How to Keep Pets Safe and Unstressed While Moving?

Moving is a stressful experience, however you look at it. We humans, who understand what is happening, find it hard to keep calm and not get anxious. Whether you’re relocating across town or across the country, it’s important to take steps to keep your pets safe and comfortable during the transition. With that said, what is left for our sweet companions who have no clue what’s going on.

Ways to Keep Your Pets Calm While Moving

There are a few main points that are best to keep to when moving with your beloved pets:

Stable carrier

Make sure you have a sturdy container, safe and suitable for traveling in. It can be a carrier, cage, transport/feeding box. It should provide enough space for your pet to feel comfy but not too much, so they slide left and right while you travel. Placing a soft blanket and your pet’s favorite toys will add to comfort during the move. Also, it’s a good idea to give your companion some time to get used to and accept the container they will be moved in as a safe space. Leave them in the carrier for a couple of hours a day for at least a week before the move.

Move them into your vehicle

When you hire a man and van, they might agree to the task, but others are strongly against transporting pets or plants. Plus, imagine being scared, unfamiliar with what’s going on, and getting stuffed in the back of a truck in the dark with some weird rattling sounds. On top of that, the van’s cargo area is almost never temperature controlled.

If possible, it’s best to move your pet into your personal vehicle with you by their side. This will be the least stressful for your clueless companion and will give you more control during the relocation process. You’ll be able to keep an eye on your pet, make sure they’re feeling alright, and make stops if needed. It’s important that the carrier or crate that your companion is travelling in is placed in a safe place, with no danger of things falling over it and secured with a seat belt or nested snugly on the floor of the vehicle with no option to shift around.

No treats

Before the move itself, don’t feed or give treats to your pet. It may seem harsh, but you risk your companion getting sick while on the move, distressing and making them uncomfortable.

All documents in check

Ensure the pet’s rabies tag is already attached to its collar on moving day; all other documents need to be at hand too. If your companion is a little adventurer and likes to go out and about, it’ll be helpful to have your new address and phone number on their collar in case they decide to venture off. You can check in with your town hall to confirm how to obtain a new tag.

You should be calm too

We can’t stress enough, but do your best to keep calm on moving day. Your pet can sense when something isn’t right and will feel ten-fold worse, which will make the whole process harder to manage having an anxious animal on board. Keep calm and be there for your pet. Be the support they need during this change.

Moving with Different Types of Pets

Some pets come with special needs that we need to meet in order to make their travel to your new home as comfortable as possible:


Rabbits, for example, are very sensitive to temperature. If your move is on a hot or cold day, make sure to put on the air conditioner or heating respectively to maintain a steady temperature in the vehicle. Between 10-24°C (50-75°F) should be alright. Ensure the carrier or cage your pet’s in isn’t exposed to direct sunlight.


Some cats don’t take stress and change of environment all that well. They may reach a state where they would start hurting themselves. Evaluate your feline sweethearts’ behaviour, and as a last resort, consider sedating them for the move. It’s not advisable, but it will be the lesser of two evils in this scenario.


Travelling with a bird may prove a bit tricky. If your feathery friend isn’t used to travelling in a vehicle, you may want to take them on a few short car rides before the actual move so they can become more accustomed to it and are calmer on moving day. Another helpful tip is to avoid using water during the move itself. Instead, have some fresh fruit that the bird can gain hydration from. This will prevent the splashing of water around and your bird from getting wet and suffering an uncomfortable ride.


Some of us, lovers of reptiles, may be faced with trying to calm down a snake during a house move. Don’t be alarmed. Snakes and reptiles generally feel comfortable and safe when they go into hiding. Placing your little beauty in a secure container or carrier and covering it with a blanket will help block out the strange sounds and unfamiliar views, making them feel more at ease.


Moving with fish comes with a lot of specifics, too. The preparation starts quite sometime before the move itself. You’ll need to take out all of your colourful finny friends and settle them in buckets or bags ready for transportation. It’s important to remember that the cargo area of a standard moving van isn’t temperature controlled, and you don’t want to have your fish travel in an uncontrolled environment. You can have the moving company handle the fish tank, making sure it’s secured well enough not to move and it’s not stacked on top of anything, and nothing is stacked on top of it. This will ensure the safety of the tank during transportation. For the fishies themselves, you want to invest in transporting yourself or using a specialised vehicle that can provide the proper environment, especially if it will be a long move. Secure them well to avoid tipping and spillage during the move.

Final Thoughts

Moving can be a stressful time for both you and your furry friends. However, with proper planning and preparation, it is possible to keep them safe and unstressed throughout the process. Remember to start early by researching pet-friendly options for transportation, finding a new vet in your area, and preparing an easily accessible bag of their essentials. During the move itself, try to maintain as much routine as possible while keeping them separated from any chaotic activity. Finally, take some extra time in your new home to help them adjust to their new surroundings.

By following these tips and making sure that all members of your family are taken care of during this transition period, you’ll make the moving experience smoother for everyone involved – including your beloved pets! With a little effort on your part now, they will soon feel right at home – tail wagging or purring contentedly by your side once again.

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