HAWTHORNE, CA - JULY 16:  A dog sits in its cr...
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Pets feel the stress of change, too, and the upheaval of a move can be hard on animals. If your move involves an airline flight, then you will need to take more comfort measures to assure your pet makes the transition well. Here are some ideas and tips to soothe your pet in the midst of house moving.

Visit the new house ahead of time

This is not always possible, especially if the house is very far away. If it is possible, however, it’s a good idea to take some treats along to make the experience positive and let your pet check out the new house. Try to get your scent and the pet’s wherever you can. Humans can’t discern these smells, but your pet will, and when you arrive ready to move in, it will have some smells that are familiar to your pet.

Flying on an airplane

Check with various airlines and find out if your pet qualifies to ride in the cabin with you, under the seat. This costs an extra fee, but is well worth it to avoid having your pet travel in the cargo bay. If your pet does need to travel as cargo, make the sure kennel is strong and escape-proof, and has a spill-proof container for water. Put in a favorite toy or blanket that smells of you and your house. For dogs, include something to chew; for cats, include a toy with catnip.

The kennel

Several weeks ahead of time, purchase the kennel or carrier, or set up the one you already own, and leave it open for several weeks in your old home before you move. Your pet can come and go and get familiar with the kennel. Keep toys and water in there, and when it’s time to go, nothing will change inside the kennel.

When you arrive at your new home, don’t put the kennel away yet. When moving in boxes is finished and the new house door is closed, open the kennel or carrier and let the pet decide when it will come out. Leave the kennel out and open the way you did in your old house for a week or two, so your pet will have a familiar place to which it can retreat as it gets used to the new house.

Introduce the new outdoors gradually

Dogs, of course, should not be allowed to run loose even in a familiar neighborhood; but letting them run loose in an unfamiliar place can be disastrous. If there is a fence, check it carefully for holes or other escape routes. If you tie your dog out, don’t leave him outside unsupervised for the first few days.

Cats should not be allowed outside at all for several days. On the first venture out, take the cat out in its carrier and take it around the perimeter of the property, getting the cat familiar with the scents and sites of its new territory.

Car ride

Some animals, especially cats, can get very anxious in the car. There are various anti-stress remedies on the market. Your vet may prescribe a sedative, or you can check at your local health food store for natural remedies.

Keep calm

Animals sense your tension. Lots of gentle touching, stroking, and soothing, upbeat talk will go a long way in relieving your pet’s stress.

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