Pets in the New Locale
At arrival at your new lodging, the first place your pet will probably want to go is the bathroom. Take her outdoors or have a sandbox ready for her when you let her out of the carrier. Your furry friend will most likely want your attention for a little while to comfort her from the extraordinary endeavor she has just lived through – international air travel. Mittens or Fido will probably want to sniff every corner of the new place to take full stock of their new surroundings. Lead them to their new feeding and resting place, so he may know where to find his kibble, water, and bed.
The first day or day-and-a-half, Mittens or Fido might not be very hungry. Provide him with a normal serving of kibble as you would back home and do not worry much if he does not finish it up. Speaking of food, finding a local supply of food is an important errand to run fairly soon after your arrival. It is very likely that the exact same brand of kibble does not exist in the new country. Even if it does, the ingredients might not be exactly the same, and this can cause digestive upsets. For this reason, I recommend you bring along your pooch’s bag of kibble and compare the ingredients with the locally available brands. Purchase a brand offering a similar formula.
Starting your pet on a new kibble is a gradual process, one mean to prevent digestive upset or allergic reactions. By the second day, you can start mixing ¼ of the new brand of kibble into ¾ of the kibble you brought along with you. Two days later mix ½ and ½ of each. By the 5th day you can serve your dog ¾ of the new kibble mixed in ¼ of her original one. By the end of the week, she should be fine with a full serving of the new kibble alone. During the first week, her stools might be a bit loose as she gets used to the new food. If she suffers from diarrhea, the new kibble might not suit her so well and you might need to find a different formula.
If your best bud is a dog, ask neighbors (and/or the local grocer) where people take their dogs for a walk. Invariably you will find either an official dog-park or a green area where dog-owners and their four-legged buddies congregate. Dog parks are excellent places to learn about good local groomers, vets, pet accessory stores, boarding facilities, and all other dog-related miscellany. They are also excellent places to meet locals! Happy travels Mr. Woof & Miss Meow!
María Rosa Reyero lives in Mexico City with Nina, her beloved Jack Russell Terrier, who has travelled to three countries in her young dog life.
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