Sir Bently Maxwell Binkers (my beloved Chihuahua) moved from Arizona to Oregon without mishap. Although the move happened faster than originally thought, careful planning ensured his comfort and safety. When Sir Bently is happy, I’m happy. Here are a few tips to keep your pouch safe and happy with your next move.
1) Pre-planning – When should you start planning your pet’s move? As soon as you know you’re moving start planning and researching.
2) Regulations – Verify regulations for dogs in the state and community in which you intend to move. You may place a call to animal control to answer questions or research a city’s canine related municipal codes online at www.municode.com. If your specific destination city is not listed you can visit the city’s website or research further at the library.
3) Practice Drive – Sir Bently loves to go for rides but if your doggie is not used to traveling in a vehicle you will want to start taking him/her on short drives to become accustomed. Your nerves will be heightened by the move so handling a pouch not familiar with a car may be a bit rough.
4) Pre-move vet check – Within a month of your anticipated move date, schedule a thorough health exam with the veterinarian. They will provide a health certificate (which many states require) which ensures your pet is free from infectious disease and all vaccinations are current. If your furry friend is currently on a medication regime, request a 30 or 60 day refill for coverage while relocating and securing a new vet. Be sure to ask your vet if they can recommend anyone in the area.
Address anxiety and/or motion Symptoms of motion sickness may start with drooling and nausea which may develop into vomiting or diarrhea. Some pets can be conditioned through frequent short drives but for those who suffer, your vet can prescribe Benadryl or Dramamine. Although these are available over the counter have your vet prescribe to ensure proper dosage and pet safe products (according to a local vet, some generic forms of Benadryl contain substances which may harm your pet). For pets that experience severe anxiety associated with vehicles your vet may prescribe a sedative such as phenobarbital.
If your furry friend is currently on a medication regime, request a 30 or 60 day refill for coverage while relocating and securing a new vet. Be sure to ask if they can recommend anyone in the area.
5) Container – a backpack makes a great container for supplies. My back prefers the ones with wheels. Be sure to pack ahead of time as you never know when your departure date might change. If you pack while they are asleep, they won’t have a false sense of anxiety or excitement watching yougetting ready for a trip.
6) Supplies – potty bags – coats for change of weather – blanket – towel – medication for motion sickness – food in a plastic bag if dry food – bottled water – doggie bowl – medications – leashes – wet wipes – first aid kit – favorite toys – registration and shot record.
7) Exercise – by taking your doggie for a long walk before you start the trip they will be more apt to lay down, plus won’t be whining for a potty break as fast. Don’t worry about planning the trip around their sleep cycle they will quickly adjust and you’ll be amazed how quiet they are in the vehicle.
While on your trip take time to go for frequent walks/runs. This will be good for burning off energy and releasing stress – for both of you. While your pooch is taking a potty break you will need to bring your waste bag. www.Poopbags.com offers a range of biodegradable waste collection bags including “Flush Puppies” which are designed to dissolve in water so they can be flushed down the toilet.
8) Safety Restraint – AAA reports unrestrained pets cause more than 30,000 accidents annually. You may want to research pet deaths caused by crates during car accidents before choosing a method of safe transporting. An alternative to crating is The Roadie by Ruff Rider. This canine vehicle restraint system attaches to your seatbelt system yet allows for movement. The apparatus conveniently doubles as a harness and leash when exiting the vehicle.
9) Identification – Ensure your pet wears a current identification tag. Tags can be easily purchased at www.luckypet.com which offers a wide variety of identification tags, including fluorescent tags. Lucky pet tags are reasonably priced and offer owner alert pet recovery with all tags.
10) Motels – Sir Bently stayed at a variety of motels without “accidents” even though I had placed pee pads around. Plan your trip with pet friendly motels by using www.petswelcome.com which has user friendly searching by state or by driving route. AAA also publishes four regional directories of pooch packing places to stay.
Sir Bently Maxwell Binkers met the move with tenacity and vigor yet often looked to me for reassurance. Thanks to pre-planning, I was able to better meet his needs when the unpredictable happened such as the fire in the fifth wheel (that’s another story).
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