Moving Home with Pets

Moving is a big life event for the whole family, including our much loved pets. When changes are made to their living environment, animals can easily become stressed. Some pets may be predisposed to separation anxiety, especially if their owners are often away. Dogs in particular are known for being emotional and having a natural fear of abandonment. Use our “Moving Home With Pets ” guide to make sure your animals are ready for the big move!

Pre-move preparation

It is important to pay close attention to pets early in the moving process, taking them to visit their new home before moving day if possible. Making an extra effort in this way will mean the animal is less agitated come moving day.

Cats are particularly focused on their environment and don’t adapt well to new circumstances.  Disruption to their surroundings can cause them stress, leading to changes in behavioural patterns. It is best do to plan a moving strategy which creates the least amount of noticeable change. pay close attention to pets early in the moving process, taking them to visit their new home before moving day if possible. Making an extra effort in this way will mean the animal is

Animals can get nervous even at the first sign of packing. To reduce their stress, try and spread packing out over several weeks, starting in rooms where your pets don’t normally venture. less agitated come moving day.

A visit to the vet a few weeks before moving day is a great way to ensure your animals’ records are up to date and gives you the chance to enquire about veterinary practices in your new area.

Moving day

Putting animals in an isolated room on moving day can cause them further stress, instead try organising a blocked-off area (using boxes or a baby gate) where pets are able to spectate whilst being safely out of the way. Assigning a family member or friend to care for the pet on moving day is another great way to ensure a stress free move.Let your pet get to know your movers before the move starts. Animals can be territorial and wary of unfamiliar faces, so give the movers time to introduce themselves. Having treats for the movers to give out to your pets is a great way to ensure their popularity!

When packing up the car, leave plenty of room for your animals. By giving them ample space they will be more comfortable and relaxed during the drive to their new home.

Settling in to the new home

Immediately introduce your pet to their new surroundings, allowing them to explore each room. Placing an animal’s favourite items in locations similar to the old house and keeping to the same routines can assist their adjustment.

Here are some helpful tips for moving with specific animals


  • Continually surround your cat with familiar objects throughout the move. If you are using a crate, leave it in a place with which they can become familiar.
  • Cats are very sensitive to their environment, so gradually introduce them to new surroundings by only allowing them to explore one or two rooms at first.


  • Dogs should also be slowly introduced to a new environment and kept on a leash outside until they are really familiar with a new area.
  • If you are unable to stay at home following the first few days of your  move, consider arranging someone to visit for a couple of hours a day to help ease your dog’s anxiety.


  • Place fish in bags with a mix of new water and clean water directly from an aquarium. Put rubber bands around the tops of bags and place them inside a dark, insulated cooler. Avoid crowding fish as much as possible.
  • Let the filter run for a few hours before returning your fish to its tank. Try as far as possible to limit time away from their normal habitat to 48 hours.


  • Find an appropriately-sized carrier for your bird, cover with litter and secure with a clip from the outside. Keep birds in a cool, shaded place.
  • Transport a supply of food and water from the previous house and gradually switch from old to new supplies.

Small pets

  • Gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters are very sensitive to temperature change. Take care to protect them from cold drafts and direct sunlight.Small pets:
  • These animals can travel in the cage they normally live in, but make sure it is well sealed so they cannot escape.