All you have to do is take out the collar and the leash. Your mutt’s fist-sized brain starts hearing the head-bangingest heavy metal ever produced by Megadeath. They love going for a walk. Getting outside and smelling things that we all generally wouldn’t!
If the tinkle of dog tags turns your animal into a nut-cake, imagine what happens when you pull-up stakes, moving to another city or part of the world. Things shift into 84th gear. Not only the excitement of taking a drive gives them the jollies, but staying someplace where the household things smell the same, but the structure itself has an aroma they have never imagined. The yard? Holey-moley!
Way Before the Mooving Van Arrives
You have to plan some stuff way in advance. We’ll give you the highlights:
• Let the animal get used to the crate they’re going to inhabit while you drive to the new locale. Allowing the canine to roam around the inside of the car while cruising can be a safety issue for both the pup, kitty or snake and your family. If you have to stop short, you will learn that your best friend can fly.
• Make an appointment with the vet a month in advance. Any shots they need will take at least a couple of weeks to kick-in. Ask the doc about tranquilizers. He’ll probably tell you to slip the beast a Benadryl. Try to persuade the medic you might need something stronger if you have a wild one.
• While at the Doctor’s office, get a copy of your records including the entire roster of needle stabs the poor darling has had to endure.
• Do some advance work on the Internet. Find out the rules and regs for your cat, dog, iguana or water buffalo before you get there. Leash laws are good too. Be forewarned, if you’re moving to Sioux City (Why? Really? Why?) they’ll only allow you to own three dogs at a time.
• Update the pet’s I.D. tags to reflect the new locale. Mobile phone numbers are a must on the small metal jewelry.
• Bottle-up about 3-gallons of water just before you have the spigot go dark from the old place for the animal.
Knock, Knock. It’s the Moovers
Most animals have a 12th sense that detects any weirdness that their owners are felling. Go figure. Most of us get by with just 5-or-6 (Six if you see dead people).
Remain calm. Keep pets feeling comfortable and at ease while the movers are unloading and on the road trip to Sioux City (Really? Again, why?).
Cars are a lot more pet-friendly than helicopters. If you’re flying to your new dwelling, that’s why you asked your vet for a bottle of the hard stuff. While on the road, plan for a bunch of breaks. Never, ever leave any pet in the car, alone, when you’re traveling long distances.
Are you taking a cruise to the new life-spot? Purchase an animal flotation device. Before boarding for the long trip, a couple of weeks in advance rent a small motorboat for a couple of weekends to get the dog used to water. Cats? They take to H2O better when caged. Water buffalos are naturals. After all, they have water in their name.
The New Place
Everyone needs a certain period of adjustment when they relocate to a new cave. Your pet has toys (although, most animals think of their squeakers as personal property), surround them with their smelly stuff as you begin unpacking. They’re used to their food dish, water bowl, blanket and your bed (although since they’re 14 in dog-years, they should have a four-poster one of their own). Having that stuff around slowly eases the pet’s wackiness.
Finally, before you pour that first sip of water, mix it with the water you carted along. Two parts old schtuff, one part new. Gradually modify the formula until you’re sure they’ve gotten used to the new liquid.
You don’t want to have your carpets cleaned at the new homestead until a week-or-so after you’ve just mooved in.