No matter what kind of pet you have, adjusting to a new home is tough. Knowing your animal and the kind of pet they are – confident, social or shy – will help you determine what their individual needs are. Ideally it would be better if they are left with a family member, close friend or a neighbour for a week or so as they could be frightened or over excited by the moving process. But if that is not an option there are guide lines you can follow to make that transition smoother.
Probably first and most important thing you can do is tag your furry little friend with your new details. That way if something goes wrong you might have greater chances of finding your four legged friend.
If they are prone to travel sickness ask your vet for medication to make the journey easier for them. If you plan to travel by car take your pets for a short drives to get them accustomed to moving vehicle. This will help to cope with longer journey.
Talk to your pets about the move. You will be surprised by how much better they handle it, when they are included in the dialogue. The calmness in your voice will reassure them that all is well, and that there is nothing to fear. Remember that animals pick up on your emotions. Be sure that you are giving off vibes that are happy as well as calming. If you feel anxious and overwhelmed, your pets will soon be as well.
It is advisable to introduce your pet to their new home gradually. Perhaps restricting it to one or two rooms at first. It may not make sense to you as humans are not as sensitive to smell as animals but the smells of “home” will help pets adjust to their new surroundings. Place their necessities, like toys, blankets, bed, food and water in the room with it. This gives it the chance to become accustomed to the sounds and smells in your new home. It also gives them a room of their own to use later as a refuge or if they feel uncertain.
Perhaps the most common reasons for runaway pets is the failure to acclimate to the new environment. Keep doors and windows closed and make sure there aren’t any crawl spaces or holes where they can escape to and that you can’t access. Let them explore on their own. If they decide to hide under the bed, let them be; pulling your pet from a spot it considers safe is not a good idea . They’ll eventually come out when they feel safe.
It is a good idea to keep your pet leashed for couple of weeks as you take it for a walk especially if you have adventurous one. Explore the neighborhood small bit at a time. Pets are territorial and they need time to get accustomed to the new area and location of your house.
With smaller pets, like birds, hamsters, lizards, etc. things are a bit simpler. As they can be moved in their cages they cope that small bit better with environmental change. Be sure to remove water, food, and any other objects that might fly around and hurt them. Cover the cages with a sheet or lightweight fabric. Remember that some of these animals need relatively constant temperatures maintained to live. Also try not to change the pet’s routine during the move and everything will go smoothly.
Aquarium pets are a entirely different story and require special care. Your aquarium would probably be a small fraction of worlds largest AquaDom aquarium located in Berlins’ Radisson Blu Hotel. Nevertheless you will probably need to temporarily accommodate aquarium residents in plastic fish bags. Polystyrene, styrofoam or plastic cooler box will help to maintain constant temperature. To minimise wastes in the transport container it is advisable not to feed the fish for at least 24 hours before moving.
Be sure to use as many bags as possible to minimise the number of fish in each one. Water can only hold a certain amount of oxygen, so having an air gap above the water is vital to allow extra oxygen to dissolve into the water. For this reason you should only fill the containers about one-third full of tank water. This leaves a good size air gap above the water. The fish will be fine as long as they have enough water to swim freely.
Decor like bogwood, plastic plants, etc. can be placed in bags or buckets. Keeping it moist will help to preserve some of the bacteria which build up on all solid surfaces in a mature tank. Live plants should be bagged up in sealed bags with just enough tank water to keep them moist, or wrapped in moist newspaper.
You will need to treat the fish as though it was newly purchased. Float the bags for a while to equalise temperature. Once the fish have been floated for period of time, you want to gently allowing some water from the aquarium to enter the bag. This will not only finish of the acclimatisation procedure but, just as importantly it will allow the fish to adjust to the very slightly different water parameters.
Once everything is up and running, the tank and filter will need a little time to re-stabilise properly. Therefore, keep the feeding a little lighter than usual. Do not add any new fish for at least a couple of weeks. It would be a good idea to check the water for ammonia and nitrite levels for the next week or two, to assess whether the bio-filtration was significantly affected.