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Posted in Moving Preparation, Moving Tips&Tricks on July 13, 2022
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

Moving Day Tips When You’re Relocating With Pet

When relocating, you will have a lot on your plate, and it may happen that you forget at times about your pets. However, you have to be aware that your furry friends are extremely sensitive to the change of environment. These moving day tips will help a lot in reducing the stress and anxiety that animals feel during relocations and make the preparation for transporting them much easier.

How Can I Make Moving Day Easier? Here Are Some General Moving Day Tips for Pets

Anxiety about relocation when browsing “long-distance movers near me” and stress throughout the entire process are common feelings when relocating to a new home. However, according to some research, pets tend to experience even higher anxiety and stress than people. You will be preoccupied with issues like how to start the task of moving from a large home to a smaller one or assessing the pros and cons of moving to a smaller home. In short, you can easily forget about your furry friends. Here are some helpful tips for moving day that apply to all types of pets:

Keep your pets away from packing

After hiring a long-distance moving company and their packing services, you should designate a safe space for your pets when packing starts. First of all, there will be downsizing for moving to a smaller home or bigger (an essential part of every relocation). Secondly, cross-country movers will need to circulate through your place, and there will be a lot of noise, especially when relocating furniture. Pets tend to experience a lot of stress during these alterations to the environment that they have gotten used to. The best thing to do is to either pack one room earlier than rest and leave them there or find someone who will take care of them.

Prepare a bag of essentials

A bag containing all the basic toiletries, clothes, and kitchenware is considered to be a relocating essential for every household member, pets included. Don’t forget to pack pet supplies for at least a few days which is how much the unpacking after the move usually takes.

Load your pet containers last

Our beloved furry friends can experience even intenser adjustment insomnia than we do. Therefore, one of the best move-in day tips is to arrange the new home as quickly as possible in order to make them feel comfortable. The good idea is to ask a cross-country moving company to load their items last. In that way, they will be unloaded first, and you will be able to quickly set up their space in the new apartment or house.

Notify the vet on time

When relocating to another state, you will have to notify all kinds of service providers and institutions, transfer utilities, cancel all memberships, and as a pet owner, you mustn’t forget about the vet. To begin with, the veterinary clinic has to give the entire medical history that will then be given to the new vet, but more importantly, the vet will provide you with invaluable information on how to make transportation easier for your furry friends.

Obtain all necessary documentation

States require licenses for pets (this is especially important if you are relocating with dogs). Therefore, don’t forget to deal with this when you start organizing your important documents. Otherwise, unnecessary penalties will be incurred.

Decide on the Method of Transportation Before the Movers Have Packed Your House

When planning a move to another city with furry friends, you have to decide what is the most suitable way of transportation:

  • Car – This is probably the best method since you will be together throughout the entire journey. Of course, you will have to prepare your car adequately, but also, don’t disregard the relocation costs. Indeed, traveling together with your pet is a lovely experience, but a lot will have to be spent on gas, so be sure that it suits your relocating budget.
  • Plane – This is probably the most efficient way of relocating. Airlines have special regulations for pets, so you will have to get informed about everything. Depending on the size of your pet, it will probably be placed in a special cargo department, but all that matters is that the destination will be reached quickly. Hence, if you are relocating from the East Coast to the West Coast, this method of transportation is probably the best.
  • Pet movers – Besides long-distance moving services, there are professional crews that deal only with pet relocations. You will have to provide them with all the necessary information, especially if your furry friend is taking some treatment or has some special condition. These people are all professionals, and you won’t have to worry about anything. Still, you will be separated from each other for some time, and for some people, that is unacceptable.

