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Tips for Moving with Pets

Moving to a new home can be an exciting yet stressful experience for humans, but it can be even more bewildering for our furry friends. Pets thrive on routine and familiarity, whether they are cats, dogs, or other animals. Disrupting their environment can cause anxiety and confusion. To help make the transition smoother for you and your pet, this guide unveils essential tips and strategies to consider when moving with pets.

Understanding Pet Behavior During Moves

Moving can be disorienting for pets as they are sensitive to changes in their surroundings. Dogs and cats, in particular, may exhibit signs of stress such as restlessness, excessive meowing or barking, loss of appetite, or hiding. Understanding these behaviors can help you anticipate their needs and provide appropriate support throughout the moving process.

Visit the Veterinarian Before the Move

Before moving, schedule a visit to your veterinarian. Ensure your pet's vaccinations are current, and obtain health certificates if required for travel. Discuss your concerns about your pet's well-being during the move and explore strategies to manage their anxiety. Your vet may recommend medications or calming aids if necessary.

Plan Ahead for Pet-Friendly Accommodations

When searching for a new home or apartment, prioritize pet-friendly accommodations. Consider factors such as nearby parks or green spaces for walks, pet policies of the building or neighborhood, and any restrictions on pet size or breed. Finding a pet-friendly environment will help your pet adjust more comfortably to their new surroundings.

Pack a Pet Essentials Kit

Prepare a kit with essential items for your pet, including food, water, medications, toys, bedding, and grooming supplies. Keep these items easily accessible during the move and upon arrival at your new home. Familiar scents and belongings will comfort and reassure your pet in unfamiliar surroundings.

Introduce Your Pet to Their New Home Gradually

Upon arrival at your new home, designate a quiet area where your pet can gradually acclimate to their new environment. Set up their food and water bowls, bedding, and favorite toys in this space. Spend time with your pet in this area to help them feel safe and secure.

Stick to a Routine

Maintaining a routine during the moving process and after settling into your new home is crucial for your pet's well-being. Stick to regular feeding times, exercise routines, and playtime to provide stability and familiarity. Consistency will help reduce stress and anxiety for your pet during this transitional period.

Secure Your Pet During Transportation

During the journey to your new home, ensure your pet is safely secured in a well-ventilated carrier or crate. For longer trips, schedule regular breaks to allow your pet to stretch, hydrate, and use the bathroom. Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle, especially in hot or cold weather conditions.

Update Pet Identification and Records

Update your pet's identification tags with your new address and contact information. Consider microchipping your pet if they are not already microchipped. Notify your veterinarian and pet microchip company of your new contact details to ensure a swift reunion in case your pet gets lost during the move.

Monitor Your Pet's Behavior

Monitor your pet's behavior in your new home during the first few weeks. Some pets may take longer to adjust to their new surroundings than others. Provide patience, reassurance, and positive reinforcement to help them feel secure in their new environment.

Establish a Relationship with a New Veterinarian

Research and establish a relationship with a veterinarian in your new area before you move. Ensure they are experienced with your type of pet and schedule a wellness check-up shortly after moving. A trusted veterinarian will provide peace of mind, knowing your pet's health needs are well-cared for in their new home.

Arrange Pet Care on Moving Day

On moving day, consider arranging pet care to minimize stress and ensure their safety. Pets can feel overwhelmed by the noise and activity of movers. If possible, ask a trusted friend or family member to look after your pet in a quiet, familiar environment. This will allow you to focus on coordinating the move without worrying about your pet's well-being.

Pet-Proof Your New Home

Conduct a thorough pet-proofing assessment before bringing your pet into your new home. Remove hazardous items such as toxic plants, electrical cords, and small objects that could be swallowed, and secure windows and doors to prevent escapes. Create a safe space where your pet can explore gradually under supervision, ensuring all areas are secure and free from potential dangers.

Help Your Pet Adjust to New Neighbors and Surroundings

Introducing your pet to new neighbors and surroundings requires patience and positive reinforcement. Take gradual walks around your neighborhood, allowing your pet to become familiar with their new environment’s sights, sounds, and smells. Use treats and praise to reward calm behavior and positive interactions with people and other pets.

Finding Pet-Friendly Homes with Expert Real Estate Guidance

Moving with pets requires careful planning, patience, and empathy. Pets thrive on routine and familiarity, so maintaining consistency throughout the moving process is key to their well-being. With these tips, you can make moving with your beloved pet a positive experience for both of you.

Looking for a new home that accommodates your entire family, including your pets? Contact Chris Palme today for expert guidance in finding pet-friendly real estate options.


Chris’ seasoned counsel, local perspective and market knowledge are essential elements for accomplishing your real estate goals.

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