Whether you are moving to another country for work, school, a change of pace, or to retire, you will of course want to bring your beloved canine companion with you. Although your faithful family member will go wherever you lead, you do need to be prepared and consider their special requirements when making such a big change.
Vets and Emergencies
Vets are not always easily found in all places, and they may be long distance vets who only come into town on specific dates. For instance, spaying and neutering clinics may only be available on certain dates when the vet makes special trips to provide that service for the area.
Before you make the leap and move to a new country, be sure to research what sort of facilities are available. You will also need to know what type of emergency facility is available for pets.
It is a good idea to have all of the information, including the vet’s name and location, written down before you move. If there are groups of expats living in the area where you are moving, see if you can contact them online or via phone to get firsthand, up-to-date information. Websites sometimes do not get updated frequently and may be out of date. Firsthand information from those in the know is best.
Hello! I am Neela Bear. A few months ago, Mommy packed up my dog bowls, my blanket, my leashes, my toys, and… oh yeah, a bunch of boxes of her things. She stuffed the car really full. Even the top of my big crate was covered with stuff. She brought along some of my very favorite treats, the CANIDAE PURE Heaven Biscuits with sweet potato and salmon, and gave them to me on the long drive when I was being good. I was very good.
We drove so far. It is really different here in our new home than where we were before. It is hot. I mean really hot. I have to pant a lot when we are outside. Mommy calls this place the desert. There is no green cool grass here, just brown stuff called sand.
The landscape is covered with prickly plants, and so much sand that is fun to dig in. I tried to chew one of the prickly plants, but it poked my mouth. I was okay, but now if one pokes me I growl at it. Once in a while I still try to eat one.
Sometimes when I go out in the morning, this bird likes to chatter at me from a tall cactus in our yard. It’s called a saguaro, but this one is dead and brown. It doesn’t have any pricklers like the green ones. The big bird sits way up high on it where I can’t reach her. I watch her very carefully, in case she finally decides to come closer for a visit. Mostly she just caws at me really loudly.
Moving is one of the most stressful things we humans have to endure. Whether it’s just across town or thousands of miles, moving is no picnic. Oh sure, it can be exciting and fun after the move, when you’re finally settled into your new home. But the actual move, with all the packing, hauling and unpacking? Ugh.
When you add pets into the mix, moving can get downright chaotic. Just like humans, pets get stressed out from the process of moving too. However, there are some things you can do to lessen the tension for all involved, and keep your pets safe during this traumatic time.
Before the Move
Planning ahead is the most important thing you can do to help make this transition go as smoothly as possible. As soon as you know that a move is coming, start making arrangements for your belongings and your pets – and write everything down so you don’t forget something important. If possible, pack up your things a little at a time so your pet’s routine can be kept as normal as possible until moving day arrives.
All cats (and some dogs) will need to be safely confined in a sturdy pet carrier on the day of your move, so buy one beforehand if you don’t already have one. If you have multiple cats, you may need a carrier for each of them. I assumed my two cats, a brother and sister who got along great in my home, would be fine sharing a pet carrier. When I tried to take them to the vet in one carrier, I found out just how wrong I was! Luckily I discovered this before my cross-country move, and thus had separate pet carriers on hand for each of my three cats.
Purchase a new pet ID tag as soon as you know your new address. If you don’t know your new phone number yet, put your cell phone number on it instead. If your pet is micro-chipped, get the information changed before you move.
If you’re traveling by car and will need lodging along the way, plan ahead to be sure there is a pet-friendly hotel or motel room waiting for you. You can find pet-friendly lodging online at a site such as Petswelcome.com, but should also confirm it with your motel directly when you make your reservation.
If your pet doesn’t travel well by car, consult your vet about medication that might help. My friends gave their cat a veterinary-prescribed sedative during and after their move. Although it’s not something I personally would do, your vet can advise you if it’s something you are considering. Your vet can also inform you of any vaccinations or health certificates your pet may need before the move.
Air travel with pets is a little more difficult. Not all airlines accept pets, either in the cabin or cargo hold; those that do have their own pet transportation policies. Contact your airline directly when making travel plans for your pets. Also, the Air Transport Association has comprehensive information online that is a must-read for anyone traveling by air with pets.
During the Move
On moving day, your front door will be open a lot, and people will be constantly coming and going. The safest and least stressful place for your pet during all of this chaos is somewhere off-site. Consider having your pet stay with a trusted friend, the vet or a kennel. They won’t be underfoot, and they won’t get lost outdoors should they slip out unnoticed. Not having them there on moving day is one less thing for you to worry about as well.
If taking your pet off-site is not an option, it’s imperative to confine them to a safe place, such as the bathroom. Place a DO NOT ENTER sign on the door, and be sure friends and movers know that the room is off-limits.
Make your car trip safe for both people and pets. Cats should never be allowed to ride loose in the car – that is just an accident waiting to happen. Cats should always be transported in a sturdy and well-ventilated pet carrier. If your dog will be riding in your car, consider getting them a harness that secures them to the seat. Never let your dog ride loose in the open bed of a pickup truck. Put them in a sturdy crate that’s securely tied down, or on a properly installed cross tether.
After the Move
Take with you (rather than pack in a box) everything your pet will need in your new home: food, water, leash, medications, pet bed, litter box, dishes, and health records. Also, carry a recent photo of your pet in your wallet, in case your pet becomes lost.
You’ll want to get a recommendation from someone you trust for a new veterinarian; in the meantime, know the location of the closest vet and after-hours animal hospital in case of an emergency.
When you get to your new home, it’s best to put your pet in a quiet room with the door closed until everything’s been moved inside. Besides the chaos of moving, your pet now has the stress of being in a strange new place with no familiar smells. Cats especially need to be safely confined indoors for several weeks (more is better), to ensure that they don’t become lost or injured outdoors.
I hope these tips will help keep your four-legged friend safe and sound on your next move.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.