Moving is potentially one of the most stressful things I’ve ever undertaken, and it requires a lot of the three Ps: preparation, planning, and patience. Just a note – I’m deficient in the patience department. For a couple of relocations, in particular, I’d weigh up whether dental surgery minus the painkillers was preferable, and I stand by this comment today. Each type of move comes with extra things to consider and organise, especially for ones outside of your current area.
So how does someone go about planning a relocation with pets?
Our cuddly little friends are part of the family, so we want to make sure they’re safe during the relocation. Today’s blog article will look into some of the most common questions on this subject. From there, we’ll try and add in some extra relevant or related tips. Hopefully, this guide will cover any queries you have on moving with a pet.
Moving to a New Home with Furry Friends
Let’s state the obvious – it takes more planning to relocate with pets, which means additional research and plenty of red tape. It’s unlikely to affect you much if you’re moving locally, but there are implications for national and international moves. Unlike most, if not all, relocations, there’s a chance you won’t be on the same flight as your pet when moving overseas! More on that later in this article.
The best way is to prepare thoroughly; start doing so today to give yourself plenty of time to deal with any issues.
Seek the advice of experts, which is why Move, Store & More’s #1 suggestion is:
Book an appointment with your vet for a check-up.
It’s essential you make sure your pet is healthy enough to travel and things like vaccinations are up to date. They’ll also suggest how to keep them calm during the journey; another point we’ll unravel in the following sections. This article will delve into some of the practical side of things, and we’ll start with common queries and add relevant information.
Let’s get your pets on the road and ready to go.
Long-Distance Relocations with Pets –
Time to revisit our first suggestion’s point with more details about why it’s so important to book an appointment with your vet.
Here’s an overview of what your vet can help you with:
- To perform a check-up for your animal’s overall health.
- Double-check vaccines are up to date and administer boosters where necessary.
- Discuss travel equipment for your pet, specific to size and breed.
- Implant microchips for cats and dogs for ID purposes.
- Prescribe sedatives and motion sickness medication.
- Helpful tips for the journey and how to care for your animal at every stage.
The check-up is something for anyone undertaking a long-distance relocation, especially if it’s a European or international move. You won’t get an animal across borders without a complete medical and confirmation of basic vaccinations. Furthermore, your new vet will need your pet’s information and medical history, so be sure to arrange the handover contact details.
If you’re driving to your new home, see if there are any pet hotels for longer journeys or ordinary places that also accept animal guests. Your vehicle needs to be comfortable and have an overnight kit with treats and water. Use your pet’s bedding without washing it. They’ll need familiar scents to help them settle.
Plan your journey in detail, with regular bathroom and exercise stops. You can find out suitable service stations from online research.
Move, Store & More’s #2 suggestion: use Google Maps to chart out your trip and include service stations on your route. [highlight this paragraph in a pop-out box]
Moving with Multiple Animals –
Just when you thought moving with one animal was difficult enough, what about people with two or more to contend with? For example, if you have two dogs or a cat and a dog, you’ll need to use crates and keep them separate. They might get on well at home, but some animals find moving traumatic. You’ll need to remove the chance they’ll act aggressively towards their furry companion.
Every pet you’re moving with should have ID tags with your contact information, just in case they manage to escape.
Move, Store & More’s #3 suggestion – don’t put the animal’s name on the collar, just your details.
Thieves often use a pet’s name to lull them into a false sense of trust. It’s probably a better idea to have microchips implanted. Collars break easily, and you won’t have to worry about any other issues.
You’ll need to factor in extra stops for dogs if you’re travelling by car. Include sturdy harnesses to make sure you can handle them when exercising, especially as you’re probably nearer a large number of vehicles. When it comes to toys and comfort items, please keep it simple and only pack a few things. As long as you have treats and water ready, you’ll be fine.
For larger animals, like a horse, you’ll need to discuss the relocation in more detail with your vet. If it’s necessary, they’ll refer you to a specialist you can consult with. For people moving with more than three animals, you’ll need to determine whether your car is big enough to transport your animals.
