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Moving to a new area can be a stressful ordeal for all involved,
especially your pets. The chaos of packing, moving furniture and
the strangeness of a new area can leave your cat or dog spinning.
However, with a little advance planning, patience, and affection
you can help your pet quickly adjust to their new neighborhood.
"Before you move make sure that your pet is current on their
immunizations and that you have any health statements or
documentation, like your pet's rabies certificate, that may be
required in your new area," said Stacy Eckman, lecturer at the
Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical
Sciences (CVM). "Also, it's important to start preparing early
since interstate moving requires an interstate health certificate
which is issued within ten days of travel, and moving abroad means
your pet will need an international health certificate which takes
around thirty days to facilitate."
When it comes time to actually start the move, making sure your
pet is safe and comfortable is essential. Pets will often get
nervous when the packing starts so it is vital to try and alleviate
this anxiety by sticking to a normal routine with your pet by
having regular play times, walks, meals, etc.
"While you're traveling it's crucial that your pet be in a
carrier if at all possible to ensure the safety of the pet as well
as the car's occupants," said Eckman. "You should also make sure to
factor in rest stops for the pet that include snack and water
breaks. For these rest stops make sure to have a reliable collar or
harness to keep the pet safe and from running away."
When traveling by plane, it is important to remember that many
pets do well once they are actually on the plane and settled. The
FFA prefers that pets not be heavily sedated during flights,
especially those that are flying cargo, due to safety concerns. If
you are concerned about your pet, your veterinarian can help you
develop strategies to aid your pet's anxiety of flying. Often these
will need to be tested at home before traveling in case the pet has
adverse reactions, so you will need to allow time for this.
"When you finally arrive at your new home, it is important to
make sure that the area is safe and secure for your pet," said
Eckman. "Look for items that may have been left over from previous
tenants, like traps, chemicals, or tools, and make sure that the
home's perimeter is secure. You should then let your pet get used
to their new home and surroundings, and try to get back into a
normal routine with them as quickly as possible."
Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary
Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University.
Stories can be viewed on the Web at vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk. Suggestions for
future topics may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843
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