Moving is a stressful time for everyone and that includes the family pets. For some animals this can spell disaster, escaping while on the move, a new neighborhood or new home is enough to throw them into turmoil. However, there are ways to make the transition go smoothly and safely. Check out our top tips for moving your family pet.
Moving the Family Cat and Dog
Cats and dogs may be the easiest pets to relocate. Most cats can be easily transferred in animal carriers, as well as small dogs. However, if you have a long distance to drive to your new home, there are precautions you will have to follow. Be sure your cat or dog has plenty of fresh water available – this is especially important if the temperatures are warm. If your feline or canine pal does not travel well, you may have to look into getting a mild tranquilizer to help keep the animal calm. These can be obtain through your veterinarian. Another tip is to not feed your animal before you embark on a long journey. Feeding can induce car sickness so its best to let your pet miss a meal rather than risk vomiting the entire trip.
If your move is going to leave you overnight in a hotel, be sure to check ahead to see if animals are welcome. This also holds true if you are staying with family members. Prearranging your stopovers makes it a lot less stressful when you arrive, eliminating any potential awkward moments or even leaving you stranded.
Lastly, never leave your cat or dog in a hot or a cold car. Summer temperatures inside a car can reach 120 degrees in just a few minutes and drop to well below freezing in the winter, so be sure to make allowances if you are moving during peak climates. In addition, be sure you have your pet’s information available. This would include vaccination records and ID tags. And of course, never let your dog or cat out without being leashed or they could bolt.
Moving an Aquarium
Moving an aquarium and its occupants safely will take some planning and it should be done on the day before or after your big move – you will need time to set your tank back up. If you have tropical fish, temperature drops can spell doom to these fragile fish so extra care must be taken in the moving process. Depending on the duration of your move, you may want to invest in large styrofoam boxes and heavy-duty plastic bags – check with your local pet store that carries tropical fish to see if they have any on hand they may be willing to part with.
Take out all the ornaments and pack them in bubble wrap – gently shake the ornaments to be sure no one is hiding in them. Turn off the heater one hour before emptying the tank to let it cool down. Take out the filter, empty and pack in a large ziplock bag or a plastic bag. Next you will need to fill your bags with aquarium water, be sure to leave room for air. If you are using styrofoam boxes, place the plastic bags in the box first and syphon the aquarium water into the bag. Next catch your fish and place them in the bag. When finished, twist the top, making sure you leave air inside the bag and secure with twist ties or elastic bands. Put the top on the box and secure. Now you can empty the tank. When transferring both the tank and boxed fish, be sure they are on a stable surface to minimize sliding around or damage. Once you are in your new place, set the aquarium up as before.
Moving Rodents and Birds
If you have small rodents and birds, they can usually be transferred in their cage; however, you will want to take out any toys from the cage and also the water and food dishes. This will minimize the risk of harm to the animal in case the cage slides. Once your animal’s cage is clear, cover the cage with a blanket to reduce stress and also to prevent any drafts. Once your pet is ready, be sure to place the cage in a secure spot that will prevent it from sliding around in the vehicle. If possible have someone hold the cage while in transit.
Moving the family pets is inevitable in most people’s lives, so take the time to do it properly. A little prevention and some planning ahead will ensure your pet moves with the least amount of stress.