Preparing your Pets for a Safe Move

Moving is not only a stressful experience for you and your family – it is stressful for your pets as well. Due to the fact you likely consider your pets a part of your family, it is important to know how to prepare them for a safe and stress-free move.

Getting Crate Ready

If your pet is not used to being crated and you will need him to be for the move, plan ahead. A few months or weeks, at a minimum, take the crate out and let your animal get used to it. Place a few of his favorite or familiar items in it so that he can associate it with being safe. Letting him explore the crate on his own without any pressure will make him get acclimated to it much faster and with much less stress. This way when it is time to move and use the crate, he will not experience large amounts of anxiety.

Ride in the Car

Riding in the car is not something all pets do often. If your animal is only used to the car to go to the vet, chances are it may be an anxiety provoking experience for him. During the same time frame (a few months or, at least, weeks before your move) take him for short rides in the car and to somewhere fun. Maybe take your dog to the park or your cat to a relative’s house. Make the ride short and sweet and the destination something that does not cause them more stress.

Staying out of the Way

On the big moving day, it is important that your pets are out of the way for their own safety as well as their mental wellbeing. With people constantly coming in and out and familiar belongings being removed from the home, it is very easy for pets to get scared and stressed. If you have someone that can keep an eye on your animals while you move, that is the best option. If this is not possible, at the very least, crate him or put him in a room where he is out of the way and can relax until it is time for him to leave.

Pack a Pet Bag

Make sure you have a bag packed for your pet that is easily accessible so when you arrive at your new home or at a hotel, if you have to break the move up over a matter of days, you will have what your pet needs. This takes some of the stress off of you, which in turn, makes him feel better. When he has his familiar bowls, blankets, and toys, he can have some of the comforts of home with him, helping him to feel relaxed. In this bag, you should also carry any type of emergency items you may need for your pet if he has any special health concerns.

Arriving at your New Home

Once you are at your new home, don’t let your animal roam the house right away. Instead, put him in a room that you inspected and deemed safe while you check out the rest of the home. Now that the house is empty, you can easily identify any hidden hazards that can be an issue for your pet. Once you know each room is safe, start spreading out your animal’s belongings, placing them in rooms that are as close to the rooms you had at home. This will help him to get acclimated with the new house quicker because he will not only have his familiar belongings, but still have the scent of the old home as well.


Moving with a pet does add an element of anxiety to the process, but it can be made easier when you take the right precautions. As long as you don’t just pick your pet up and move with no warning and are sure to bring the comforts of his old home, he should get quickly acclimated with his surroundings and love his new home as much as you do.


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