Moving is considered one of the biggest stressors in life. It sits on a pantheon occupied by other life events like marriage. And separation from a partner. Retirement. First day at school in the case of kids. Or moving again in the case of pets.
Yup, pets don’t cope too well too.
All the pre-moving commotion around the home doesn’t work for these guys, no. Settling into new environments doesn’t do it much for them either. They’d rather, you know – just hang around. The usual spots.
Life being life, though, you will find yourself moving at one time or another. And you have to tag your brood along – the fish, dog, bunny, cat…No one has a choice.
As challenging as it can be for everyone involved, luckily, there are a few things you could do to make the experience more manageable, both for you and your animal buddies.
Get the papers in order
Depending on your mode of travel – and destination – you may be required to produce documents pertaining to your pet’s health.
Determine the requirements first, then plan a visit to your vet to get what you need. It could be a proof of rabies vaccination, for example, or a general certificate of health signed by a licensed veterinarian. Health certificates have an expiration window, so make sure you factor this in.
Even when moving by road, whether in your car or with the help of a moving company, a visit to the vet is important so you can take records and prescription medications, including administering mild sedatives to reduce anxiety.
Maintain a sense of routine
It can be difficult to maintain your regular routine during the moving process. Whether it’s packing the boxes, cleaning, disposing of stuff you don’t want to take with you, or scurrying about last-minute, normalcy usually goes out the window during this period.
However, as overwhelming as things might be, maintaining the usual routine for your animal friend(s) will do their general wellbeing some good. That means maintaining the feeding hours, making time for a snuggle etc.
The cuddling time will work wonders for your stress levels too!
Update their info
Before you move out, make it a point of updating the information on your pet’s tag or microchip with the new address and telephone number.
Sometimes, animals can get jittery and make off. When they do, you want to make sure they can be traced back to you.
Have a carrier
Always move your animals in a comfy car-safe carrier. This reduces their anxiety while ensuring your pet stays comfy throughout the journey.
If yours is the anxious type, consider throwing a blanket over their carrier so they can’t see the changing environment outside.
Keep your pet secluded
Set up a secluded room before moving out so that the pet stays away from the action. When you get to your new address, likewise, have an “introduction room” where you can place them as they get accustomed to the new surrounds.
Avoid giving your pet the whole space to roam in for a start. And in both cases, make sure the animal has everything they need – food, water, bed etc.