Moving with Pets

Dated: May 2 2023

Views: 259

It's moving day! You have all your possessions organized in boxes, labeled by room, loaded on the truck and you grab your last 2 things on the way out the door: your overnight bag and your “open first” box. As you walk towards the door of your empty house, you’re greeted from the outside by your tail wagging, drooling, four-legged friend that has been chasing the movers around the yard all morning and it hits you… where in the world are you going to fit?

Moving with a pet is not something that should be done on a whim. Just as you plan for your own move, your children’s move, your spouse’s move, you must plan for your pet’s move too. No matter how far or how near you are moving, it’s important to take into consideration your pets’ health and to ensure they are as comfortable as they can be. While some animals handle the changes in their surroundings and routines well, others will not. Animals often get stressed and anxious when it comes to big moves, long travel days, and new places so we have a few tips for you to help make this transition as smooth as possible.

If you’re moving just down the street, this eliminates some of the big stressors for your animals on your move, but it doesn’t eliminate all of them. One of the biggest suggestions we have for moving with dogs is getting them extremely comfortable in their crate, even if they are already crate trained very well. This helps to remind them and reassure them that this is a safe space no matter where it’s located, including in your new home. Many dogs will walk right into a house to sniff around and explore, so by introducing their safe space to your new home, it will help show them that this is their space now too. Another big suggestion we have heard from clients, if you’re not moving far, is boarding your dogs for the day, or taking them to a doggy daycare of sorts. Your day is already filled with the craziness of traveling and packing and unpacking and possibly movers in and out of your home, so it may be in your and your dog’s best interest to keep them out of the chaos!

For those that are not moving just down the street, be sure to have a plan in place to travel with your furry friend. Despite the lack of space in the cab of your vehicle, it is necessary to remember that the box of your moving truck is no place for your pet! The back of box trucks, such as many of the rentable moving trucks, get extremely hot in a very little amount of time which can be detrimental to your dogs’ health. Saving a spot for your dog’s kennel or crate in the cab is likely your best bet, especially since you will need to plan stops for your dog to use the bathroom and stretch its legs. Having your dog near you will also help to settle some of the nerves they may be feeling about the long drive and allows for them to see you, for you to give them treats and love up on them throughout the trip! If you are planning on stopping somewhere for the night, be sure to only book pet-friendly rooms and to call ahead of time to be sure they do in fact allow animals. Having a place to stay for the night that allows your animals to stay with you alleviates some of the stresses of moving with pets and avoids the last-minute frustration of finding a place to lay your head for the night.

Cat owners know that their furry friends aren’t usually as easy to travel with, as they are spooked much easier than dogs and even the smallest disruption in their routines can throw them into a frenzy. Because moving can be so stressful for your cat, they may have the tendency to escape during the process, so establishing a secure, comfortable location on both ends of the move, and throughout, is critical. The feedback we’ve heard suggests designating a room at both houses for your cat with all their necessities: food, water, a few toys, a bed or blanket and their litter box. Establishing a comfortable location for your cat in your new home will help their nerves settle and will give them a sense of safety, as well as keeping them out of your way for unpacking and get rid of your concern that they will try to escape! Another suggestion we’ve heard from our cat-loving clients is using treats, or pheromone collars or diffusers that help calm them, but we highly recommend doing your own research and asking your pet’s vet if that is a safe option for cat specifically!

Throughout your move, it is important to have a reliable cat carrier, and that your cat is comfortable in it. Because cats are nervous-nellies, introducing your cat to a carrier several weeks before your move can be very helpful and will assist in keeping them comfortable while you are traveling in your vehicle, not to mention, if they are comfortable with the carrier that they will be spending quite some time in, the constant meowing and scratching at the walls of the carrier will hopefully stay at a minimum!  

If your move requires flying cross country or even to a country across the world, you should plan to have flying arrangements figured out long before it’s time to board! There are several trusted services that are available to move your pet by air and they typically offer vet services, certified handlers, and even boarding if your house is not ready for move in by the time they arrive. Since we are very protective of our animals too, we suggest you do your own research for this option and find a service and a company that fits you and your pet’s needs. After all, this isn’t just a trip to the grocery store!

Of course, there are tons of other in-home pets and dogs and cats are just two of them, but honestly the same rules apply! Your pet’s health, safety and comfort are the biggest priorities for your move, so make sure to educate yourself and your family before deciding to move with pets. Take into consideration the amount of time they will be on the go with you, the space they will have to move around, and the temperature they’re sitting in while you travel. It’s important to make sure that cages and cage lids are covered and secured in your vehicle, that there won’t be wiggle room for anything to tip or spill, and please make sure that there are no legal restrictions in your new town, county or state regarding which animals you can have as pets! We know that without them your home would be just a house, so be sure to educate yourself and have a plan in place to get you and your furry friends settled into your NextHome!

Blog author image

Garrick Olerud

Garrick grew up Westby WI on a dairy farm and has lived in Westby for most of his life.  He graduated from UWL with a Marketing degree.  He has been a licensed agent since 2014 and started Nex....

Latest Blog Posts

De-Winterizing Your Summer Getaway Home

Wisconsin winters are no joke when it comes to your home, especially a home that sits unoccupied for the cold months. Each year people with summer getaway cabins and vacation homes winterize their

Read More

Moving with Pets

It's moving day! You have all your possessions organized in boxes, labeled by room, loaded on the truck and you grab your last 2 things on the way out the door: your overnight bag and your &ldquo

Read More

What is the Importance of Hiring a Home Inspector?

Hiring a home inspector is important for several reasons:Identifying problems: A home inspector can help identify potential problems with a property that may not be immediately visible to an

Read More

Using Pastel Colors in Your Home

Spring is all about new life, new beginnings, and colors. After a long, dreary winter, you’re probably needing a pop of color in your life anyways and pastels are the perfect way to do just

Read More