Moving is stressful, and it’s tempting to treat everything around you like a punching bag. When your pets endure a move, it’s equally distressing for them (but they’re nice enough not to bite you). They sense that life changes are approaching and experience anxiety just like you do, so they need additional support and you need a safe plan to accommodate them. With a few tips and extra planning, your move can be stress-free and you all can focus on the fun of starting fresh while getting to know your new home. This series about preparing to move with pets will help you craft and carry out the perfect transportation plan.
While you’re sure to bubble-wrap your finest china and see to it that your flat screen is properly cocooned, the most important pieces of precious cargo are your pets. It’s important to transport your animals with their safety in mind, whether you are driving or flying. You will need to purchase certain items, like a travel crate for flying or a seat belt harness to safely secure your dog into your car. Your airline may also require that your pet has a vet-approved health certificate before he can fly. Although safety is key, knowing how to transport your pet with his comfort in mind (such as adding familiar blankets, toys, or an article of your clothing imbued with your scent to the crate keep him calm) is one of the most critical responsibilities you’ll undertake. An educated plan will help you accomplish this.
While day-of transport activities with your pets will be stressful, it’s important to remember that moving is a longer process for your furry friends. You’ll need to start preparing them weeks before you bid adieu to your old place, and you’ll also want to help them adapt appropriately when you settle into your new place. You need to take your pets in for their last checkup at their old vet to ensure they’re healthy and stocked up on medications they’ll need during the trip. You’ll also need to gather important information, like the airline’s crate size limits and pet travel fees or which hotels along your route allow animals, via some online research or by making a few phone calls. You don’t want to forget details that keep everything smooth.
It seems easier to move with cats, and usually it is. Most cats fit in the regulated carriers that airlines require for travel (although you always need to check with your airline to find the correct dimensions), and they’re quiet creatures that don’t feel the need to get out and explore for hours at every rest stop you pass. However, there are special considerations you’ll need to make to accommodate your feline friends, like letting giving them a few weeks to get accustomed to their transport carriers. Cats aren’t fans of change or travel, so start preparing them for the big day in advance.
When dogs are accustomed to the safety and stability of a familiar place and routine (would your dog ever let you forget it’s time for his 4 p.m. walk?), permanently removing them from that environment is upsetting and confusing. Dogs have unique needs when it comes to moving, particularly if yours is crate-trained and can’t access his safe spot or if he is larger and has to fly in a plane’s cargo area. It’ll help your dog stay calm if you keep things routine while you’re bidding farewell to your home.
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