How to Make Moving Easier for Pets

November 7, 2022Moving Tips
Georgia Michaelson

Born and raised in St. Louis, Georgia Michaelson is a content writer with a specialty in moving and traveling. Her tips can help you relocate without a fuss

Relocating is difficult for both pet owners and their furry friends. Animals don’t cope well with stress, so it’s up to you to take care of them. But how do you make moving less difficult for your pet? We’ve prepared a few tips on how to make moving easier for your pets.

You Need to Acknowledge Your Animal’s Feelings

Why is moving so hard for pets? If you’re a loving pet owner, you know that animals have feelings too, and they are even more sensitive to some things than humans. Did you know that animals feel grief? Or that they have empathy, sometimes more than an average human. Research has shown that they have a wide range of complex emotions that humans experience as well.

So if you’re dealing with anxiety about the move, why do you think your pets aren’t? If animals can sense cancer in its earliest stages in humans, it’s pretty silly to believe they won’t know you’re about to move to a new home. They might not be able to completely wrap their brain around the concept of packing stuff in boxes, but they can sense and see change and they know something is up.


Get A Quote

Moving Is Stressful for Animals

Animals can also feel stress, and while the idea of a stress-free move isn’t impossible for you if you hire the right relocating services, the same can’t be said for animals. They don’t react well to change of any kind. If you own a cat and if you’ve ever tried putting their litter box in a different place, you can understand what we’re talking about.

Relocating can be traumatizing for an animal, so be extra careful and attentive around them. You know your pet best, figure out how to reassure and calm them down. When relocating with pets, one of the biggest relocation mistakes people make is forgetting to factor in the animal. You need to learn how to make moving easier and less stressful for them.

A cat in a box
Animals are sensitive and don't react well to big changes

Keep Their Needs In Mind When Picking Out a House

A good relocation hack on how to make moving easy is to look for a place you know your pet will love. When deciding where to live, think of things your pet loved at your old house, or that you wish you could have given to them. Animals can suffer from depression after relocating. If they have things in their new home that they will be excited about, they will be less likely to get depressed. If your dog loves running around, look for a place with a backyard. If you have a golden retriever, a house with a pool is a must. Maybe your cat loves laying out in the sun, so look for big windows that can bring a lot of sunlight into the house.

Another thing to take into consideration when looking for a home is if pets are even allowed. If you’re renting, you need to check with the landlord if it’s okay to keep pets in the apartment. You should also do thorough research on animal laws if you’re planning on relocating to another state. If you were planning on relocating with a cat, you’ll be just fine, unless it’s a Bengal. But if you own exotic animals, they might be illegal in some states. Even owning hedgehogs is illegal in many states, like California or Hawaii.

Backyard with a pool
Have your pets in mind when choosing a place to live

Have Your Vet on Speed Dial in Case of a Health Episode

The key to any efficient move is to always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. That would be your pet getting sick on the day of the move. If you’ve got a dog throwing up every hour, how do you pack and move fast? The answer is – you don’t. Relocating isn’t possible with a sick animal on your hands.

To avoid postponing your relocation, you should put visiting the veterinarian a couple of weeks before the move on your to-do list. Take extra care of them in the days leading up to the move, and keep them healthy and happy. Your visit to the vet also has an ulterior motive. Use it to check if all of your pet’s documents are in order. Even your furry friends need a passport to travel, so make sure they have all their vaccinations and check their health insurance. You need to organize important documents and transfer them to the other vet. If you don’t already have one, use this opportunity to ask your current vet for recommendations.

A dog and a vet
Don't forget to stop by a vet's office before the move

Teach Your Pet How to Behave While Travelling

It doesn’t matter if you’ll be driving or flying to your new hometown, your pet will be driven in a car at some point on the day of the move and you need to teach them how to be comfortable while driving or flying. The only difference is if you’re flying – you will have to decide between a door-to-door auto transport company or a terminal-to-terminal car shipping company, and if you want enclosed auto transport. Just be sure to choose a company that has experience with shipping cars in the USA, on open trailers or enclosed ones.

