You've got everything set: The movers are scheduled, the boxes are packed (well, most of them, anyway), the old house has been sold, the new one rented, and the kids are registered at their new schools. But there's one more worry: How will your pet manage the move?
Making a Stress-Free Transition
About a month before you're supposed to leave, take your little critter to the veterinarian to make sure there are no underlying illnesses that might cause problems in a stressful situation, such as a move.
If you are moving to another state (or another country) check to see which documents – general health certificates, proof of vaccinations, etc. – are required. If you are moving abroad, check on the quarantine policies of your final destination – and those of any countries you might be passing through.
Try to keep schedules and daily routines close to what your pet is used to.
If your pet becomes so stressed that he starts self-mutilation or stops eating, get him to a vet right away. Self-mutilation needs to be controlled immediately, before it becomes a habit that cannot be broken.
If you'll be traveling by car, small mammals can often make the trip in their familiar cages. Remove toys that could fall and injure the pet and make sure he has fresh food and water available at all times. Keep temperatures consistent – not too hot and not too cold.
If it is to be a long trip, make sure you pack food, fresh water and treats.
Be extremely careful when opening your pet's cage or taking him out of his carrier while you're on the road. The pet is likely to be startled more easily in unfamiliar situations, and even though you are careful, he may be able to get away from you.
As soon as you arrive in your new home, pick a spot for the pet's cage. He should be able to see most of your family's activities, but still be able to have a little privacy when he feels like being alone.
If possible, try to place the pet's cage in an area similar to the one he inhabited in the last house. Make sure his space is free of drafts.
Once your pet's cage is set up, don't change his toys or accessories for a while. Arrange the cage in the same manner as it was in the last house, so that it will seem familiar and comforting to the pet.