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Animals, like humans, get stressed during a move. Sometimes, they end up even more stressed since they don’t quite understand what’s going on. It’s important that you work to make this move as smooth as possible for their sake and your own sanity.

Be Aware of Pet Laws and Regulations. It’s important that when you move into a new neighborhood you’ve educated yourself on all of the local leash laws, pet ordinances, and licensing requirements. Your pet may need extra vaccinations or certificates depending on where you move to.

Update Pet Identification. Whether your pet wear’s an ID tag or has a microchip, you’ll want to get their information updated to incorporate your new address as soon as possible. No matter how careful you are with your pets there’s always a chance they could get lost in your new neighborhood.

Talk to your Vet. You’ll need to gather all your pet’s medical records before you move, but it’s also important to talk to your vet to receive any insight on how you can make the move more comfortable for them. If they’re naturally nervous, your vet may have some medication or behavior modification tactics that will help them relax. (It’s also a good idea to try and get any vaccinations updated if necessary.) Finally, especially if you’re moving out of town, try to have a new veterinarian lined up before you move.

Pack Over Time. Try not to save all your packing for the last minute. Pets are not fans of change and will get worked up if everything suddenly disappears at once. Plus, pets can feel your anxiety and it can make them nervous. Pack a little bit each day to take some of the anxiety away from the both of you.

Keep them Secure. If you’re moving to another house in the same town, see if you can leave your pet with a friend. If not, try to keep them in a crate or a room with some of their favorite things and check on them periodically throughout the day. If you’re moving far away, be sure to keep them in a crate, pet carrier, or, at the very least, on a leash at all times. The stress could cause even the best behaved pet to run off, so keep them easy to control at all times.

Prepare a Travel Kit.  Have your pet’s favorite things set in a box that is easy to access as soon as you arrive in your new home. Small toys and blankets can stay with your pet during the move, but things like food, water bowls, and beds should be right in the back of the truck. Also, if you’re traveling far, make sure enough of their food has been packed and it's readily available so that you won’t have to dig through all your boxes just to feed your four-legged friend.

Take a Walk. As soon as you have some amount of free time, take your pet for a walk around the neighborhood. This way you can both familiarize yourselves with the area and, if you have a dog, they can relax by exploring all the new smells. Try to introduce yourself and your pet to as many neighbors as possible while you’re out so that if your lovable little friend gets lost they will know who look for.