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Tips for Moving with a Pet

Moving to a new home is among the most stressful events in life – for you and your pet.

Moving with a pet can present extra challenges, not the least of which is your pet’s anxiety about the disruption of their environment.

Here are some tips to make a move less stressful for you and your pet.

Planning and Preparation

If moving locally and you own a dog, take a walk around the new neighborhood and let them acclimatize. The more familiar your dog is with the sights and smells of a new neighborhood, the less anxious they will be when they move there permanently.

If possible, introduce your pet to the new house before the move. When animals revisit places they’ve seen before they have a sense of familiarity, which will help them settle into their new environment.

Check-in with your current vet before moving day and make sure your pet is healthy enough for the move and current on vaccines and treatments. Be sure to ask for your copies of your pet’s records. Your current vet may even recommend a veterinary practice closer to your new home.

Register with your new vet ahead of the move and schedule any treatments you’ll be missing with your previous vet. Transfer prescriptions and ask about the new neighborhood. Vets may know about pet-friendly social events, training classes, sitters and caretakers in your new neighborhood.

If your pet is microchipped, make sure to update the database with your new address immediately before the move date.

Moving with a Pet

On the day of the move, try to keep your pet away from all the hustle. To keep from adding to their anxiety, avoid locking them up. If they’re not crate trained, now isn’t the time to approach it. If possible, check them into a daycare or ask a close friend or family member to take them for the day.

If you are traveling by plane, check the airline’s rules onboarding with pets –  sometimes there can be strict rules and extra fees. Usually, pet carriers are required to be placed in the cargo hold or under your seat in the cabin.

If moving with a cat, be aware that cats don’t like crates or motion and may need some medication to reduce anxiety throughout the flight. Check with your vet for the right dosage recommendations for the travel time.

If none of these options suit your comfort level, consider using a professional pet moving service.

If possible, move your pet in your own car – they’ll be happy to not be separated from the pack. Driving with a pet isn’t always easy but it’s likely the best option to minimize your pet’s anxiety because they will still be with the family.

If you feel driving with your pet will induce anxiety, check with your vet for supplements and medication that can keep them calm. Don’t forget to give your pet extra attention and praise while on the move, and be forgiving of uncharacteristic behavior changes during this time. Consult you veterinarian if they don’t subside within a reasonable time of getting settled in the new location,

Once you arrive at your new place give your pet a tour and set up the spaces that are just for them – food spot, bed, toy box. Take a dog for a long walk to familiarize them with your new neighborhood . Let them meet other dogs in the neighborhood – it’s a great way for you to meet your human neighbors, too.

Happy Pets, Happy Homes

Moving with a pet is a little work but if you follow these tips, your furry friends will settle into their new home with little or no fuss.

If you’re planning to relocate, get in touch with us to learn about homes and neighborhoods that will meet your – and your pet’s – needs.