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5 Tips to Make Moving with Pets Easier

5 Tips to Make Moving with Pets Easier

A dog staring at a window


Moving to a new place is exciting, but moving with pets can be stressful. Pet owners tend have more items on their moving to-do list than people who don’t own pets.

Don't panic...with a little planning you can make your next move easier for you and your pets.  Here are some useful tips for pet owners to keep in mind when planning a move.


1. Preparing for the move


An orange cat inside a box

The weeks leading up to a move can be hectic, but experts say you should try to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible in the weeks before the move. Keep up with regular food, walk, and play times. The last few days of packing can be stressful for pets.

Consider taking your pet to a boarding facility or a friend’s house during the last couple days of packing. It’s also a good idea to keep your pets at another location when the movers come to load up the truck, so they don’t sneak out the open door. Pick your pet up when you’re ready to hit the road to your new home.


2. Make pet travel plans for long-distance moves


A black dog in the backseat of the car

Will your pet be traveling by car or plane if you’re making a long-distance move? Many pet owners have to weigh the pros and cons of a multi-day road trip vs. airplane travel when moving day comes.

If you’re going by car, make sure to talk to your vet about medication if your pet gets car sick. Research pet-friendly hotels along the way and book rooms in advance. Make sure your pet gets plenty of potty breaks and opportunities to eat and drink along the way.

Pets should of course never be transported in a moving van. For airplane travel, small dogs and cats can ride in carriers in the cabin with you, while larger dogs will have to go in cargo. Book your ticket in advance as the number of pets allowed per flight is limited.


3. Choosing your new place


A "HOUSE FOR SALE" sign with white house in the background

One of the most common reasons people give when they surrender their pets to shelters is “I’m moving.” They will say that their new landlord doesn’t allow pets, or their new space is not appropriate for a pet.

The easiest way to avoid this sad scenario is to do your research before moving. Is your new city or neighborhood dog-friendly? Does your new apartment building allow pets?

Renters may have to put a little extra effort into picking the right apartment, but it’s well worth it when you consider the alternative.


4. Settling your pets in to their new home


Two Cats Sleeping

As with packing and loading the truck, sometimes it’s best to find another place for your pet during the unloading and unpacking phase of the move. Getting used to a new place is stressful for many pets, so having the house at least partially set up with familiar things can help.

You should also resist the urge to let them explore the whole house right away. Start them out in one room with food, water, litter, and familiar beds and toys. Introduce them to the rest of the house gradually.


5. Finding a new veterinarian


A male veterinarian checking on a white cat

Let your current vet know you’re moving. You can ask for your pet’s medical records, or have your vet send them to your new vet after the move. Ask your vet for recommendations for a good vet in your new town.

You can also talk to your real estate agent and new neighbors about vets in the area. Make sure you know where the nearest veterinary emergency hospital is, in case your pet needs urgent care before you find a vet.

Don’t be afraid to ask to visit the new vet’s office to get a tour and meet the staff before you book the first appointment.

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Joanna - April 10, 2017

Great article! Thanks. I’m searching for flat with my 2 cats hah. It’s really hard, you know. Totally agree with the statement, that somehow renting with pets give your landlord an opportunity to manipulate with additional fees, sometimes it comes to the point of absurdity and nonsense. From this article, I’ve understood the key problem, but the solving is still slightly unknown and complicated. Maybe some of you made so-called “pet resume”? Recently found a nice article about this feature:
I have never had an experience writing such resume. If you did – give me a feedback, please. Really interested in the effectiveness of this method!

Lillian Schaeffer - August 24, 2016

These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to take your pet to a boarding facility for the last few days of packing when moving. My husband and I are going to be moving with our family to a new area for my husband’s job, and our two cats tend to get really stressed when there’s a lot of commotion and they don’t know what’s going on. We’ll definitely look into taking them to a cat boarding facility the last few days before the move so they don’t have to deal with that stress. Thanks for the great post!

Annie Frances - May 17, 2016

I’ve heard that cats don’t like to move, but my Whiskers has no choice. I can tell that he has been getting stressed with all the boxes though. I like your suggestion to take him to a boarding facility for the couple days right before I move. Hopefully my cat can calm down and will be ready to move after staying at the boarding facility. Thanks for the idea!

Rebecca Gresch - February 25, 2016

If you have a menagerie of pets, large dogs, or pets with special needs, consider hiring a professional pet mover. My husband and I own and operate The Waggin Trail Express, an eleven-year USDA certified company. We stop every 4 to 5 hours to walk dogs and overnight in pet friendly motels. We have made pet moving a stress-free experience for lots of people and pets over the years. We can pick up the pets before the movers arrive and deliver on your timeline rather than the airline’s schedule. We even supply the carriers. - February 3, 2016

Moving is unpredictable: traffic, weather, and other unforeseen circumstances can slow down the process. In case this happens, make sure your pet’s food and medicine is in your car within reach. This will keep you and your buddy comfortable.

Debra Ward - July 28, 2015

I have two kitties and we are going to move to a new apartment soon. They are still too little to understand what is going on so it will be easier to get used with the new home. Thanks you a lot for the advices!
Debra Ward

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