Moving Pets: The Stress Free Guide to Moving With Cats & Dogs

Title image for moving with pets. kitten on a headboard

So you are moving. Whether it’s because you saved enough to buy a new house that’s just down the road, or you accepted an amazing job across the country. You’re not the only one who is about to feel the stress storm that comes with moving. You think that moving stresses you out?

Imagine being your fur child that doesn’t know you’re moving, but you are packing all of your stuff up and taking it out of their comfy home. For all they know you are abandoning them and taking their favorite couch along with! We’ll show you how to moving pets can be easy and stress free!

So go ahead, relax. The process will be easy with our “Moving Pets Guide.”

We are going to give you loads of tips to help you make moving pets move as relaxing as possible! Keep reading to learn how to keep your pet stress free, which will give you one less reason to stress.

Choosing the House

If you haven’t already decided on a place, then keep this in mind;

[blockquote author=”” link=”” link_title=”” target=””]When choosing a neighborhood make sure that you scout out that the place is pet friendly.[/blockquote]

Look to see if there are dog parks in the area or walking trails for exercise. Also be aware of local regulations, some places have very strict leash laws as well as times of day that your dog has to be on a leash etc. Also consider if it has a fence, or the cost that it would to have one installed.

For your cat, make sure that the space is large enough, cats especially if indoors, like places to roam and explore.

Preparing for the MoveDecorative photo. Woman scratching cat on the head

Before you start to pack, leave out some empty boxes around the house so that your pet gets familiar with them before you start loading things into them.

Once you start packing, make a place in the house for your pet to go if it gets anxious. Whether it’s a room in the house, or their crate they should have a safe place that remains untouched for the time being.

Extra tip: take your dog to the new neighborhood if possible to get accommodated with the area. Maybe take them on a walk route that you plan to take them.

If you have a cat, buy a harness for the travel. Put it on them a few times leading up to the trip so they can adjust to the feeling and be less upset when you put it on them for the car ride.

Also for cats, buy a Feliway cat diffuser, for a week or two before the move. This will help them relax and ease any anxiety.

If you are moving pets long distance and they aren’t used to the car. Invest in a comfy crate. Let them have a few weeks to get used to it.

Before The Move

  • Take you pet to the Vet and make sure that you have all of your pets updated vet records.
  • Ask the vet to verify that your pets chip is working properly. (If they are not micro chipped, get one!)
  • Update their chip information with the new address either at the vet or at home online.
  • Put an alternative person on their chip for extra precaution
  • If you are moving pets long distance, ask your vet if she knows or can recommend a new vet in your area. If she doesn’t, research one so that you have one ready in your new location.
  • You can also talk to your vet about sedation options
[blockquote author=”” link=”” link_title=”” target=””]If possible, have a friend watch over your pet, or put them in a room so that they don’t witness the rest of the items being hauled out of the home.[/blockquote]

cat-1347176_1280The Go Bag

Make sure you have these essentials ready for the trip if you’re traveling long distance, or to have readily accessible for when your pet arrives at the new place!

Thoroughly plan your trip!

  • If you are going to need to stay in a hotel call them beforehand. Actually call them. Their website can be misleading about the details. Make sure you are aware of an extra charge and that your animal fits their list.
  • Plan where you are going to eat along the way. Opt for drive through or packed lunches. Carry out. Some places allow dogs on their patios.
  • NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN THE CAR. EVER.

The Day Has Come…It’s Time to Move!

Dog:Decorative photo of moving pets with a dog sticking his head out of the window

It is so important that your dog is secured during travel. It’s so easy to feel bad for them if they get anxious during car rides to let them loose to lay on your lap or move about. This is so dangerous! Keep them in their crate during travel or a car seat/seat belt. There are lots of options to keep your dog safe and comfortable for the trip. They make car booster seats as well as seat belts that attach to their harness. For larger dogs, check out back seat covers & hammocks for the ultimate comfy ride!

Make sure during your trip that you make lots of stops for potty breaks as well as walks to stretch. Let your dog roam around new places. He’ll be excited for new places to sniff!

No matter how much you trust your dog, if they aren’t used to traveling do not let them off of your leash.  The travel can put them in a stressed state and they could take off running even if it is out of character for them to leave your side.

Cat:Decorative photo of Ragdoll cat looking out a window

Keep your kitty on the harness. This will make it easy to let them out and stretch as well as make sure they don’t scramble under the seat when letting them use the litter box.

When the car is in motion, make sure they are in their carrier. This rule applies more so for cats even than dogs. Cats are usually not in the car as often as dogs are. They will be much more stressed, and they’ll let you know it.They will probably cry for the first couple of hours. But do not let them out. It just takes 5 seconds for them to dash under the seat and then moments later be crawling up your leg or under your feet by the pedals. It’s very dangerous for you as well as your pet, so don’t risk it, they will calm down after a while.

When letting your cat out to stretch, keep them on a leash. It’s better to be safe than sorry if they were to try to run off out of distress.

Moving Pets Via Airplane?

  • Make sure you have the required paperwork such as a health certificate & rabies vaccination records.
  • Do not sedate you pet for this, it can lead to worse anxiety when it wears off.
  • Always try to book a direct flight
  • Get in-cabin travel if possible
  • Bring a leash for going through security
  • Make sure to feed them 4 hours before and don’t give them too much water.
  • Research the airlines rules and regulations as well as other tips for pet airline travel.

decorative photo of kitten and puppy cuddling in the grass

Arriving at your new home!

Check the house out. Make sure that there is no dangers such as pest control products or holes in the cupboards you might not notice. Make sure there aren’t holes in the screens for when you open the window. Also check the fence for any routes of escape.

Its best to keep your pet locked in the bathroom while you are unloading the moving truck and until the big furniture is placed in the home. Make sure that you keep food & water in there with them along with a bed with their blanket. Also remember the kitty box. It’s good to put a sign on the door letting movers and friends know that the pets are in there so they know not to let anyone out. Again, try to leave the pets with a friend until everything is moved in and unpacked.

Make an effort to meet your neighbors. Let them know about your pets, that way if they do try to escape or run away the neighbors will know who they belong to.

Dogs:

As soon as you are letting your dog either out of the bathroom, or into the house for the first time, reward them with a good treat.

Show them to their area that has their bed and the familiar blanket there so that they know that’s their spot. Show them where their water bowl and food and their crate if they have one.

After they’ve received the grand tour, take them on a long walk in their new neighborhood. This will tire them out, release stress, and help them get a good night’s sleep in their new home.

Cats:

Decide on a room to let the cat have for a day or two. Set up their Feliway diffuser, and put all their stuff inside to make them feel at home.

After the cat starts becoming comfortable in the room it will be safe to let them have full reign of the house again. It’s less stressful for the cat to have one room to discover before they have access to an entire house.

The most important thing with your cat is to just be patient. Some cats need more time than others. Just give them time to adjust and they’ll return into their personality in no time.

Decorative photo of a woman and her dog smiling on the floor

Moving can be stressful, moving pets is even more so. Just know it’ll be okay and give lots of snuggles. Give them time to adjust and be mindful of their stress to help avoid them getting sick. After a little while they’ll realize they are home and they’ll turn back into their old selves.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Gilbert Robbins says:

    While moving with the pets it is very important to take care of them very carefully. Since it is very difficult for the animals to adjust to the new environment while moving. If you are moving with the help of the moving services, then just be more confident about their working procedure. The movers in Manhattan are very efficient in their work, so just take care about your loved ones and pets, leave the rest of the thing in the hands of them. Taking care of the pets is your responsibility and you should go it with all tensions free.

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