Of all of the factors involved in moving to a new home, planning for your pets’ care is among the most essential. Your bookcases, tables and other furniture are happy to go along for the ride without any special treatment to keep them doing well. But with pets, you need to ensure that both their physical and psychological needs are met throughout your voyage to make it as pleasant as possible for them for a comfortable move.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled some of the top tips for moving with pets to help you take care of your furry friends while you’re on the road.
1. Moving by Automobile with Your Pet: Getting Them Acclimated Before the Move
Your pet has lived in your old home for some time and is used to the routines of life there. Bringing them on a long voyage can be quite a drastic change for them, especially since you can’t tell them the trip is ahead. But there are ways to prepare them for a long journey.
Take Your Pets on Short Rides to Familiarize Them with The Road
If you have dogs, you’ve probably taken them in your car before, and they likely loved it; but with animals like cats, going on the road can be a stressful experience. As such, it’s a good idea for you to take them on short jaunts around town to get both them and you familiar with the experience. For instance, your cat may be frightened if kept in an animal carrier facing a window; she may be more comfortable with the carrier snuggled in among other items.
These short excursions can ferret out such complications to help you accommodate your pet for the long voyage. You can also sort out the details of providing food and water and a place for them to relieve themselves before your move by going on these short trips first.
2. Along the Way: Keeping Your Pet Comfortable While Traveling
Whenever you stop for a food break at a fast-food restaurant, and anytime you make a pit stop at a rest area, make sure that your pets are provided food, water and a place to relieve themselves. At home, you likely fed and watered your pet when they showed signs that they needed it, but on the road, the indications may not be as apparent. So, naturally include it their care when you need it, too.
Stay at Pet-Friendly Hotels Along the Way
Be sure to book your rooms before your journey to ensure that any hotels you stay at are pet-friendly. Finding an open room on the fly may not always work out, so plan ahead. Expedia has an excellent, searchable database of pet-friendly hotels.
Provide Comforting Breaks for Your Pet
Dogs will need time to explore and stretch their legs at pit stops like parks or rest areas along the way, while cats can be comforted by talking to them or petting them when you stop for a break. The road can take a toll on animals, so this care is undoubtedly needed.
3. Keep the Changing Climate in Mind for Your Move
Every season brings different conditions, and when you’re traveling from state to state, you’ll encounter differences in weather along the way. If you’re prepared for those extremes, your pet will reach your new home happy and in good health.
Watch out for Temperature Extremes
For instance, in the Greenville, South Carolina area, it’s important to keep in mind that conditions in the summer are hot and muggy, so keeping plenty of water available to your pet while you’re on the road is essential. Also, in humid conditions, pets can overheat, so keeping the air conditioning on in the car is vital for them, too.
4. An Option: Moving Pets to Their New Home by Airplane, or Using a Pet Moving Service
An airplane trip for your pet is a quicker voyage. But it can also be a very stressful voyage, since pets are sometimes kept in the cargo area being bumped around by turbulence. But compared to a three-day or weeklong trip in an automobile, a three- to five-hour flight could be less strenuous for them.
Airlines have the say on whether they transport a particular animal, so having a backup plan is wise. Airlines are more likely to accept calmer animals with proper certification and kennel markings.
Alternatively, pet moving services can handle the details of using an airline flight to deliver your pet to your new home. They manage every aspect of the move and work with the airline to accept and fly your pet home.
5. Know the Federal and State Laws and Regulations for Transporting Pets
Traditional moving companies are barred from transporting animals in their trucks by federal law. Also, most states require a health certificate and rabies vaccinations for pets being transported through or into their jurisdiction. Make sure you get the necessary credentials to avoid legal problems along the way.
These tips for moving with pets will make you better prepared for the trip and more able to keep your pets comfortable along the way.
Here’s a final parting tip to make the landing at home comfortable for your pet: Bring your pet’s bedding and their familiar water and food dishes and litter pan and place them in a warm spot of your new home. Introduce your pet to this spot. Let them find these familiar items so they have a place with scents that they know. This will indicate to them that your new home is their home, and they’ll acclimate more comfortably.
You love your pets. The goal is getting them to your new home, and having your furry family members with you there is worth it. You’ll be happy in your new home, and so will they.