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Moving With A Pet: Key Things to Know Before You Go

A household move is an exciting and yet challenging time. 

From packing the boxes to figuring out mail forwarding, the moving to-do list never seems to end. The changes can feel overwhelming. It’s easy to get caught up in continually moving to the next task. All of these changes take a toll on your stress level. It’s normal to feel exhausted and anxious from dealing with so much change at once. 

Don’t forget – you’re not the only one who is dealing with a move. It’s important to remember that your pets are going through a huge adjustment, just like the human members of your family. Here are some tips to make your move easier on your pet.

Stay Consistent

Pack an essentials bag for you and your family so that you have what you need before you get to the boxes. As well, do the same for your pet. Be sure that you have their crate or bed with you (not in a moving box). Pack plenty of their food. If you use a pet food delivery service, be sure to change your address before you move.

Take One Step at a Time

It’ll take you some time to get used to your new home. The same is true for your pet. Go into the moving process with the knowledge that it’s normal for your pet to act out. As they adjust to their new surroundings, negative behaviors will dissipate. Be patient with your pet, and give them space and the time they need to feel comfortable.

Resist the Urge to Let Them Explore

You know that your pet loves to check out new areas. When you arrive at your new home, you may be tempted to let your pet check out the whole house and yard. Most pet behavior experts agree that this isn’t a good idea. Your pet can be easily overwhelmed by a large new space. When their stress levels increase, so do their negative behaviors. Give your pet access to a small area, such as the living room or a downstairs bathroom. Slowly expand the area they can explore over time.

Make an Appointment With Your Vet

Your vet knows your dog or cat. They’ll be able to give you some helpful tips on making the transition easier. Your vet also may recommend herbal medicines or supplements that can help reduce your pet’s stress level. Of course, if your pet shows concerning behaviors during the move, give your vet a call. They’ll walk you through some pet-specific strategies to help your pet cope with the change.

Gather your pet’s medical records to take with you to your new veterinarian.

Go Big On Cuddles

No matter how busy your move makes your life, be sure to set aside time for your pet. Regular walks and playtime should still happen. If you usually go to the dog park, continue to make that a part of your routine. When your pet gets extra cuddles, playtime, and attention, their stress levels will lower. Bonus – all the extra snuggles and running around will be good for lowering your stress level too.

Moving is tough on people and pets, but you can make it easier for your furry friend. Talk with your family about how you can all work together as your dog or cat adjusts to their new home.

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