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Moving with pets

dog sitting on a couch with moving boxes around, article cover graphic

Moving is stressful for everyone in the family, including the pets. Animals are very intuitive when it comes to changes so pets often will need extra attention to reassure them during a move.

To start, you should contact your pet’s veterinarian to learn how you can transfer their medical records to a new vet close to your new home. You will have to pick them up from the office yourself if they do not offer a way to transfer them. Also schedule them for one last check-up, even if they are in good health. Have the vet check them for fleas or other parasites they can provide medicine for to ensure they don’t come with your pet to the new home.

If your pet is exotic or otherwise considered an aggressive breed, ensure to know the local mandates of your new location to ensure owning your pet there is within your legal rights, and otherwise, whether you need to register them with any local organization.

On the day of the move, the ideal situation is to see if a friend or family member can watch them for the day to remove them from the chaos. But this isn’t always possible. If that will be the case for you, try to have a few comfort items for them, including their favorite toys and treats. Also, remember to have their food and water handy for them. This may help keep them calm.

In addition to these items, make sure to have their leash, collar, and waste clean-up items at the ready. If your pet usually doesn’t wear a collar with lost information, your move day should be an exception. Sometimes a move can be so stressful and chaotic for everyone, in a worst-case scenario the pet can get loose, having that information on them will greatly increase your chances of retrieving them. To avoid this, keep the pet in a room with the door closed if no one is available to keep an eye on them, but be sure to check on them frequently as the traffic and noise in the rest of the home may make them more nervous than usual. If you need to take your pet on a walk, its best to bring them away from your home so they will not become excited or nervous about the move taking place.

When it comes time to load them up with the rest of the family, remember to have them within reach of yourself to calm them as needed during the ride to the new home. We all know not all pets are “car ride-friendly”. Once you arrive at your new home, remember to give your pets time to explore the new area before committing to unpacking everything – this will help to make them begin to feel comfortable in the new space. But keep in mind they may need a little more time to adjust than yourself, so remember to be patient and loving. Once the new place is set up and filled with the familiar belongings from the old home, they should feel right at home with the rest of your family!

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