Moving with Pets: Top Tips for a Stress-Free Relocation

by PetCloud / Pet Owner Advice / 23 Mar 2019

A ginger cat in a removalist box

Moving day has arrived and the last bit of packing is taking place. Moving to a new environment can be an overwhelming task for both you and your pets.

The transition can cause a feeling of disorientation to both dogs and cats. This usually happens when your pets are firmly attached to your old house. Here are a few tips to help prepare them for moving and to get them used to their new home.

How do you move house with pets?

1. Block escape routes & put them out of harm’s way

When packing boxes and moving with your pets, the first thing you should put in mind is their safety during and even after moving into your new home. Lock your pets into a quiet room when moving other items, and block any escape routes. This reduces anxiety, and it also ensures that they don't get lost. A baby gate can be an effective block for hallways and doors and will keep pets away from packing and box lifting activities. 

2. Prepare an Overnight Bag.

It should contain:

  • Dry kibble + Water + Silicon Travel Bowl, 
  • Pet Waste Bags and dispenser, Puppy Pads, Dog or cat Bed, Dogs will focus attention on a Meaty Bone, stuffed kong, kibble treat toy. While cats will appreciate dried fish treats.

3. Use a Crate to help with moving

Place your cat in a crate and secure with a seatbelt through the handle. After moving everything, including their usual beddings and toys, you can then safely get them into the new house.  Avoid cleaning their bedding at least two weeks before moving.  This tip ensures that they can quickly get used to your new home because of the familiar smell of their belongings.

4. Transport them in the main cabin on your own car.

  • Place a harness on them and a seat belt adaptor
  • Don’t ever transport them in the removalist truck. Airflow will be poor and too hot for pets and doing so could be fatal.
  • Place Your Pet in Your Vehicle at the last minute. They will overheat if you keep them there while packing.  

5. Put harnesses and leads on them if they need to toilet outside the car

Both dogs and cats. Don’t risk letting them out without a leash. They could get frightened and run off.

Keep a leach on your pet when moving to a new home  

6. Keep them well hydrated.

Make water available to them in a flexible travel bowl and top it up every 2 hours.

7. If they are prone to anxiety try giving them pheromone collars and sprays.

Feliway for cats and adaptil for dogs are the main pheromone collars and sprays.  Alternative anti-anxiety products you can try giving them include;

Zylkene (made by Vetoquinol) is a capsule taken orally by pets and is an all-natural, non-sedating, drug-free nutritional supplement that can help to decrease anxiety in both dogs and cats. The active ingredient in Zylkene is alpha-casozepine which is derived from a protein in milk called casein.  You are able to pick up Zylkene from any Greencross Vet.


Complete Calm (made by Blackmores) are kangaroo based chews that contains Tryptophan, B group vitamins and a blend of multivitamins and nutrients to support the general health and nervous function in dogs.  You are able to pick up Complete Calm from any Greencross Vet.

Anxiety Aid make by Rufus & Coco is a dietary supplement for dogs and cats that aids in relieving anxiety which you can add to your pet's food.  Anxiety Aid is a professionally formulated palatable powder to help relieve anxiety in cats and dogs. It contains Tryptophan, an essential amino acid which converts to serotonin once consumed; along with other B group vitamins and minerals.


8. Update your new address on your chosen Microchip register

If you take all measures and forget to get your pet's registration microchip updated, then you might risk losing them and not being able to find them again.  Ensure that you update your new home address on the id tag on the collar of your pet. This ensures that your furbaby can be tracked back to you in case they get lost in their new neighborhood.  If your Pet isn’t already microchipped you should make sure you get this done immediately.  Ensure they are wearing a collar with your engraved phone number and their name, along with their council tag.  Your new Council should also be notified of your new address online.  Find your nearest Vet in the area and add it to your Pet’s PetCloud Profile.

9. Be Patient & allow them time to Adjust

The behavior of your pets might change with the change of their environment. You have to be patient with them to avoid pushing them away. The way they bark, sniff things around them and also their potty habits might become irritating to you.  Give your pet their space so that they can adjust to the new home.  Keep reassuring your pets and attending to them both during and immediately after moving.  

10. Upon arriving at the new destination, keep your pet in a secure secluded area.

11. Keep Your Pet's Daily Exercise Routine

To ensure that your pets cope easily, don't adjust your usual play, walking, and feeding routine.  Maintaining your pets' regular routine before and after moving eases the process of transition and keeps the pets comfortable and less anxious. 

12. Survey Your New Property, make it escape-proof and hazard free

Before letting your dog out into your new yard, ensure that you take a walk around your new home (inside and out) to find if there are any holes, loose sections of fence, broken/damaged windows and latches and garage doors. This step is crucial because you don't want to lose your furry family member in your new neighbourhood.  Cats must be kept indoors at all times.

13. Book them to stay at a Pet Sitter’s home

If this sounds overwhelming or stressful, you can also have your pets well taken care of by professional pet sitters from PetCloud. The temporary stay at the pet sitter's house will relieve your pets of anxiety from lots of packing, banging, removalists walking in and out, new smells and strange new noises. You’ll still have to help them adjust to their new home but it will be significantly less stressful for them after the busy work is done.

11. If you are moving a long distance, book an IPATA Pet Transport Service for Cross-country relocation or Overseas relocations

The IPATA is the International Pet and Animal Association, they have a huge list of professional and approved pet-friendly transportation experts. Most major cities will have at least one or more approved travel expert.

How do you move Fish?

Fish when moved around a lot can find it very stressful and can find it very traumatic and they can potentially die.  You can attempt to transport them short distances in a bag filled with their existing tank water, however, if you are travelling long distances, it might be best to give them away to a friend or share on facebook.  If you are a big fish lover, empty the tank and buy new fish at your new location.

How do you move with guinea pigs?

Guinea Pigs little hearts are also prone to stress when moving. Take them in a small cozy warm carrier.

How do you move with Birds?

Birds can be a bit nervous about a change in environment. Do not let them out of their cage, even if they always stay on your shoulder.