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Guide to Moving with your Family Pets

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How to Handle Family Pets During a Move

Moving is sure to bring excitement and adventure for you and your family. Of course there is stress that comes with any new changes. Change is often difficult for all members of the family including pets. Moving with family pets can not only be a source of added stress to family members but your pets may also be stressed by the disruptions in routine as moving preparations begin and you get settled into your new home.

This guide will share information designed to decrease problems and limit the stress on both you and your pets during a move.

Good planning is a necessary part of any move. Pre-planning that includes attention to keeping your pet safe and as stress-free as possible will help make moving easier on the entire family. Begin by taking your pet to the vet for a checkup and ask about any recommendations they may have such as special restraints or medications to help your pet remain calm. Be sure to obtain copies of current health records including a certificate of good health and current rabies vaccination certification.

Ask about any known restrictions and be sure to check state and local laws to be sure you can legally bring your pet into a new area. Obtain identification tags and consider microchips with up-to-date contact information to make identification of your pet easier should they get lost. Moving with pets to military bases or government locations may require certain restrictions. Be sure to obtain all information well in advance of moving day.

Everyone including pets do better when they know what to expect. Take time during the planning process to acquaint your pet with the type of travel and restrictions that are likely to be encountered during the move. When possible plan on your pet traveling by car during the move with a family member that is able to stop and allow your pet an opportunity to get out for a brief walk or bathroom break. Brief rides prior to moving day will allow your pet to become comfortable with travel. Do not leave your pets unattended in a closed car. If your move requires air travel, check with the airway to find out about travel arrangements as well as recommended crates or carriers.

Boat travel may be another option and again, whenever possible short trips with your pets can assure that you and your pet are more comfortable and know what to expect during the move. You can obtain pet floatation devices to keep pets safe while on board. A leash can give you and your pet the security of knowing that they are safe at all times. Be aware that drinking salt water can make your pet ill. Have a supply of fresh water available and make sure your pet has access to it.

A move that takes you away from your present community will require that you find a new vet. When you take your pet in for their checkup prior to moving, ask your current vet for recommendations. Ask friends, family, or acquaintances you may have in your new area for recommendations. It is easy to check veterinarian resource listings online. Having a current copy of your pet's health records will make it easier to quickly bring a new vet up to date on your pet's health history.

Just as it takes time for you and your family to adjust to a new home, it also takes time for your pet to adjust to new surroundings. Make sure to bring along their old bed, favorite toys, food and water dishes, food and treats. Watch your pet to be sure the water in your new location doesn't upset their stomach. It is normal for your pet to be off their usual feeding pattern until they adjust to their new surroundings.

Resume their usual feed and walk routines as soon as possible and do not allow your pets to run unsupervised until you are assured they are comfortable in their new surroundings. Be sure your pet has on a collar and ID tag to help in finding them if they do wander off. Planning and preparation will make moving with your pets a much less stressful occasion for all.

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