How to Help Your Pets Move

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Congratulations – You bought a new home! You've been up to your eyesballs with touring homes, mortgage companies, real estate agents, escrow, attorneys, switching utilities, arranging movers, and on and on and on. Sometimes the family members that really need some extra attention get neglected – your family's dog and cat.

This list of tasks will help make the transition to your new home as painless and safe as possible.

Preparing Your Pets for the Move …

1. Have New ID Tags Made. This is something you should do far enough in advance to have them ready in time for moving day. Since most pets get lost right after a move, it's a good idea to have both the old and new set attached for a while. Some pets have been known to return to their former homes when lost.

2. Your Pets Health. Have your veterinarian give your pet a check up. Like you, your pet prefers to be healthy when moving. And, you're not the only one experiencing a lot of stress during this time.

3. Vaccinations. These are preventive measures that will help in the new area. Also, take time to ask your veterinarian about diseases that may be specific to the area you are moving.

4. New Veterinarian. Ask your current vet if they can recommend anyone in your new neighborhood. There are also several online resources to connect with pet owners in your new area.

5. Get Them Accustom to the Car. Not all pets like traveling in the car. Whenever you go out – short or long trips- bringing your pet along. This will get them accustom to the automobile's environment. Cat owners: This is a good time to buy a leash or harness if you do not have one.

6. Overnight Arrangements. Plan in advance if the hotel / motel where you will be staying allows pets. (Contact me for a list of web sites that provide information on animal-friendly accommodations). If you are traveling by air, check with the airline in advance. You may be able to carry on smaller pets.

While You're Traveling …

1. Special Traveling Treatment. Give them plenty of breaks. Thirst will be one of two big concerns when traveling. (Going potty will be the second concern).

2. Long Trips Mean Lack of Exercise. Allow your pet to be active at the beginning of each day. This will give their digestive system a chance to perform (rather than in the car). Feed your pet only half as much as usual. (You'll thank me for this).

3. Be Comfortable and Be Prepared. If your pet is traveling in a crate or pet carrier, make sure the arrangements are as comfortable as possible. Traveling all cooped-up will be less traumatic with some familiar toys and blankets. Bring along some extra plastic bags and maybe a poop-scoop in case of accidents. Do not let your pet hang his / her head out the car window – it's dangerous!

4. Seating Arrangements. Resist the urge to have your cat or dog sit in the front seat on the passenger's lap. Something could spook your pet and interfere with the driver's ability to control the vehicle. If the inconvenience happens and there's an accident, airbag deployment could harm your pet and possibly the passenger.

5. Rest Stops. If you will be away from the car, such as for meals, have someone stay with the pet. Remember: Pets in closed cars is a VERY dangerous situation. Picnic situations are always an alternative. This is a good time for everyone to get out and stretch their legs. Remember the leash!

6. Get Away From Traffic. When you make stops, try to get off "the beaten path." Other owners will have their pet doing the same thing as you, sometimes taking a potty break. Going away from the areas where other animals are … um … doing their business lessens the risk of your pet contracting viruses or diseases

When You Arrive …

Reestablish Habits. When patterns are broken, expect some different behavior such as aggressive acts or using the house as a bathroom.

For dogs : You may want to confine them to a smaller room to start, until they feel more comfortable in the new surroundings.

For cats : Put litter boxes through the house for a while. Then slowly remove them.

Let them know their limits. Walk your pets along the property line. They will become familiar with their territory.

This guide focused on steps for assisting owners with dogs and cats. Your local Humane Society or ASPCA office can offer ideas and suggestions on the best way to handle your more exotic pets.

Moving can be a demanding and hectic activity. A little preparation can minimize the stress level for you and pets.

Enjoy your new home!

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Source by John Safin

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