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5 Things to Remember When Moving With a Pet

Happy couple playing with their dog
Happy couple playing with their dog

Happy couple playing with their dog in new apartment during the moving in process

Make relocating easier on your pets. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Know Virginia’s laws on pet ownership
  2. In Virginia, owners may face civil liability if their dog bites someone, and the victim is able to prove that the dog has bitten someone on at least one other occasion.

    Owners are also expected to exercise due care in preventing an injury if the dog is naturally inclined to cause harm, as determined by the general characteristics of its breed.

    Many local jurisdictions have implemented leash laws – as the owner, you must have control of your pet on your property. This means making sure that your dogs are fenced in, on leash, or under voice command.

    Outside of your property, it is advisable to keep your dog on a leash, or at the very least, under immediate voice command.

  3. Talk to your vet
  4. Before relocating, talk to your vet and make sure that your pet’s vaccination record cards are up-to-date. Stock up on prescription medications if necessary. They may also refer you to vets based in VA, who will be closer and thus better suited to treat your dog.

  5. Have an overnight kit
  6. This overnight kit ought to contain enough pet food, clean-up bags, grooming tools, and toys to keep your dog happy during and after the move. The kit should be easily accessible during the drive to VA, and should last the first few days of unpacking and getting settled in your new home.

  7. Keep your pets in a separate room
  8. Keep your pets safe and secure in a separate room before the relocation services arrives. This will keep them from escaping or getting hurt while the moving company hauls your furniture. It will also keep them from getting stressed out by the surge in activity in your home.

    Keep them in a locked but properly ventilated room. Make sure they have enough food and water. Check on them every half hour or so. You can also ask a friend or family member to keep an eye on your pets while you pack and haul your belongings.

  9. Keep them in a carrier during the move
  10. Ideally, your pets should be on the same ride to VA. This allows you to check on them from time to time. Keep them in a secure and appropriately-sized carrier in the car with you. Bring your overnight kit along in case your pets get hungry or agitated during the trip.

    You can do multiple stops on the way if it’s a long trip. This will give you and your pets a breather. However, don’t leave your pets locked inside your vehicle during a stop-over.

    It might take your pets a while to get used to your new home. But with enough foresight and preparation, you’ll make the transition easier for your four-legged family members.

If you think VA should be your new home, Shaheen, Ruth, Martin & Fonville Real Estate (SRMFRE) would be glad to assist you. Get in touch with them at 804.288.2100.

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