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Renting a new place to call home typically comes with a lot of stress. There are so many things to plan for and work out, and so many people who are depending on you to make the right decisions. It can be overwhelming, and when you have a pet, the process has an added layer of stress and worry. Many people feel the same way about their dogs as they do a family member, so a move is a big deal. You want to ensure that your dog is safe and comfortable the entire time and that he loves the new house just as much as you do--but how do you get started?
The key is to keep his needs in mind from the beginning. Will he be anxious when strangers come over if you are selling a home before the move? Do you have someone who can look after him on moving day so that he won’t be scared or get hurt during all the activity? When you factor in your pet with each part of your home-renting plan, the process will be much easier.
Here are a few things to consider:
Where to live
Looking for a new location comes with a lot of challenges. You want to ensure that your family will be comfortable and safe and that your rental is within your budget. Many landlords charge more when renting to a tenant with pets. When you have a pet, you also have to factor in their needs when it comes to the yard and how much space is inside the house/condo, especially if you have a large animal. Write out a list of things you need in, and prioritize them during your search.
You will want to read your lease agreement carefully before making a decision. Some require the property to be in a similar condition as it was on move-in day, or else you risk your deposit. If the requirements are more or less to keep it clean, you can invest in tools, like a robot vacuum to pick up hair daily and lots of baking soda to reduce odors. These simple steps can help you get your money back, all while keeping your landlord’s investment intact.
Planning for the move itself
The physical part of a move is almost always one of the hardest, especially if your new home is many miles away. When you have a pet, you’ll need to think about how to make the trip as comfortable and safe as possible for him. If he doesn’t have much experience being in a vehicle, take him for a ride several times before the big day to help him get used to the new sights and smells. Keep him in a crate, or use a seat belt harness for safety. Once you get there, make sure you have a leash on hand so that he can explore safely.
Many pet owners ask a friend or loved one to care for their animals on moving day. This is because pets can become anxious with all the activity, leaving them at risk of getting loose or exhibiting aggressive behavior to movers and other people they don’t know well. Rather than keeping your pet locked up in a room all day, ask someone you trust to keep an eye on him if possible. Make sure he has all his favorite toys and treats to help him remain comfortable while you’re apart.
It’s important to let your pet explore his new home once you get there. Keep him on a leash, and allow him to walk around both the outside and inside of your new place. Stay calm, and refrain from displaying anxiety or worry as you move along together. This will help him associate this new situation with happy feelings, especially if you keep a couple of treats in your pocket to give him when he uses the bathroom in the right place and heeds your commands.
Renting a new home is a major life change, and it requires thought and planning. Give yourself plenty of time to get through it without stress, and ask for help when you need it. With the right preparations, you and your pet will be happy during the entire process.
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