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How to Move with Pets

What to Do When Packing

For most people, preparing for the move itself can be stressful; meanwhile pets are creatures of routine and changes can exacerbate stress for dogs, cats and other sensitive pets. When pet owners are packing, it can be useful to have a pet stay in a room which will be packed last. Additionally, try to keep to the established normal routine of a pet, and bring unfamiliar items, such as moving boxes, home before moving.

This can minimize some of the changes observed by a pet and allow them to be comforted by familiar room setups and routines when homeowners pack. On moving day, owners may choose to keep a dog or cat in a crate or at a friend’s house. This can help prevent an animal from escaping while boxes are being loaded up or moved into a new home. Those animals not used to staying in a crate or traveling in a car may need to be slowly acclimated to either situation months before a move is planned.

Pet-Proofing a New Space

Pets are interested in investigating a new home, and pet owners should take steps to reduce the risk of harm to a pet while doing so. Pet owners may want to identify and remove poisonous plants, throw away any pest-control poison traps and make sure that secure screens are on all of the windows. In addition, owners can:

  • Tuck away electrical cords
  • Close off undesirable nooks wherein a pet may get stuck in
  • Start introducing pets into a home by making a “home base” for them

Move about at the level of a pet to uncover any other potential issues in a new space. It may be useful to invest in some safety locks for cabinets, power-strip covers and electrical cord containment systems to reduce the likelihood that a pet may get into electrical wires, cleaning products or toxic chemicals or solvents, such as antifreeze, which can be deadly.

Creating a Home Base

A home base is a room or space that includes all of the familiar necessities for a pet. Much like the last room to be packed and where a pet may stay when moving in a previous home, this room will include items such as their water and food bowls, favorite toys and a litter box. This can reduce the potential stress for pets in a new home and give them an area from which to explore, then come back to their favorite items. It can even help re-establish broken routines, such as their previous feeding schedule.

During the move, a pet owner may want to create an overnight kit of the most essential pet items. This can go immediately into the home base and will make it easier for owners to get pets comfortable as they unpack and settle into a new home.

Avoid Unexpected Surprises

Pet owners should have their dog microchipped and find a reputable vet in the area before moving into the new neighborhood. Ensuring a dog has identification can make it easier to locate a pet lost during a move. It may be useful to get calming medication from a trusted vet before the big day and try it prior to moving day.

These tips can be of great benefit for pet owners and make for an easier transition for a beloved pet.

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