Moving home is stressful for everyone, pets included. Unless you can find a sitter for a day looking after your cat or dog until your belongings have safely arrived at the new home, putting the pet into a kennel or cat hotel may be the only option. When moving abroad to a country participating in the pet passport scheme, pets have to travel with their family, but how do you keep the little furry darlings safe and healthy during a long journey?
Make sure you hire or buy a large enough cage for your pet. Your pet will have to spend a considerable amount of time in the cage, if you are driving a removal van to your new home in Europe for example. The cage should be large enough for your pet to move around in, but not so large that your pet is catapulted from one end to the other during a sharp break of the car. Put a towel and newspaper on the floor of the cage, so that any “leakage” is soaked up and your pet stays dry. Ensure the cage is securely fixed to the insides of the van or at least wedged in tightly among the green, recyclable moving boxes you are using to keep your other belongings safe.
Nothing should be placed on top of the cage, since adequate ventilation is obviously vital to keep your pet healthy. NEVER, EVER leave your pet in a hot van or car without adequate ventilation. You must either take your pet with you or leave a window open, while you are away from the vehicle.
Water is an absolute must – if you cannot secure a container that won’t spill water everywhere, then you will have to stop at least every couple of hours to ensure your pet has a rest and gets sufficiently re-hydrated. A little dry food will have to go a long way, since feeding them may result in them being sick. A few cat or dog biscuits are a good idea, as they act largely as a reward for good behaviour rather than a full meal. Keep your pet’s belongings in a green recyclable, reusable moving box next to your pet’s cage, so you know straight away where everything is, should an emergency arise. Even if there isn’t an emergency, during a house move pets get very anxious. You may need to give them their favourite toys and their snuggle-blankets to reduce stress for them. Particularly older animals hate having their routine upset.
Be sure to have your pet passport and all information concerning their necessary vaccinations ready when you reach border control. The pet passport and inoculations must be up-to-date and must have been completed in accordance with the regulations set out by the country you are travelling to as well as the countries you might be travelling through before reaching your final destination and pet’s your new home.