So, you’re moving house, and you have a furry (or scaly, or feathered) friend to move with you. Travelling by car is often the best option, allowing you to look after your pet as you take them to their new home, but before you strap in, have a look at our top tips for travelling with pets.
Pets can have very different reactions to being on the road, so preparation is key to taking the stress out of the process. Make sure you have everything you need to keep your pet safe, healthy and happy on the drive, no matter how long or short. Items to consider include:
- Lead, collar and ID tags
You’re taking them to surroundings they won’t be familiar with, so make them identifiable in case of an escape. Remember to include a contact number on their ID tag where possible, and update microchip information as soon as possible.
- Food and water
Particularly for longer trips, you want to make sure you can keep your pet well fed and watered. Bring bowls to serve them and try to keep to their food schedule to avoid confusion and upset stomachs.
Whether placing them in a pet crate or in a harness, make sure your equipment fits. Using correct restraints ensures a safe trip for you and your pet.
- Towels and blankets
We all know accidents can happen, and it’s better on an old blanket than your car seat. This also gives your pet a comfortable place to sit and (hopefully) reduces the amount of fur in the vehicle.
Follow the Road Rules
We all know our pets love sticking their head out the window, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a new area. Unfortunately, this can get you, and your pooch, into a lot of strife.
Under Australian law, pets travelling in the car need to be properly restrained, meaning drivers in Australia can be fined and issued demerit points if their dog is in their lap, or unrestrained in the back of a ute. Additionally, if a dog is injured because it wasn’t restrained properly, owners and drivers can face heavy fines and a jail sentence.
Rules differ between states and territories, so make sure to check with your local Road Traffic Authority before setting out with your furry friends.
During Your Drive
If it’s looking to be a long trip, make sure to schedule regular breaks. Try and plan a route that will allow you to let your pet (and you) stretch your legs, hydrate and use the restroom. Let your pet drink some water and eat while they’re out of the car, reducing the change of spillage inside your vehicle.
Once You’re Home
Having an overnight kit with enough food, kitty litter, toys and grooming tools to sustain your pet for the first few days of hectic unpacking will be a saving grace. The initial rush of sorting your new home doesn’t need to be harder by your pet nagging you for their favourite treats. Just like your own emergency kit, prepare one for your pets to tide them over for the first few nights.
Try and keep them out of the way, for both of your stress levels, while the move is happening. If they can’t be left with a friend, family member or kennel for the day, find an empty room or put them in a large carrier in the garage to keep the safe and secure. Make sure to check on them often and try to walk and feed them at their usual times to keep their routine.
Consider the Professionals
Moving is stressful enough without having to worry about your pet. At Grace, we provide professional pet transportation services designed to make your beloved animals’ journey sage, comfortable and stress free.
Letting Grace manage your move will give you more time with your pets, helping them get ready for the big change too. We can work with you to design an affordable transport option catered to the needs of your pet, regardless of your destination. For a complete list of our services, visit our pet relocation page.