Scope out the area
Before deciding to purchase a new home, walk around the neighborhood yourself to make sure it’s pet-friendly, especially if you have a dog. If you have a puppy that’s still being house-trained, a home with lots of steps or no yard makes it difficult for them to get outside before making a mess. If you have a cat, look for an interior with plenty of room for vertical space. And if you’re renting, always confirm with the landlord or property management that the building is pet-friendly.
Get them used to being in a carrier
If this will be your pet’s first time traveling in a carrier for an extended length of time, it’s always a good idea to help them get acclimated before making the journey. You can do this in a few different ways: start by moving their food bowl inside the carrier, so they begin to associate the space with something positive, like eating.
Make a few calls
Vet: Call your vet beforehand and schedule an appointment at least a week before moving. Make sure your pet has the proper vaccinations for traveling, ask for copies of your pet’s records and proof of vaccination, and have any relevant prescriptions refilled. You may also want to find out if your vet recommends administering a sedative to your pet if they are skittish or do not travel well, especially for longer journeys.
Groomer: Schedule an appointment for a grooming, ideally several days before the move. Some animals tend to shed more if they are in stressful situations.
Airline: Confirm well in advance that your airline accepts pets—larger pets will often require cargo transport, and smaller pets or carriers may fly with you in the cabin. Find out what fees you will be expected to pay for this service, and ask if they will need your pet’s vaccination records in advance.
Hotel: If you’re driving to your new home, or will need to spend the night in a hotel between flights, call hotels in the area in advance (instead of just checking their websites) until you find one that will accommodate pets. The last thing you want when experiencing jetlag is to be turned away due to lack of pet-friendly rooms.
Establish their “spot”
Once you arrive at your new home, check inside before letting your pet in to make sure there’s nothing potentially harmful laying around. Have their favorite bed, food dish, and toys ready in a spot that will be designated as theirs and let them explore the space and get comfortable.