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Moving with pets can be stressful, but here are a few tips to make it easier.

Whether you’re moving across the country or just down the street to a new apartment, one of the major factors you have to account for is your pet. Our pets are a special part of our families, and they require special attention and consideration when we move. Help your pets get adjusted quickly in their new environment and have a stress-free move with these tips.

Before the move
If you’re moving to a new state, contact the state’s veterinarian’s office and request the pet laws and regulations. Be sure to check your new city’s regulations, as some cities have breed-specific legislations. A couple of weeks before you move, visit your current veterinarian to request a copy of veterinary records, a rabies vaccination certificate and a health certificate. Additionally, ask your current vet if he or she knows of any good vets in your new city. Remember to put your pet’s collar on with proper identification and any required tags in case your pet gets lost. If possible, keep your pet’s routine normal, including feedings and walks.

Moving
Determine the best way to transport your pet. Moving is stressful enough, so if you plan on driving to your new home, it is probably in your pet’s best interest to be in the car with you on moving day. If you’re traveling with small pets, such as birds, guinea pigs, etc., keep them calm by placing a blanket over their cage. A cross-country move may require a stop, which includes an overnight stay at a hotel. Call ahead and find a hotel which allows pets. If you’re a fish enthusiast, stop by your local pet shop or aquarium and ask for special fish containers to safely move your fish.

More on pets and apartment living:
Pets Allowed vs. Pet-Friendly: You Need to Know the Difference
How to De-Pet Your Apartment
What Do You Need to Know When You Rent an Apartment With a Pet?
How to Find a Veterinarian

To make your pet feel more comfortable on the car ride, bring plenty of treats and toys, as well as an old t-shirt with your scent on it. Keep your pet hydrated and fed by bringing two plastic containers for fresh water and food. Have a leash to walk your dog when you make stops on your car ride, and bring plenty of paper towels just in case your pet gets sick during your commute.

Your new home
Arriving at your new place means that your door will be open and shut all day. To prevent your pet from escaping, mark off one of the rooms as the pet room with items such as toys, bowls, treats and the pet’s bed. Even though your dog was well trained in your last home, keep Fido on his leash when going on walks so he can familiarize himself with his new surroundings. Dogs take a few days to adapt to their new home, whereas cats make take several days to a week. Keep in mind that although the transition was smooth, your pet can still be stressed and may misbehave. Clean up accidents immediately, and comfort your pets as much as possible.

It is important to stick with your routine when settling into your new home. Keep the water and food bowls in a similar spot as your old place, as well as your pet’s bed, and continue to feed and walk your pets at the same time.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto/cmannphoto

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