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Pet Relocation Tips for Dogs & Cats

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Few people like to move. Moving is even more difficult if you have pet. By planning ahead, you can make relocating less traumatic for both of you.

When moving to a new city or country, get all city, state and national rules regarding importation of animals, including health requirements.

1. Visit your vet before moving. Schedule a comprehensive check up for your pet seven to 10 days before traveling. If moving out of the US, let the vet know so that you pet can get the appropriate shots. Have the vet provide you with a dated health certificate indicating that your pet is in good health and has received all required vaccinations.

2. Make sure your pet's collar is comfortable and has an identification tag with the pet's name and your name, address, and telephone numbers.

3. Travel with a sturdy leash and collar for dogs; and bring litter, a litter pan, scooper and plastic bags for cats. Keep your pet on its normal feeding, exercise and elimination schedule. Always keep a First Aid Kit with you. Consider packing: pet's regular food, treats and bowls; and bottled water to avoid stomach upsets.

4. Travel with a pet carrier-either a crate or travel kennel. Make sure the carrier is big enough so your pet can stand, turn and lie down. The carrier should have no internal protrusion, strong handles or grips and a leak proof bottom covered with absorbent material. The carrier should be ventilated on opposite sides. Mark the carrier with your name, address and telephone numbers.

6. If traveling by other than car, contact your carrier to determine pet transport policies.   7. Carry a recent photo of your pet and put important information on the back: name, age, color, breed, necessary medical information. Use the photo to make posters in case your pet gets lost.

8. If you are going to have to stay in a hotel or short-term corporate housing, determine its pet policy before reserving a room. Before relocating, set up an alternative plan. Check out boarding kennels in the area by contacting the American Kennel Boarding Association.

9. Help introduce your pet to its new home by:
  • Returning to its daily feeding and exercise schedule;
  • Setting up your animal's bed, toys and bowls in a location similar to your former home;
  • Introducing your dog to the building staff and neighbors; and
  • Hiring a daytime dog walker so your pooch can eliminate, exercise and have stimulation.


10. If neighbors complain or your animal engages in destructive behavior - try a behavior modification product

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