Moving your Pet


Moving your pet

Overcoming the emotional anxiety of moving is challenging enough for both adults and children. But what about our pets, a species with whom we can’t even really level? Pet owners are frequently perplexed by their pets’ behaviour during and after a big move. At times it’s a change in personality, a lapse in housebreaking habits or an abrupt inexplicable illness. Even if you don’t notice something that extreme, there’s no question that your beloved companion is feeling stressed. How does one move their pet and maintain the strain at a bare minimum – for both to yourself and your adored pet?

If you’ve planned a cross-country move by air, for example, contact the airlines beforehand – prior you make any reservations – to learn which airlines allow pets as “animal passengers.” Some pets can be brought on board with their owners as a part of their “carry-on baggage,” or placed in the cargo section of plane as “checked baggage”. Airlines have also established protocols regarding the number of pets allowed per flight, both on-board and in the cargo; as well as the number of pets allowed per passenger; and size and weight restrictions for carry-on and checked baggage. If possible, book a direct flight in attempts to evade the additional stress of plane alterations.

If you’re thinking of having your pet travel in the cargo section of the plane, you might want to consider first that due to the fact that this area is in the belly of the plane, and you won’t have any access to your pet at any time in the duration of the flight. Though the cargo area is both heated and pressurised, this area isn’t well-lit, so unless you tranquilise the animal first, the experience will probably be traumatic. And you should remember that the safety of some ranges of tranquilisers have been questioned.

Guidelines for the carrying of animals by air, ground and water; though, as an added protection, a few airline carriers take quite a strict approach and oblige passengers to hand over a certificate of acclimation form signed by their veterinarians, allowing the animal to be in temperatures below 7-10 degrees Celsius; as well as a certified health certificate.

As your moving date nears, try to maintain your pet’s usual routine, including feeding, exercise and play routines. When you begin to pack up your belongings, and especially when the movers arrive, you might want to consider recruiting a friend to “pet-sit” to avoid unnecessary stress for your companion. Ensure that your pet is wearing an updated ID tag, and that you’re in possession of some kind of identification for your pet, including recent photos. Should your pet escapes at any time during your move, you’ll be ready.

Veterinarians also advise that if you have a water supply from the home you’re leaving. Altering water sources might cause your pet an stomach upset and ultimately, dehydration. Keep your pet’s food as plain as possible; this wouldn’t be the time to try out new brands or flavours. Check with the vet for the pet’s recommendations. Take your pet for a comprehensive physical exam before your move, and ensure you get your pet’s updated records from your vet.


Moving can be one of the most stressful experiences in our modern world and Better Moves’ staff are there to advise and assist you with all aspects of your move. Better Moves is committed to making your move as stress free as possible. At Better Moves, we have an experienced team and staff ready to assist you with all your enquiries regarding moving, packing, storage and the transporting of pets.

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