Moving is one of the top 10 most stressful events in a person’s life- we can all agree on this fact. Wherever we go, man’s/woman’s best friend is sure to follow and is hopefully not lost or stressed in the moving process. All animals are creatures of habit and become very nervous when they’re relocated to a new and different environment. When you start to move, they start to freak out. At Rent A Green Box, we have seen our share of moving related pet issues: sad pets, missing pets and really pissed off pets. With over 80,000 moves completed in the last five years, we’re constantly asked the same question “How do I safely move my Bird?”. We’re happy to share with you these free bird friendly packing and moving tips, for a happy bird! If your looking to move your reptiles, we have a special tips article on “how to pack and move your reptiles”.
HOW TO PACK AND MOVE YOUR BIRD
1.) Moving Prep: Before you’re next move, take the bird to the vet for a routine checkup. Tell the vet that you are moving and want to make sure there are no illnesses that might cause problems throughout the moving process. If you are moving out of state or out of the country, please check to see what is required in terms of health certificates and vaccinations. Also, in moving long distances, you may need a carrier for the bird instead of it’s cage. Get your bird accustomed to this carrier before the actual move by talking and communicating to the bird, while it’s in this transportation cage to enforce familiarity. However, if you are moving locally, you can transport your bird in its primary cage while taking a few simple precautions. Remove all the swings and toys so there is nothing that may fall on the bird in transit. Remove water and food to avoid messes but do keep your bird hydrated throughout the move with plenty of water.
2.) Moving Day: Older birds have the most trouble with moving. Familiarity and routine things that the bird is used to doing, will ease his/her stress. Feather picking is a common sign of distress. If this occurs take your bird to the vet immediately. Birds are extremely sensitive to temperature changes, so to give your bird extra comfort, cover the cage with a blanket to reduce temperature changes ( while also giving them a sense of security). If your bird is encountering anxiety, it may be a good idea to pad the inside of the cage with blankets so they don’t hurt themselves while trying to fly or escape the carrier. It’s all about making your pet feel safe and cared for during your move.
3.) Travel by Car: Birds must be placed in a sturdy cage, so if your cage is not tough enough for transport, then invest in a bird carrier ( check with your local pet store or vet office as they have been know to rent these specialized cages). Birds don’t respond well to temperature changes, so maintain a constant neutral temperature during the entire drive. It’s also a good idea to cover your windows in the rear to reduce the amount of heat and light. Also remember to bring cage or cover clips ( laundry/clothes line pins). Place these clips over your bird’s cage so its properly secured in transit. Bring plenty of food and water and make sure that’s easily accessibly in your car, so your bird/birds can be fed on a regular schedule. When opening the cage at rest stops be careful that he/she does not fly away as they can be easily disturbed, anxious or upset from the experience. It’s always best to be really focused and calm during these temporary feeding times, so your bird will sense your calmness and attention to his/her needs.
4.) Traveling by Air: When traveling by air, you will need to acclimate your bird to its new traveling carrier by letting it sleep in it for at least a week in advance. Reward him for staying in the carrier and talk to him as he explores his new space. Make sure to have an extra set of his vet’s paper work attached to the cage, as well as feeding times.
5.) Post Move: Birds are flocking animals, so upon arrival at your new residence, they will need extra attention and reassurance that they are OK and they are safe in your new home. Your bird should be placed in an area where he/she can see your activity, even if it’s moving boxes into the home. Once settled, find a room where he will be staying and make him/her feel comfortable by adding the toys and special cage items. Since birds love routine, try to find a similar spot to the one he/she lived in the old residence. Try to avoid choosing a space with windows for two reasons; to avoid temperature changes and to avoid possible routes of escape. Make the cage as familiar and comforting as the birds prior environment.
Pet shipping and moving can be very complicated and stressful. We hope that these simple moving tips from Rent A Green Box will help you and your pet enjoy your new place, without getting your feathers ruffled up!