A Pet Owner’s Guide to House Hunting and Moving

Black and white fluffy dogMoving is a stressful and complex process, and it only gets more complex the larger your family. When one of your family members is a furry friend, there are a few additional considerations. You need to make sure that they interfere as little as possible with the house hunting and packing process while ensuring their comfort and safety during the move itself. With a little bit of forethought and planning, this is easy to do.


House Hunting with a Pet

Not all homes are perfectly suited to pets, so you need to keep your pet in mind as early as the house hunting stage. Your home should have enough room for your pet to live comfortably and should have plenty of outdoor space if you have a dog. Don’t worry too much about size if you have a big dog, as they can live happily even in smaller homes as long as you give them enough exercise.

It can be a good idea to look at homes whose current owners also have pets. That way, you can keep an eye out for pet-friendly features, such as dog doors or a fenced yard. If you fall in love with a home without a fenced yard, you can always pay to have one installed. Depending on the materials used, a fence installation can run anywhere from $1,649 – $3,956, so just be sure to budget accordingly.

You also need to think about what to do with your pet while you are selling your current house, as their presence could discourage potential buyers. Make a plan to leave them with a neighbor, friend, or family member during showings, and try to hide any pet accessories. You also should make a concerted effort to get rid of any lingering pet odors.

Once you have sold the house and are ready to move, it’s time to think about packing. If your pet is quiet and tends to keep to themselves, you may be fine. However, many pets can find the process of packing stressful and overwhelming, with everything in the house being turned upside down. To avoid any issues, leave them with someone while the house is being packed, or even book a stay at a kennel. A kennel stay costs $25-$45 a night on average, which can be affordable and worthwhile if it gives you time to focus on packing.


Moving with a Pet

The extent to which you will need to plan around your pet during the move itself will largely depend on how far you’re going. For a short move, it can be a simple matter of putting them in the car with the rest of the family. However, if you are planning a longer move, then you will need to make sure they stay comfortable. Check out these travel safety tips by the ASPCA.

Moving day itself can also be stressful for pets, so consider their needs when planning. Try some of the following to keep the process anxiety-free for the whole family:

  • Have their favorite toys, blankets, and other accessories within easy reach so you can unpack them right away.
  • Confine them to one room in the house for the first couple of days, exposing them gradually to the new space.
  • Invest in some new accessories to make the house more pet-friendly. Make sure to check reviews before buying.
  • Find your nearest local dog park and introduce your pup to some new friends. You may even meet some too!

Remember that it may take a while for your pet to adjust to the new place, and that’s okay. Humans also find moving and settling into a new home stressful, and they at least understand what’s going on. Give your pet plenty of love, be patient, and they will eventually learn to feel at home in your new space, as will the rest of the family.


For more tips and information about how to care for your pet visit ourdogfriends.org.


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