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Moving with Pets

Before moving day ever gets here you’re already frazzled. You’ve rented a truck, met with movers, consulted utility companies, done a million other things and now you need to finish packing. Moving is tricky enough for us humans so imagine how confusing it is for your pets when things inside the home start getting shuffled around.

Your pets will become stressed and anxious when the unexpected activity starts to go down and after that, they’ll need to acclimate to their new surroundings. Since moving with pets comes with its own challenges, we’ve put together a list of things to consider and steps you can take to make the process easier for you and your furbabies.

1. Pack a bag for your pet

Designate a bag or suitcase that will be used only for your pet. Fill it with the essentials like food, treats, grooming tools, medications (if applicable), and toys so you can have easy access to the things your pet needs to be comfortable. This bag will allow you to easily feed and care for your pet if you’re making a long distance move. You’ll also have an easier time taking care of them during the first few days in your new home.

2. Talk to your vet

Make sure to let your veterinarian know you’ll be moving so they can update your pet’s records. You should also renew any prescription medications your pet needs so you have enough until you find a new vet. If you’re moving far away, you can ask your current vet for recommendations on one in your new neighborhood.

3. Place your pet in a quiet spot

Animals tend to be more sensitive to commotion than we are, so the best way to reduce stress is to keep them in a quiet area. If you prefer to keep your pet with you on moving day (otherwise you could kennel them or take them to a friend’s house), keep them away from the action. Empty one bedroom on another floor, place them in there and keep the door closed. If someone in your family can manage to entertain your pet during this time that’s even better. Be sure to check on your pet regularly throughout the day so they have enough food, water, and bathroom breaks.

4. Bring your pet along for the car ride

Transport your pet to the new space in your own car. Cats and dogs can be placed in their pet carrier in the back seat and larger dogs can hang out in their kennel in the back. If possible, put the seats down so you can accommodate your pet. If your pet is uneasy in the car, encourage them to relax by placing a blanket over their carrier but try to follow the same routine you would during any regular road trip with your pet.

5. Introduce them to the new space slowly

Use caution when transporting your pet to your new neighborhood. Your pet can easily get lost if they get out, so use a leash or keep them in their carrier even if your pet is usually calm or well trained. If you’re the owner of an outdoor cat this could be a good time to help them transition into being an indoor cat.

6. Update their contact info

Moving is strenuous enough and the last thing anyone wants to go through is losing their pet. Take a moment to update your pet’s contact information before moving day. Go to your local pet store, make new tags, and attach them to your pet’s collar. If your dog is registered with the AKC, update your contact info on their official website. If your cat or dog has a chip, make sure your vet updates it to the new address.

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