Monday, April 9, 2012

Moving with your pets

If you have cats and dogs to take with you on your move, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that the trip goes smoothly and that the animals are as comfortable as possible. Also be sure find out if the local or cross country moving companies you are planning on hiring know you have pets as well. Although most moving companies will be fine with this it is normally better if they are a full service moving company.
Any major change in their living conditions may cause stress for animals, particularly cats, which are not used to riding in cars as much as dogs are. Try to keep your pets’ feeding schedules as close to their usual times as possible. In addition, make sure that they always have access to clean drinking water, since spills are likely with all of the car’s turns and stops, and the animals could also tip the water bowl over if they move around a lot.
Before you move, check to see if your pets’ vaccinations are up to date, and keep the records some place where you can find them if you need to. It is important to look up the phone number of the local veterinarian’s office you will be using in the new location as well, in case there are any emergencies. The vet can also let you know if the state or region you are moving to requires any  vaccinations that your pet has not yet had.
Be sure to stop as often as necessary to let your pets exercise and get fresh air. When traveling with cats, it is usually a good idea to confine them to a sturdy cage and put their favorite toys, blankets and other items in the cage, which will bring them some comfort. Even if your cats are well-behaved it is a safety hazard to have cats running around unleashed in a vehicle. Your cats might complain loudly and frequently if they are confined, but they will eventually settle down and get used to the situation.
Upon arrival at the new home, you may want to lock your cats in a room for a week or two, so the animals can slowly become accustomed to the unfamiliar surroundings. You don’t want any pets to be confused and try to escape, following their instincts and trying to return to their last home. After some time has passed, carry each cat around the new home to all the rooms, and do not let it outside until you feel it is ready.