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Monday, September 24, 2012

Moving with Pets

More often than not, my clients have a pet or two.  Moving is hard but add a child or pet to the mix and it becomes even more cumbersome.  So to ensure the move is seemless for your furry four-legged family member, here's 10 tips for moving with pets.

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My yellow lab, Zoe

  1. Update your pet's tag.  Make sure your pet is wearing a sturdy collar with an identification tag that is labeled with your current contact information.
  2. Ask for veterinary records.  If you're moving long distance and you'll need a new vet, ask for a current copy of your pet's vaccinations.
  3. Keep medications and food on hand.  Keep at least one week's worth of food and medication with you in case of emergency.
  4. Seclude your pet from chaos.  Pets can feel vulnerable on moving day.  Keep them in a safe, quiet, well-ventilated place, such as the bathroom, on moving day with a "Do Not Disturb!  Pet's Inside!" sign posted on the door.
  5. Prepare a first aid kid.  First aid is not a substitute for emergency veterinary care, but being prepared and knowing basic first aid could save your pet's life.  A few recommended supplies: Your veterinarian's phone number, gauze to wrap wounds or to muzzle your pet, adhesive tape for bandages, non-stick bandages, towels, and hydrogen peroxide.
  6. Play it safe in the car.  It's best to travel with your dog in a crate; second-best is to use a restraining harness.  When it comes to cats, it's always best for their safety and yours to use a well-ventilated carrier in the car.  Secure the crate or carrier with a seat belt and provide your pet with familiar toys.  Never keep your pet in the open bed of a truck or the storage area of a moving van.
  7. Get ready for takeoff.  When travelling by air, check with the airline about any pet requirements or restrictions to be sure you've prepared your pet for a safe trip.
  8. Find a new veterinary clinic and emergency hospital.  Before you move, ask your vet to recommend a doctor in your new locale.  Talk to other pet owners when visiting the new community, and call the state veterinary medical association (VMA) for veterinarians in your location.
  9. Prep your new home for pets.  Pets may be frightened and confused in new surroundings.  Upon your arrival at your new home, immediately set out all the familiar and necessary things your pet will need: food, water, medications, bed, litter box, toys, etc.  Pack these items in a handy spot so they can be unpacked right away.
  10. Learn more about your new area.  Once you find a new veterinarian, ask if there are any local health concerns such as heart-worm or Lyme disease, or any vaccinations or medications your pet may require.  Also, be aware of any unique laws.  For example, there are restrictive breed laws in some cities.

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