Moving With Pets - Great Canadian Van Lines

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Moving With Pets

Moving With Pets

Moving with pets requires care. While relocations involving any dependent can be a challenge – i.e. children – you can’t quite verbally explain in the same way to a dog, cat, bird, fish, or reptile that their world is about to be turned upside down.

The stress that animals feel during a move can greatly impact their physical health. You’ll want to make sure that their physical and emotional states are properly considered and that the proper preparations are made ahead of time. So unless you’ve successfully enlisted the services of an animal medium to channel thoughts into your precious pet’s cerebral cortex, we’d thought we provide a few alternative tips to best manage your move when pets are involved:

1. Check-Up Time

Take your pet to the veterinarian for a check-up one month before your move. Make sure that they are free of any condition that can be aggravated during the move and impact their overall health. You may even consider (carefully) tranquilizers depending on the extremity of the relocation and associated conditions. Always consult a vet before a big move.

2. Road Test

If your pet is not accustomed to being a passenger in a vehicle, acclimatize them to the process by taking them on brief road trips two months before the move. Increase the duration of each drive as you approach the date. When they day arrives, they will be better adjusted and ready for the driving portion of the move.

3. Stabilize

If your pet will be contained within a carrier of some sort during the move, make sure the carrier is well stabilized within the vehicle. This is especially the case with small animals (hamsters, etc…) which are more susceptible to bumps and bruises associated with even slight shifts in transit.  Use blankets and towels around the exterior edges of the carrier while ensuring plenty of access to air.

4. Long Distance Moves

Take a break every two hours so that dogs (and leashed cats) can go for a short walk. Avoid feeding a cat or dog five or more hours before the drive to stave off motion sickness, but keep them hydrated.

5. Fish

Having two tanks is optimal. The first tank will be used in transit while the second should already be clean and set up for arrival so that your fish can be placed in its new aquarium the second it arrives. Unless otherwise stated by a specialist (local fish store), do not feed your fish 24 hours before the move in order to minimize biological waste and avoid water contamination. Timing is everything when it comes to moving fish.

6. Reptiles

Temperature is the most important factor when maintaining the health of your reptile during a move. Make sure the time of day and vehicle settings best accommodate the temperature settings of the reptile’s current home. It’s a good idea to consult a specialist from where you purchased the reptile from in the first place.

7. Bird

Stability is most important to the moving process for birds so make sure their cage is well secured in the vehicle and have plenty of food and water on hand for consistency – birds are very sensitive to the slightest change in diet.

8. Holding Area

Whether you have a cat, dog, bird, fish or frog, having a secondary location to keep your pet until the bulk of the move is complete is your best bet. Find out if a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member can keep your pet for the day (or two) so that you can move them personally with attention focused solely on them. Of course select a location that is very close to your current home, otherwise it defeats the purpose and puts the pet under additional undue stress.

Please contact our professional moving company for any questions or concerns regarding moving with your pet.

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