Buying a new home for you means a new home for your pets too. Like people, animals get accustomed to their living spaces, and moving your pets to a new home can cause them to experience anxiety and fear. However, with some simple precautions, you can help to ease the tension for your pets and make the transition as calm and peaceful as possible for everyone. 

Pet Prep

Before buying a new home, it’s best to determine what features you may need to accommodate your pets. For example, if you have an active dog that likes to play outside, you may want to find a home with a big, fenced-in yard. If you have a puppy or a senior dog that may have difficulty making it outside ‘in time’, you may want a house with laminate floors on a first floor versus a second floor with carpeting. If you have one or more cats that like to climb, you might want a home with really high ceilings to accommodate their climbing habits. You also need to consider special requirements for pets if you are looking at condos or homes managed by associations; condo and housing association rules vary from place to place. A real estate agent familiar with the homes for sale in the area can help you find the home features you need.

Check Local Rules

Be sure to contact the local city or town administration offices to find out what the rules/ordinances are concerning pets in the area you're looking. Every city or town will have rules pertaining to keeping pets, including rabies vaccinations, leash, kennel and waste disposal ordinances and other rules such as those for keeping exotic pets.  

Clear Identification

Before moving day, be sure that your pet can be quickly identified, should your pet get lost in the potential chaos of moving. Your pets should have well-fitted collars with your pet’s name and your most recent contact information. Keep recent photos of your pets with you in case you need them. A microchip on your pet is often the best way for your pet to be identified. Also, be sure to have your pet’s medical records and at least one month’s supply of any medications or special food; this will allow you some time to settle in before finding a new vet in your area.

Stay Calm

On moving day, try to keep your pets as calm as possible by putting them in a safe room, where they cannot witness the hustle and bustle of the moving experience. Make sure they have sufficient water and food and check on them periodically to help sooth any fears. This will also keep them from getting stepped on or tripped over, potentially causing injury to them or the movers.

Home Sweet Home

Once you’re in your new home, let your pets explore freely, in safe spaces of course, allowing them to become familiar with their new territory. Walk your dogs from the house to the yard several times so they can become familiar with the exit—you want them to be able to know the route. Inside, give them their bed and toys from your prior house to make them feel more at home. With good preparation and some gentle reassurances, moving to your new home will be an exciting and pleasurable experience for both you and your pets.