Moving can be very disruptive from your pet’s perspective. They see their home being torn apart, their owners are stressed, and strangers are passing through more frequently. They don’t have the benefit of understanding why this is happening, so it’s no surprise that they can feel as stressed as you do about the move. For a smooth transition to your new home, these four tips can help you to avoid the common pitfalls and stressors associated with moving with a pet.
1. Visit your veterinarian
It’s a good idea for Rover or Fluffy to get a checkup prior to your move so that you understand your pet’s physical condition. Let the vet know about your move and ask for any specific recommendations based on the results of the checkup. For instance, if your pet struggles with long trips in a vehicle, the vet may prescribe medications for nausea or tranquilizers when necessary. They can also provide you with up-to-date documentation for your pet, which is essential when travelling across borders.
2. Learn about local pet laws
You’ll want to research any applicable pet restrictions if you are planning on crossing any borders, staying in a hotel, moving into a shared building or into a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association. It’s not only exotic pets, birds, or reptiles that get scrutinized. Your dog may be denied entry at the border without a leash, muzzle, and proper documentation. Certain areas also have size restrictions on dogs and even bans on specific breeds. As a guest or tenant, you should also know that hotels, condominiums, and apartments are within their rights to restrict pets by species, size, or disposition. Knowing these rules ahead of time can prevent any mishaps on route with your pet.
3. Ease into the move
Pets can pick up on their owners’ stress and replicate it. By packing gradually in the weeks leading up to your move, you can help reduce your stress and give your pet time to acclimate. During this time, if your pet isn’t used to travelling in a pet carrier or in a vehicle, you should expose them to it early and progressively increase the duration leading up to the moving day.
4. Travel smart
First and foremost, you should never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle in warm or cold temperatures. Even when the weather is mild, it doesn’t take long for the temperatures to become dangerous to your pet. During the commute, you should ideally be taking breaks every 2-3 hours accompanied by a short walk when applicable. Towels can be used to protect the interior of your car and to cover caged pets, which can be soothing. You’ll want to pack your pet’s leash, bed, blanket, toys, and treats to help keep them calm and comfortable. Remember to bring their food and water dish, however try to limit your pet’s food intake as that can contribute to an upset stomach along the way.
Pets can’t articulate their concerns, which is why taking these precautions can help ensure a comfortable move for everybody. That way you and your pet will be in good spirits for when it’s time to settle in your new home.