Tips for a Smooth Move with your Pet

March 22, 2017 | Tips, Moving

Tips for a Smooth Move with your Pet


There is likely nothing quite as stressful as moving. The act of packing up one’s belongings and relocating to a new town, city or state is an extremely stressful task. There are so many details to handle when moving, it can be very easy to over-look one very important detail: How the move is affecting your pet.

Believe it or not, moves can be just as stressful for our pets as they are for us.  First, consider the fact that you are aware of what is going on, but your pet is not.  They simply know that the routine is being disrupted and that can cause them to feel anxious and insecure. As pet parents, we know that our pets will be going along with us where ever we move, but our pets don’t have the ability to reason and understand that, so when they see the luggage and the boxes come out, they may begin showing signs of destruction and anxiety.

We recently came across an article that offers some great tips on creating a smooth move for you and your pet and we’d like to share a few highlights below.


Plan Ahead

  • Get your dog or cat microchipped before you leave, if you haven’t already. A microchip is the best chance for your pet to be returned to you should you get separated.
  • Research the area where you will be moving and find a vet ahead of time. If you happen to know people in the area where you will be moving, then reach out to them for a referral, however, if you are moving to a brand new area and don’t know anyone, then do some research online and read reviews about the vets in that area. If you plan to be making a preliminary trip to the area, take that opportunity to contact a few vets in the area by phone or arrange for a quick meeting.  This will tell you a lot.
  • If your move will require air transportation, there will be many details to handle for yourself and your pet. There will be vaccination requirements for your pet as well as carrier requirements that you will want to know ahead of time.  We shared more in-depth on this issue in an earlier blog post titled: What To Do When Your Pet is Flying Alone. You will find many helpful details here if air-travel is part of your move.
  • If your pet’s environment will be changing significantly, for example, moving from a single-family home to an apartment, you will want to begin preparing your pet for those changes. Such as finding ways to provide more mental stimulation if physical exercise will be more limited; training your dog not to bark if you will be moving into an apartment or condo and slowly adjusting him to more scheduled potty breaks.


Preparing for the Trip

If you will be traveling by car to your new home, here are some tips that will make that trip a little easier:

  • Make sure you have a crate that is suitable for your pet. If you don’t already own a crate consider the Car-Go crate available online. This crate collapses down for easy storage but is sturdy enough to hold a small to medium sized dog.
  • Plan for stops along the way that will allow for potty breaks and exercise.
  • If your travels will take a number of days, make sure the over-night accommodations where you will stay welcome pets.
  • As you pack and prepare to move, you may find that this causes anxiety for your pet. If this is the case, consider boarding your pet with a pet-sitter or local kennel. Here at Hillrose Pet Resort, we have often taken care of pets for a few nights while families prepare to move. We offer a number of pet boarding packages that may help make your life just a bit easier during this busy, stressful time.
  • Pack your pet’s toys and other items but don’t wash them; leaving the smell of their old home will help them adjust more easily to their new surroundings. Just like you’d pack all of your things, you will pack all of your pet’s things including their vet records.
  • Consider getting anti-anxiety gear or medication to calm them, especially if the move involves air travel.


Helping them Adjust

Once you arrive at your new home, there are a few things that you can do for your pet that will help them adjust a little more quickly.

  • Create a familiar place for them in your new home that is similar to the one they left. This spot will house their bed, toys, food and drink dishes.
  • Explore your new surroundings as often as possible. This will get them acquainted with the new sites and smells of their new home. Meet your neighbors and introduce them to your pet; this will help your pet become familiar with the new people in his world.
  • Pet proof your new place. If your new home has a fenced back yard, make sure there are no places where your pet can get out and run off.  Remember, this is still new territory for your pet and learning that this is their new home can take time.


Hillrose Can Help

In addition to Pet boarding,  we also provide layover service for pets during travel and relocations.  We have a partnership with Alaska Airlines where we provide layover services for pets coming into and out of SeaTac Airport. We make it very easy for pet owners with an easy online registration form plus we do all the leg work of picking up and dropping off your pet.  Visit our Layover Boarding page to learn more.



Happy Moving!

Comments are closed.