Dr. Julie Damron

4 minutes reading time (786 words)

How to ease the stress of moving for your pets

Moving is stressful for everyone, even your four legged friends. They do not like the noise, packing of items, and transporting furniture out of the house. In addition to the commotion, they are also sense your emotions. They are keenly aware of your trepidations.

On the actual moving day, and the surrounding days, you may want to board your companions or keep them with a friend. This will not only help to keep them calmer; but also you won’t have to worry about them escaping or being injured with furniture being moved around. If you can’t do this, keep them in a spare bathroom or other quiet location that they can’t escape from.

Try to give your dogs and cats extra love and attention in the days surrounding the move. This will help to relax and reassure them. If you normally have a routine with walking, try to stick to this. Animals, just like people, are creatures of habit, staying with the normal routines as much as possible will help to smooth the transition to the new home. Stick to the normal feeding schedule as well. This is not a good time to experiment with different foods or treats, as it is more likely to lead to stomach upset for a dog or cat that is already worried.

Sometimes sedation is helpful. Medications can take the edge off, making the transition smoother for your canine. It can be challenging to do this for a feline. Herbal remedies can also be used. Pheromone diffusers are also an option. These products plug into outlets and release natural chemicals used by animals to communicate with each other. Pet stores carry these items that are soothing to both dogs and cats. Your veterinarian can advise you on what is best for your companion.

Keep your cats in individual secure carriers for travel. This will not only keep them safe; but also make them feel more secure. Keep dogs on leashes. Keep birds or other pocket pets in small cages or carriers. Make sure to keep your animals in a comfortable air-conditioned environment for travel, with access to food and water at least every 3 hours. Do not have pets in the back of trucks or moving vans. For dogs, make sure they are able to get out of the car as needed to go potty.

If you are moving out of state, a health certificate is recommended. Keep a copy of your dog or cat’s vaccinations, as well as a medical history. Your veterinarian can provide this documentation for you; and he or she may also be able to recommend a veterinarian in the new location. It is important to know the pet regulations for the new location. Make sure your pets are healthy for travel and up to date on vaccinations. If your dog or cat is on medication, ask for an additional 30-day supply so you have time to get settled before establishing a new veterinarian. Also, keep your dogs and cats current with their Heartworm and Flea/tick prevention.

Make sure your pets have identification with current contact information. Microchips are a wonderful permanent way to show that your pets belong to you. Collars and tags are also helpful; but they can come off. Make sure you have current photos of your pets, so that you can make signs should they get lost.

If you are flying, a health certificate is generally required. Check with your airlines about this, as well as specifications for crates and carriers. Small pets are often allowed to travel in the cabin in airline-approved containers. Try to schedule a direct flight whenever possible. Most airlines no longer allow pets to receive sedation for travel due to complications associated with them, and liability concerns.

When you arrive at the new home, there are several things to consider. Try to have the new home organized when you bring in your pets. The more it feels like home, the more relaxed your canines and felines will feel. Make sure you have a sleeping area set up with familiar bedding and toys. If you have a feline that is used to living outside, it is best to keep him or her indoors for at least a month in the new location. Cats are known to wonder several miles to get back to there original home. Examine the new yard before you let your dog loose in it. Is the fence secure? Remove any trash or debris that your dog could ingest. Look for sources of poison and discard them.

Moving is difficult for everyone; but there are many things that you can do to make this transition as smooth as possible for all of your family members.

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Sunday, 19 January 2020

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