Preparing Your Pets for A Move to A New Location


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5 Smart Principles For Moving Our Pets


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Moving our pets started from real-life events. I, a woman with two cats, recently married a man with one dog. After this major life event, we all moved into a house together. It was a Brady Bunch scenario of sorts, except with half of the kids missing (being animal lovers, I’m sure we’ll have six total in no time), and nobody except for the human parents actually got along.

Nevertheless, we learned a lot from moving our pets, our furry little family, to another city. So, I outlined what I consider ‘smart principles’ of moving our pets – perhaps they will come in handy for your own move that may be coming up.

Keep in mind your pet’s needs when looking for a home

When my husband (boyfriend at the time) moved into a one-bedroom, second-story apartment, he quickly learned that the living arrangement wasn’t equipped for his American Bulldog Mix’s lifestyle.

After having many guests defend themselves from a jumpy, irritable dog (happening immediately after he decided to ask me to marry him!), he exclaimed that enough was enough, and moved to a house with a spacious, fenced-in yard.

Now, our dog runs laps every morning and behaves like a model citizen around our friends and family. The lesson was learned; environment for your pet is everything, which brings me to the next point. Moving our pets should be an act of love and an act of organization.

Be sensitive to potential anxieties your pet may have

I witnessed the grief that pets go through during a move when I put my cats in crates and drove them north for two-hours to their new home. Constant cat cries were heard throughout the entire car ride. During this time, it was tempting to drown out their meows with the loud radio as I rolled down the windows, acting as if I hadn’t a care in the world.

But instead, I made the car ride as peaceful as possible for them (I’m not sure if it helped, but it could have certainly been worse for them!). Basically, make sure to give your pets extra attention before and after they are en route to their new location.

Research pet transportation companies (if applicable)

Some friends of ours moved to Hawaii from Florida, while flying their Miniature Schnauzer across the country and then over the Pacific. They recommend that if you need to move your dog via plane, following these steps for moving with pets:

  • Consult with your vet first to take appropriate precautions
  • If needed, take pet-friendly anxiety medication along with special diet instructions for your pet.
  • Make sure to research the chosen pet transportation companies up and down to ensure you are partnering with top-notch people.

Consider a pet daycare or sitter on moving day

(Pic Credit: Nancy Houser)
If your dog is anything like ours, than he or she will sprint out the front door if its been left open for longer than 5 seconds. When my husband and I made our last move, we dropped off our pup at our friend’s house. She provided food, water, and a fenced in yard for him to run around with, so we wouldn’t have to worry about him escaping. Instead of watching us move, he played instead. Plus, the excitement wore him out! He slept the entire car ride to his new home.

Make a “pet box” and keep it with you at all times moving your pets.

Finally, with the hustle and bustle that comes with moving, things will be lost temporarily. Make sure that all of your pet’s medications, toys, dishes, and treats are all in one spot, and open that box first thing upon entering your new house. It will give the feeling of “home” and perhaps bring comfort to your pets during this potentially stressful time in their (and your!) life. Knowing the principles for moving our pets makes moving less stressful for everyone – humans and animals alike.

About The Author

Jaclyn Lambert is an outreach specialist and self-proclaimed moving expert for

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WayCoolDog posts originally appeared on WayCoolDogs and are re-posted with the permission of Nancy Houser of WayCoolDogs © 2009 – 2015