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, a backyard, it is in a pet-friendly neighbourhood and so on. It is now time to plan your move, which is no easy task when moving with pets.

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 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.

This post is for:

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

Tips for moving with pets

1. Start packing early

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.

2. Take your pet to the new house before moving

If possible, make sure to bring your pets over to the new house before moving in it. This way they can explore and get familiar with the place, so it’s not such a big shock on moving day. Dogs and cats especially benefit from this, since they like to roam around the house.

3. Have a room just for 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, and 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, and 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.

4. Keep the same routine

Pets thrive on routine, and when their routine is disrupted it can cause stress and confusion. It’s important to stick to the same schedule before, during and after the moving process. This will help them transition to their new home more smoothly. For example, feed them at the same time, take them for a walk at the usual time, and spend time playing with them.

5. Check on your pets regularly

As the moving process commences it’s important to check in on your pets regularly so they know you’re nearby. They will sense that something is going on and may become more anxious or restless if left alone for too long. To help ease their anxiety, make sure they have plenty of fresh water and toys to keep them entertained.

6. Set up a safe space in the new home

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.

7. Settle your pet in the new property

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.

8. Give your pet the needed attention

Fish can be moved using a variety of methods, depending on their size and the distance of the move. Small fish can be moved in plastic bags or containers, while larger fish can be moved in clean plastic buckets. For short moves, plastic bags secured at the top with a twist tie will suffice. However, for longer moves, it is best to use plastic containers with lids to ensure the safety of your fish.

Save yourself the trouble of packing!

Professional packers can come to your spot with packing materials and take care of that task.

Add a valid postcode e.g. SE1 2TH

Moving with a specific pet

Moving with cats

As the moving day approaches, begin slowly moving your cat’s food and water bowls, bed and toys into one room. This cat should be as far away from all the commotion as possible. Let your cat become accustomed to this new setup for a couple of days before the move.

Read more specific information about moving with cats and how to help them settle in.

Moving with dogs

Dogs can get very stressed out when their families move to a new home. All the commotion of strangers coming in and out, packing up familiar furniture and belongings, can be overwhelming for them. To make the transition easier on your furry friend, try to set up a safe space for them on moving day, or arrange for a trusted relative or friend to take care of them while the move is happening.

Read more specific information about moving with dogs and how to help them settle.

Moving with fish

Fish can be moved using a variety of methods, depending on their size and the distance of the move. Small fish can be moved in plastic bags or containers, while larger fish can be moved in clean plastic buckets. For short moves, plastic bags secured at the top with a twist tie will suffice. However, for longer moves, it is best to use plastic containers with lids to ensure the safety of your fish.

Read more specific information about moving with fish.

Travelling with pets to the new 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 with pets overseas, 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.

Book professional moving services!

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

Add a valid postcode e.g. SE1 2TH


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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