Everything You Need to Know About Moving with Pets

As all pet owners are aware of, animals are not big fans of changes, and they tend to overreact to even the smallest disruptions to their daily routines. And we can’t imagine a bigger disruption in the life of a dog or cat than moving with pets and turning life as they knew it so far completely upside down.

girl with cats overlay
January 9, 2020 Posted in How-to

We’re talking about a relocation on a whole another level since you are not going to prepare only your household belongings, you have to prepare your beloved companions, too. How to make relocation easier for your pet? By introducing the change slowly and gradually while also keeping a healthy routine.

If your pet traveled with you somewhere before, the long-distance trip itself wouldn’t be that big of a problem, but the adjustment to the new home and town can be a challenge and you might make some common mistakes. Your pet will need time to adjust, as will you. The best thing about it is that you can do it together.

Moving with Pets Requires a Lot of Preparation

You should start preparing your pet, along with its documentation as soon as you know that you are relocating. Your pets should at no point feel left out or neglected and be aware that they can usually sense your stress and reciprocate. You should let them smell all the new objects you bring into your home, such as boxes and other packing supplies. Otherwise, they could perceive them as a threat.

While a cat may get a lot more fun out of moving boxes, the dogs shouldn’t feel threatened by them, so leave them in a room where they can reach them for a start. Remember that you are not only uprooting your home by relocating, but you are also making radical changes to the familiar environment of your animal friends, as well. The key here is to make them feel as little moving stress as possible and to help them easily overcome it. When making a checklist of moving essentials, don’t forget to pack their stuff, as well.

small cute dog

Moving Your Pets Long Distance Will Require Different Methods Than Relocating Them Somewhere Near

If you move a few states away from your current home, it is going to be a huge change for your pets. They can feel the change of air, smell, altitude, climate and even humidity much more than you ever could. That being said, not every pet can adapt to every environment. You have to research a bit about the ideal conditions for your particular pet to live in and take that into consideration when you are planning to move.

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Dogs Need an Established Routine

Your dog will feel right at home eventually if he gets the same amount of attention, meals and walks anywhere you bring him. What is important for your dog is to know that you are right there with him and that his daily routine won’t change.

For a dog to feel safe, it needs to have two meals a day, at least two walks and plenty of cuddles. Try to stick to that even when you are a few days away from the relocation. Sometimes, it is a good solution to take your dog to your parents, friends or relatives on the relocation day, and keep them away from all the dangerous situations that may occur regardless of whether you’re relocating on your own or with the help of professional movers.

small dog

Cats Are Notoriously Territorial

Cats are very different from dogs when it comes to changing homes. You will be disturbing the single most important thing in a cat’s life, their territory. Cats are notorious about their territory, they mark it with their smell, whether by spraying (in males) or by rubbing against furniture or scratching it (female and male alike). It is important toleave at least some scent markers for your cat around the house right until the moment you are ready to go. That way, your feline won’t be confused by the absence of her smell entirely.

cat in lap

Small Rodents and Birds Are in Grave Danger from Relocation Stress

The biggest health threat for these small creatures is stress. They are so affected by it that any longer trip might prove to be fatal. When transporting rodents and birds, they should be as isolated as possible in their cages from all the noise and tumbling on the road. If you deem it necessary, you could even cover the cage with some light blanket or cloth additionally shield them from stressful situations on the road.

two mouses

You Most Probably Won’t Be Able to Bring Your Pet Fish

Transporting a fish tank cross country can be quite a challenge. Although it is not impossible, it is very hard to pull off. The tank itself is very fragile and you would have to empty it and secure it properly. The fish should be put in durable plastic bags or special containers for transport. It is best to bring the tank and the fish with you in your car.

If you are not able to pull off a successful relocation of your tank, you could always give it to someone you know, or put an ad on Craigslist. There is no point in transporting these animals if you cannot guarantee the conditions they need to survive a long-distance trip.

Do All the Vet Checkups on Time

At least a month in advance, you should take your pets to see a vet. This is very important in case they haven’t received all the necessary vaccines, or if they have some health issues that might put them or you in danger while on the road. This way, you will have enough time to put your dog through therapy if needed and do another checkup before you leave. If they have a certain condition that requires a regular prescription, take enough of it for at least the first month in your new city.

doctor with animals

How to Select Good Veterinary Services?

A good relationship with a vet is the same as with a doctor. You need to trust them and your pet should like or at least tolerate them. Once you move away, it’s crucial that you find a new vet. The best way to do this is to get a recommendation from someone you know and trust. If that is not an option, then do a little online search for the best veterinary near you and go through the reviews.

How to Keep Your Pets Safe During Transport

Transportation is one of the trickiest parts of the whole relocation process. You have to be sure that they won’t be able to run away or hurt themselves or others. Many people think that carriers are a better solution for a dog than a harness or a leash, since they are usually much calmer in it. However, your furball may be different, and it is up to you to decide.

Cats should be put in a carrier, at least until they adjust to the car. You should know that cats might get extremely car-sick and anxious and maybe you should ask your vet to prescribe you something to alleviate this condition.

Watch out for the weather if you are moving in winter,  make sure that your animal companions are warm enough. Likewise, if you are relocating during summer, have enough water and save a pleasantly breezy spot for them.

dog in a car

Don’t Make the Usual Mistake of Letting Your Pet Run Loose Right Away

Once you reach your final destination, you shouldn’t let your pet run loose. All the new surroundings, boxes, furniture, unknown smells, and people could prove to be overwhelming, and they may run away, or get overexcited. Isolate them in a secure room for a start and build up from there. Let them get to know room by room and introduce them to the rest of the house gradually. If you have a yard dog, don’t take him off his leash until you are sure that there is no weak spot in your fence.

friendship between a cat and a dog

How to Adjust Your Pet to the New Home Properly

The first thing you should do is to make a safe space for them. Until you unpack your things and are able to devote more time to them, you shouldn’t let them out of the secure spot. It should be a room with no open window or cracks they can slip through. After a while, you should introduce them to the rest of their living space, but don’t leave their side.

Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.



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