Our Advice for Moving House With Your Pets

Moving house is stressful for people, let alone pets, who don’t even understand what is going on! While you can explain it to your kids and take care of their worries and anxiety, you can never reassure your pet that everything will be fine or that you are not leaving them behind. Moving is really traumatic for pets and many owners admit that their biggest concern about the move is how their pets will react.

Here are some very helpful tips that can help you minimize the stress your pet feels when moving house:


  • When you start packing or preparing for the move, try to confine your pet to a single room and keep them away from all the hassle. All the craziness that comes with packing and loading everything may cause them to become even more anxious and may cause them to hide.


  • Familiarize your pet with a carrier some time before the move. You can put the carrier in your home a month before the move and try to play with them inside and outside the carrier to have them associate it with something positive. Throwing them in a cage-like carrier the day of the move when they have never been transported like that before will be incredibly distressing.


  • When moving house, you have all things cleaned up and packed. Well, the same is not applicable when you move your pet’s bedding or toys. It is better to leave them as they are and not wash them before the move or immediately after settling in your new home. Those familiar smells on toys and bedding will take away some of that stress and anxiety.


  • The greatest fear of all pets is that you may leave them behind. As they may not understand what you are explaining to them, you need to use a calm and reassuring voice to let them know everything will stay the same as much as possible. Also, give them more attention and reassurance than usual, before, during, and after the move is complete.


  • You may think that it is better to have your pet all fed and ready for the road when moving. Well, in fact, it is better to avoid feeding at least three hours before starting on your trip in order to reduce the risk of those really unpleasant accidents.


  • Depending on your vet, you may consider giving your pet a mild sedative for the road to ease up on the transition. However, not all pets react positively to being sedated, so check with a professional well ahead of your moving day.
  • Sometimes, in order to reduce the stress of moving house as much as possible, you may put your cat or dog into a kennel or cattery for a few days during the packing and loading time.


  • Before moving, check your pet’s vaccinations to make sure that they are up to date. Consult with your veterinarian and ask him or her to provide you with a recommendation of a vet clinic in the area that you are moving.


Upon moving house and settling in, try to stick to old routines for as long as possible to reassure your pets everything is all right. Feeding and or walking times should be respected as much as possible to make sure your pet is well-adjusted. By preparing your pet and their belongings for your move ahead of time, you should both be ready to start on your new adventure!

To keep you move organized from pets to budgeting to packing, try McWilliams’ app, Move In Hand. It’s free to download and can help you stay on top of all aspects of your move.

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