Moving Pets & Plants
Many households are made up of a variety of living creatures, from humans to houseplants and dogs and cats. Whenever a move must take place there are various considerations that must occur around the relocation of each living thing.
Moving from one home to another can be very stressful on the
inhabitants, most especially the pets in the household. Animals
are generally “territorial” and removing them from
their home environment, traveling and placing them in a new
home can take its toll on their nerves. When moving pets it
is important to consider the effects of the event on their nerves
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In the weeks leading up to a move a household will generally be in a state of chaos or turmoil, with boxes and packing materials everywhere. This is generally a good time to introduce an animal to the carrier it will inhabit during its journey from the old to the new home. It is a good idea to invest in a rigid carrier with plenty of air holes and a wire mesh door, as this will allow the animal a stable and roomy environment. While soft carriers are perfectly fine for trips to the vet, many animals will panic if placed in a crowded car or airplane cabin in the easily crushed surroundings of a soft sided carrier.
It is a much debated question about air travel for animals, and generally it is a good idea to consult with a veterinarian about the effects of such a mode of travel on an animal. If the pet is flying on a different plane than the owner they will need to be “checked in” approximately three hours before the flight departs. Additionally, the pet may be kept in an unheated area while it waits for loading, and the low pressure of a cargo hold may not be suitable for the animal. Most people prefer to drive their animals to their new homes, but if this is not possible then consultation with a veterinarian is absolutely mandatory to ensure the most comfortable and safe air trip for the pet.
Asking a veterinarian to mildly sedate an animal is not unheard of, for both auto and air travel, and if it will not impact their health and also reduce the stress of the journey, it may be a good idea.
Just as people need their travel gear, so too do pets, and it is a wise idea to pack their travel bag well in advance of departure. This should include any medications, several good photos of a pet in case of any incidents or escapes, contact information for the veterinarians in both the old and new locations, and appropriate identification tags on the animal and their carrier. Food and water should also come along for the journey, especially if it is going to require more than a day in the car.
Traveling with houseplants can also be a bit tricky, and many states have restrictions on the plant life that can arrive via air. Check with an airline before bringing even clippings along. When driving plants to new locations many people use a cardboard box to secure single pots, cutting a hole through which the pot is inserted. It is important to keep soil moist, but not too damp or dry as the varying conditions in a vehicle could quickly harm a plant. Most people do not transport large plants, but if they are important possessions they should be allotted enough space to prevent them from harm or damage.
By: Robert B.