International Relocations and Pets –
When it comes to international relocations, it’s not as simple as arranging to ship your beloved pet and collecting them at the other end. You’ll need to book several trips to the vet over the course of weeks or months. The process is very complicated and might require working with a dedicated service provider.
The entry requirements for animals vary for each country, but most, if not all, have robust measures in place. Moving to a destination within the EU will have a more uniform approach, but you shouldn’t assume anything. Virtually every country applies strict regulations to prevent the spread of diseases and infections. For example, you can read a list of the UK’s entry guidelines here.
This is probably all beginning to sound overwhelming and vague. That’s because it’s time for Move, Store & More’s #4 suggestion: book a pet travel specialist.
It adds an extra cost to your budget, and you’ll need to vet their testimonials (sorry, I couldn’t resist the appalling pun). A reputable pet travel company will take care of the arrangements, complete the documentation, and they can book your animal’s flight. Furthermore, you’ll get regular updates on how your pet is doing throughout its journey.
Moving your pet overseas isn’t cheap, so you’ll need to start saving now. Also, shop around for quotes for each service you need.
Using the Correct Transportation Equipment –
You’ll have to discuss things like the correct transportation equipment with your vet. Dogs and cats should be in crates or carriers; both are requirements for international relocations. Please be mindful that it’s a safety hazard for anyone travelling by road if your pet is unrestrained and can move around. This includes the boot of your car.
Don’t let your dog stick its head out of the window during the drive. It might seem like fun and will undoubtedly amuse your fellow motorists, but it’s not safe for the animal. Debris can also hit them, and a crash in this situation would be fatal. Your dog may love the wind in its face, but it’s not worth the potential injuries.
It’s possible to bring pets onboard flights in a hard or soft carrier for some airlines. When you’re booking your flight, as your travel agent, look for companies that offer this service. Otherwise, your pet will stow away in the cargo of the plane.
This is where your vet’s advice is crucial again, and it’s Move, Store & More’s #5 suggestion – check if your pet can travel in the cargo hold.
Certain breeds, such as a Persian cat, cannot travel in these conditions, and your vet will advise you. If you’re in any doubt, discuss this with them. They’re the most important person and can advise on health and safety. So, make sure you arrange several visits before your big move. If you’re thinking of taking a short break overseas, don’t take your pets on holiday with you. For the sake of their well-being, you should arrange for a reliable pet sitter instead.
Review Platforms to Find a Suitable Removals Company –
Now we’ll briefly touch on booking your removal service for the move. We’ll often mention this, but it’s worth utilising review platforms before you confirm a booking. These online ratings with customer feedback give you a better chance of receiving a higher standard of service. It provides the consumer with more power and makes service providers work harder to improve their reputation.
The more prominent review giants are Google Reviews and Trustpilot, with Facebook also weighing in with the big swingers. You can use numerous alternatives, such as Reseller Ratings and Shopper Approved. Here’s a link to Source Forge’s comprehensive list of various other competitor review platforms for 2021.
Our next verified Move, Store & More’s #6 suggestion is – to aim to work with companies just under five stars but avoid ones with an average rating under four.
Read the actual reviews in detail to see what previous customers say about each company. If you know a lot of overly glowing ones that don’t seem genuine, they aren’t. Newer removals companies will have lower numbers but might offer an excellent service. But since this is a significant move, it’s better to go with an experienced provider with fifty+ ratings.
Move, Store & More – Your Go-To Guide for Moving with Pets –
It’s our mission to dig through the removals and storage information that’s out there in Google-land. Then, we’ll read it, compare it, compile and assess everything before deciding which bits we like. By balancing this online advice with our own professional and personal experiences, we hope to provide you with a baseline of credible information to use for your next relocation.
Moving with animals isn’t straightforward and can be emotional for everyone involved. Without a doubt, it ranks up there with the removals jobs that require consummate preparation and organisation. That’s why we always prompt our readers to start their planning early – today is the best day to begin.
If you still have questions regarding this topic we haven’t covered, please get in touch or leave a comment, and we’ll do some additional digging. Wherever possible, we’ll seek answers and will revert.
We’ll be back with a new blog shortly. Until then, go well, and we hope you’ll Move, Store & More with us soon.