Moving with Pets: 15 Smart Tips to Prepare Your Pet for the Big Move Easily

Moving with Pets: 15 Smart Tips to Prepare Your Pet for the Big Move Easily

By: Sarah Dirks


March 14, 2022

Moving with pets isn’t always a walk in the park. Whether you have a dog, cat, guinea pig or reptile, each animal presents their own challenges. But no matter what your furry (or scaly) friend is, or how far you’re going, it’s important to remember they may be a little overwhelmed, too!

If you’re looking for ways to make the process easier on your pets (and you), you’re in the right place. Did you think to scope out your neighborhood before choosing your next home? Or keep your pet away from the hullabaloo that is moving day?

We’ll cover these and more tips so you and your pets can have a tail-wagging move, whether it’s cross country or a few hours away. Here are 15 tips for moving with pets:

1. Scope out the Neighborhood

Before you commit to your new home or apartment, check out the area if you can. Take a walk around the neighborhood to scope it out—look for any aggressive dogs or pets left unattended. You want your pet to love their new home as much as you do, so make sure it is a safe place for them!  

It’s also a good idea to consider how much space your pets will need. Cats explore vertically, so a space with tall ceilings would be purr-fect. Dogs (especially puppies) need to go outside often, so a house or a first-floor apartment are great places to move.

2. Call Your Vet!

Just like you have to transfer your medical records when you’re moving far, you need to make sure your pet is good to go, too! Ask for your pet’s records and prescription medications from the vet. They might even have a recommendation for a vet where you’re moving!

3. Acclimate Your Pet to Their Crate

Now, some pets may already be crate-trained (or live in a terrarium), but if your little friend isn’t comfy in their crate yet, you have some work to do. Chances are they’ll be sitting in their crates for most of the trip, so it’s a good idea to get them acclimated. You can start by having them eat food in their crate, then taking them on short drives in their crate to get used to it.

Pet-friendly advice: you want them to be comfortable and happy in their crate, so fill it with their favorite toys and blankets, and don’t forget treats! Here is a blog with helpful tips to crate train your dog or cat.

4. Let Them Help Pack

Well, not exactly. But you do want your pets to get used to having boxes around. Pets, especially cats and high-strung dogs aren’t too fond of change. So, giving them extra time to adjust to what’s happening will be helpful. If you can, put out some empty boxes early and leave them open for your pets to check out.

5. Stick to Their Routine

One of the most important aspects of moving with pets is keeping their routine as normal as possible. We understand moving can get chaotic, but they’re creatures of habit. Make sure you feed them at the usual times, keep them entertained and give them a little extra love.

6. Exercise is Key

Moving is hectic, and it can be really difficult to set time aside to make sure your pet gets enough attention (including walks, playtime, brain games or runs), but it’s really important! Get those zoomies (definition: a sudden burst of frenetic energy in which an animal runs to and fro) out so they get sleepy, and you can keep working.

7. Give Them Their Own Space

During the few days you’re actually moving, it’s a great idea to have a pal watch your pets! If that’s not possible, make sure they have a safe space. When everyone is going in and out of the house, put them in a room and close the door. By now, you probably know that moving can get crazy, so keeping your pets away from the chaos is smart!

Pet-friendly advice: keeping your pet in a room with a closed door also prevents them from trying to bolt outside if they get scared.

8. Don’t Forget Their Overnight Bag

You wouldn’t forget your own overnight bag for the move, so don’t forget your pets! Include toys, treats, food and water, bowls, litter box, and enough litter to last for a few days while you get situated in your new home.

Pet-friendly advice: don’t forget a few cleaning supplies in case of accidents!

9. Check for Pet-Friendly Hotels

If your road trip is more than just a few hours, make sure wherever you stay is pet-friendly! Don’t assume a hotel is pet-friendly just because you are. You and your pet don’t want to be left without anywhere to stay after a long drive. If you’re moving with a more exotic pet, make sure your hotel will let them stay.