Open Carrier Auto Transport

Read More

Enclosed Auto Transport

Read More

Some pets just get restless on the road, they simply don’t like it. One of the most important parts of moving day preparations starts weeks before the big day – car training. In order to move safely by car, your pets should be in their carriers or crates. That way they won’t go running around in the car and possibly endanger themselves or distract the driver. Also, it’s a familiar place that they feel comfortable in. If you want some advice on how to teach your dog to behave during a car ride, watch this video.

YouTube video

Be Extra Careful When Packing, Especially With Heavy Boxes

If you’re doing it all by yourself, packing could get tricky if you have a playful pet. For example, you see packing materials, a dog sees a chew toy. A good packing tip is to have someone take them out for a long walk while you pack fragile items.

Get Them Used to Movers

Your pets need to prepare for movers. Try to teach them how to be comfortable around a lot of strange people, noise, boxes, and tools. You can prepare them for movers by leaving boxes everywhere around the house, or by calling some friends and creating a racket. Start socializing them a bit more a few months in advance. On the other hand, if your pet is extremely friendly and loves attention, you could have a problem separating your pet from movers.

Separate the Pets and the Boxes

Once you’re all packed, be sure to keep the boxes at a safe distance from pets. No matter how well-behaved they are, animals are curious creatures. Don’t let all that effort that went into finding free boxes and packing go to waste when your dog rips them apart.

Have Your Pets Contained In One Room

If your pets tend to get aggressive with people, it’s better to keep them contained in a different room than to find yourself thinking about how much to tip movers if the dog attacked them. Set up their little corner with toys, food, and water and visit them throughout the day.

Turn to a Daycare for Help

If your pet already struggles with anxiety, gets scared easily or you just know that it will have a problem with the hassle of movers and all the boxes and the mess, consider pet sitting. Whether you find a daycare like a puppy hotel, a good friend, or a family member to take care of them for the day.

You will be calm knowing that your pet is taken care of. It will also be great for the pet since they will avoid all the stress of dealing with movers. Just be sure to give them some extra love and treats when they come home. Also, remember to book pet care in time so you don’t have to worry about it at the last minute.

Pack a Bag Specifically for Each Pet

The best moving day tip we can give you is to pack a bag with your pet’s favorite items. If you have multiple pets, get multiple bags. Fill them up with relocation essentials your pet loves and wrap them. You know your pet best, so you will know what items make moving easier. You shouldn’t forget to pack:

  • Any mandatory medicine,
  • Their favorite stuffed toy (just be sure it’s not chewy and it doesn’t create any noise),
  • A carrier or a leash,
  • Kitty litter if you own a cat and so on.

How Do You Make Moving Enjoyable for Your Cat?

If you’re a proud pet owner, you will probably ask yourself – How can I make moving less stressful for my pet? If you own a cat, you know what a struggle it is to keep them entertained. They are not really food motivated, and they play by their own rules – you can’t just give them a toy or a treat to occupy them for a few hours. That’s why you should get catnip. Catnip will calm them down, it’s completely safe and you can order some catnip toys for the road.

Get Your Dog’s Favorite Treats from the Kitchen

Dogs are extremely food motivated, more than any other animal that is commonly kept as a pet. That’s great news for you because as long as they have some treats they will behave. The smartest thing to do would be to get some treats that last longer than regular kibble. Get some chewy sticks, and bones or smear some peanut butter on a paper plate, that should keep them occupied for a while.

A dog running with a food bowl toward the USA auto transport company workers
A favorite treat will go a long way

It Could Take Some Time for Your Pet to Adjust to Your New Home

After pet-proofing the whole house, one of the first things to do after relocating is to put out their stuff and make them feel at home. Let your furry friend investigate on their own. Don’t feel like you have to rush the process. Animals are sensitive to change, and they will need some time to adapt to a new environment. The most you can do for them is to respect and follow the same routines you did back at the old place. Shower them with love and support. Have some patience and your pet will settle in and learn to love your new home.

Get a Quote

    check mark
    Download as PDF

    Moving Checklist

    Get a Free Estimate 855.675.3451