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Moving Your Pet: What to do in Advance

By: Sean Zharfati

When you’re moving home the effect that this can have on the human inhabitants of your new home, particularly children will likely be in the forefront of your mind. However, alongside concern for your nearest and dearest it’s worth sparing a thought for any distress that your pets may feel when you move to a new home.

Unless we’re speaking about goldfish, who will forget their old home long before arriving in the new, moving home can be a mildly distressing experience for animals. Remember, many animals are by nature territorial and when moving home you are plucking them straight out of their environment and forcing them into a new and unfamiliar one.

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Of course your pets will adjust in a fairly short space of time but it’s still worth taking precautions to ensure that they don’t become a forgotten component amongst all the other considerations that surround moving home.  Here we give you 7 helpful moving tips to ensure you do everything in advance of your move that will help your pets stay healthy and happy long after you move to your new home.forcing them into a new one.

1. Permits:

Contact the relevant authorities well in advance (6-8 weeks) and make sure you have applied for any required permits for pets you are bringing with you, this is especially important if you are the owner of exotic pets.

2. Pet Transport

If you’re moving long distance, make contact with airlines other carriers at least one month in advance to make reservations and check their animal welfare policies and standards. Where possible choose a direct flight so as to minimize changes in handling, climate and air-pressure. No animal likes being constrained in a box and where possible make arrangements which minimize the time your pet will spend cooped-up.

3. Quarantine:

Moving interstate? Check the law in respect of quarantine regulations. Hawaii, for example, requires a 120-day quarantine period for cats and dogs brought across state lines.

4. Check Local Regs:

Check all the other local regulations in respect of animals; they may differ from those applicable in your current district or state and you don’t want, for example, to land a fine for not muzzling your hound or having it off the leash.

5. Say Goodbye to Your Vet:

Shortly before moving take your pet for a farewell visit to the vet. This should accomplish three things; (1) make sure your animal’s rabies vaccinations and other shots are up to date; (2) obtain a copy of your pet’s medical history; and finally (3) make sure you get the relevant paperwork- a general health certificate confirming that your animal is in good health and a rabies vaccination certificate confirming that your animal is protected from rabies infection. Remember it takes 7-10 days for the vaccination to provide protection so if your pet’s shots against rabies have expired, or this is the first vaccination, make sure this visit is taken care of at least two weeks in advance of moving.

6. Find a New Vet:

Unless you’re undertaking a short distance local move, get a recommendation for a reliable veterinarian in your new neighborhood and make contact in advance.

7. Stick to Routines:

In terms of feeding times, stick to existing routines right up until the day you’re moving home. Dogs should be taken for exercise at their regular times until the day of the move.

These moving tips should stand you and your pets in good stead and allow you to make the right preparation for when you’re moving home.  Now that you know all you need to do in advance. Next time we’ll share our tips to help your pet settle into your new home.

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