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As Soon as You Start to Pack for the New Place, Dogs Will Sense the Change Immediately

Dogs become quite attached to the home, and as soon as you start organizing for the move, they will notice that a change is happening. Here is some advice for helping your dog overcome the anxiety:

  • Dogs have an incredible capacity to show empathy. If you are exhibiting high levels of stress, your dog will feel that and automatically sense that something is wrong. Therefore, compose yourself, and if you are wondering, “How do I stay calm on moving day?” be sure to read numerous relocation hacks and advice on the internet. Relocations can be tough, but there is no need to start panicking.
  • After deciding where to live, you will probably want to travel there and inspect the neighborhoods or houses and apartments while house hunting. The good idea is to take your dog with you. If the place is not too far away, it is advisable to take your dog to the neighborhood at least a few times in order to facilitate the process of adaptation. However, if you are trying to save on relocating costs, one time will be enough.
  • Try to keep the old feeding, playtime, and walking habits while the relocation is taking place. We understand that this is hard since the relocating to-do list is quite long, but you will help your dog a lot by doing so.
  • Introduce your dog to the container, especially if you are going to travel by plane or hire professional services. Ideally, the container should be obtained at least a month or two before relocation. You should furnish it with your dog’s favorite blankets and toys and leave it open at all times.

Traveling together with your dog is one of the most beautiful things you can experience when relocating. However, you will have to prepare your car appropriately, and here is a useful video on how to do that.

YouTube video

Cats Are Extremely Territorial, and Relocations Are Unsettling Experiences for Them

Out of all pets, cats probably find relocations the most stressful. Here are some necessary actions that you should take as a cat owner in order to minimize the stress as much as possible:

  • Dogs get accustomed to the traveling container more or less easily. However, with cats, it is a different story. You have probably learned how your cat deals with containers when taking it to a vet. Felines strongly dislike traveling containers, and they require a lot of time to get used to them. When writing a relocating to another state checklist, “getting a container” should be at the very top. It should be furnished with favorite items and be open at all times. A good strategy is to place the meals each week nearer to the container until you have placed them inside. This tactic usually works with even the most anxious cats.
  • Cats don’t necessarily have to be separated from the relocation process. We all know their intense passion for boxes, and when relocating, there will be a lot of them throughout your place. If you see that your cat is exhibiting nervous and strange behavior, take a few toys and place them around boxes, and let it explore. You can even take catnip and spray boxes which will certainly arouse the interest in your feline. Of course, don’t forget to give your cat boxes that are not needed since felines like to bite and scratch a lot.
  • Reduce meals when traveling. If you are driving a car, give small meals at regular intervals. No matter how accustomed your cat is, it will still feel stress while being closed in a container, and giving big meals may induce travel sickness.

All in all, if you are asking yourself questions like “How do you pack to move in a hurry,” know that last-minute relocations are not ideal situations for cats. Putting your cat in a container suddenly as you are locking the door of the house will be a severe trauma for your furry friend.

Dogs and Cats Are the Most Popular Ones, But Not the Only Pets a Person Can Have

Whatever species of animal you have as a pet, you have to wonder about issues like what should you do the day before moving when relocating with them. Here is some general advice on relocating with various species of animals:


Generally, the best methods of transportation are either a car or plane. There are specially designed bird carriers for travel that reduce the effects of turbulence. Birds should not be exposed to sweltering heat or intense sunshine. If you are traveling in a car, cover the container with a blanket or something else to block the sunshine. The car should also be air-conditioned constantly, but according to your bird’s preferences.


When traveling with a hamster, first of all, you should have an abundant supply of food and give your little furry friend small portions at regular intervals. There are also specially designed hamster cages, but you could also use the regular cage if it suits the space. If you are buying a traveling cage, the good idea is to create the so-called “hiding place.” Simply create a small cover from some soft materials in which the hamster will be able to tuck itself. This provides a lot of comfort for these animals. Finally, if you are driving a car, try to secure the cage as much as you can against sudden movements.


Depending on the number and species of fish, you will need to purchase a certain number of plastic bags or containers. If you own bigger species of fish, you can even use buckets. The key is to use the water from the fish tank. In that way, fish will feel more comfortable. If you are using fish bags, you will need an additional solid container where you will place all bags.

After Deciding to Relocate, Take Care of Your Pets’ Needs First and Then Think About Everything Else

Pets are living beings that have feelings and strong emotional bonds with their owners, so bear that in mind at all times. Before you choose long-distance moving services and start wondering about things like what should you not pack when moving, take care of your furry friends. You are both embarking on a journey, and if one suffers unnecessarily, the other will feel unnecessary anxiety as well.

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