UnpackingWelcome to the final part of my guide to moving with your pets! If you missed the first three parts, be sure to read them as well. Afterwards you’ll be able to prepare, pack, and travel
The Ultimate Pet Moving Guide Part 2
Welcome to part two of my four-part guide to moving with pets! If you missed part one, you can find it here.
In the first part of this guide, I covered how to prepare in advance for moving with your pets. This part will help you figure out exactly what to pack for your pet’s big move and how to pack your pet safely.
First, you should pack away any non-essentials separate from your pet’s overnight kit.
You will need access to an overnight bag on your trip and over the first few days of unpacking, but you don’t want to have more in it than you actually need.
The overnight kit should include enough food for the trip and enough to last while you spend a few days unpacking – you don’t want to have to make a trip to the pet store the second you get to your new home. Also remember that now is not the time to change your pet’s diet, which always takes some adjusting, so make sure you have plenty of their regular food.
You should have a few of your pet’s favorite toys or blankets for comfort in their carriers and available for immediate access once you bring them into the new home. Familiar smells will soothe your stressed-out buddy. Careful, though! Avoid anything hard or heavy that can easily fly around in a carrier and hurt your pet.
Make sure the kit includes any sort of toiletries, medicines, or care tools your pet needs. For example, if you have a long-haired pet that requires regular brushing or you have something to spray your bird with to help them clean themselves, you will want to pack that so they don’t go with out. This also includes any litters for small caged animals or cats. For reptiles, it’s important to have heat and cold packs and a thermometer to monitor and control their temperature, and for rabbits, guinea pigs, and other animals that need fruit and vegetables, you should pack a knife to cut those foods up.
One of the most important things that may not be obvious to bring is plenty of water from home. Pets can get sick due to regional changes in water. You should carry enough water from home with you to last your pet the length of the trip, plus enough extra to slowly integrate it with water from your new area. This will help your pet get used to the new home’s water and keep them from getting sick.
Your overnight kit should also be supplemented with a clean-up kit and a first aid kit.
The clean-up kit should include plenty of paper towels and a pet-safe cleaner. Remember that paper towels can be thrown away, while soiled cloth towels will just add to your baggage during the move.
The first aid kit will depend on your pet, but you can get appropriate items at your local pet store. If you have fish, you need to make doubly sure you bring your first aid kit. They can bruise very easily during the transportation process, so it’s important to have liquid healing agents on hand to administer when you arrive.
Depending on your pet, your carrier and its contents will change.
Make sure you pick the appropriate method to reduce stress during transit. If you’re flying your pet, you also have to check the airline’s standards to make sure your carrier meets their requirements. If you are driving, remember that pets and their carriers should never be in the front seat. Air bags have a chance of injuring or even crushing your pet.
Fish should be packed in plastic bags with concentrated oxygen. The bags should contain water from their aquarium, and you should bring extra water to put in the aquarium when you arrive.
Place each fish in a leak-proof plastic bag with water. This should be tied off inside of a second plastic bag, which should all be inside of a Styrofoam or plastic cooler. A lightless container will help keep fish less active and less likely to soil their water. If you will be travelling more than 4-5 hours, make sure you stop to open the bag and freshen the oxygen supply. You should also transport their filter medium in water in a sealed container (like a large plastic bucket).
If you don’t have a fish, you should not transport your pet in a container with water. For amphibians and reptiles that need to be kept wet (like turtles), they should be in a carrier with a damp cloth to help keep them moist, plus leaves or grass from their original tank.
In general, reptiles should be sealed in a breathable cloth bag in an approved container – this will help reduce their stress. You should have heat tape or heat pads in their carrier, especially if it will be cold, but these should be wrapped in a towel to protect your pet from being burned.
Newspaper, paper towels, and bedding can also be used to help keep your scaly friend warm, but you should always watch out for towel snags that can get caught on your buddy’s claws. Venomous reptiles, on the other hand, should always be double-boxed for safety. You can also set up a thermometer to help you monitor the temperature in the carrier. A digital thermometer that can be monitored without opening the enclosure is the best option.
Small mammals like rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, and chinchillas should have some access to regular dry foods and water, even if it has to be given at stops. You should put a towel in as a liner to give your animal some traction as well as soak up spilled water and prevent your pet from getting sick. They should have access to litter to contain messes as well.
For birds, any hard swings, toys, or other objects that move a lot should be removed from their cages to prevent injury. Otherwise, they should have access to some water or wet, watery fresh fruit to stay hydrated.
Have lost pet flyers already drafted with your pet’s name, a picture of your pet, and contact information.
While you hope your pet doesn’t get loose and take every precaution to avoid it, you should also be prepared. Having missing pet flyers ready in advance means you can put them up immediately if your buddy gets out.
You’re just about ready to travel to your new home with your pet. Make sure you watch out for the next two parts of this guide for more tips on how to help your pet stay safe and healthy when you move!
Seth Gold brings his life-long passion for real estate and extensive marketing experience to Domicile Realty. As he works with his clients, he is very aware that they are making one of the biggest and....