(Family Features)–Whether it’s across the street or across the country, moving can be a stressful and chaotic time for your family. This can be especially true for your four-legged family members, who don’t understand what’s happening. Detailed planning and foresight can help alleviate some of the hassle and make relocating a more positive experience for everyone.
“Moving with a pet requires careful planning to help ensure a smooth transition for the whole family,” says Dave Bradey, vice president of people and organization at Mars Petcare North America. “As someone who recently moved with two dogs, I can’t tell you how valuable it is to have access to pet-friendly public areas throughout the moving process.”
Consider these tips to help make your move with your pet as smooth as possible.
1. Check In with Your Vet – Ahead of a move, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure your pet is healthy and up-to-date on all vaccines. While you are there, ask for a copy of your pet’s records and get recommendations for a veterinarian’s office closer to your new home. If your pet has an ID microchip, be sure to update your new address and contact information.
2. Research Your New Neighborhood – Before relocating to your new home, research the pet policies and amenities your new town may have. Cities can require pet registration or special collar tags to help keep your pets safe. Municipalities often list the dog parks or public spaces online where pets are welcome, on or off the leash. If your new town is lacking pet-friendly places, a resource like BetterCitiesForPets.com can help you find ways to help your city become more welcoming to furry friends.
3. Pack a Pet Bag – Amid all the packing supplies, it can be easy to lose track of your pet’s belongings. Instead of digging through boxes to find his food once dinner time rolls around, pack a travel bag for your pet, so food and bowls are easily accessible. Keep a few of your pet’s favorite items, like toys and blankets, on-hand in the car to help reduce nervousness during travel.
4. Take a Room-by-Room Tour – Once you arrive at your new home, introduce your pet to his new environment, one room at a time. Giving your pet free rein of a new house right away can be overwhelming and confusing, so plan a slower approach to ensure your pet gradually adjusts. Start in one main room, and once your pet seems comfortable, move onto the next room and repeat the process throughout the whole home. In seemingly no time, your pet will claim his favorite spot in the new space.
5. Give Extra Love and Attention – As exhausted as you may be at the end of moving day, don’t forget to show your pet some extra love. Consider a reward to show your understanding for what your pet has gone through. Your pet may also need time to adjust to a new environment and may be looking for familiar day-to-day structure. Keeping a normal routine and paying close attention to your pet can help prevent unnecessary stress.
Source: Family Features Editorial Syndicate, BetterCitiesForPets.com.