if they slip out during the move, you can find them again in a hurry.
Get the right pet carriers
Consult your vet for the right kind of carrier. For example, soft carriers seem like a nice option, but cats can tear those apart quickly when agitated. Carriers need to be roomy enough for the animal to be able to stand up and turn around, and have absorbent layers in the bottom. They should also give your pet enough light and ventilation. It’s a good idea to leave the carrier out for a while before the move, so your animals can get used to it before it’s time to go. Think about throwing a favorite toy in there with them so they can feel more comfortable.
Plan your road trips
If you’re on the road, make sure that whenever you stop, your pet also gets a chance to have some water, a place to go potty, and maybe some food. You’ll also want to secure your pet in the vehicle; don’t let them wander freely around the cabin. Seat belts around loose animals or their carriers are a good idea. An unsecured pet in a seat or the back of a truck can get badly hurt in an accident. Also, don’t let them ride with their heads out the window all the time, especially at highway speeds. Dirt and dust in the eye is bad news at 65 mph. When you go to hotels, make sure they allow pets, with resources such as www.petswelcome.com or www.pet-friendly-hotels.net.
Plan out your flight
Make sure you check with your airline about their specific rules for bringing your pet with you. A small pet may be able to travel with you if their carriers are about the same size as carry-on luggage. Some larger animals may need to ride as baggage or cargo. Most airlines can rent you the proper carriers and give you more specific directions depending on your pet’s needs. Look at the rules for service animals and pets besides cats or dogs.
Moving in town
If you’re moving to a new place in the same town, consider boarding your pet on the days of the move. It will be less stressful for them than watching their entire worlds change, or having to be locked into a room or the backyard while people–including strangers–come in and out to move boxes and furniture. If you can’t board them, make sure you have a room set aside for your pets to make their own, with all their food, toys, beds, and litter boxes. Don’t open the door to this room unless you know all the outer doors are secured.
Getting used to the new place
Give your animals time to acclimate to their new home. Before you let them out of their carriers, check carefully for places where they can run, hide, or get lost. Give them a single room to get used to the new sounds and smells. When you let them out, accompany them as they explore. Eventually, they’ll settle down and decide this new place belongs to them as much as the last one did.
Don’t forget, Gerber Movers are always willing to help with this and all your other moving needs.