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Picture this scenario: you’ve just received a new, exciting job offer for a position in New York City. You rush to your computer and begin looking at homes for sale in NJ with a comfortable commute into the city. Then, it hits you. What about your pet?
You're ready to pack everything up and move to the Big City, but how will they cope with the relocation? This can be a traumatic experience for animals, mainly because it is impossible to communicate what exactly is going on to your companions!
Here are some tips for making this transition as comfortable as possible when moving with pets.
Move the House Before the Pet
The change in environment can be unsettling for animals. So, you want to soften the blow as best you can. As you begin packing up, try and keep your pet away from the action as best you can. They won't like being sequestered, but they'll be less traumatized than they would be seeing all of their favorite things disappearing into a big truck. On the other end, if possible, have your new home setup as best you can before bringing the pet into the environment. They'll be more comfortable walking into a new home if some of the surroundings are familiar.
Travel with Your Pet
If you're traveling by car to your new home, this is easy. However, if you are flying or driving the moving truck yourself, it can be challenging to have your pet by your side. You should do your best to keep your animal(s) as close to you as possible during the move. They’ll be distraught, but at least they’ll have you there for support and plenty of attention.
Notify Your Vet
Talk to your veterinarian and let them know that you're moving. They'll be able to give you your pet records, prescription information and other relevant details that your new vet will need. They may even be able to recommend a practice in your new area! If you already have chosen a vet at the new location, your current practitioner should be able to send all this information over.
Bring Plenty of Supplies
Aside from bringing enough food and other essentials, a lot of people relocating their pets bring an abundance of toys, grooming utensils, treats and another manner of comfort items. These can make the trip to your new home a lot easier on the pet and distract them from the rapidly-changing environments outside of the car.
Take Extra Precaution When Letting Your Pet Out
This tip applies to both the trip to your new home and the first few weeks at the new place. Even if your animal is exceptionally well-behaved and seems to be adjusting fine, they may be hiding a damaged emotional state. You don't want to let them off the leash at a rest stop and have them take off. Same goes for your new house. That fence in the backyard may seem perfect until they find a hole under the fence or an alternative escape route.
Update Their Info!
A lot of pet owners accidentally forget to update their animals’ tags or microchip with the new address and other contact info. Ideally, you should change this info right before you begin your journey to the new home.
If you follow these steps, you and your pet should have a much more comfortable relocation. They’ll be under less stress, which means you don’t have to worry about how they are coping and you can focus on unpacking and be adjusting to your new life. After all, moving is stressful enough, even without the worry of how our pets are dealing with the situation!