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Moving with pets: what you need to know

Published: Feb 03, 2010

Just like their human counterparts, pets get stressed out by moving.

Unfortunately, they have messy ways of expressing it.

So on the day of your move, you might want to keep your pets away from all the stress by putting them in a kennel, or having them stay with family or friends. If you can't take advantage of those options, keep them in a separate room so they don't get in the way of the movers.

One of the bigger challenges of the move will be traveling to get them to your new place. Here are some tips on making that trip easier:

  1. Travel along a pet-friendly route

    Look for a route that has plenty of rest stops and pet-friendly hotels. They will provide a nice way to relax for both you and your pet.

  2. Buy a travel crate for your pet

    It can help with anxiety levels during the drive as well as in your new home. And it's indispensable if you have a dog and cat traveling together to keep them separated.

  3. Have all immunizations to date / medications readily available

    At times condo associations, community boards or neighborhood organizations ask new residents to provide an immunization record. Additionally, it may take a few days to determine the best place to shop for your pet medications, so having an extra supply makes good sense.

  4. Don't feed pets before the trip

    The car ride will likely upset their stomachs.

  5. Make sure your pets have plenty of water

    Look for spill-proof water bowls to keep in your car during the trip.

  6. Make frequent stops for your pet

  7. Bring the essentials

    Just as you need to bring essentials with you when you travel, so does your pet. So, pack a travel bag with food, water, brushes, treats, plastic bags, a scoop and even a bed for the hotel room floor.

  8. Make the introduction

    When you get to your new home, give your pet time to wander around the home. Cats, in particular, enjoy this.

  9. Block any potential escape routes

    Be sure that windows and doors are securely shut. The dog that tries to run home is not a myth.

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For kids, moving day can be incredibly stressful - either they're too young to understand what's going on, in which case all the activity, hubbub and stress can be overwhelming - or, they're old enough to understand, and they're sad about leaving their friends ...

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