Are you prepping for your big move and looking for the best way to transport your precious pets? You’ve come to the right place! Here’s everything you need to know to transport your pet with the least amount of stress possible so that you can focus on the move and your pets can enjoy their new adventure!
If you think about how stressful the moving process is for you, imagine what it’s like for your pets that don’t know what’s happening. Both dogs and cats can not only pick up on your stress; causing them anxiety as well, but can also be sensitive to changes in their environment, like moving boxes and furniture removals.
Dogs and cats are also both territorial. Meaning, their home space is very important to them. So suddenly taking them out of their territory causes a lot of stress and can take them a while to adjust to the new environment.
That’s why it’s our job to do everything we can to alleviate their stress during this period of change. From the packing process to the car ride, and first at the new home. That way, this can be a time of excitement rather than stress — for both you and your pet!
Also, read our article on important vaccinations, inoculations and paperwork you'll need to do before you move: https://www.wisemove.co.za/post/pet-transport-south-africa
If you’ve ever tried to get a cat in a cat carrier, then you know it’s no easy task. Cats are notorious for their contempt for car rides, and this experience becomes even more traumatising if they’re forced into a carrier they are unfamiliar with.
The best thing to do to make a peaceful journey for your cat is to get them used to the cat carrier in advance. You can:
The same applies to your dog if you’ll be transporting them in a crate or carrier.
Some pets love cars, while others hate them. But with the added stress of the move, you can count on this car ride being more difficult than the others.
Once your cat is more comfortable with the cat carrier, it’s time to take it up a notch and familiarise them with the car. Before your trip, take your cat on shorter and longer car rides so that it won’t be such a shock to their system on moving day.
For your dog, whether you’re using a crash-test certified harness, travel crate, or carrier, it’s important to get them used to it beforehand with practice car rides.
Pets quickly pick up changes in routine, causing them some anxiety. So make sure to stick to your regular schedule for feeding, grooming, walks, treats, and bedtime before the move to put them at ease.
This is even more vital after your move. They might be in an unfamiliar place, but keeping to a familiar and regular routine will help them settle faster into their new home.
Both dogs and cats are very sensitive to changes in their environment, so suddenly filling their space with new and foreign objects like moving boxes can put them on edge. So try to introduce your moving boxes into the house one at a time, allowing your pets to sniff the new scents as well as rub their scent onto them.
Also, make sure to pack your pet’s belongings last to ensure they have their favourite and familiar items with them for as long as possible (and don’t forget your pet’s vaccine cards!).
If it’s not too far away, taking your dog on walks in your new neighbourhood is not only a great way for your dog to familiarise themselves with the space and scents of their new home, but it’s also a fun opportunity for you to explore it as well!
You can even walk your dog up to your house to help them become comfortable with the new space.
The last thing you want to happen is that when you’re ready to leave you suddenly can’t find your dog or cat. So while you’re handling all the logistics on the day of the move, it’s best to keep your pet in a designated room or area. Make sure everyone knows not to let them out.
This is also a good idea once you’ve reached your new home, to not only let them slowly familiarise themselves with a small space but to also keep them secure while you’re going through the chaos of unloading and unpacking.
The day of the move is a bit chaotic, with all your boxes and furniture being loaded, saying goodbye to your old home, driving to your new home, and unpacking everything, there are a lot of ways to get distracted and a lot of opportunities for your anxious pet to bolt.
Accidents do happen so just in case, make sure that your pet’s microchip and collar are updated with your new address.
If you’re planning a long-distance move which will require stops or even overnight stays, make sure to plan ahead of time. Look for stops and accommodation that is pet-friendly.
Additionally, if your move requires air travel, book your tickets in advance and confirm the pet travel requirements with the airline. And don’t forget to have a copy of your pet’s veterinary records on hand in case they are asked for at check-in.
Another option for long-distance moves is hiring a professional pet transportation company who are highly skilled in handling your pets with care and getting them where they need to be — whether it’s just down the road or across the country.
Not only is it less stressful for your pet who avoids the chaos of the move, but it’s also less stressful for you. If you choose this option, make sure to secure it well in advance and make what preparations are required by the pet transportation company.
Once you’ve successfully made the move, you want to make sure your house is ready for pets before letting them explore the new space. This includes:
Once your pet is safely secured in your new house and all the unloading is done, it’s time to slowly start introducing them to their new home.
Cats tend to be a bit more sensitive to new spaces, so introduce them to the new house one room at a time, giving them time to sniff everything out and spread their scent around. It’s often best to keep them indoors for the first few days, as it will be easier to get lost in the new unfamiliar neighbourhood.
Dogs are a bit more adventurous, so while you also don’t want to overwhelm them with all the new sights and smells, the sooner they get to know the new smells and sights, the better. So let them explore the house and the garden.
Once you’re settled, it’s time to get to know the pet services in your area, including vets, groomers, pet-sitters, and more. While you can research online, asking your neighbours and getting their recommendations ensures you get only the best for your pets.
Once you’ve found your vet, book a consultation as soon as possible so that you can get to know them and they can get to know your pet, in case of any emergencies. Don’t forget to bring your pet’s vaccine card so that your new vet can make sure they’re all up to date.
We know how much you love your precious fur ball — that’s why it’s so important to make this transition as smooth and stressless as possible! Just remember that they pick up on your own stress, so the calmer you are through the whole process, the calmer they will be.
One way to alleviate your stress during the moving process is to hire a moving company that you can trust and afford. Wise Move is a top-quality, reliable and affordable moving service that goes above and beyond to get your goods where they need to be. Make the Wise Move and check us out for your next big move!
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