Defence Family Matters : September 2015
17 DFMSeptember2015 MOVING WITH YOUR BEST FRIENDS STEPHANIE MCNEILL PETS are part of many Defence families and can become JUST AS UNSETTLED as their owners as they move AROUND THE COUNTRY. W e ask vet Ivan Gavazov who treats many Defence pets in his practice for some advice. It’s important to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible before moving, according to Ivan. “A dramatic change may cause stress,” Ivan says. “Food, exercise and play times should be kept the same as much as possible, in both your old and new posting location.” “Make sure you have enough of their preferred food to see them through the move and, if you can, pack up their bedding, water bowls and toys last so they still have their own things around them.” He also says to make sure their vaccinations are up to date and you have a supply of any medication they need. There are a number of pests and diseases that your pet may need protection against in your new locality. In the tropics, ticks, heat stroke and leptospirosis are more common so ask your vet for advice before you go. When you get to your new location Ivan says it’s a good idea to keep cats inside for two weeks in your new home until they get used to the new location. With dogs, his advice is to only let them out in the backyard once you’ve checked the area is safe and the fences are sound. “For the first few days when you take your dog into the backyard, keep them on a leash,” Ivan says. “It will feel more secure for them.” “Walk your dog regularly around your new location. Both of you will explore the new environment and start feeling more at home.”n Mac gets ready for his next posting. Photo by Michael Lange.