By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Blogger,
Moving to a new home may be stressful to your pet. So be patient and understanding and provide lots of affection. Don’t let man’s best friend get lost in the shuffle of a move. Relocating your dog to a new home can be a smooth transition for everyone involved if you follow these simple steps.
BEFORE THE MOVE:
- Obtain a copy of your dog’s veterinary records to give to the vet in the new area.
- Call the state veterinarian in the capital of the state you’re moving to. Find out if you need to provide any paperwork to bring your dog into the state.
- Call the town or village hall in the new locale. Ask about licensing requirements.
- Make arrangements for your dog to travel with you in a car or by air. Dogs normally aren’t permitted on trains or buses.
- Create a special ID tag – Be sure your dog has an ID tag on at all times – and be sure it has a phone number where someone can actually be reached. If your dog gets separated from you during the move, it won’t help if it has your old, disconnected phone number.
- If you’re moving locally and your dog enjoys a ride, bring your dog to the new home once prior to moving day.
* Get a health certificate from your vet. Some states require that this be presented at the border before entering the state, even if you’re just passing through.
* If your dog will travel by air, purchase a kennel for her to travel in.
WHEN YOU MOVE
- Feed your dog five to six hours before traveling. Give her water two hours before traveling. Medicate the dog if she becomes overexcited while traveling.
- Bring food and water along. Make frequent stops to walk your dog and let her drink.
- Keep your dog confined when you get to the new home. A dog can easily escape during the moving process. Let your dog out once all doors and windows are closed, and allow her to become familiar with the house.
- Moving day can be hectic and scary to a confused pet. Treat your dog to a special treat at the new home on your visit.
- Ideally, your dog’s introduction to his new home will be with familiar furniture already in place. Use your dog’s familiar bowls, bedding and toys. Put them in a location similar to where they used to be.
- Accompany your dog outside on leash until she’s familiar with the area.
- Try to stick to your dog’s regular schedule in the first days after the move.
- Locate a vet in your area. Make an appointment and take your dog’s records in.
- If your dog has a microchip ID tag, update your information with the company that will notify you if your dog is found.
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