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Hello All... We are making a big move in the next month and I need some advice. We currently live in Alabama where the weather is very "sticky"(It typically hot and humid in the summer) and grass and trees are everywhere. We are moving to the hot desert of Texas soon and I am not sure how well Jo will take the change. Or the ride for that matter... We have never traveled more than an two hours with her but this is a fifteen hour drive. She typically does great in cars and new surroundings so I hope the transition will go smoothly. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make this as easy as possible for her? Thanks for any trips and prayers!

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You might want to check out this thread for some info on how to handle things once you get there.

Otherwise, couple other tips.

1. Get a complete copy of your pup's vet records. Ask for copies of xrays even if you have to pay for them (technically, the xrays are your vet's business records. They don't "belong" to you. Some vets will give them up. Some will make copies. Some will charge for those copies, which is fair. Down the road, you may need those copies. Better to have the copies now. You'll want to keep them, especially if you have the originals, in a dry, cool place. As soon as you get a new vet -- which you'll need to do asap of course -- ask them to take and store the xrays as part of your dog's file. They'll fade if not stored correctly.)

2. Ask your vet for proper dosage of Dramamine or other drug for car sickness just in case she gets car sick. On your way home from the vet's office (so you don't forget!) get the Dramamine at your local drug store or from your vet. Pick up a couple month's supply of any Rx drugs that your dog currently takes from your vet to tide you over until you get a new vet. Ask your vet for recommendations. They might know someone where you're moving. Or they might know someone who knows someone.

3. The day of the drive, don't feed her in the morning. Bottle about 3-5 gallons of water from home or bring bottled water that she's drunk before and you're certain she can tolerate. Bring about 1 weeks worth of food with you. And are you POSITIVE that you can buy that food at your new town? If not, buy a couple bags and have the movers pack it with your furniture. You'll need time to transition her to new food. Bring favorite snacks, toys, and her crate or bed. Play a long game of fetch, Frisbee, etc, something nice and physical. Then take one last potty break, just to make sure. Buckle her in or crate her and zoom off to your new home!

3. Stop more often than you think she needs, especially to start out. Potty breaks are also times to stretch her legs. We usually stop at unused farm land whenever we can find it -- far better than rest-stops! We pull out balls or Frisbees, or just let the kids run and run. We give them some water (not too much water, or they'll barf it back up) and back into the car where they immediately crash for several more hours.

4. If, after about 6 hours, she hasn't displayed any signs of car sickness, feed her one small meal. Avoid feeding your pup fast food, even though she's been really good and you're eating McD's and it smells so good, unless you are POSITIVE she won't get sick.

5. Repeat the above process til you get to your destination.

6. Are you stopping halfway there (at a hotel) or driving straight through? If so, are you certain that your pup will be quiet throughout the night at the hotel? Barking dogs can get you evicted from a hotel, perhaps in the middle of the night. If you're not 100% certain that your dog will be quiet with people walking/running/talking/laughing in the hallway of a hotel, talk to your vet about your options. When you make your reservation at the hotel, tell them that you need a hotel as far away from the elevator as possible. That will keep the noise down. If you're certain that your dog can walk stairs in a reasonable fashion, ask for the second floor. Less noise up there.

7. Changing climates just take a while to get used to, just like for us. Don't let her get overheated. Don't expect too much from her the first few days. Let her adjust a bit. She'll probably be bouncing around way before you. I've moved to some pretty funky climates and my dogs have adjusted just fine. They think some of it is pretty cool (the area that I lived where it was windy ALL THE TIME, they loved because there was always something interesting to smell in the wind. Here, it's wet much of the year, but apparently, wet soil hold smells because they sniff the ground here far more than they ever did in the dry climates we lived in.).

I think the single-most important thing with dogs and big moves is that they're like little people. They have records, doctors, trainers, kennels, sitters, etc. You want to make sure that all their records come with you to the extent possible. Contact all those professionals and get the information. Contact the AKC, your microchip company, your breeder (if you stay in touch) with a change of address/phone number card.

Order new tags right now, even if you don't know what your new phone number will be. Put your cell phone number, internet-based email address, and a friend's number on the tag. This way, when you're overwhelmed when you first get there, it's one less thing you have to deal with. You can order attractive tags with thorough information later.

Ok. I think that's about it. If I think of more, I'll post again!
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