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Our pets are our family, and most of us would never even consider moving and leaving them behind. If you have pets, though, including them in your move can be one of the more stressful elements in your relocation, particularly if your move is cross-country, or spanning several provinces. It can be bad enough moving with a carload of cranky toddlers, never mind dogs or cats. There are things you can do, though, to make sure that your pets move with a minimum of stress.
If your pets are used to travelling in a car, that’s great. However, if you haven’t been in the habit of taking them for drives, start with a few short trips around the neighbourhood before your move. Gradually increase the length of time that you have them in the car. Then, on the day of the move, withhold food for a few hours before starting out. Make sure to take some water with you, though, and give them frequent breaks for a cool drink and a walk.
Small pets like hamsters will travel quite nicely in their cage. Birds may be more comfortable and less anxious if their cage is covered. And of course if your dog or cat is accustomed to being in a crate, the move will be much easier on them.
Make sure that you do not leave your animals alone in your car. You know what Canadian weather can be like – in the summer, the inside of your car can easily hit 50 degrees Celsius, and in the winter it can go well below 0. Either way, this puts your pets in danger.
Often, people who will be driving for days to get to their destination prefer to use the services of a pet mover rather than having their pets spend that length of time on the road, and also having to deal with the hassles of finding pet-friendly hotels along their route.
If you decide that a pet mover might be the better choice for you, you will want to make sure to check them out. Start with their web page, but keep in mind that no one is ever going to tell you that they will transport your pets in an unsafe fashion. A bit of vigorous Googling using the company name should reveal any problems that people have had with the pet mover.
Next, find out how the pet movers will transport your furry friends. One option might be via air. Depending on the type of pet you have, though, you may encounter problems. Some airlines will only take animals of a certain age, and some even have restrictions based on breed. You may also have difficulty finding air transport in extreme weather.
Your pet mover might also enlist the services of a pet courier. Pet couriers have climate-controlled vehicles and provide care for your pets along the journey, including feeding, watering and bathroom breaks.
Regardless of the way that they move your pet, a good pet mover will be willing to provide references and proof of insurance. They should also be willing to give you a binding estimate, and a phone number where they can be reached at all times.
Travelling with your pets can be difficult, but not impossible. You may want to take them along with you if your journey is by car, or you may find it easier and more convenient to have a company that is knowledgeable about moving pets handle it for you. Choose the option that makes you the most comfortable.
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