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Moving with Pets

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Many pets have an instinctive fear of unfamiliar surroundings, which can result in stress-induced behaviors or even illness if you're not careful. If you're planning on moving to a new home, there are some things you should consider if you have pets. From the minute you begin packing the old house until the last object is put away at the new house, follow these tips to ensure a safe and comfortable transition for your animals: 

  • Begin packing early, room by room, to ensure as little chaos (and as little stress on your pets) as possible up to the time you leave.
  • In the weeks before moving, keep your pets' routines - from feeding times to walks - as normal as possible. Also make sure to give them plenty of love and attention.
  • If you'll be going to a new vet, make sure to request your pets' records and make sure they are all up to date on their shots.
  • If your pet has health problems or is easily upset, ask your vet if they would recommend a mild sedative for travel. 
  • Keep your pet relatively confined at your new home until they seem comfortable with their surroundings--both inside and outside. Cats, especially, have a tendency to wander off when placed in a new environment, so you may want to keep them inside at first.
  • If you have a bird, put it in a place where it is undisturbed until it becomes accustomed to its new surroundings. 
  • If you have fish, test the water for similarity to that of your old home and adjust it to the needs of your fish if necessary.
  • Help bring about that "at home" feeling by using the pet's familiar food and water dishes, bed, blanket, toys, and so forth. Try to put them in a similar location as they were in your old house--food and water bowls by the back door, bed in the family room, etc. 
  • If you're moving to a new city, locate a competent veterinarian and establish care for your pet as soon as you get settled.