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Moving with Pets


By Jen McCann, Realtor

Moving can bring stress onto our four-legged (or two-legged or finned) family members. It is important to remember they, too, will need time to adjust to relocating. Some pets may hide for days others may lash out unexpectedly. It is so important — for them, you, and potential buyers through your home if you’re selling — to be prepared to help your pets through the moving process. Here are a few tips to help if you are moving with pets:

Talk with Your Vet
Your vet may be your best resource in helping you prepare your pet for a move, including referral to a new vet if you are moving far from your current vet. They will also be able to give you hints that are specific to your pet or breed. They may even be able to provide medication if necessary. Finally, you will want to make sure all the vaccinations, records, and tags are up-to-date.

Pet Day Care
If you are selling your home, I strongly suggest making arrangements with a pet daycare center or asking a friend or family member to temporarily keep your pet from the listing through the move to the new home. Having strange people in and out of the house can cause stress and unexpected behaviors in some pets. Plus, having a pet (or the smell of a pet) at the property while you are trying to sell tends to be a deterrent for potential buyers.

Pet-Friendly Amenities
When searching for your new home, make sure the new neighborhood or community provides the amenities your pet needs. For example, Reston has some dog parks. There is a condo community in Centreville that has a dog area. Most communities now offer the pet stations along paths with supplies you may need. There are also groups that get together to socialize and discuss “all things pets,” so it can be an excellent way to get involved in a new community.

Pets Need a Box, Too
Just like the other members of your family, number code and label a moving box for your pet. Pack all their belongings in the box, so nothing is left behind. Knowing the number for the pet will also help you quickly locate it among all the other boxes once you are at the new place. Don’t forget to pack the water and food bowls, food, and medicine in their “Day One” box, so you have their necessities readily accessible.

Pack Slowly
Start packing early with one box per room a day or so. Packing slowly not only makes the process more manageable for you, but it also makes it less stressful and anxious for most pets.


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