Pet-friendly advice: this website allows you to enter your destination and it will automatically pull up pet-friendly hotels in the area!

10. Take Them with You!

Obviously, you’re taking your pets on the move, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. But it’s important to keep your pets with you (in the car) on the road trip. You don’t want to cause any more stress by having them travel without you. Either put their kennel in the back of your car or the backseat (and don’t forget a seatbelt!).

Pet-friendly advice: putting a blanket over the crate can help calm anxious animals during the drive.

11. Make Lots of Pit Stops

Depending on how long your road trip is, prepare to make pit stops. You want your pet to be comfortable, and that may mean making a few more stops than you might on your own. When you stop, make sure to put them on a leash and let them get a little exercise.

Pet-friendly advice: if you have a dog (and they’re dog-park friendly) check and see if there are any dog parks on your route. It’s a great way to give them some exercise.

12. Pet-Proof Your New Home

Even if you really scoped out your new place before moving in, it’s still a good idea to check everything out before letting your pet run around.

Make sure that all screens and doors are secure, and thoroughly check the backyard (if you have one) for any holes in the fence or gate. Also, look for any pest control poison to ensure your pet doesn’t get into it.

Pet-friendly advice: check out this list to thoroughly pet-proof your home.

13. Set up a Room for Them in the New Place

It may be tempting to get to your new home and just let your animal run free, but that may not be the best idea. A new home can be overwhelming for your pet. So, set up a room with their favorite toys, food and water, blankets, etc. and get them acclimated there first. Once they start getting comfortable, you can show them around the rest of the place.

Pet-friendly advice: give them lots of attention and love while they’re getting used to their new home.

14. Update Their Info

Make sure that you update all your pet’s information—including their microchip and key tag! Add your new home address and phone number to ensure they’re ready.

15. Store Space Can Help

Whether you’re downsizing, moving apartments or relocating across the country, self-storage can come in handy during a big move. From holding the belongings that just don’t fit in your new home, to keeping your items out of the way while you get settled in—a storage unit can make the moving process much easier.

Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to have one less thing to worry about while you’re moving with pets? Focus on you your little family member, and we’ll take care of storage. Check out our storage guide for more info!

Bonus Tip: Moving with Exotic Pets

If you are moving with a more exotic pet, you may need a few more tips. Reptiles, amphibians, birds, rabbits and other animals require some special attention. This blog on how to transport exotic pets is very helpful. Check it out!

FAQS: Moving with Pets

Q: How do you move long-distance with a pet?

A: You can follow many of the tips listed in this blog to move long-distance with your pet. Make sure you keep your pet comfortable while packing, and on the road trip. Try to stick to their routine as much as possible. You’ll also want to check laws and regulations in your new state so you’re not surprised. 

Q: Does moving traumatize cats?

A: Cats are territorial animals, so moving can be stressful for them. But, if you follow the steps in this blog, your cat will have an easier time making the transition.

Q: What should I do with my cat on moving day?

A: Put your cat in a room and close the door. Make sure they have food, water, toys, their cat carrier, litter box, and a piece of furniture if possible. Make sure all the windows are closed as well. This shields your cat from some of the chaos and will ensure they don’t try and run away if frightened.

Q: Which airline is the most pet-friendly?

A: Moving a very long distance may make air travel a necessity. Here are some of the most pet-friendly airlines: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Southwest. Be sure to do your research to find the perfect flight option for you and your pet!

Make Moving with Pets a Walk in the Park

Hopefully, these tips have helped you and your pet get ready for the big move. Looking for more moving tips? Check out 11 hidden costs of moving.

Even though moving can be a stressful time, your little family member may need some extra attention. Keeping these tips in your back pocket will make moving with pets pawsome!

If you need more space during your move, check out Store Space! We offer affordable and convenient storage units to make the process even easier. Just find your nearest facility with our storage finder.

Sarah Dirks content writer

Sarah Dirks is a Content Writer for Store Space who enjoys watching movies, being active and cheering for the Boston Red Sox.


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