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Moving can be a difficult and jarring experience for pets as well as their owners. Both dogs and cats can and usually do have a difficult time adjusting to new surroundings after a move. They can become depressed, anxious or dissoriented. However, there are steps a pet owner can take to help their dog or cat ajust to their new home.

If you have to fly to your new destination, try to take your pet in the passenger cabin of the plane with you. This isn't possible with larger dogs but can usually be done with small dogs and most cats. An animal will obviously be less frightened if it can stay with you instead of having to be seperate and going in the cargo area of the plane. There are special pet carriers made especially to confirm to airline standards. You can find out specific airline pet regulations by contacting them. It's also a good idea to have your vet perscribe a sedative, to help your pet relax throughout the flight.

Whether flying or driving to your new home, once you arrive, there are additional steps you can take to ensure a smoother transition for your dog or cat.

You should bring something from your old home that your pet can identify with. An old blanket they used to lie on or a chew toy they used to play with will be familiar to them and help them to feel at home.

If you are starting a new job, take a few days to spend with your pet before starting. If you immediately go to work all day after a move, your pet might feel abandoned and scared. It's much better to have a few days with them so they can see that they are in safe surroundings.

Start by leaving them alone in the new home for very short periods of time. An hour here and there would be a good start. Gradually increase the time you are gone. Within a few days, most pets will feel comfortable with you gone and secure that you are coming back.

If and when you get back into a regular routine and do leave your pet alone, leave the radio or tv on for them. The sound helps them to feel less lonely.

Some people actually get another pet to keep theirs company after they move. Of course, this is not always practical or desirable, but it can provide companionship to your pet in their new place.

Finally, remember that moving can be a stressful and challenging process for your pet as well as yourself. The most important thing a pet owner can do is to have patience and give their pet plenty of love and affection during this often difficult time.