Top Tips When Moving With Pets
(This article was originally published in the September/ October 2011 Issue of Pets Magazine and is reproduced here with the permission of the publisher.)
Moving to a new home can be stressful for everyone involved, including your pets. “We often see homeowners who are anxious about their pet’s adjustment to a new home,” says Yvonne Ratigan, vice president at Royal LePage Canada. “By planning ahead, you can ensure your pet is happy and safe in your new house,” Ratigan says, offering these tips to help things go smoothly.
Visit the Vet: Schedule a visit with your veterinarian for a check-up and ensure all vaccinations are up to date. Use this time to arrange for copies of your pet’s records, and ask for a recommendation for a veterinarian in your new location. If your journey is a long one, ask for advice on how to care for your pet during transportation.
Research by-laws and pet licenses in your new area: What are the requirements concerning domestic animals in your new area? To find out, contact the local Humane Society or an animal shelter run by the municipality. Ask about licensing and by-laws concerning the responsibilities of pet owners. Also check into the availability of leash free areas for dogs in your new community.
Special considerations for rural areas: If the area you are moving to is a rural one, be sure to learn the rights of farmers when neighboring pets venture into their property. Often, farmers have special privileges when it comes to protecting their livestock. An unleashed pet, ventured onto a farmer’s property, could be considered a threat.
Transitioning your pets to a new home: Take your dog for several walks each day to help him become familiar with the new area. Avoid walking the dog immediately before you plan to leave home for errands or work. Plan to be home for a period of time after those initial walks, so that the dog associates the new area with a positive outcome. Leaving immediately after your walk can increase anxiety. Cats on the other hand should remain inside for several weeks until they become comfortable in the new home. Cats are known to run away to search for their old home, so safe containment indoors is paramount.