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Moving Advice: Happy Pets

Written by Carla Hill on Wednesday, 01 June 2011 7:00 pm
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Transitioning to a new home and routine can be difficult for many pets. The stress and worry can cause out of character behavior, as well as lowered immune responses.

In order to ease your pets into a move, it's important to consider what makes them feel safe, secure, and stable.

First, if you are moving out of the area, be sure that your pet is current on all of their vaccines and treatments. Refill any prescriptions and consider microchipping your pet, as moves are a common time that pets become lost.

Be sure that you are well-stocked on their normal food and treats. Changing diets can cause upset tummies and general unrest. In fact, it may be best to pack a Ziplock bag of dry food in your overnight bag. This way there is no scramble to find food at the last minute.

On the day of the move, when doors are left wide open and strangers are coming and going, consider dropping your pets off with a friend or leaving them at doggy day care. This is as much for your benefit as it is for your pets'.

Before you introduce a dog to your new home, create a space that is all their own. Choose a room and set up their bed, food, and toys. Cats will want to check out their entire "kingdom." Just be sure they know where their litter box, food, and water are.

Cesar Milan, known as The Dog Whisper, recommends that when traveling with your dog you do the following:

  1. Prepare. Have a game plan ahead of time. Are you going to need food, water, or medication on the drive? When and how often will you take breaks?

  2. Bring along a favorite blanket or toy. Dogs love their stuff. Blankets and toys can bring comfort to an otherwise stressful situation.

  3. Don't feed your dog for 6 hours before a plane ride.

  4. Use Lavender scents. This great scent can be calming to both you and the dog. Consider mixing a small spray bottle with water and a few drop of natural lavender essential oil.

  5. Take a long walk. It's always good to stretch your legs!

  6. Take breaks. This is especially true for long rides.

Falling back into routine quickly is a great way to comfort your pets. This is easier said than done after a big move, but at the very least, take walks and have meals at the usual time. Our pets are members of our families. By taking a few simple precautions, you can make your next move as seamless and possible.

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