Tips for Moving with Pets

How to keep your furry companions safe and calm during the chaos.

Timelines, boxes, anticipation. These are just a few of the things that tend to make moving such stressful time for us humans, so just imagine how our pets must feel. Most animals, specially dogs and cats, are creatures of habit and don’t usually respond well to abrupt change. Because of this, we have to make sure to take extra measures to keep them safe and relaxed when everything in their world seems to be changing.

1| Pack an overnight bag
This is actually a tip that both you and your pets can use. Right after a move, you may find yourself losing track of the boxes that had all your toiletries or clothing essentials. To avoid this, pack a special bag with everything you and your pet will need for the first few days. For example, this pet overnight bag should contain their food, a few favorite toys, any medicine, food bowls, treats, leash, collar, poop bags, litter, etc. Keep this somewhere away from the commotion and with you during the move.

2| Notify your vet
If you’re moving far from your old place and will need to find a new vet, let your current vet know. Ask your vet for a copy of all your pet’s records, as well as any referrals for a great vet in your new city. Make sure to also stock up on any prescription medicine or food, as it may take a few days for you to get in to see a new vet.

3| Create a safe space
Ideally, you’ll want to keep your pet as far away from the action as possible. If your move is local and your dog enjoys being around other dogs, consider sending them to daycare on moving day. Another alternative would be to ask a relative or friend that your pet knows to watch them for the day. If none of these are an option, you may want to set up a cozy crate or cage for them in a corner of your home that is away from the door and the commotion. With dogs, it is also helpful to exercise them before the move begins so they’re tired and likely to nap.

4| Be cautious during transportation
Pets that are feeling anxious or overwhelmed are more likely to take off. On top of this, they won’t be as familiar with the new neighborhood, so they may not be able to find their way back. It is extremely important to keep your pets contained until you arrive to your new home. If you need to let a dog out to potty, make sure to use a harness or collar that they can’t slip out of. Be careful getting them out of the car as well, as this is when they may see their chance to go for a run. Keeping cats and smaller animals secured in their cage and using Martingale collars or harnesses for dogs are always good safety measures.

5| Back to a routine
Always move your pet last, once you’ve had the chance to set up a little area where they can be comfortable. After the move, try to get back to their routine as soon as possible. This will send the signal that everything is okay and normal, but just in a different place. Make sure to watch them closely the first few days after the move so you know that they won’t get into any trouble around the house.

6| If you’re moving across the country…
Preparedness is everything when you’re making a big move with your pets. On top of the recommendations above, you should also always make sure to check the requirements and pet laws of the place you’re moving to. For example, are dogs or cats required to have a pet licence? Are there any vaccination requirements? Do they need any special permits or documentation? You want to figure this out ahead of time so you’re not left scrambling to get things done at the last minute. If you’re moving somewhere that will require many hours of driving, make sure to research hotels that allow pets, as well as places on the way where your dogs will be able to stretch their legs for a bit.

Moving into a new home symbolizes a new beginning, and so it can be exciting and fun. By following the tips above, you will be setting up your pets for a smooth transition into your new life, and therefore sharing the fun and excitement with them. If you’re ready for a change and would like to make your very own move, let us know! Our team would be happy to help you through the process, as well as provide you with tons of valuable tips just like these to make your experience enjoyable.