You are moving to a new country and could not be more excited! You have likely started looking at ways to make the transition smooth for your family – your spouse/partner and children – but what should you do about your beloved pet? It is important to weigh the pros and cons of moving a pet before you make your decision.
Moving – even just across town – can be stressful on your furry friend! Here are a few ideas on how to make the transition as easy as possible.
1. Well before the move, learn the regulations for bringing a pet into your new country. This can be one of the trickiest parts of a pet relocation, as the rules vary widely from country to country. Some countries have required quarantine periods for incoming pets, depending on what country you are coming from. Consider hiring a professional pet moving company; they are familiar with the process and can help you make sense of the laws.
2. Right before the move, keep things as normal as possible to minimise stress. Personally, I have one dog that gets anxious when she sees me leave with my children, even if it is for a day trip. My other three dogs seem not to care. There are times when we leave town for a week (and hire a responsible pet sitter, of course!) and she is anxious the whole time we’re gone. In her mind, we could have left for good! When this happens, I make sure to give her extra reassurance before we leave.
Every animal is different, but some do become more stressed than others when changes happen. Add to this that moving day will be high stress on everyone, with lots of activity, and there is a good chance even the most relaxed animals will become anxious. Try to keep your pet's food bowls, bed, litter box, etc., in the same place they have always been as long as possible before packing them. Take a minute or two a few times during moving day to reassure your pet by talking to or petting them.
3. Global relocation most likely means air travel for your pet. Talk to your veterinarian about the best way to make your pet comfortable during the trip. One helpful tip is to put an old shirt in the travelling kennel with them. They will feel more secure having something with them that smells like their owner.
4. Once you arrive at your new location, your pet may be disoriented. There will be a lot of new sights, sounds and smells, and it will be best to allow your pet time to investigate them as soon as possible. Do not be surprised if they choose to hide, especially cats, when you get them to your new home. Depending on your pet's personality, they may wish to hide to feel safe at first, then take time to discover their new home. Try to unpack items that they are familiar with right away. If they see their bowls, toys, bed, etc., they will start to get comfortable more quickly.
5. Stay patient with your pet. You should expect some behaviour from them that is considered out of the ordinary. This is their way of handling the transition. Remain understanding yet firm and try to keep their schedule and the rules of the house as normal as possible.
You may find that your pet will require extra attention and love throughout your global relocation. The effort will be worth it to ensure a happy and successful transition for them!
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