Moving to Miami with Your Dog?

dog walker

Moving to Miami with Dogs? Things to think about.

Our wonderful Coral Gables pet sitter, Sara, recently relocated to Miami with her dogs from New Jersey (lucky us!). She is a wonderful addition to our team, always ready to help, and our pet clients love her. True to form, Sara wanted to share her story about her experience and tips for long distance trips with her pups and boyfriend in order to help those making similar moves. We hope it helps!

“When I first moved to Miami from the suburbs of New Jersey, I had some serious concerns. What would it be like to integrate into a totally new culture, influenced heavily by Latin America? What if I met someone who didn’t speak any English? How would I find work? Most importantly, how would my two dogs feel about such a drastic change of scenery?! Then I joined the Equipaws team and discovered that, like me, a lot of my coworkers and clients also made the move to Miami for work, family or a significant other. Whatever brought us to this tropical melting pot, we are all living here now, and so are our pets.

As a pet owner, there are always lots of additional things that require your consideration when moving to a new place. What sort of dangers might a pet face in a sprawling metropolis that is constantly struggling to grow as fast as its population? How does a furry friend fair in the intense summer heat? What sort of tropical organisms might pose a threat? There was so much to be curious about, and even more that my family and friends wanted to know.

Concerns I had about my dogs.

I often walked my dogs off leash in NJ as I lived in a quiet neighborhood with little traffic. I knew that would have to change in busy Miami. Both of my dogs had been on leashes before but weren’t accustomed to their everyday use. I made sure to start getting them acclimated right away. It took several days, many treats, and LOTS of praise before they were both completely comfortable but now it’s second nature. It is very important to be able to control your pet with so much going on in the streets.

Florida wildlife was something that also concerned me. North Eastern America is home to a handful of predators that can be harmful to pets (especially chihuahuas!) but Miami has a distinctly different set of dangers. Snakes, certain insects, alligators, Bufo Toads, plants, and even the poisons that humans use to control pest populations can all present potential hazards.

The sweltering Miami heat also poses a threat to many pets. Some breeds of dog, like my chihuahuas, thrive in the heat. Other species are not accustomed to such extreme temperatures and can quickly overheat. It’s important to carefully monitor your animal, especially when they’re out on hot summer days. Always make sure they are properly hydrated and NEVER leave them in a hot car for any period of time! Also try to be aware of how hot asphalt can become in the sun; our shoes protect our feet seamlessly but our pad-pawed-pals are not so lucky!

Making the move to Miami

Driving 1300 miles with two dogs and two humans presented a huge challenge in itself. Once we made it to Miami, though, my pets and I adjusted pretty quickly (the beautiful weather helped a lot). To help make your experience as seamless I recommend doing research online to find pet stores and dog parks in the area. It also helps to speak with local pet owners to find a vet that you and your pets agree on, along with an animal hospital in case of emergency. Also be on the lookout for the numerous pet-related events that happen around Miami. There is always something fun happening here, even for our four legged friends!

Equipaws has helped me immensely in my adjustment to living in Miami, both as a pet owner and a petsitter. I have learned a lot from my co-workers and they have even taken care of my fur babies for me when I had to leave town. It is so beneficial to be able to rely on such a great network of pet care professionals and so rewarding to know that I am able to serve my community through them! I’m hopeful that if you make the move to south Florida you will find these tips useful, and even more hopeful that you will choose Equipaws if you ever need a reliable, professional pet sitter!”

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