Moving Tips

Reduce stress on moving day

Moving is tough enough on humans – imagine how overwhelming it would be if you didn’t understand what was going on. When you’re moving with pets, the boxes, the commotion and tension can add up to confused, stressed – even sick – animals. To keep your cat or dog (or iguana) calm and relatively happy during your move, all you need is a little planning – and maybe an extra treat or two.

Moving with a pet

Stay consistent by keeping walks and feedings at the usual times.

Prepare them

Let them wander around and smell boxes and suitcases so they understand that they’re safe.

Talk to your vet

Pick up your pet’s records, make sure all shots are up to date, and ask for a recommendation for a vet clinic in your new area.

Update ID tags

Make sure tags have your new address and phone number on them in case Max or Boots decides to run away. And though this may seem obvious, make sure they’re actually wearing the tags when you move. Microchipping is a bit pricier, but if you can afford it, it’s the best way to ensure they’ll be returned to you if they get lost.

Pick up a cat leash

Your fluffy friend may not be impressed, but it’s an easy way to keep tabs on her in the car or on a plane.

Get a sturdy carrier

Leave the door open a few days before the move so your pet can get used to it. Make sure it isn’t too small; your cat or dog should be able to move around comfortably inside.

On moving day, put them someplace quiet and safe

You don’t want your pup to get underfoot or take off through an open door. If you can’t leave pets with a neighbour or in a kennel, make sure there’s a safe “pet room” (like a bathroom) in both your old place and your new one. A few days before the move, move their food, water, toys and litter box in there. Then, on moving day, put a sign on the door that says “Cat inside, do not open,” so movers and friends know to be careful.

Clean up accidents right away

Get rid of odors fast so your pets won’t be tempted to use that spot again.

Travelling with a more “unusual” pet?

Fish are easy to move short distances. Just put them in plastic bags that are half-filled with water and half with air. Long distance moves are trickier, and you may want to contact an aquarium retailer to get advice. With hamsters, small reptiles and birds, keep them in their usual cages/enclosures when you travel. If you’re driving, keep the car at a warm, comfortable temperature all the time. If you’re flying, contact the airline to see what their guidelines are for transporting pets other than cats or dogs.