How to Move House When You Have Pets

Pets on the Move: Tips for a Smooth Relocation


Moving Home CatThe bond between Aussies and their pets is undeniably strong, so it comes as no surprise that moving homes often come with an additional set of worries when pets are involved.

Planning, understanding potential challenges, and adopting strategies to keep our furry mates calm can facilitate a smooth transition for both the pet and the owner.

For many, pets are not just animals; they’re cherished family members. When faced with moving animals, the necessity to facilitate a smooth, stress-free transition for our furry, feathered, or scaled friends becomes paramount.

Planning a move with pets envelops understanding their emotions, anticipating potential challenges, and crafting an environment that mitigates stress and anxiety for them.

Not only does thorough planning ensure the well-being of our pets, but it also alleviates our anxieties, facilitating a seamless transition into a new chapter of our lives together.

This pet moving guide will give you insights and practical tips on how to navigate through the moving process with your pets, ensuring their comfort and safety every paw, claw, or fin of the way.

Preparation: What To Do Before The Move

Speak To Your Vet

vetA visit to the vet is not merely a health check; it’s a preventative measure, ensuring your pets are physically and mentally prepped for the move. Discuss your moving plans with your vet, ensuring vaccinations are up-to-date and procuring necessary medications.

You may also find that your bet will be able to recommend carriers or pet stores that sell carriers.

In preparation for the move with your pet, speak to your vet about potential behavioural changes and stressors that could arise during the move, crafting a plan that prioritises your pet’s emotional well-being amidst the chaos.

Get Your Pet Accustomed To Packing Supplies And Boxes


When our homes gradually transform with the influx of boxes, bubble wrap, and the perpetual sound of packing tape, our pets observe, often with a blend of curiosity and anxiety.

Early introduction to these new, peculiar elements can pivot their experience from one of stress to familiar curiosity.

Let them explore, sniff, and engage with these materials, turning the unfamiliar into a playful adventure, and mitigating potential stress as moving day approaches.

Update Your Pet’s Id Tags And Microchip Information

Also, remember to organise the identification tag for your new address.

Attach this to your pets collar before moving and also remember to notify the relevant animal registries to update your pet’s microchip details in case they go missing in their new environments.

Pack An Essentials Bag For Your Pet (If Travelling by Car)

Supply bag petsIf you are planning on travelling with your pet on moving day, then having an essential bag for your pet provides a constant supply for feeding their needs.

Packing items such as their favourite toys, a blanket that smells like home, a leash and collar, adequate food and water, along with other necessary medications.

This helps offer a continuum of comfort amidst the new and the unfamiliar especially when on the road.

Make Moving Day As Stress-free As Possible For Your Pet

stress free meditatingIt’s important to know that pets can read humans’ body language and will often get a sense of how you are feeling.

More often than not if you are feeling stressed, then your pet will begin to display signs of stress as well. Because of this, it’s important to keep relaxed and calm during the entire relocation process.

If it helps, while packing items in preparation for your move, have someone else watch your pet on moving day.

If you do have to keep your pet with you try and keep them in a quiet room and away from all the chaos.

On The Day Of The Move

You’ll no doubt be very busy on the day of the move, which means it’s still important to remember that your pet should still be well cared for and supervised at all times. On the day of the move, there are still some important things to remember such as:

Check-In And Pay Special Attention To Your Pet

Woman and two catsInstinctively, your pet will sense that something strange and different is going on. Because of this, they may become more anxious for longer.

On moving day if you’re putting your pet into a separate room while a removal team is at work, it always helps the check in on them regularly, so that they know you are still nearby.

Certain types of pets such as cats especially may panic and try and bolt out of the room, so when you put them into a separate room, ensure that the windows are all closed and the doors are closed to stop them escaping.

Remember to give them plenty of attention, ensuring that they have plenty of fresh water and their favourite toys to keep them relaxed or entertained for longer.


Plan Their Meals In Advance

Feeding a petAvoid feeding pets within two hours of travelling as this could worsen travel sickness. Instead of feeding them large meals, offer them small amounts of their usual food throughout the day.

This will distract them, give them something to do while you’re busy, and be gentler on their tummy if they do feel anxious.

Top tip: Instead of their usual kibble or wet food, a small portion of their daily food intake can be replaced by treats to reward any positive or calm behaviour they show throughout the day.



Use A Comfortable And Secure Pet Carrier

Pet carrier

Comfort is the key when relocating with a pet. Ensure that your pay is transported safely and comfortably in a nice sturdy carrier. Alternatively, you could try a sturdy crate.

Not only does this provide them with a safe and familiar space during the move, but it also helps prevent any accidents when en route to your new destination.

When you are packing the carrier or crate, ensure that you include any familiar toys or blankets to make them feel at home while on the journey.

If you can, make sure that their food and water dishes are always accessible to them in case they need to take a break during the journey.


Leave Your Pet Till Last

Pet Cat


Do not move your pet until all the boxes and clutter are out of the way and the house is quiet. Your pet can then be calmly moved from one location to the next without any problems.

Here are some more tips:

After The Move

Allow Time For Adjustment At Your New Home

Once you move into your new place, it’s time to introduce your pet to your new house and their new home. It’s important to remember, that transitioning from one place to another isn’t a mere switch for pets, but a delicate process from the familiar to the unknown.


If you own a dog, let them explore each room one by one, they will be intrigued by the new smells mixed with the familiar smells of your old furniture and bedding. Let them go at their own pace and make sure they are as comfortable as possible and that any potential escape exits have been fully blocked.

Eventually, you can reward them for their calm behaviour with treats and extra attention whilst maintaining a watchful eye.


Cats are more suspicious animals and the process will be a lot slower as they are more territorial; they are more likely to be stressed out.

Keep them confined to one room for the first couple of days and fill the area with familiar bedding, toys food and water bowls (don’t forget litter as well).

When you feel more confident, you can introduce them to the rest of the house. Just like with dogs, let them explore each room one by one and let them go at their own pace. Ensure that they are always comfortable and that all potential escape routes have been blocked.

It’s important to remember that with cats, if they escape your property during the early days, they are in danger of becoming lost or injured, so it’s extra important to ensure that their microchip details are fully updated so that they can be retraced.

Maintain Consistent Routines

In the new environment, consistency becomes key for our pets. Maintain routines that they may be used to from the previous address and include them into their lives. This includes the usual walking schedules, the same feeding times as well as other routines that your pet may be used to.

This will help them settle in quickly.

Keep An Eye Out For Any Possible Dangers

Sharp ObjectsAs a rule of thumb before allowing your pets to explore too much, it’s important to check that all the rooms in your new house are secure and can’t injure your pets.

Here are some possible dangers to be aware of when moving into a new house with pets:

Additional Pet Moving Tips

For dog owners: Ensure that your canine companion is leash-trained, which will assist in safe and stress-free walks in your new locale.

For cat owners: Providing ample opportunities for safe scratching and climbing will help prevent your new home’s furniture from becoming their target.

For pets with anxiety: Engage in a discussion with your vet regarding potential medications or treatments to aid in the transition. Remember that different animals have different behaviours, so it’s best to always check in with a professional!


Moving with pets can indeed present a unique set of challenges, but with thoughtful preparation, attentive care, and an abundance of patience, the transition can be made smoother for our beloved four-legged family members.

Through thoughtful planning, gentle patience, and steadfast attention to their needs, we can significantly reduce the stress involved in the transition for our four-legged family members.

By adopting these tips, you’re not only ensuring that your pet remains safe and happy but also easing moving-related stresses, allowing for a positive start in your new home.

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