Moving With Pets: How to Plan A Stress-Free Transition

Moving is hard for people, but it’s often even more overwhelming for our furry friends. Dogs, cats and other pets all feel the stress of moving, which is why you’ll have to take their needs into consideration as you plan your transition. Below, find out what you can do before, during and after your move to help your pet get settled in his new home.

Pre-Planning Your Move

Before you get too far in your search for a new home, be sure to spend some time thinking about your pet’s needs. Moving to an area with a good veterinarian, for example, should be one of the criteria you keep in mind as you look for a home. It’s also important to make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date, and that you’ve taken care of necessities such as spaying or neutering your pet. Organizations like Robinson’s Rescue make it simple and affordable to get your pet fixed, no matter your income.

Packing Pet Supplies

Staying organized is one of the best ways to avoid stress on moving day. Keep in mind that, as Psychology Today explains, many pets feed off of our emotions, which means anything you can do to keep your own stress in check can also have an indirect impact on your pet’s comfort level.

In addition to keeping your own items in order, you can make things easier on yourself by gathering all of your pet supplies up in one place when you’re ready to pack. This means that all of your pet’s favorite things will be easy to find as soon as you step foot in your new place.

Because pets feel comforted by familiar items, you might want to save your pet box (or boxes) for last. Items your pet uses every day should remain easily accessible rather than being packed way in the back of the moving truck.

What to Do on Moving Day

Moving day is perhaps the most stressful part of transitioning to a new home. With a flurry of activity around your home, it’s important to make sure your pet isn’t underfoot where he could get injured or escape from the house. If you can, Pup Jobs suggests crating your pet in a low-traffic area of the home or consider hiring a pet sitter to watch over your companion for the day.

You can also relieve your pet’s stress in other ways. For dogs, solutions such as wearing a compression shirt, taking an exercise break, or even using natural remedies like CBD oil can be a boon. Anxious cats may benefit from a pheromone diffuser, extra playtime, and a little additional attention to the litter box.

Once the moving van is loaded up, keep in mind that the act of traveling can be stressful too. Cats especially are stressed out by car rides, but you can improve their experience with some extra precautions. Keep their carrier very secured, bring disposable litter boxes, and avoid feeding the morning of or during the car ride.

Getting Settled in Your New Home

Depending on your pet’s personality, it might be exciting or overwhelming to explore a brand new home. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to make a new house feel like a fun and safe place to be. Giving your pet some special treats is one way to reward them for enduring the stress of moving. When picking out treats, be sure to read reviews and consider the ingredients used so you can be mindful of any dietary restrictions your pet has.

New treats can make moving more enjoyable, but make sure you also take steps to make your new home feel familiar to your pet. Maintaining your routines, unpacking pet toys first, setting up your pet’s bed and making the home smell like you are all things that can help.

Pets can easily get stressed out by the process of moving, but thankfully, there are many things you can do to help your pet adjust. Keeping your pet’s items handy throughout the move and finding ways to reduce anxiety will go a long way in helping your pet make a smooth transition.


Written by: Cindy Aldridge