Mark Roemer image of a dog sitting on a welcome mat that says "home"

Successfully Moving with Your Pet

I, Mark Roemer, understand how stressful it can be to move your pet from one home to another. Dogs are usually more welcoming to the idea of moving than cats are. But both species can throw a fit when the daily routine and environment they were so accustomed to change suddenly. Here are a few ways you can get them accustomed to the new environment without having them cause a scene.

How to prepare for moving your pet

It’s important to organize your pet’s belongings in a separate box so that you don’t accidentally forget anything. Here are a few things you need to pack:

  • Litter box or poop bags and a scooper
  • Favorite toys
  • Leash or braces
  • Chewables such as sticks, toys, and bones.
  • Blanket and water bowls
  • Food
  • A cooler to preserve raw food (if you’re bringing any)

What to do before the move?

Preparing beforehand is the best way you can help your pets adjust to the move. Here are a few ways to do so:

1. Show off the moving boxes beforehand – Place empty boxes and wrapping tape around the room. Letting your pets smell the boxes will desensitize them for when the time to move arrives.

2. Bring out the pet carrier – The sight of a pet carrier can make your pet anxious. It’s a clear sign showing that they are leaving, possibly to the vet. Letting it sit outside will give them time to acclimatize to its presence.

3. Don’t deviate from routine – Animals, especially dogs, are addicted to routine. A small change can make them restless. So, as you’re preparing to move, take them for walks. You can even take them to a place closer to your new home to get them accustomed to the new spot.

4. Keep their beds for last – Do not pack their toys or beds until the day arrives. Those items comfort them, and their absence can cause them to cause a ruckus.

5. Crate train your pets – If your new home is located a fair distance away, make sure to train your pet for long-distance travel. Take them for a long drive and increase the distance gradually.

6. Consult your vet – If you’re unable to calm down your pet, consult the vet for some anti-anxiety medication.

How to manage the move?

Moving involves a lot of commotion, especially if you haven’t hired professionals and are doing it all yourself. The chaos can make your pets restless, which can halt the move. Here are a few ways to handle them as you’re changing homes:

1. Create a safe haven – A safe haven helps your pet get accustomed to the new home. Clear out a single room and fill it with toys, food, and water. Gradually, your little buddy will stick to their room instead of running around and causing a scene.

2. Put up a note – Make sure to mark out the room your pet is staying in. It will prevent the working crew from accidentally walking into their room and startling them.

3. Spend time with your pet – If you asked a friend or a relative to look after your pet, don’t forget to spend some time with them. Dogs, especially, are used to your smell, and not getting to see you once in a while can make them restless, causing undesired inconvenience in the temporary owner’s home. Make sure to visit them once every 2-3 days.

Moreover, before you hand over your pet, stay with your friend or family for a few days so that your buddy gets accustomed to the new home. You can leave after a few days, once they have settled in.

How to settle after a move?

Settling into a new home with your pet is quite jarring. Here are a few ways you can ease your pet into your new home:

1. Seclude your pets for a few days – Keep your pet in a secluded room so as to prevent them from getting scared and doing something stupid. Cats usually hide in unconventional places, causing all sorts of problems in your new home. If they are on the couch, you can accidentally hurt them by sitting on top of it.

Keep them in a separate room with everything they need, such as food, water, toys, and a comfortable bed. Let them out after 2-3 weeks.

2. Condition them by giving out treats – Some animals refuse to eat their food and only stick to water. Sometimes they only like to gobble down treats instead of actual food.

Don’t drown them in treats. Most pets can afford to lose a few pounds. Keep giving them treats, especially when they eat their food. After a few days of adjustment, they will go back to eating their normal dry food. If they still refuse to eat normal food, take them to the vet.

3. Update the microchips – Microchipped pets need to have their address updated. If you have microchipped your buddy, make sure to update it. Otherwise, get new tags with the latest address embedded in them.

4. Don’t get rid of all the old furniture – Pets have preferred spots, such as an old chair or a towel. When you’re getting new furniture, don’t throw everything out. Instead, relocate the old stuff to the basement or a room that’s not set up yet. Having those around is less stressful for them.

5. Pet-proof your new home – It takes time for your pet to adjust to the new home. Look for sharp edges or open dryer vents in the laundry room and cover them up.

Leftover construction materials such as nails, wires, and caulk are potentially dangerous to your pets. Ensure nothing is left behind by the construction workers that could hurt your little buddy.

6. Be patient – Instead of thrusting your pet into every new room, give them time to explore by themselves. They’ll return to their daily activities once they are accustomed to everything.


I, Mark Roemer, understand that adjusting to a new environment is difficult for pets. Compared to cats, dogs have an easier time settling in. The best thing you can do for them is to be consistent with meals, walks, and bedtime. Take them on a tour of your house after a week to help them acclimatize to the new home.