Moving with Pets: How to Have a Smooth Move


Moving is stressful for everyone. However, for your four-legged, furry companion, it can be stressful and scary.

After all, it’s impossible for your pet to understand why everything smells wrong, why none of their surroundings are familiar, or why their former home base is gone.

Some people anticipate so many problems moving with pets, they don’t bother – they give up their pet, instead.

If this is unthinkable for you, not to worry. You can have a smooth move and make your pet feel safe and comfortable in their new home.

How to Make Moving with Pets Easier on Everyone

Your pets are members of your family. Here’s how to make sure they feel safe and secure during a move.

Plan Far in Advance

As soon as you know you’re moving, you can start getting your pet used to the idea. For instance, if you’re moving across the state or even the country, you’ll have transport to deal with. If your pet isn’t used to being in a carrier or crate, now is the time to acclimate them.

Leave the carrier in an accessible spot in the house. Leave the door open and put enticing items inside, like soft blankets and delicious treats. Let your pet investigate on their own terms. If they go inside, give them plenty of praise.

This way, when it’s time to move and go in the carrier, your pet won’t resist or get anxious about it – they’ll already be comfortable there.

If you plan to have your dog in the car with you, make sure your pet is used to rides. Take the dog with you on short trips and give it treats when it behaves – i.e., no climbing on you when you’re trying to drive, no constant barking.

Pack a Bag for Your Pet

With all the chaos of moving, you should keep some essentials for your pet handy. Along with food and water, pack a bag with treats, favorite toys, and towels (in case of accidents). If you have a cat and are making a long journey, think about bringing a disposable litter box.

On Moving Day, Keep Them out of the Way

Strangers or too many people moving in and out of your house, carrying your possessions, can stress your animals. On moving day, keep them safely out of the way so they have a better chance of being calm when it’s their turn.

Confine your cats to a carrier in a quiet room, seclude your dog in an out-of-the-way location, or ask a neighbor to pet-sit for you. When everything is moved out of the house, you can retrieve them and put them in the car or moving truck.

Moving with Pets Can Be Smooth-Sailing

If you’re worried about moving with your pets, you don’t have to be. As long as you give yourself plenty of time to plan and prepare your animal, things should go well.

When you’re settled at your new place and surrounded by moving boxes, give your pet a familiar toy or blanket. The smell will calm them. Soon enough, the new house will be home – just be patient.