What’s the Best Way to Prepare a Pet for a Household Move?

Moving to a new home is a significant life event, and it can be a stressful time for everyone involved, including your pets. Just like us, our furry friends may feel anxious, confused, and overwhelmed by the sudden change in their surroundings and routine. But don’t worry, with meticulous planning and by following the right tips, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free transition for your pets. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the best ways to prepare your pet for a household move.

Preparing Your Pet for the Move

It’s crucial to start preparing your pet for the move well in advance. This will give them ample time to acclimate to the idea and reduce the likelihood of stress or anxiety.

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Crate Training

If you have a dog or a cat, crate training can be a game-changer when moving. A crate can be a safe, familiar space for your pet during the chaos of packing and moving. If your pets are not used to a crate, you should start crate training several weeks before the move. Make the crate a comfortable and inviting space by placing your pet’s favorite blanket or toys inside. Over time, they will associate the crate with security and comfort.

Gradual Change in Routine

It’s wise to keep your pet’s routine as consistent as possible during the move. However, some changes will be inevitable. Perhaps you’ll be feeding them at different times, or their walk schedule will change slightly. If you foresee such changes, start adjusting their routine gradually, weeks before the move. This will give them time to adapt and will prevent a sudden shock to their system on moving day.

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Setting Up a Safe Space

On the day of the move, it’s essential to keep your pets safe and secure. They might get nervous with the flurry of activity and unfamiliar faces, and you surely wouldn’t want them to bolt out of the door in panic.

Secure a Room

Pick a room in your current house where your pet will stay on the day of the move. This should be a quiet room, away from the main action. Put their crate, food, water, and toys in this room, and make sure it’s secure so that your pet can’t escape. You might even want to put a sign on the door, letting everyone know that this room is off-limits.

Consider a Pet Sitter

If possible, consider hiring a pet sitter or asking a friend to help watch your pet on moving day. This will ensure that your pet is safe and well-cared for while you’re busy coordinating the move.

After the Move: Helping Your Pet Settle In

Now that you’ve successfully moved to your new home, it’s time to help your pet adjust to their new surroundings.

Explore Together

Let your pet explore the house under your supervision. This will give them a chance to familiarize themselves with their new environment. Be patient and give them plenty of encouragement. Remember, this is a big change for them, so they might need some time to adjust.

Maintain Routine

Once you’ve moved, try to get back to your pet’s regular routine as soon as possible. Stick to their feeding and walking schedules, and give them plenty of attention and love. This will help them feel secure and settled in their new home.

Final Thoughts

The process of moving with pets may seem daunting, but with a little planning and preparation, you can make the experience as stress-free as possible for your furry friends. Just remember to be patient, understanding, and flexible, and you’ll all be feeling at home in no time.

Long-Distance Moves and Pet Insurance

When moving long distance, planning and attention to detail become even more critical. The journey might be longer than your pet is used to, posing potential risks and challenges.

Long-Distance Travel

If you’re moving across the country, you’ll likely be traveling by car or plane. If you’re driving, remember to take frequent breaks for your pet to relieve themselves, stretch their legs, and hydrate. Never leave your pet alone in a parked car, especially during extreme weather conditions. If they are traveling by plane, consult with the airline about their pet-friendly policies. Some airlines allow small pets in the cabin, provided they are in a carrier that fits under the seat.

Additionally, make sure your pet is well-exercised before a long journey. A tired pet will be less stressed and more likely to sleep through the trip.

Pet Insurance

Before the move, it’s a good idea to check your pet insurance policy. Your pet might need additional coverage during the move, especially if you’re moving long distance. If your pet gets injured or falls ill during the move, pet insurance will help cover the costs of veterinary care.

Choosing Pet-Friendly Moving Companies

It’s essential to choose a moving company that understands and respects your needs as a pet owner. Some companies offer specialized pet moving services, which can be a big help.

Moving Companies and Van Lines

Research and choose a moving company that is known for being pet-friendly. Ask questions about their experience with pets, and if they offer pet moving services. Some van lines offer specialized pet transport, which includes climate-controlled vehicles and regular stops for your pet to stretch and hydrate.

Litter Box and Other Essentials

Don’t forget to pack the essentials like your pet’s litter box, food, water, and toys. Your pet will need these items during the move and immediately after arriving at the new home. Keep these essentials in a place that’s easy to access.


Moving can be a stressful experience for everyone involved, including our pets. However, following these tips for moving pets, can significantly reduce stress and ensure a smoother transition for your furry friends. By starting the preparation early, maintaining a consistent routine, creating a safe space on moving day, exploring the new environment together, and taking care of logistics like pet insurance and choosing a pet-friendly moving company, your pet will be more comfortable and secure.

Just remember, patience and understanding are key during these changes. Every pet is different, and some may take longer than others to adjust to a new environment. But with your love and support, your pet will soon feel at home in your new dwelling. So, whether you’re moving with a dog, a cat, or any other pet, this guide for moving pets should equip you with all the information you need for a successful move.