Moving house is stressful. But the stress of moving house is double when that move is long-distance (over 400 miles or across stateliness). However, as TEJ Rentals warns, nothing compares to the difficulty of a long-distance move where you have to transport pets with you.
Pets add a whole new dimension of anxiety to what is already a demanding experience. Regardless of whether your pet is of the feathery, scaly, or furry variety, their presence changes the dynamics of your house move. You have a lot more to worry when moving with pets.
Keeping up with the needs of an animal can be difficult when you are distracted by the normal issues that happen during a house move. To ensure that your pet is not neglected or harmed on the journey, you need a handy guide to help you get through this period.
This guide lists the vital things to keep in mind when moving long-distance with pets. It is complete and presented in a simple format that is easy to follow. Using this checklist will ensure your pet doesn’t suffer during your house move.
Your ultimate guide to moving long-distance with pets
The first thing to note is that your pet doesn’t know you are moving and there is no way to let it know. Pets, especially cats, don’t like changes in their environment, so your preparations can make it jumpy and anxious. To make the transition easier, here are the things you should do and not do.
1. Start packing early
Get your moving boxes and packing supplies ready early. Keep them in the house and let your pet get used to them. When you start packing, leave one room until the last minute, to give the pet a familiar zone to escape to.
2. Don’t switch diets before a move
Sudden changes in diet in the weeks leading up to the move will increase the chances of an upset stomach and a sick pet.
3. Pack enough of their usual food
To make sure you are not forced to buy a different type of food along the way, pack more than enough of their typical food.
4. Keep your pet’s familiar items handy
Keep pets comfortably occupied during the journey. Do not forget to keep their favorite items on hand. You might need a special bag for this.
5. Familiarize your pet with the vehicle
Skip this step if you will be driving and the pet is used to riding in your car. But if you are using a strange vehicle, spend time to familiarize the pet with the vehicle.
6. Bring along a scent from home
A sense of the familiar will help the pet get through the stress of moving. You can keep your pet calm by leaving an unwashed towel or t-shirt in their crate.
7. Make sure you are using the right travel option
You have a responsibility to ensure the best travel options for the pet; explore the available options. A lot of what you do depends on the vehicle you will be using.
8. Traveling in a moving truck
If driving a moving truck, have the pet with you in the front cabin (unless it’s a large animal). That way you can keep an eye on it. Also, it could get hot in the back area.
9. Traveling by air
A dog or cat pet may stay with you in the cabin depending on their size and breed. Larger pets must travel in the cargo area of the plane (except service animals).
10.Secure your pet
If traveling in a car or moving truck keep the pet secured at all times with a harness or similar equipment. In other kinds of vehicles, you may need a pet carrier that is crash-tested.
11.Keep medications on hand
A parasite preventative, pet medications, and supplements must be within reach at all times. It is not unusual for pets to get sick during a long-distance move.
12.Do not leave the pet unattended
It is risky to leave the pet alone, even for a few minutes. The pet could panic and injure itself or temperature levels inside the vehicle could rise very quickly.
13.Keep pet tags on throughout the journey
Your pet may want to run off and then go missing and if the animal panics it may do just that. Tags and photos can save you in these kinds of situations.
14.Visit the vet before your move
Schedule a visit to your vet. If the pet has a history of anxiety issues or motion sickness, the vet will recommend something. Request vaccination documents for the pet.
15.Know the pet laws in the new location
Will your pet be allowed to cross state borders by car, plane, or train? What documentation will be required? Do you need a USDA accredited vet to certify the pet?
16.Find a new vet beforehand
Before you make the trip, identify 24-hour pet emergency centers along the route and at your destination. Also, find a vet in the new town or city that you will be moving to.