"They are creatures of habit," says Dr. Gary Riggs, a veterinarian at the Bird and Exotic Specialty Hospital near Akron.
"We advise bird owners not to overwhelm the bird with more changes than they have to."
Typically, if the bird's cage is too large to put in the back seat of a car, the bird will have to be in a small travel cage for the move, but some birds fly freely in their owners' homes.Before the move, they should be caged for longer periods, and in a quiet spot.
On moving day, if the large cage is used, it should be covered with a cloth, to minimize the bird's awareness of suddenly changing surroundings.
warns that it is best not to let the bird fly freely at first, as it will be disoriented and may fly into a window.In fact, it is best to keep the cage away from a window that would provide a lot of stimulation.
"It could freak out," he
Signs of stress, in addition to plucking at its feathers, are unusual and excessive vocalizing and not eating.The sooner its environment and routine are back to normal, the better for the bird.
It may be difficult to imagine a cold-blooded reptile getting stressed-out, but turtles, lizards and snakes need TLC, too.
warns that a reptile can even mistake its reflection in a window as another reptile invading its territory.Stressed-out lizards may pace incessantly, try to escape, or bang their heads on the wall.One technique for helping a lizard calm down is to put more hiding places in its domain.
"Pocket pets" like hamsters, as well as rabbits and ferrets can be moved easily, says Riggs
.However, if a rabbit is let loose in a new environment, it may "mark" its new territory by urinating and defecating.
Fish out of water
Moving fish may be the most challenging pet transfer.
It is readily treated with medicine, says Riggs
Maybe moving gives everyone a case of ick, because we're like a fish out of water.
We cope as best we can, but our pets depend on us to make their move happen without too much biting, yowling, screeching, feather-pulling, territory "marking," and head-banging.
Web resources for transporting your pet