Moving and Packing Tips

Moving With Pets – The Walkthrough

Let’s just assume that you have already chosen a house or apartment suitable for your pets. It has enough space, backyard, it is in a pet-friendly neighbourhood and so on. It is now time to plan your move, which is no easy task. And on top of looking into all the itty bitty details and carefully packing all of your belongings, paying your last bills at that property, and tons of other duties, you now have to think of a way to relocate without it stressing your beloved pet. You are already under pressure, but sadly your pet can’t help you move the boxes, so you will have to deal with them on your own. The best way is to think a few steps ahead and spare yourself the rush of last-minute action. This is possible through a good amount of preparation.

Table of Contents:

This post is for:

  • People relocating with their pets;
  • People travelling long distances with pets.

Select your companion to read more specific information.

Preparations for moving with pets

Start packing early and do it room by room. It is not only easier for you this way, but it will also allow your pet to get used to the changes day by day. This applies more to cats and dogs, but other pets can also feel sudden changes in the environment, even if they don’t leave their cages or aquariums. For pets like guinea pigs and fish, you need to leave their habitat unchanged for as long as possible.

If you go out on a packing spree a day before your moving day it will stress your pets. All of the noises and the people walking in and out will no doubt make them tense. Keep in mind that pets that are stressed and scared could easily flee the property which may be a risk to their health.

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Moving day is here. What to do with your pets

On the day of your move from your property make sure that your pets are in a room away from all the noises. Furniture being disassembled, people walking around with boxes and appliances. All of these can create a big fuss, which will stress your pet. Every pet reacts differently, some hide, others get aggressive. Whatever the case is, you should be prepared to avoid situations like these. Leave a sign on the door of that room and secure it well, you don’t want it to fall off and someone accidentally releasing your dog for a running spree around the neighbourhood, or worse. When everything is loaded up and on its way to your new home you can address moving your pet and its own belongings. Make sure you have taken everything it might need in your bag of essentials and take them to their new kingdom.

If there is a friend who can watch over your pet while you are dealing with everything on the moving day, that would be great. If that friend lives near your new property, even better, you will make the trip shorter for your pet. Especially if you are moving with a parrot, as they can fall in a deep depression when alone.

Travelling with your pet to the property

How will you approach this is entirely up to the means of transportation you choose. In general, you will have to choose between a car or a plane if you are moving to a different city or even country. Public transportation is definitely not advisable. If you don’t have a vehicle of your own, ask a friend to help you out and drive you and your pet to your destination. The crowds in public buses and trains will further stress your furry friends. And in the case of fish, that is impossible. Check the article on moving with fish and it will become clear right away. In theory, you can take the sub for a couple of stops with a parrot in a covered cage, but it is still not the perfect scenario.

Travelling with pets by car

If you are travelling by car, make sure you secure your pet well. Put it in the trunk bay (if you are driving a wagon) or the back seat. Cats usually take trips in travel baskets and crates – make sure you secure them in one place, so the case doesn’t roll around in the back seat if your cat gets scared of traffic noises or you need to take a sharp turn. This goes for any other contraption in which you might transport your various pets.

Remember to cover the back seat of the bed of the trunk with something, just in case your pet does not like travelling. It will protect the upholstery of the vehicle. If things get messy you can book a mobile car valeting pro to come to your new address and clean the exterior and interior of your car and even auto detail it for a fresh start!

Limit the amount of food you give to cats and dogs before the move and make sure you take a couple of extra stops along the way to let them stretch their feet and have some water. If you have to stay overnight somewhere, make sure to research for a pet-friendly hotel that will host you.

Flying with pets

This will need a lot more research. If it is a short flight from city to city you might get away with it easily. Especially if your pet is small. Small dogs and cats are mostly allowed to travel in a cage underneath your seat. (At an additional price to your ticket, of course.) Phone the airline provider or check their website for any specific documentation and regulation they may have or need from you.

However, if you are moving overseas with pets, you will need to prepare your companion’s passport with proof of all the required vaccinations. In addition, a document of proof that your pet has passed an overall health check from a veterinarian is also required from the airlines. This is just to ensure that your pet is fit and healthy to fly. There are also some restrictions depending on the country you are flying to. There are companies that provide transport of pets overseas. You can benefit from some of their services, or alternatively, do some research on your own on how to take your pet with you. In both cases, you should measure the size and weight of your pet and its transport cage, so you can give accurate information to the professionals or calculate any fees and check with airlines regulations.

Take care of your beloved pets and leave your heavy furniture and luggage to the professionals.

Settle your pet in the new property

Unpack everything that your pet is usually playing with or sleeping on as soon as you arrive at your new home. Gather those items in a room, then let your pet rest for a bit there so it can soak in what happened. Afterwards, let it roam around the place and get familiar with its new environment. If you are usually letting your pet walk out alone (this applies mostly to cats) don’t do it for at least a couple of weeks. See how the animal behaves and slowly build your mutual trust again. When the animal roams the rooms keep a close eye on it. Keep in mind there might be a window that you don’t even know about, through which your pet can escape.

Watch closely the feeding habits of your pet as well. Stressed animals will slowly build up their appetite, however, if that doesn’t happen in a couple of days consult with a vet.


Do you have something to add from personal experience? Please, do so in the comment section. We may use your tips to better the article and give you some credit, of course.

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