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Make sure your furry family members are part of your moving preparations by following this advice for relocating with pets.

How to manage pet needs during a big move

It's hard enough to pack and organize all of your belongings before moving to a new city, state or even country without having to worry about anyone - or anything - else. Throw a furry family member into the mix, and your moving checklist might feel a bit overwhelming. Beat the stress by simplifying a move with pets by taking note of these quick tips:

Consider health and safety needs

Traveling can be just as anxiety-inducing for animals as it can for humans. Before taking off, be sure that they're in top shape by visiting the vet. Update any necessary vaccines, stock up on  prescriptions and ask the veterinarian if he or she has suggestions specific to traveling with your pet. Whether you're taking your furry friend on a plane or traveling by car, you'll want to be sure that you have the proper travel compartment. Vets can suggest a crate or carrying case of the correct dimensions that will suit the needs of any size animal.

Other health needs to consider before you go include visiting the groomer, so you won't have to rush to find facilities in your new home. Updating tags to reflect your new address can offer a sense of security regarding your pet's whereabouts should they wander off into unknown territory.

Think ahead

Before booking a plane, talk directly with the airline about possibilities for traveling with your animal friend. If the company doesn't accommodate pets, you'll have to consider alternatives for their transportation. Another aspect of travel to consider is any weather difference between your current location and the climate in your new city. Will your pet be comfortable upon arrival, or could certain elements be difficult for them to deal with when you touch down?

You'll want to have a small bag of necessities on hand for your furry friend while moving, just like your own collection of toiletry essentials. Things to include in your pet's "carry on" include food, grooming items and a toy or two to relieve any stress. In the event of an emergency, you'll also want to have a copy of medical records on hand for easy access. Be sure while driving that you take regular breaks to let your pet stretch its legs, and pay attention to any adverse symptoms that may indicate carsickness.

Ease the process

Because this is a big transition for your pet, it's important to make the process smooth and incorporate memories of home that give your animal friend a sense of stability and familiarity. In addition to packing favorite snacks and toys, make sure to accommodate your animal's needs in your new home ahead of time. This might include determining a spot that your pet can call its own  beforehand, and setting up a pet bed, as well as food and water bowls. These little accents can help your animal warm up to the new digs and be less likely to feel anxious or overwhelmed.

If you have a daily routine that you follow with your pet, such as going for a walk or playing catch, try to keep these constant as well. Find a nearby park or walking trail where you can take your furry friend to safely explore the new environment. Doing so can also help pets find their way home, should they wander off in the otherwise unfamiliar space.

Once you've moved and settled in, finding a new vet and pet supply store should be a top priority. Your current veterinarian may have recommendations for a local provider, or check with online resources and pet owner discussion boards. Before you know it, both you and your furry friend will be settled in and feeling at home.