Real Estate

9 Tips to Minimize Stress When Moving With Pets

David Saba
David Saba
5 minutes to read.

Selling your house and moving to a new one can be a stressful time for everyone in the family. That includes your fur babies, too. But for your pet, it’s not only bothersome, but it may also be confusing and frightening to see everything familiar loaded into boxes, then travel to a new home that looks and smells different. We’ve consulted with some professional veterinarians to gather the best tips to minimize stress when moving with pets.

1. Find a Pet-Friendly Home

Consider the current needs of your pet – and their changing needs – when house hunting. If you’re looking for an apartment or townhome, make sure that your complex is pet-friendly. Also try to meet your potential neighbors in advance. If possible when seeking a shared community, look for one with a dog park or a large place to exercise and walk your pet.

2. Introduce Your Dog To the New Neighborhood

If you’re just moving across town, or within driving distance, bring your dog to the new neighborhood before you actually move. Explore the sidewalks and any parks or dog parks nearby. Your dog may get to meet his new neighbors and become acclimated to the sights, sounds, and smells of his new home.

new neighborhood walking dog

3. Get a Vet Referral

When you’re preparing to move, remember to collect your vet records. You may also ask your current vet for a referral in your new neighborhood and how to transfer your old records to your new vet.

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4. Kennel During Packing and Unpacking

It may be easier to keep your pet out of the way if you kennel them during the final packing and loading, and the immediate unloading of the truck. Pets can get excited and anxious, and if they’re underfoot when movers, or you and your buddies, are moving furniture and heavy boxes, either your pet or your friends can get hurt, or things can break.

Moving with dogs in a kennel

5. Let Them Travel With a Lovey

Most likely, you’re traveling with your pet in a carrier. If they have a favorite squeaky toy, blanket, or chew bone, pack that in their carrier with them. You will be giving them a sense of home and comfort much like a child’s “lovey” stuffed animal.

6. Pack an Overnight Bag For Your Pet, Too

Make sure to pack enough litter, food, supplies, and treats to last a couple of days while you get unpacked. In your car, be sure to bring their favorite food and water dishes as well as their bed, blankets, crate, and anything else they’ll need so that you can get them set up right away.

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We are not able to determine an offer price right now.

A local investor will get in touch with you to discuss the sale of your house.

7. Keep Your Pet Safe in Your New Home

Even though your pet may be the timidest and well-behaved animal, it’s still better to take extra precautions getting them in and out from your car. Don’t let them out of the kennel until they’re safely inside, preferably in a room with a closed door. Even the best-trained pet may get nervous or excited and bolt into an unfamiliar neighborhood.

moving with cats

You may wish to tape a sign to the door of whatever room your pet is in, to make sure no one opens it and lets them run out. Or you may assign a child to play with and keep your pet or pets company while everything is unloaded.

8. Moving With Pets: Small Animals

Talking about moving with pets, small animals can be trickier than moving with a dog or a cat.

Fish, for instance, are particularly difficult to transport, as they stress easily. You may end up shocking the fish. Unless they’re large or expensive, it may be better to re-home them before the move.

Guinea pigs are another delicate animal, nervous with weak hearts. They get upset when jostled around. Select a small, dark carrier for them to travel in. And see if one of your family members can hold the pig on their lap, to reduce movement. You don’t want to transport guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, or gerbils inside their wire cages.

Birds can be hit or miss when moving depending on what kind you have. A parrot or Macaw is fairly hardy and should travel fine in their cage with a cover over it. Even birds that don’t normally stay in cages should travel in one with a secure latch. And, just like dogs and cats, don’t let them out until the home is secure.

9. Pet-proofing Your New Home

If your pet is in “time out” in a secure room, take advantage of this time to pet-proof your new home. Make sure that poisonous house plants are out of reach for curious cats, and that things you don’t want to be chewed by a nervous pupper are put securely away. Make sure electrical cords are hidden and there are no random nooks and crannies where your pet can get stuck.

moving with pets cat dog

Finally, double-check that there are no poisonous pest traps left in the house. Be sure to check all cabinets, closets, and bathrooms – your pet will be very curious once they settle in and may be exploring more than you’d like.


Moving with a pet can go smoothly if you take the time to prepare and make sure that your four-legged friend is comfortable and feels secure.

All of these tips work better if you have a longer time to plan your move. However, sometimes you need to move fast, selling your house ASAP. If you’re in this situation, we can help. Request an all-cash offer from SellHouseFast and close in as little as two weeks!

Get a cash offer for your house

We are not able to determine an offer price right now.

A local investor will get in touch with you to discuss the sale of your house.

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