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Making the Move With Four-legged Friends: Tips for Moving With Pets

Few experiences in life are as chaotic as moving, and you’re not the only one who notices. Chances are your dog, cat, or bird will know something is up the minute you start packing a box. When you have pets, preparing for your move starts weeks before moving day. These tips can help you get ready for a big move with pets, whether you’re moving into a new permanent home or one of someone’s investment properties.

1. Update Your Pet’s Microchip

You may be tempted to wait until you’ve actually moved to update your pet’s microchip, and that may be okay. However, it’s a good idea to verify the phone number you have on file in the pet recovery database. Whether your pet escapes from your current home or your new one, the person who finds your pet will be able to contact you.

2. Acclimate Your Pet to Its Crate

If your pet is already used to spending time in a crate, you can skip this step. On the other hand, a pet who normally has free reign of the house needs to acclimate to its crate. Make the crate as inviting as possible with blankets, toys, and maybe some food. Start with short periods of time — 5 or 10 minutes — and work up to several hours at a time. Stay calm when you release the animal from the crate to avoid creating anxiety.

3. Make Plans for Moving Day

You’re going to be busy on moving day. Doors will be open for extended periods of time. Strange people may be walking through your home. It’s the perfect opportunity for your pet to escape. Don’t give them a chance. Choose one room where you can keep your pet safe behind a closed door. Pack it up early and move out any furniture so you don’t have to open the door during the moving madness. Another option is to hire a pet sitter to keep an eye on your pet while you’re busy.

4. Pet-proof the New Place

Take a walk through the new place through the eyes of your pet. Carefully inspect the fence for holes they can slip through. Check the screens on the windows and porches to ensure they fit securely and have no signs of damage. Remove hazardous materials like poisonous houseplants and pest control products left behind by the previous owner. Even after you pet-proof the house, stay with your pets when they’re outside until they accept the new place as their new home.

5. Maintain Routines as Much as Possible

Animals are creatures of habit, and keeping up with their routines is one way to keep their anxiety in check during a move. Bring unwashed blankets to the new home so they have a familiar scent. Unpack their box of supplies first and set them up before you go to work in the rest of the house. As much as possible, feed and walk them at the same time. Try to keep their supplies in a similar spot to where they were in your former home. This should ease the transition to the new space.

6. Give Your Pet Time to Adjust

An unfamiliar place can be scary for your pets, and they will need time to get used to their new digs. You may decide to confine them to a single room — like your bedroom — until you’re ready to let them explore the rest of the place one room at a time. Some animals — like dogs — tend to adjust quickly, while others — say cats — may be more skittish for a while. Keep your eye on them and keep up with your regular routines as much as possible, so they learn that the new home is their home.

7. Explore Your New Neighborhood Together

You’re in a new place, too, so have some fun getting to know the neighborhood. Walking with your pet gives both of you a chance to explore your surroundings and get used to new sights, smells, and sounds. It’s always a good idea to let your new neighbors know you have a pet and let your pet meet your neighbors. If they find your pet wandering the neighborhood, they’ll know who to contact.

OpenAiRE Understands Pets

The team at OpenAiRE is more than a brokerage and property management team. We’re people — with pets — who understand what it’s like to pack up your life and transport them across town or across the country. Discover what makes our team different and how we make effortless ownership possible for you AND your pets.

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