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Planning Your Next Move with Your Pet

Posted by: Mira Roberts
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Moving can be one of the most stressful events in a person's life, and as traumatic as it is for you, it's as equally difficult for your pets. While humans are the ones who choose to move and can prepare physically and emotionally to change homes and relocate their belongings, pets are often thrown into a new living situation without much awareness or preparation. 

If you're planning a move in the coming weeks or months with your pet, it's important to take steps to ensure a comfortable and smooth transition for your four-legged family member. There are many things you can do both before, during and after your move to help your pet become comfortably acclimated to your new home.

Knowing your pet's personality, habits and daily needs are tended to and consistent will help to move you both in the right direction as you begin to prepare for change. Here are several, practical steps we encourage you to take as you plan your next move with your pet, to help ensure you and your pet move in and feel right at home, as soon as possible. 

Schedule an Appointment with Your Vet
Make an appointment to visit your vet before your move, and get any boosters, vaccinations or issues resolved and taken care of before you move and change caregivers. Talk to your vet about your upcoming move, and ask them for any specific healthcare tips to be aware of that are specific to your pet and your new home and city. There may be important changes to the landscape, climate or environment that your vet will want you to take precautions against, so schedule your appointment, as soon as possible.

Make Sure You Know the Pet Policies at Your New Community
Before making your move, make sure to go over the existing pet policies at your new apartment community. If you are unclear or have specific questions, reach out to the management team to ask for help. There may be completely different requirements and policies in place at your new apartment community that could mean important changes for both you and your pet. Know what to expect and prepare by getting clearly educated on pet policies in advance.

Make a Plan to Board or Keep Your Pet Elsewhere on Moving Day
Start making a moving day plan for your pet, as soon as possible. While you're back and forth with movers, furniture and paperwork, you'll want your pet somewhere comfortable and safe. Whether you have a close friend or family member who is willing to keep them, or can board them at a trusted vet or boarding facility, go ahead and plan to keep your pet safely resting and playing somewher else until you are completely ready to bring him or her home.

Have Your Pet Groomed
After you schedule your vet appointment, go ahead and schedule with your pet's groomer before you move. Grooming can be stressful for pets, and if they've become comfortable with a particular groomer, change can be especially hard. Go ahead and get their next grooming appointment out of the way, so that you have time to look for a new groomer in your new neighborhood. 

Remember Moving is Stressful for Your Pet
While you're in the process of packing and planning, remember to be compassionate toward your pet. Moving can be a traumatic event for a pet, and while they may not understand what is happening, they will sense change and it may be frightening for them. If your pet begins to act up, have accidents or make strange choices, take a breath and remember to be patient. Taking them to that vet appointment sooner than later can help you to come up with techniques and ways to help your pet manage stress, but beginning with compassion will go a long way.

Move Your Pet with Care
On the week of your move, give your pet extra attention and spoiling, and be meticulous about packing up the items that they will need most on moving day and after. Give your pet extra treats, take extra long walks, give extra back scratches and cuddles, and don't worry about overdoing it. Your pet will appreciate the extra snuggling come moving day, and you'll be glad you took the time to connect and get organized for their sake, in advance.

Update ID Tags with New Address
Before you move, order new ID tags with your new address, so that you can change the tags on the day you move. This way, should your pet escape or be lost, you will have him or her properly tagged and hopefully found. If your pet is microchipped, you'll want to make sure you change the address on their file, as well.

Schedule a Visit with a New Vet
After you've moved in, talk to your community's management team, neighbors or new co-workers, and ask for advice on highly rated, compassionate veterinarians in your neighborhood. Once you've found the vet you want to switch to, make an appointment for them to meet your pet and get comfortable with both of you. You won't want your first visit to your new vet to be during an illness or major health issue, since your pet will be completely unfamiliar with the vet and potentially uncomfortable. Schedule an introductory visit and review pertinent health information with your new vet, as soon as possible.

Find a New Groomer
Once you're in your new apartment and getting comfortable, take the time to find your pet a new groomer. If your dog needs to be groomed every few weeks, you'll have to do this sooner than later, so don't wait until the last minute to find a groomer you can trust. 

Continue the Spoiling and Attention-Giving
After you've moved in, don't stop spoiling your pet and giving them extra attention. Now is the time to help them get comfortable and feeling at home, and you can do this by giving extra treats, taking walks to explore your new surroundings, purchasing new toys and giving an abundance of cuddles and belly scratches. Your pet will follow your lead and your mood, so try to remain calm and relaxed, and use your down time to connect with your pet and work through your new move together.


About the Author
Mira Roberts Gravatar
Mira Roberts

Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA. 


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