Bark & Swagger is moving to Florida on

Hi, SwagTeam! I took a bit of a break around the holidays and am now back. Happy, happy new year! Wishing all of you a healthy, wonderful 2015!

2015 for Stanley, me, Sophie, Jasper and Isabel will be a pivotal one. Over the holidays, we decided to change our lives for the better and make a big move. While we’ve had a home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a few years, our primary residence has been in New York City. This year (really soon), we’ll be making our primary residence Florida! We’re saying good-bye to the bitter cold, crowds and noise for a better quality of life and we’re excited about it!

Being a NYC girl, I will definitely be visiting (I’ll need my fix!). But, Sophie and Jasper will be enjoying life running around a backyard and taking dips in the pool. And, I’ll be sharing their new lives in Florida and tips I learn about moving with pets and acclimating them. I’m excited to be sharing this next part of our journey with you. Any South Florida readers, give a shout out with tips, things to watch out for and to avoid (like those Bufo frogs that are poisonous to dogs!).

Doing lots of research on how to move the fur kids with the least amount of stress to them. Here’s what I found on tips for moving with pets.

  • Find the right neighborhood – the ASPCA recommends exploring a neighborhood for aggressive dogs and whether it’s the kind of place you’d want to take your dog for a walk. For us, we wanted to make sure we had a backyard with grass that was completely fenced in.
  • Think about how your living space will affect your pet – senior dogs may have trouble with lots of stairs; cats need places to climb. Sophie and Jasper are young, but we liked the idea of a house with everything on one level as stairs can be slippery if not carpeted, and we didn’t want carpet.
  • Don’t pack all at once – Cats, especially, don’t adjust well to change. The recommendation is to pack gradually. I know when we were cleaning up our apartment yesterday for a realtor to come take a look, the pups (especially our rescue, Jasper), got upset. They didn’t know why mommy and daddy were running around the house like dervishes, cleaning! (it’s not like we never clean, tho’) 🙂
  • If you’re moving long distance, don’t hire a pet relocation company, if you can avoid it – the tip suggests that the cost is usually much higher than the actual cost of moving a pet, but for me, I would want the babies to be with me. So, I would check with the airlines to see what their policy is re: flying with your pet(s). We are going to fly down with Sophie and Jasper, have someone take care of Isabel, our kitty, then I’m going to fly back to pick her up and take her down.
  • Whether traveling by car or plane, give your pet time to adjust to their carrier. The recommendation is to put treats in there for a week or two and gradually work up to them spending some time in there. Thank goodness, Sophie is used to her bag and so is Jas. Isabel just recently commandeered a pretty, leopard Sturdi pet carrier we have and loves it. So, that’s what we’ll use to take her down.
  • Make sure to update your pet’s ID.Super important! We use PetHub, love love them and researching these tips reminded me that I have to do that!
  • Find a new vet in advance – ask your current vet if they have any recommendations or do research and experiment with who you feel the most comfortable. Also, find an emergency vet clinic in your new area. We located one when on one of our trips down last year, Sophie got sick and it was on a Sunday night (of course). We really like them so we feel secure knowing we have that, should we need it.
  • Help your pet adjust to their new house by introducing them slowly. The recommendation is to start with one room with their toys, food, water, litter and, as they feel more comfortable, introduce a new room. This will help lessen any overwhelm they feel in a new environment.

Hope these tips are helpful for anyone else moving. I’ll keep reporting what I learn! I’ll close with a cute snap of Sophie sunning herself in the backyard of our previous house in Florida. The girl had the life of Reilly!

Bark & Swagger is moving to our tropical paradise on

Sophie sunning herself

Have you moved recently with your pets? Have any tips? Please share in the comments!



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Written by Jody Miller-Young
What does stylish mean to you? I’m passionate about animals, fashion, travel, home decor and rescue, and that's what you'll find here. After a recent move to Fort Lauderdale from NYC, we're loving our new life in the sunshine. Welcome to my world! Grab your favorite beverage, curl up and stay awhile.