5 Tips for Moving with Pets
The boxes have been loaded, the furniture wrapped and the floor mopped. But what about Conrad the cat, Bouncer the bunny or Squeakers the cockatiel? Whether you are moving to a new home, new city or new country, it’s important to factor the animal members of your family into your plans.
Here are 5 tips for ensuring a smooth move with pets:
- Round them up. It may seem obvious, but in order to move your pets, you first need to get your hands on them. This may not be a big issue if you have a dog or a hamster, but cats sometimes have a habit of disappearing at the most inopportune time. If you know you need to be out of your old house and hitting the road at a certain time, consider tracking down your cat a few hours in advance and keeping it in a room with food, water and a litter box until your departure.
- Make a kit. Moving is hectic and it’s easy to lose track of what’s where when your entire household is packed up in boxes. Whether you’re rushing to meet a move-out deadline or feeling overwhelmed by the mountain of things to unpack in your new place, the last thing you want is to waste time searching for pet food or a leash. You can avoid this by putting together a special pet kit in advance containing food, water and food bowls, leashes, toys, and anything else you may need to care for your pet. Keep the kit somewhere easy to find – perhaps next to your pet’s travel cage or on the front seat of your vehicle.
- Keep them safe and comfortable. Moving can be traumatic for pets as they need to adjust to a new environment and potentially spend long hours travelling in cramped conditions. While you can’t avoid this altogether, you can do everything possible to ease their transition. For example, try to minimize the travel time between your old place and new home so that your pets will spend as little time as possible caged up and in a vehicle. And remember: animals should never be left unattended in a parked vehicle as the temperature can very quickly surge or plummet, putting them at risk.
- Know the rules. Moving with a pet can quickly turn into a costly bureaucratic nightmare if you don’t do your homework ahead of time. If you are moving into a rental property, make sure that your pet is permitted and meets all the pet-related rules of your new home before you move (even better, before you sign the tenancy agreement!). If you are moving to a different country, it’s critical to read up about all the rules related to topics such as importing pets, quarantine requirements, breed restrictions and licensing.
- Enjoy their company. Pets may add another layer of complexity to an already stressful move, but don’t forget what pets are best for: love and companionship. If you’re exhausted after hours of packing or cleaning, a long walk outside with your dog or a cuddle on the couch with your cat might be just what you need to relax and recharge.
As with most aspects of a big move, making a plan for your pets and being prepared can make a huge difference. Hopefully the tips above will help make it a smooth move for you, as well as for Conrad, Bouncer and Squeakers.