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Dogs are not Luggage: Tips for Moving Pets

We know how stressful it can be for people move from one home and into another.  We also know that a move can be equally stressful on a cat or dog — and even fish. Based on years of experience as movers and pet-owners ourselves, we have developed these tips for moving your pets into their new home with as little stress as possible for them:

1. Dog Are Not Luggage

You can’t pack them in a crate and throw them in the back of a moving truck. And you definitely can’t strap them to the roof of your car.

If you have a safe, familiar place to keep the dog for the day while you’re moving, such as a friend’s house, that’s probably the best bet for keeping them calm and out of harm’s way.  If the dog is going to stay with you during the day, keep her confined in a safe part of the house, away from the movers and the boxes. Check on her regularly and make sure her food and water bowls are full. Don’t forget to take her for her regular walks. Some things don’t change, even on Moving Day.

As you are moving into your new home, keep your dog confined in a safe room until the move-in is finished, for her own safety and the safety of the movers. Once the movers are finished, let her explore her new home. We’ve found that dogs usually adapt quickly to their new environment as long as they are with you, their human pack.

2. Cats Are A Little More Complicated

Unlike dogs, cats are much more attached to their places — that familiar chair, or that spot in the afternoon sun.  So we find that cats often take longer to adjust than dogs, although the will get used to their new place over time.

When you bring your cat to your new home, make sure you show him where his food and his litter box are right away. And then let him go exploring.  He will explore every nook and cranny of the new place, and you may not see him for hours.  That is a good thing.  He will eventually find a new patch of sun in his new home.

3. Avoid A Rough Ride With Your Hamsters, Iguanas And Other Small Creatures

The key to moving small pets living in cages is to move them to their new location with as little jostling as possible. Carefully transport them to your new home and find a quiet, safe place for the cage, not too hot and not too cold. Try to prevent them from being exposed to loud noises during the move. And then spend extra time with them over the next few days to observe them and let them know that everything is normal.

4. Fish Need Their Own Water

To prevent your fish from stressing out during the move, the best thing to do is to move their tank water too. You’ll want to transport the water in containers (gallon milk jugs work great). Transport the fish in a container too and not in the fish tank to avoid waves and spilling. When you get to your new home, leave the fish in their container and fill the tank back up with the original water. Let the fish and the water sit for 24 hours to adjust to the new room temperature, and then gently pour the fish back into the tank. They should be happy as, well, a fish in water.

Rainbow Movers cannot move your pets for you, but we can definitely help you plan to move them yourself with minimal stress for them and you.  And there’s nothing like a happy, furry face to make your new place feel like home.