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So you're getting ready to move . . . and, naturally, you want to take your pet with you.  What should you know and do right now - before you move?  How can you make the experience more pleasant for you and your pet?  How can you help your pet get adjusted to their new home?  Here is some expert advice and tips from my own experience and from many homeowners I have worked with helping them transplant the entire "family" including their pets.

TIP! When working with my clients who have a pet that they want to keep enclosed, we don't eliminate a property if there is no fence.  I help you get information on fencing restrictions and codes, permits, cost estimates, required surveys and plan to have the fencing completed on your new home in a timely manner to ease the transition.

Getting Ready:
On that long "to do" list, schedule an appointment with the veterinarian for your pet.  A thorough check-up is wise and your vet may have specific advice for your pet depending on breed, age and health.  You should consider their best interest if they are too young or old for a long trip.  This is a good time to discuss medicating for a trip, any health certificates or quarantines that may be needed and get a copy of your pet's record to give to your new veterinarian.  Don't forget grooming - your pet will feel better with a new haircut and you will be glad you had their nails clipped. If you are using a crate or

carry case for the first time, give your pet 3-4 weeks to get used to the new environment.  Placing favorite objects or treats inside will help.

On the move:
Be sure your pet is confined during all the hustle and bustle of moving day - it really can ruin things if they got loose.  Expect different behavior from your pet, they know things are not normal.
TIP! Place a filled water dish in the freezer the night before you move if the weather is warm and your pet can enjoy licking it as it thaws.

In your new home:
Watch for signs of stress from your animal; they may be excessively cleaning or hyperactive.  Try to keep their regular schedule of food, water and exercise and a little extra attention will help them get ad

justed faster. Even if you normally let your pet outdoors, it's a good idea to keep them inside for a while until they get used to the new home. There may be a few accidents at first which should be cleaned up professionally to discouraged repeat performances.  You know all the new things you have to deal with and your pet has adjustments to make too so the best advice is to take time to comfort each other and remember that the special bond between you and your pet has not moved an inch!

Helpful Telephone Numbers:
American Animal Hospital Association                        800-252-2242
American Veterinary Medical Association                    800-248-2862
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture-Animal Health Inspections    301-734-4981
Center for Epidemiology & Animal Health                  800-545-8732
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