Adopting or Adapting, Pets Make a Home

My son and his new wife just adopted a shelter puppy. Both of them work full-time, but their job flexibility allows them to work from home for the first week of the pup’s life in his new home. Just one more benefit to the trend toward work-from-home options: being able to introduce the dog to his new surroundings in a hands-on way. The benefit goes both ways, as this young couple has already been enriched by their furry friend’s presence, and they look forward to years of outdoor fun, indoor comfort, and unconditional love.

Pets can complicate travel, however. If you are moving to another country with a dog, cat, or some other animal, you’ll need some information.

What are the entry requirements? For example, what vaccinations are necessary? Are microchips required? Is there a quarantine period? Organizations like Air Animal can provide this type of information and assist with transport. Also consult your destination country’s animal import authority. Inform yourself as early as possible, as some series vaccines are administered over time.

Will you be able to fly with your pet? Airlines have their own policies for pet travel, often detailing age, weight, breed, and carrier type requirements for cargo and passenger areas. Sources like BringFido and PetFriendlyTravel provide specific airlines’ policies and other helpful information.

If flying with your pet isn’t an option, how can you transport them? IPATA, the International Pet and Animal Transport Association, is a 43-year-old network of professional pet transport servicers. Find a shipper on the IPATA website.

– How easy is it to find pet-friendly housing? Share your pet needs with any real estate agent or home-finding service you use. While mere pet-friendly accommodation is requirement number one, also keep in mind any special criteria like a fenced yard for a big dog to romp. Or an owner that enjoys long dog walks should seek out neighborhoods with sidewalks or nearby parks.

Consider your expected lifestyle in the host location. Will you be around more often than at home? Less? Should you plan for a pet sitter or some activity to keep an active pet busy and exercised?

Look into veterinary services before you need them. A colleague’s or neighbor’s recommendation can set you in the right direction.

– If your pet is used to a certain brand of food, is it available locally? If not, can you find an equivalent, or order online to have a supply shipped? Do you need a supply of heartworm treatment or flea repellent, or medications like insulin or joint remedies? Find out where to purchase these things locally, and if you need a vet’s prescription for any of it.

With some advance preparation and research, you and your pet can settle in nicely to your new surroundings. Chances are your pet will bring you an extra measure of calm and comfort, just as you will for them.


Written by Ellen Harris, Product Manager, Content Group