Tips for moving with pets

Your furry four-legged friends are your family. So it’s no wonder that they will be moving with you! But relocation can be hard on pets. And it can make the process harder and more complicated for you too. So how do you go about moving with pets? Is there a way to make it easier? How can relocation be safe, comfortable and easy for both you and your animal companions? These tips from the expert moving professionals in charge of Spyder Moving Services aim to answer those questions and more!

What are the difficulties of moving with pets?

Relocation is hard on both you and your pets. Of course, there’s the fact that your pets are yet another household member to keep track of, work with, pack for and stress over. But there’s more to it. Animals, especially domesticated ones, like routine. Change stresses them out. And relocation is a pretty big change which will definitely take its toll on them.

Pug on a floor.
Change is hard for animals.

Additionally, pets (dogs in particular) are very good at sensing their owners’ moods. If you’re feeling stressed, odds are your pet is too which means that your moving stress is going to make your pets even more nervous than they probably already are. Not to mention, most animals are not big fans of traveling, making transportation difficult.

Preparation and organization is key when moving with pets

Like with every complex move, preparation and organization are vital to a successful relocation with pets. So make sure to take your pet and their needs into account right from the start!

Make sure your pet is healthy

Take special care of your pet in the weeks leading up to the relocation. You can’t avoid putting them under stress. But you can make sure they are in a condition to take that stress. So be sure to feed them well, protect them from parasites, stay up to date on their vaccines and consult with a vet before the move.

Prepare your pet’s documentation

Having the right papers is perhaps even more important for your pet than it is for you. A cat or a dog can’t explain their health issues to a new vet, prove their vaccinations, ask for directions to your new address if lost or be left to fend for themselves if refused entry into a state or country. So having your pet’s veterinary history, passport and all relevant documents is vital. Don’t forget to check any legal requirements either, especially if moving to another state or country.

When moving with pets, plan the relocation in a way that suits the animal

You want to make sure your pets are as safe and comfortable as they can be during this stressful time. To do this, always adjust to your pet’s needs and plan a relocation with their safety and comfort as a priority. This may, for example, mean driving even if you’re moving long-distance from Mississippi because that’s what your pets are used to.

Dog in a car.
Get ready for a long drive if that’s what your pet needs.

Pack for your pet

Of course, you’ll pack their bed, crate, and toys. But don’t forget to have an overnight bag for your pet in addition to the one you’re packing for yourself! Water bowls, some food, their preferred snacks, and their favorite toy will go a long way in making them comfortable.

Hire professionals if you need help moving with pets

If you’re not sure you can handle it yourself, hire professionals to help you move with pets. Remember, however, that most moving companies do not offer pet relocation among their residential moving services so be sure to hire pet relocation experts in addition to your regular movers.

Moving with pets other than dogs and cats

While dogs and cats are among the most popular pets these days, there are other animals out there that we enjoy the company of. Sometimes, moving with them can be a bit different.

Moving with fish

Unfortunately, moving can often prove fatal to fish. If you’re moving far away, it’s best to give them away to someone. For short distances, use plastic bags with old (but not stale) tank water. Set the aquarium up at the new place and transfer them as soon as possible.

Moving with guinea pigs, hamsters, and other rodents

Rodents respond very negatively to stress and change. Since they are susceptible to heart conditions, you must watch them closely for any sign of distress during the move. The best way to move them is in a warm, comfortable and small carrier.

Guinea pig in a car.
Take good care of your pet rodents during a move.

Moving with birds

Regardless of how well behaved your bird is, always move them in a cage. You never know how they will react in a hectic and stressful situation like a move!

Moving with tortoises, snakes, lizards and other reptiles

Reptiles should be moved in secure containers so they don’t escape. Just make sure they have enough ventilation for the trip. Like fish, you want to get them back in their terrarium as soon as possible!

Keep your pet’s needs in mind throughout the move

Moving with pets requires that you take their needs into consideration at every step of the process: before, during and after the move.

Before the move: keep your pet away from the chaos

All the running around in preparation for the move is stressful for animals. So if you don’t want to remove them entirely by leaving them in pet daycare or with a friend, at least try to keep them secluded from the chaos in a separate closed and quiet room or in their crate. You don’t want your local movers MS tripping over your dog!

During the move: keep an eye on your pet during relocation

Animals behave differently when they’re stressed. Even a trained dog or a loving cat may run away when they’re confused or scared. So keep a close eye on your pets. Always use leashes and carriers and try to provide them with anything extra you notice they need, be it food, water, a break or extra cuddles!

After the move: help your pet adjust

There’s still work to do after moving with pets: you still need to help them adjust to the new environment! To ease the transition, move your pets last – that way they won’t have to roam unfamiliar places filled with boxes while you settle in. Get back into a routine as soon as possible to give your pets a sense of normalcy. Finally, don’t forget to update your information in their chip and collar!

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