As much as we adore our beloved pets, moving house with them can be stressful. Many people worry about the confusion experienced by pets during the relocation process. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as we might anticipate. There are plenty of ways to make moving house with pets easier, leaving you to focus on packing boxes and communicating with the removalists!
It is important that your pet is not only micro chipped, but also carries an identification tag, clearly labelled with your new address. Most animals are likely to stay by their owner’s side. However, if a pet does become lost, it is essential that whoever finds him/her is able to contact you easily. While we’re on the subject, don’t forget to change the contact details linked to your pet’s microchip!
Obtain a copy of your pet’s medical record from your current vet, and check that all immunisations are up-to-date. This is especially important in the case of an international relocation, as is checking quarantine laws.
That’s the paper work pretty much taken care of. Now we come to the emotional issues. Some pets might display anxiety as the movers start to visit your home and the relocation date draws near. Animals might not be able to talk with us, but their instincts are well developed when it comes to sensing change. Keep a close eye on your pet’s behaviour. Consider putting him/her in a separate room, where he/she won’t be close to all the hustle and bustle of packing and the lifting and lugging of removalists. Constant reassurance, both verbal and physical, can help to reduce stress.
Try to maintain your pet’s regular routine, particularly in terms of eating and exercise. That might be difficult, considering that your own life will feel as though it is very much out of order, but keeping up expected behaviours can assist in instilling a sense of normality.
When it comes to relocation day, try the following tips:
• Sedatives are useful if your pet is extremely stressed, if the journey is long, and/or if your pet is travelling with the removalist.
• Use comfortable, secure caging and cover it if necessary.
• If relocating by plane, book the most direct route possible, and check on housing and identification requirements for animals.
• If relocating by car, stop as often as possible, to provide your pet with fresh air, exercise, food, water and affection. Don’t let him/her stray too far, though, as he/she might become confused and go for a wander. If you have to stop overnight, ring ahead to find accommodation where pets are accepted and don’t forget to carry a leash.
• Have your pet travel with you, rather than the removalist. If this isn’t an option, book removalists that you trust implicitly, to assure peace of mind.
Once you’ve reached your destination, give your pets a couple of weeks to develop self-confidence. Don’t be too concerned if they’re fretful – that’s to be expected after moving house. Do what you can to reassure them, by providing affection, re-establishing routines, and keeping up food and water schedules. It won’t be long before the movers are gone and you and your pets are starting to feel at home again.
Sam Nathan is a freelance writer. His interests include finance, sports, travel and health.