Moving with a Pet: How to Find the Right Home When You Have a Dog

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Moving with pets can be a big change for everyone, and it can bring about anxiety for both you and your favorite animal. Making sure your pet is safe, happy, and healthy during the entire process will take some work, and he still may have trouble settling in once you get to the new house, especially if he’s an older dog. Finding the right home for all your needs is important, but it’s also crucial to make sure his needs are taken care of as well. A good-sized yard, fencing, and animal-friendly neighbors are all good aspects to look for.

You’ll also have to think about how to help your pet get acclimated to your new place, and how to make sure it’s safe for him before he arrives. No matter how old he is, there may be dangers lurking at a new home, such as toxic plants in the backyard, steep stairs, or slick floors. It’s a good idea to walk through your home before bringing your pet to make sure there are no potential issues and to clean and deodorize, especially if there were pets living there before.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re house hunting with pets.

House Hunting

Looking for a new home is often complicated. There are many factors to consider, including cost, location, the amount and size of the rooms, and whether it’s safe for you and your family. When you have a pet, it’s important to also think about what his needs will be and whether the homes you look at will meet them. The size of the yard is a common factor that home buyers look at, as well as whether it’s fenced, but there’s also the location to think about. If your dog is very active, you might want to look for a home that’s close to a park or beach where he can run freely. You should also think about how close it is to a vet that has 24-hour emergency services.

As tempting as it may be to bring your pet along when looking for your dream home, it’s best to leave him behind. Not only could his presence distract you from the task at hand, but he also may not be welcome by homeowners. Once you find a house you like and the buying process is finalized, take your pet over and allow him to walk through if at all possible.

Moving Day

Planning for the move is also a crucial part of house hunting. If you find a home you love that’s in a new city or state, you’ll need to think about moving day and how to keep your pet safe and happy. A long trip can be difficult for some dogs, especially if they have anxiety issues, and even a local move can take a toll on a pet who doesn’t like being cooped up in the car. Plan for his comfort by planning for several stops during a long trip, or ask a trusted friend to look after him during the move. This will ensure his safety while all the activity is going on.

You’ll also want to think about cleaning up the old place to make sure it looks and smells great. Whether you rent or own, it’s important to make sure you don’t leave behind any stains or odors from your pet. Consider hiring a cleaning service to come in and make the interior gleam; keep in mind that the average cost to have this done in Vista is between $118 and $244.

If possible, go through the new home — inside and outside, before and after you move in — to look for possible safety hazards that will affect your pet. Once in your new home, you’ll want to return to a very structured program until your pet is used to your new environment. For a week or two, direct your dog’s every move. If you can, place his bowls and bedding (you can find great dog beds at online retailers such as Chewy starting at around $20 and up) in spots that are similar to where they were in the former house to avoid confusion.

Moving with pets can be a big task, but if you’re able to plan well ahead of time, things will go smoothly. Make a list of things that need to be done and check them off as you go. Don’t forget the details, such as changing your dog’s ID tags to update them with your new information. With these steps, you can ensure the move is one that will benefit everyone!

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