Relocating to a new city, town or country can be a stressful experience for the whole family. If you have a family pet, this statement is no less true for them. Travel and a new environment can be a big deal for a pet, so here are a few things you need to know to help your furry (or feathered!) friend get through this time.
Take little Sparky to the vet and make sure you:
• Speak to your vet about your plans to move and ask them if they can recommend a colleague in your new area.
• Get a copy of vaccination records and general health records for your pet, as these may be needed if you are moving overseas. Many airlines require a clear health certificate to be issued in advance even before domestic travel.
• Have a general health check for your pet and get them any shots that are due or any that are required for the new state or country you are travelling to.
If your furry family member needs to travel by air, then you will need to arrange this well in advance directly with the airline. Ask about the container/carrier sizes allowed and if they are suitable for your pet (they must be able to turn around freely) and be sure to find out what access the pet has to food and water on the flight. Ensure you are able to travel on the same flight and let the Flight Attendant know you have a pet on board with you. You may even like to ask to watch your pet being loaded and unloaded from the cargo hold for added peace of mind. Airlines may require specific documentation from your vet, so be sure to find out what the requirements are and arrange it early. On a related note, be sure to find out the quarantine information for the country you are travelling to, if you are relocating overseas. Countries like Australia have very strict quarantine rules and will require specific documentation. Be sure to arrange this early as you don’t want your kitty in enforced quarantine for six weeks after you land!
Make sure you plan your route in advance and plan appropriate rest stops for your pet – every two hours is best. Take enough water and food and comfort items to make your pet comfortable, and be sure to restrain them with an appropriate car safety harness or in an appropriately sized carrier depending on the applicable law where you are.
Consider boarding your pet on moving day to make it easier for you to load and unload boxes and furniture. All that activity and people coming in and out of the house can be a stressful time for a pet. Alternatively, keep them in room that can be cordoned off so that they can still see you but not get in the way!
Before you let your pet explore, go into the space and lay out familiar and much-loved items, like their bed and favourite toys. Take them in slowly and play with them and shower them with affection to get them as comfortable with their new surrounds as possible. It’s not unusual for a pet to refuse food and water when they are stressed or in a new environment. So, in the lead up to moving day, and a few days afterwards, spoil your pet rotten. Take them for extra walks, pay them loads of extra attention and feed them their favourite foods. You may want to stop short of letting them sleep on the bed though (or maybe not!). This will put them in a good mood for moving day and will help them feel less neglected amongst the chaos of moving and settling in.
Many of our luxury furnished apartments allow pets, just ask before you book!