More than 150,000 cats and dogs will soon be moving with their owners. Unfortunately, a few thousands of them will also be abandoned in animal management centers, humane societies, shelters and veterinary clinics. Worse, some will simply be abandoned in homes or thrown to the streets, a situation that is vigorously denounced by the Veterinary Medical Association of Quebec ( small animal practice).
Cats and dogs are sensitive beings who habits, routine and territory are of major importance. The day they are forced to leave their homes and settle in another environment, it is normal that they feel disturbed and stressed.
Everything must be put in place to minimize the negative effects of such disturbance. To help you better plan your move, the Association of Quebec veterinarians ( small animal practice) offers these tips:
– In the weeks before the move, contact your veterinarian to see if the coverage of your pet is up to date and its preventive medication against the various parasites is in order. If you move to another city, ask for your pet’s medical record. Take the opportunity to ask your former vet to recommend a new vet near your new home. Do not forget to renew your prescription drugs if you have a pet with special needs;
– Do not forget to prepare a special box for your pet with toys, leash, his bowl, his food, his litter, and his pillow. A box that will be easily accessible. Do not take advantage of the move to throw everything away! Keep objects that will reassure your animal like an old sweater, for example;
– Make sure you have enough food for your dog or cat, especially if it eats a special diet. Also purchase a transport cage, a good collar and a good quality leash;
– If you believe that the day of big departure may be a bit chaotic, why not book a place immediately (your veterinarian, a pension, friends, family, a neighbor) in order to keep your cat or dog. Thus, you will have no need to worry. Place your pet, one or two day (s) before departure to avoid the hustle of the final preparations;
– Learn the laws of your new location for the number of animals allowed and the different responsibilities you must meet;
– Think of questioning the former owners, of your new home, to see if they had unwanted guests like rodents and or small animals lurking around. Never assume that the apartment is free of undesirable occupants. As a precaution, give your pets preventative treatments against internal and external parasites. Know that the smells of other animals are often persistent and can cause behavioral changes in cats ( marking territory and not always going in the litter box) Make a good cleaning, especially carpets;
– By kindness, write a note to the future owner of your old home to show him that a cat or dog lived there. They will be less surprised if one day, your dog or cat decides to run away and return to live in his previous home;
– During the move, always use a transport cage for cats and even small dogs;
– Be careful if your dog has a tendency to be anxious. The stress of the changes can cause mood swings and aggressive behavior. Some products available from your veterinarian can help reduce stress and promote adaptation. Do not hesitate to ask for advice;
– Beware of heat stroke, never leave your pet alone in a car or truck;
– Upon arrival, install your animals (especially cats) in a small room not too busy, or keep it in its cage until everything is completed. Make sure that there is no passages where the animal can run away. Scribble a note on the door saying not to let out the animal;
– Pay attention to indigestion or potential poisoning from products lying around or even leftover pizza !!! ;
– Be careful, a new environment can mean dangers of running away. Beware, for example, of open doors, exhaust air dryer hoses or faulty fences. The animal may be tempted to return to his former home;
– Some cats can hide and be afraid, while others explore everywhere. Beware of traps that await your pet as window sills, streets, pools, etc. Loss of appetite can also be observed for a few days, be careful and patient. However, if it persists more than 24 or 48 hours, contact a veterinarian. Let your cat or your dog time to tame the surroundings and to establish his little routine;
– Do not forget to put an identification collar and the new municipal medal for your pet to comply with regulations and thus help find your pet in case he/she runs away. Permanent identification with a microchip is also strongly recommended and if it is already installed, do not forget to change the address in the database. This is your best guarantee for the safe return of your pet;
– In general, dogs are more resistant to removal than cats. Sometimes it’s the neighbors who have less tolerance for dogs than cats. So be aware of this, especially if your dog tends to bark or your cat to wander. Be respectful of the environment in order to establish a good neighborhood. It would also be nice to present them your neighbors to show them ‘what a good pet you have’.
– Make a visit at your new vet to get to know, the hours of operation and services offered, while opening a folder for your pet. Take the opportunity to transfer data from your old medical file and let them inform you about any prevention needs depending on the new environment.
If you practice these recommendations, you should be able to minimize the impact of the move on your pets and together, start a new stage in your life!
Translated from Source: Quebec Veterinary Medical Association in small animal practice
If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact a member of the medical team of the Clinic (514-634-4190) who will be happy to assist you.