Packing Up the Pets: Tips for Moving With Your Four-Legged Friends

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    Professional movers can move or store all but a few items; one of these items is your pet. Your pets require care and attention while you move, or they could have behavioral problems later. Remember that dogs and cats also need to acquaint, adjust, and familiarize themselves with a new place to live, just as you do.

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    Whether you are moving across the country or down the street, be patient with your pets and take some moving tips from the pros.

    Stress and Pets

    Pets can develop general anxiety regarding a change in surroundings, like when you relocate, and this manifests in a variety of behaviors. Some signs that your pet is stressed-out include:

    • Soiling in the home.
    • Becoming aggressive or fighting with other pets in the home.
    • Withdrawing from the rest of the family.
    • Change in appetite, particularly eating and drinking less than usual.

    Keeping your pet out of the busy moving-day activities can help reduce their stress about the relocation. Contain pets in a comfortable room of the house and provide bedding, toys, or items that have familiar smells to comfort them. Use white noise, like a fan or television, to keep them from being nervous about the sounds of movers.

    Getting There

    If your new home is further away, limited types of transportation may be available to you and your pets.

    Some airlines allow pets in the cabin, but the guidelines typically only pertain to carriers that are smaller than 21-inches x 18-inches x 8-inches high, which should fit under the seat during take-off and landings. Alert staff and reservationists of your intent to bring a pet, even if it is a service or therapeutic support animal, to ensure the airline can and will accommodate you.

    Hidden Hazards

    If you are driving to your new place, you may find yourself staying at a hotel with your pets. Keep a careful eye out for hotel hazards that could be lurking in your room; walk through and assess things like windows, fixtures, and headboards that could prove problematic and even dangerous for curious pets. Also, call hotels ahead to ensure that pet-friendly rooms are available. Even if they advertise that they accept pets, there could be a limited number of pet-friendly rooms available.

    Welcome Home

    When you arrive at your new home, take time and make efforts to ensure your pet is comfortable and settled. Do this gradually and give pets the opportunity to acclimate before you trust them to stay inside kennels, in the yard, or home alone.

    Other ways to create a safe transition to the new home include:

    • Segregate the pet to one room of the home initially until they become familiar with the scents, sights, and smells of the new space.
    • Be wary of open doors, windows, or cracks that could be an escape route for your pet if they become startled, stressed, or nervous. They could bolt and become lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
    • If you sense that your pet is still having difficulty adjusting to the new home, try pheromones in the air.  Pheromones can be plugged into an outlet or used in a diffuser prior to bringing the pet into the new home to make them feel comfortable.

    While some anxious behaviors from your dog or cat is normal, make sure to contact your veterinary provider if symptoms persist, including loss of appetite, isolation, or repeatedly soiling on the floors of the home. These could be signs of an underlying medical issue that merits attention.

    When you are ready to relocate or move, enlist the professional services of Fairfax Transfer and Storage Inc. While they may not be able to help move your pet, they can make your move efficient, timely, and smooth, so that you can focus on your four-legged family members. Use the information provided here to help make a major move or relocation a lot easier on everyone involved – including your pets.

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    Movers showed up on time and did an exceptional job! They were careful with our furniture, wrapping everything to make sure it moved without damage. Staff were polite and hard-working. We were impressed with the service overall. Great job!

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