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The Ultimate Guide to a Pet-Friendly Move

Moving can be stressful for everyone, not just people. Even pets are very sensitive to changes in their surroundings, and moving to a new home can cause them a lot of stress. Whether you are moving with pets or making a move that is pet-friendly, knowing what they need can make the move easier. This detailed guide will tell you how to move with a pet or even multiple pets. It will cover everything from preparing for the move to helping the pets get used to their new home.

Understanding Your Pet’s Perspective

how to move with a dog

Even though our pets might not fully understand what it means to move to a new home, they do notice all the strange activity that comes with packing up a home. Imagine your pet watching as their favorite couch or perch is taken away and their familiar area is torn apart. Recognizing that this could be a source of stress is the first step to making the moving process easier for them.

Pre-Move Preparations

1. Choosing a Pet-Friendly Home

When moving with pets, choosing the best new home isn’t just about what’s best for the people living there. Just as important is to think about what your furry or winged family members need. Does the area have a safe, large space where your dog can run around freely? Where should you put your cat’s scratching post and your bird’s cage? Before you move, it’s a good idea to check out the neighborhood and see if it’s safe and welcoming to pets. Consider things like the distance to nearby parks, the number of pet-friendly places, and whether or not there are other pets in the area.

2. Visit to the Vet

vet visit with a dog

A trip to the vet is an essential element of your pet-friendly moving preparation. Inform them of your relocation, gather any essential health records, and renew any prescription drugs. If you’re traveling a long distance, ask them to recommend a veterinarian in your new region. The vet may also provide helpful moving recommendations for cats and dogs, which can help your pet adjust to the change.

3. Preparing an Overnight Kit

One important thing to do when moving with pets is to put together an “overnight kit” that is easy to get to and has enough dog food, kitty litter, toys, and grooming tools to keep your pet fed and comfy while you unpack. This will keep you from having to look through boxes when you need to feed or take care of your pet.

How to Reduce Stress on Moving Day

Keeping Pets Away from the Chaos

Moving day is often the most stressful part of the process, especially if you’re moving with multiple pets. The best way to reduce stress on an animal is to keep them in the quietest area possible. If you can’t leave them with a friend or a kennel for the day, at least remove them from the action. Having a familiar room where they can stay during the packing and moving will help them feel safe and reduce their anxiety.

Ensuring Safe Transit for Every Pet

dog on a back sit while moving

The well-being of your pets should be your top priority while you make preparations to relocate them. Cats and small dogs can ride safely and comfortably in a pet carrier fastened to the rear seat using the vehicle’s seatbelt. Having a large kennel in the trunk can be helpful when transporting large dogs. Professional pet relocation services can be an invaluable resource for advice and assistance if you’re not sure how to best support relocating cats to a new house or transitioning a dog.

Tips for the First Few Days in the New Home

Introducing Your Pet to the New Home

When you move with a pet, you need to help them get used to their new home. Let them get used to one room with their bed, toys, and bowls of food first. This gives them a sense of comfort and protection, giving them a safe place in the middle of the chaos of moving.

Creating a Familiar Environment

parrot at new home

When moving with a pet, try to recreate as much of their old surroundings as you can. This will help them get used to the change more quickly. Start by taking out their favorite toys, blankets, or pillows. Smells that remind you of home can make a new place feel more like home.

Updating Pet Information

Don’t forget to change the information on your pet’s tags or microchip to reflect your new home and phone number. This is an important step to take when moving with pets because it makes it easier to find them if they get lost in their new home.

Specific Advice for Different Pets

Each pet, with its unique needs and habits, will require a distinct moving approach.


Moving with pets - moving cats to a new home

Cats are very attached to their routines, so when moving them to a new place, it’s important to keep as much of their familiar routine as possible. This could mean keeping their meal times the same or setting up their favorite spot to hang out as soon as possible in the new home.


Dogs, on the other hand, may need physical activity to relieve stress. If you are moving with a dog, you may need to add more playtime or walks to your plan during the move.


Moving with pets - moving fish tank

Fish can be especially sensitive to changes in their surroundings. Because of this, it’s important to keep their water’s temperature and quality the same during the move. For short distances, putting them in bags with their old tank water can be a good way to move them. For longer trips, you might want to get help from your local aquarium store or pet moving services.


Changes can also affect birds in a big way. Make sure their cages are safe and put a light cloth over them to keep them from getting too stressed out by what they see during the move. Try to feed them at the same time every day and give them time to get used to their new home before letting them out of the cage.

Guinea Pigs

Happy little girl with guinea pig at home

Guinea pigs are known for having soft hearts and not liking change. Make sure they are moved in a small, warm, comfortable cage that doesn’t move around too much. Once you’ve moved, give them a lot of time to get used to the new place before letting them into bigger rooms.

Remember that getting help from professional residential movers or local pet stores can give you more information that fits the needs of your pet.

Your Pet-Friendly Movers

Giving your pets time to get used to their new home at their own pace will help them feel at home there. Start by giving them a “home base” room with their favorite toys and treats. Then, show them the rest of the house one room at a time.

Remember that your pet cares about how you feel. Stay calm and give them more love during this time of change.

Got questions or need help making your move pet-friendly? Our local moving team is here for you. Contact us today—let’s make your move stress-free for both you and your pets!

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