Often a reason cited for buying a new home in Ottawa is being able to give a beloved pet more space to run and play. But before your pet can enjoy his new Ottawa home, you have to get him there safely. Moving with a pet, presents its own set of challenges, notes Marnie Bennett, a real estate professional, as you have to worry about the safety of your pet both during and after the move at a time when you are pre-occupied with, or distracted by, all of the big- and small-picture issues of simply changing locales
Here are a few pics of our furry friends lounging at our office at 190 Lisgar St. in Ottawa
Before Moving Day
Unfortunately, you can't get your pet to help you pack up and prepare for the move. What you can do is plan things so that he's not underfoot as you get ready to move. You have a few options to handle this extra care. On some packing days, you can ask a friend or your partner to take the dog for a walk. You can also put your pet in another room and close the door so that he doesn't get in your way as you try to pack up
There are some important documents you should get from your pet's veterinarian before the move, if you're moving far enough away that you need to change vets. Ask the vet for your pet's vaccination records and other medical records and also ask him for the name of a veterinarian he recommends in your new area. You may want to get a mild sedative from your vet to keep your pet calm during the trip, especially if you have an older pet or a pet who is ill.
Stock up on food and medication for your pet before you move. You might not be able to get a refill on any pet prescriptions from your pet's new doctor right away. If your pet is on a special diet, you will want to have extra food on hand in case it's hard to find his brand in your new location.
Purchase new tags for your pets before you move. The tags should have your new address and contact number on them. If your pets have been microchipped, make sure you update your address with the company.
On Moving Day
Your pet's safety should be a primary concern on moving day. If you can, have a relative or friend take your pet for the day so that he isn't underfoot or does not run away. You can also set up a special room as the "pet room" for the day. Choose a room that has proper ventilation, such as a small bedroom – but definitely not a closet. Place your pet's food bowl, pillow and toys in the room and visit him from time to time while you unpack.
Keep the door closed so that the pets can't get out. You'll also want to put a sign on the door so that any other person helping to do the unpacking doesn't inadvertently open the door and let the animals out. If you'll be transporting your pets in carriers, put the carriers in the room before a few weeks before the move so that the pets get used to going into and out of the carriers.
After the Move
Marnie Bennett notes that you can't talk to your pets and explain the move the way you can talk to children. After you move to your new Ottawa home, the best way to get your pets used to the new place is to set out the things they are familiar with. Unpack your pet's food bowl and toys right away to help him acclimate and exercise him as you normally did in your old location so that he experiences no variation from his routine at his old address.
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