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Paws for Thought

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By : Greg Eckler    99 or more times read
Moving home can be a stressful time for all of us. There is so much to consider, organize and arrange, that it can be easy to forget that the family pet will often find the process of relocation difficult to understand, and adjust to. This is particularly the case with companion pets, such as cats and dogs.

The majority of animals are highly territorial. The familiar sights, sounds, and especially smells, of a familiar home and its surroundings contribute greatly to a pet's well-being. When these comforting elements are removed, the effect can be quite catastrophic.

It may be that you only plan to move into a new property on the other side of town - or perhaps you are traveling thousands of miles away. Either way, it will cause a considerable amount of upheaval and the key to reducing the impact on your furry friend should be kept to a minimum, wherever possible.

Transportation is one of the main things that needs to be arranged. Shorter distances will allow for the pet to travel with the owners in the family vehicle, and this will help settle the animal. If unaccustomed to being in the car, it is probably better to put Fido or Tiddles in a crate where they will soon feel comfortable. Longer journeys may precipitate the need for air travel, and this will need to be planned carefully.

Many states will have specific laws regarding the transportation of animals, and you are advised to look into this in detail before attempting to move your pet. Rabies inoculations, identification and health certification may all be required, so ensure an early visit to a veterinarian to clarify just what you will need to have in place before traveling.

When your pet arrives at its new home, bear in mind that with all of the relative chaos that can be associated with a house move, it is a good idea to place the animal somewhere away from all of the activity. It is advisable to have members of the family check-in regularly, as this will help comfort your pet. A supply of food and water, in familiar dishes, will also help the animal adjust to new surroundings. Once the move is complete, and the removals team have gone, allow your pet to explore the property. Place toys, blankets and such, in similar locations as at the previous home to speed up the settling process.

Dogs should be kept on a leash when investigating the new yard, and cats should be kept indoors for the first few weeks, until they are familiar with the new location. Too often, an unsettled pet will try and find its way back to its old home and become disorientated in unfamiliar surroundings.

With all of the other issues that need to be dealt when moving home, reducing the level of stress for both owner and pet cannot be understated, and with a little planning ahead it should prove be one less thing to worry about.
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