LIFESTYLE NEWS - Moving is extremely stressful for pets as they feel things are out of sorts but don’t know why.
With these basic guidelines, sticking to a routine and giving them lots of love, you can reduce their anxiety.
- If you’re moving within South Africa or overseas, the first step is to find a professional pet relocation company with a great reputation that will treat your animals kindly and ethically the whole way. The company should be able to guide you through complicated country requirements for your pets, quote you on pet-friendly airlines and help you through their animal transport restrictions, check your pet’s travel paperwork and provide detailed veterinary time schedules, book your pet’s flight and provide you with the airline approved pet travel crates, transport your pets in branded, air-conditioned vehicles, communicate with you regularly on the status of your pets while in transit or at the kennels. Some will even provide comfort packs to ease the journey of your pets.
- Chat to your vet: find out what examinations, vaccinations and documents are required and you’ll also need a full set of your pets’ medical records to give to your new vet. If your pets are elderly, you may have to consider if they’re healthy enough to cope with a big move, especially as sedation is no longer allowed during air travel.
- If you’re driving a far distance to your new home, stop overnight for everyone to rest. Send as much luggage with the movers as you can so that the car isn’t crammed as this makes animals (and humans) anxious and uncomfortable. Pet relocation services should offer shuttles around South Africa for your pets if you’re unable to drive them. Air travel is also a viable although more pricey option if you’re moving to another city as the whole ordeal is over for your pets far more quickly.
- Buy your pet carrier ahead of time so that your kitty or pup can get used to it. Let them sleep, eat and play inside and line it with a blanket they know. If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, put a t-shirt inside as your scent will make them feel more secure. Check your airline’s animal carrier requirements or if the relocation company provides the carrier.
- Keep your pets’ routine as normal as possible until D-Day: stick to feeding and walking times, bowls and baskets must be put in the same place. Pack your pets’ toys at the last minute and allocate a safe space or room for them on moving day as they will know something is up the minute they see suitcases and boxes. If you’re moving to a new neighbourhood, doggy daycare might be an easier option on moving day or ask your vet if they can look after your pets for the day.
* Source: globalpaws.co.za