Moving with Pets – How to Get Everyone Safely to Your New Home

Whether you are a clandestine pet owner harboring a tiny turtle, a more outspoken crazy cat lady,  or a truly epic alpaca-owning thrill seeker, relocating your animal family in a move can be an experience. At least, that’s what a little bird told us.

But fear not, whether domestic or exotic fur babies are the concern, these tips can help make the transition smooth.

Before Moving Day Arrives

Moving with pets requires planning long before moving day. Just as you should have your own box of essentials, your pet will also need an essentials box.

This box will stay with your little friend throughout the moving process. Pet needs vary, but some of the most basic components are:

  • food
  • bedding
  • food and water dishes
  • waste cleanup supplies
  • fishing nets
  • leashes
  • favorite toys
  • pet medications
  • vet contact information & medical history in case of emergency

The length of the journey for the move will also influence what should be included, but think about what is necessary for daily activities and possible emergencies.

Also, be sure your moving team is aware of your pets.  This will let them plan their mover effectively to avoid potential allergies and ensure they are comfortable around your animals.

Make sure your pet is up to date on all medications and vaccinations, especially if you are going to be relocating and finding a new vet. You will also want to find a new provider if moving out of town and have the information with you during the move and transport. Make sure you have the number and location of an animal emergency care center as well.

You can prepare your pet for their new home by taking them through the neighborhood prior to moving. This works really well if you have a dog. Introduce them to the new smells and sounds.  You might also need to check potential restrictions by the HOAs or local/state regulations. This is especially true for exotic animals, but poultry and livestock could be included as well.

On Moving Day

If you think YOU are going to be stressed on moving day, think of your pet’s perspective as numerous strangers come in the door and start taking apart their home. Dogs barking, cats scampering, fish doing laps in their bowl, parrots squawking ‘help!’  all morning…definitely not the ideal plan for your move. Find ways around the stress by anticipating it.

  1. Have treats ready for the moving team to give to your pet and show affection.
  2. Have their favorite toy, blanket, or comfort item close by and ready to join them during transport.
  3. Because moving includes a lot of open doors, contain your pets to one area.  This could include their crate, travel container, or a room containing a gated doorway. Some families chose to let their pets stay with friends for the day or at a pet daycare for this safety reason, but if not, be sure to have boundaries that prevent an escape.
  4. It’s also best to time your pet’s meal according to your moving schedule. Animals can experience motion sickness just like we do. Anticipate their needs and avoid feeding directly before the transport.
  5. For birds, reptiles, or nocturnal animals, you may want to keep their cages covered as long as possible to keep their sight limited and the sound minimized.

Riding Safely During the Trip

The time for transport has the potential to be the most difficult and stressful. Think safety first, and it will be okay. Find the right size container for your pet.

  1. Dogs prefer smaller spaces.  Throw their blanket or favorite toy in the crate for the ride.
  2. Cats also need to be secured.  A traveling crate will keep them cozy.
  3. Transport your fish in an insulated cooler.  They need to be a holding container filled with water from their old tank. You can also transport them in plastic bags orfive-gallonn buckets with secured lids.
  4. For reptiles or amphibians who need to be kept cool or moist, place damp towels in the traveling container and secure the lid. Depending on the animals, cat or dog crates may be the right size. Snakes should be placed inside a cloth bag and then secured inside of a box with small air holes. If they need to be kept warm, a heating pad or heat tape should help.
  5. Cover bird cages and remove all free-moving objects during transport.
  6. Large animals will require their own trailer. Check with local specialists for specific concerns.

And don’t forget, always belt or secure traveling crates and do not transport them in the front of a car!

Getting Used to Their New Home

Although you will be eager to settle into your new home, it may take your furry family member a little longer to get used to the idea of a strange place with strange smells.

By having toys and blankets they are familiar with and putting them in the same spot as their old home, they will feel more in control and at home more quickly.

Be consistent with their old routines. Take them on walks or handle them as they are familiar with. Show them extra love and attention, and display patience as they sniff, smell, explore, and conquer their new surroundings.

They may display some unfamiliar behaviors or responses.  Recognize they are trying to make sense of everything and figure out their new place. Keep them safe and on leashes or in their containers until they are comfortable and confident with their new home.

Get our Good Guys

It’s not enough for us to simply say we love our customers and take care of all their moving needs. To truly capture who we are, we have to include how we assist and embrace our customer’s family-whether two-legged, four-legged, tall or tiny, slithery, slimy, feathery, or furry. And yes, half of those aren’t even words, but who cares. We are committed to the safe moving and delivery of whoever and whatever you have in your home. To find out how we can give you this guarantee, contact our professional moving team today!

If you are still struggling to get ready for moving day, be sure to check out this article with tons of tips – like packing breakables, moving with kids, and a lot more!

Disclaimer: Always be sure to consult with your vet or other pet specialists before moving.  This article is simply advice from our personal and professional experiences and should not replace the opinions and skills of professionals.