Moving with Pets
Pets present their own difficulties when you’re trying to move to a new home. Not only can a cat, dog or other animal be a nuisance when you’re trying to pack or prepare for a move, they also have a very special set of needs when it comes to transporting them to a new house. Moving can be a scary or even dangerous process for an animal, and it’s important to do everything you can to make sure their move is as safe and comfortable as yours is. Here are a few ideas you can incorporate into your move in order to help your pet have a relatively enjoyable moving experience:
- Make sure your pet has identification. Even if you don’t normally have an identifying tag on your animal – for instance, if you have an indoor-only cat – you’ll want to put something on a collar to identify your pet and their new address before you move. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen, and if your pet should end up getting lost or running away, you’ll want to make sure anyone who might find them can easily return your pet to its new home.
- Check the applicable animal laws in your new home. If you’re moving over provincial or international borders, there’s always a chance that there are different laws in your new location when it comes to the transport or housing of animals. Even for cats and dogs, there may be a quarantine period that you’ll need to observe in some areas. With more exotic pets, it’s doubly important to do your due diligence here.
- Watch your pet’s behavior. While your pet won’t understand exactly what’s going on, they’re likely to get the impression that something major is changing – especially after you begin packing in earnest. This can lead to a very nervous or anxious animal, which may increase the chances of bad behavior or even running away. If you have a pet that’s having an especially difficult time dealing with a move, it may be best to keep them in a carrier or otherwise confined during the most hectic parts of the move.
- Transport your pet safely. Make certain that you have a comfortable and safe carrier for your cat or dog, and that you take any necessarily precautions when moving other pets. In most situations, pets should travel with the family, rather than on a moving van.
- Slowly integrate your pet into your new home. If you have an indoor pet, this will be a fairly easy process; let your cat or dog explore your home, and make sure your cat knows where the new litter box is located. For pets that go outdoors, only allow them outside under supervision for the first couple of weeks, since they may not yet understand where “home” is in their new neighborhood.