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Downsizing With a Pet: Simple, Actionable Tips for Every Step of the Process

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Millions of American households have one or more pets according to the American Pet Products Association. Dogs are the most common companion animal, with 69 million households having at least one. Cats are the second most common pet, with 45.3 million households including one or more.

While pets can provide numerous benefits to people, they also require special consideration during a move. If you're downsizing with a pet, here are a few simple, actionable tips you can use to make the process easier and safer for both of you.  

Keeping Them Calm

Before listing your home, it's important to keep the stress of moving at bay. The commotion of packing and doing home maintenance projects can be stressful for your pet, so set up a quiet space away from commotion for your furry friend to relax. You may also consider taking them to a doggie daycare or to a friend’s house for certain periods of time when most of the hustle and bustle is going on. In addition, uphomes.com suggests planning ahead for when you move into your new home by keeping a routine and giving them as much attention as possible.

Securing a Mortgage 

Before you can move into your new home, you'll need to secure a mortgage. Before making any decisions or signing any contracts, research your options. Regardless of whether you decide on an FHA, VA, or conventional home loan, be sure to compare rates from various providers (you can check rates online). You'll also need a down payment. You may be able to use some (or all) of the funds from selling your home. The larger your down payment is, the better interest rates you may be able to get. 

If you're struggling to arrange your finances, it doesn't need to impact your pet's necessities. There are programs to help, like pet food pantries and low-cost vet care options. The money you save can go a long way toward both ensuring your pet doesn’t go hungry or without care and helping you with funds for the big move.

Remember a Pet Bag During the Move 

During your move, there will be a period where everything is packed and challenging to find. A pet bag will make life simpler for your animal (and you) during this time. This doesn't have to be an actual bag. It might be a box or storage in the backseat of your vehicle.

No matter how you choose to do it, make sure you keep these items on you during the move: pet food, medications, and treats for at least a week. You'll also want to include your pet's dishes, their favorite bed, and one or two of their favorite toys. 

Helping Your Pet Adjust to Your New Home 

Keep an eye out for behavioral changes in your pet. They may feel anxious or even depressed while adjusting. This is normal. Instead of punishing your dog or cat for acting up, try understanding. Reach out to your veterinarian or another animal worker for assistance if you feel the behavior changes are too much. Also, it might be a good time to look into pet insurance if you don't already have it. Or if you're moving from out of state, check out providers of pet insurance.

These Simple Tips Can Make Downsizing With a Pet Manageable

Pets can provide many benefits to humans, but they also require special considerations during a move, such as making them as comfortable as possible and securing pet insurance. You can use the simple, actionable tips above to make the downsizing process easier and safer for both you and your companion animal. 

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