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Moving with pets can prove difficult. Not only do your pets get nervous but this adds to your own stress. By trade, I’m a realtor and own a professional pet sitting company so I get lots of questions about moving with pets.

There are important things to take care of when it comes to your pets at this time and they can be overlooked due to the huge distractions of moving. So, I put together a short and simple list of things that will need your attention.

If your pets have never experienced a move before and they start to see their lives being completely disrupted… things being packed up, furniture disappearing, lots of in and out action going on… it is an ordeal for them. Even when the move-out is complete and you’re on your way to your new home, pets can remain nervous, especially if the journey is longer than they are used to.

For example, you may notice your pets refusing to eat, requiring more attention, not wanting to play, or even being more nippy than usual. These are common reactions. Recognize these signs and try to keep your pets calm. Take breaks and play with them. While packing and moving furniture, be sure to leave their belongings for last so they can have something familiar around them.

Here are some more tips to help you go from point A to point B.

  1. Change identification – You will have a new address and your pet’s collar (if applicable) needs to reflect that. If they get away at a rest stop or run loose as you haul boxes in at your new place, you want those who find him to be able to find you. Include your cell phone number.
  2. Buy a pet carrier – It is not safe for a pet to run free in a moving car. A pet carrier keeps them safe. Plastic ones allow the pet to see out of the door without the possibility of getting tangled in the sides like the wire ones. Introduce your pet to the new carrier by placing it in their area several weeks before the move.
  3. Visit the vet – Some pets get motion sick. If your pet has never left home you might not be sure, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Get medication for it just in case. The vet can also suggest ways to calm your pet on long rides.
  4. Make frequent stops on the trip – Pets can get just as restless as children. Make regular stops at rest areas to stretch your legs and to give your pet a bathroom break. They can work off some nervous energy from being pent up in the car.
  5. Keep them comfortable – Put a familiar blanket and toy in the pet carrier so your pet will feel at home. Look in the door so that they can also see that you are still with him.
  6. Plan your sleeping arrangements on the trip – All hotels are not “pet friendly.” Find areas where you can keep your pet with you in the room. This way you don’t have to drive all night or leave your pet in the car overnight. In hot areas, pets have been known to die from heat exhaustion in cars.
  7. Be “pet safe” as you move – Tie your pet up in the yard or on the porch while you move in. Afterward, let them walk around the house and get comfortable with their new surroundings.

Are you moving with pets? Be sure to prepare them, too.