Blog by Stephanie Twiford

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Moving with Pets

If you are planning a move and you have pets, do not forget there are steps you should follow to make the move as stress free as possible. For you and for your pets.  All too often, pets can end up lost or a little freaked out because they have been taken out of the home they have always know.  We love our pets and want to make the move smooth for them and stress free for us as well.
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.

Ask for veterinary records.  If you are moving far enough away that you will need a new vet, you should ask for a current copy of your pet's vaccinations.

Keep medications and food on hand.
  Keep at least one week's worth of food and medication with you incase of an emergency.

Seclude your pet from chaos
.  Pets can feel vulnerable on moving day.  Keep them in a safe, quiet, well-ventilated place, on moving day with a "Do Not Disturb! Pets Inside!" sign on the door.

Prepare a first aid kit.
  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 (3%)

Play it safe in the car.  It is best to travel with your dog in a crate; second best is to use a restraining harness.  When it comes to cats, it is 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 in the storage are of a moving van.  We were traveling some years ago, I saw the unthinkable...a dog in a crate strapped to the roof of a car.  What were these people thinking...We were in a rest area when I saw them drive by. I wanted to get a license number but failed to get it, it was before cell phones so I could not call anyone. I always wondered what happened to that poor pet. 

Get ready for takeoff.
  When traveling by air, check with the airline about any pet requirements or restrictions to be sure you have prepared your pet for a safe trip.  When I lived in Alaska and was moving back to Washington, I good friend took my two cats back with him on the plane to Seattle.  I remember hearing meowing from their crates as they traveled on the baggage carrier, to be loaded on the plane.  Just remember, to make sure the crates lock, I have heard of animals getting away because the crates have come unlocked.

Find a new veterinary clinic and emergency hospital.  Before you move, ask your vet to recommend a doctor in your new city.  Talk to other pet owners when visiting the new community and call the state veterinary medical association for veterinarians in your location. 

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 hand spot so they can be unpacked right away.

Learn more about your new area.
  Once you find a new veterinarian, ask if there are any local health concerns such as heartworm 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.

If you are reading this, you feel like I do, that pets are family and we want to make the move as easy and stress free as possible.  Try to think ahead, be prepared and you will have a happy and smooth move with your pets. 


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