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Moving tips: How to move with a pet

Moving with pets doesn't have to be a chore.

Moving with pets doesn't have to be a chore.

Whether moving down the street or across the country, pets can be stressed out by a sudden change in location. There are several ways to ease the transition for your pet before and after a move.

Before you even begin packing, make sure to find out if there are any restrictions on pet ownership in your new state or community. Some neighborhoods have strict leash laws for dogs, while many apartment buildings simply do not allow pets of any kind. If you own a more exotic animal, - a monkey, perhaps - you will need to find out if it is even allowed to cross state lines, as some areas of the country don't permit those types of pets.

Take a picture of your pet, just in case it gets lost in transit. Also, be sure any pets you have are up to date on their vaccinations.

Packing can present another issue for many pets. Dogs and cats in particular can sense their owners' moods, and moving can stress even the most patient person. By constantly reassuring your pet, you'll be able to allay some of its fears and worries. Crate-trained dogs may find it a comfort to stay inside their own confined spaces for a period of time before the move.

Many commercial moving companies aren't allowed to transport pets, so you'll need to decide how you're going to get little Fido or Fifi from one house to the next. With the exception of seeing-eye dogs, buses and trains generally do not allow pets on board, so you can rule out those options.

Most airlines do allow certain types of pets on board flights, but be sure to check restrictions beforehand - don't just assume you can buy a ticket for your bulldog. Occasionally, depending on the size of the animal, you may be able to fly with the pet stowed safely beneath the seat, but more often than not, pets fly in the cargo area. If this is the case, it will be vitally important to find a suitable pet carrier for the journey.

Car travel may prove to be the easiest option for most pets and their owners. Birds, mice, snakes, lizards and other smaller caged animals can be packed snugly between any other items that didn't make it into the moving container or moving truck, and the cage can be covered with a cloth to keep them calm. Cats should be kept in their carriers for the trip as well, but depending on the length of the journey and their temperament, dogs can roam the car freely, observing the passing scenery with their heads stuck blissfully out the window.