Moving with pets can be difficult. Dogs get confused and cats get angry. With a bit of planning, you can help make the process easier on them.
Moving is a stressful ordeal under the best of circumstances. Whether you are moving to a new neighborhood, across the state, or across the country, the process can cause massive amounts of anxiety. Dealing with pets as you pack and move can be a big part of the stress.The process should begin as early as possible. Ideally, you should start before you’ve bought or leased a new home in your new location.
Consider your pet’s needs.
Some pets need to have a say in choosing your new home. You may need to consider the size of the home, the amenities, and the neighborhood. Too much of a change can cause your pets distress.
Do you have a dog who needs frequent walks? You should look for a walkable neighborhood, if possible. Is your dog used to having a large backyard with lots of space to run and play? Maybe you have a cat that loves to jump and climb in the high-ceilinged rooms of your current home. Moving to a home with no backyard or low ceilings could be confusing and upsetting for them.
You might not have the option to move somewhere just as spacious as your current home. If so, you can explore other options to meet your pet’s needs. Perhaps your new home is near a leash-free dog park that you plan on visiting regularly with your active dog. If your new home has low ceilings, you can look into cat trees and other products that allow them to explore the space, or you could build your own cat obstacle courses.
Get your pets used to packing materials.
The process of packing up the home will have an effect on your pets. Some dogs will want to help in very unhelpful ways. Cats and jittery dogs will hate everything about it.
You can help your pets get used to the process by bringing packing materials into the home before you actually start packing. Let them sniff the cardboard boxes so that they’re not completely novel when you need to get to work. Hopefully your pets will leave you alone while you’re packing.
Start crate training early.
Depending on how far away you are moving, your pets may need to spend some time in crates along the way. Some pets — dogs, mostly — like crates, but many don’t. If possible, you should start getting them used to the idea as early as possible. Start with a few minutes at a time if your pet isn’t used to crating, and gradually build up to the length of time they’ll need to be crated for the move. Throw in some treats and toys to help them adjust.
Line up a new veterinarian.
Let your current vet know that you’re moving. They might have a referral in your new location, plus some tips for moving with your specific pet. Contact possible new vets before the move to see if they’re taking new patients. See what they need you to do to get set up with their office.
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Keep them out of the way on moving day.
Moving day is chaotic for humans and pets alike. It’s best to keep your pets out of the way as much as possible. That might mean crating them or putting them in a room that the mover will tackle last. If you are moving within your city, you can also board them somewhere for the day. Many dog boarding facilities offer “play dates” for dogs.
Traveling to your new home.
Driving is the ideal method for getting your pets to your new home. The car is a familiar environment for them, and you can stop to take breaks. If you have to fly with your pets, find out as much as you can about the airline’s policies. Most airlines are very strict about allowing pets to fly in the cabin with their humans. They might have to travel in the cargo area, which can be very stressful.
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Once you’ve gotten to your new home, your pets will need time to adjust. You might keep them in one room at first to let them get used to the new surroundings. Make sure they have all of their favorite toys and get lots of reassurance from you. Introduce them to more of the house over time after you’ve done some pet-proofing. As long as you’re there with them, they’ll be happy.
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First things first: mortgage pre-qualification!
If you’re looking for a new home for yourself and your pets, the home mortgage professionals at The Wood Group of Fairway is here to help with your home financing needs. Start your free pre-qualification right now.