How to Transport Pets During a Move

Preparing to move can be a complicated experience for pets, just like people. They can get confused and worried.

You don’t want them to stress out on the trip. You also want the whole moving process to run smoothly.

If you’re bringing cats or dogs with you, you’ll need to do a few extra preparations. Here are a few things you can do to make it easier.

Prepare Your Pet for Moving

Pets notice changes in the home, but they don’t understand it. They’ll see the boxes and that you’re packing things away. They may act out as a result.

The best way to help your pets stay calm during the move is to keep things as normal as possible. Stick to your pet’s routines. Let the boxes sit in the home for a few days before packing them.

On moving day, keep your pet in a separate room with food, water, and their favorite toys. You won’t be able to eliminate all the stress of moving. But you can make it as comfortable as possible.

Choose an Appropriate Carrier

Whether you’re moving by car or plane, you’ll need a suitable carrier or crate for your pet. Cats and dogs don’t enjoy crowding inside a carrier that’s too small, so aim bigger if you can.

When you browse carriers, think about your transport method. Hard crates are heavier, but they can provide more protection while moving.

If you’re driving, be sure to stabilize the crate in transit. Smaller, hard carriers may fit in a seat, while bigger ones might need to go elsewhere.

Before your move:

  1. Prepare your dog or cat by gradually acclimating them to their crater.
  2. Help your pets create a positive association with the crate by giving them treats and playtime at the end of crate time.
  3. Make sure you also take some short drives with your pet in the crate to get them used to it in motion.


Get Your Pet’s Vet Records

Before you leave, call your vet to request records for all of your pets. You’ll need vaccine records and their medical history.

The vet may need a few days to get this together—plan to do it at least a week or two before moving.

On the road, it’s wise to search for possible vet clinics in case of an emergency. Look for options with off-hours or overnight service.

Choose Safe Resting Places

If you’re staying at hotels along the way, make sure that they are pet-friendly. Pay attention to the policies, as the hotel may charge more for different types of pets or damage.

Keep your pets in the carrier until you can be absolutely sure they won’t escape. Don’t let them loose in a vehicle unless you can use a leash to allow them to walk.

Settle In Slowly

When you arrive at your new house, take time to settle in. Pets don’t necessarily like to explore a new area all at once. A place full of strange smells and sights can be scary, not thrilling.

Designate a room in your home for your pet to acclimate. Set this room up as soon as you can, so it doesn’t change much. Make sure everything your pet needs is in it.

After a day or two, let your pet explore other rooms of the house with you. Limit outside trips until your pet feels more comfortable.

Plan for Movers’ Help

Moving with pets doesn’t have to be a bad experience. By following these tips, you’ll avoid a lot of hassle. For more assistance in planning your move, contact us to request a quote.

Long-Distance Moves: What to Leave Behind

Making a long-distance move adds logistical challenges you don’t have when moving across town. One of the easiest ways to reduce your packing stress and keep costs down is to scale down your belongings. Why pay to pack, store, and move possessions you don’t really need – or even want? Deciding what to leave behind can be tricky, though. Here are some ways you can downsize without leaving behind the things you love.


Start with the oversized items that are bulky and more expensive to move. Do you have furniture stored away in the attic, garage, or basement your household doesn’t need? Or furniture you have no attachment to? If so, sell, donate, or give these pieces away. Unless items are family heirlooms you want to pass on, you don’t need to bring excess furniture. Instead, treat yourself to new furniture as you settle in your new home.


Before you start putting items into boxes, go through your closets and your dresser drawers. Make three piles of things you:

  • Wear regularly (including special occasion items you wear even if not all the time)
  • Don’t ever wear– because they don’t fit, or you don’t like them
  • Are on the fence about

Pack up the clothes you actively wear, donate or sell the clothing you don’t wear. Carefully go through the third pile and decide item by item if it’s worth packing – you might be surprised at what clothing you’ll decide you don’t want to bring.

Books, DVDs, and CDs

Years ago, people actively used books, DVDs, and CDs, but today’s digital and streaming options make them less of a commodity. These items take up a lot of space, so eliminate those you genuinely don’t use and only bring those collectible, first edition, or hard to access things.

Mattresses and Pillows

Moving is a great excuse to start with new mattresses and pillows. Unless these items are new (or new-ish), consider leaving them behind. Mattresses only last about ten years these days anyway, so it might be worth investing in new bedroom sets instead of paying to move these large items. You’ll also leave any potential dust mites behind.

Blinds and Curtains

Chances are your new home’s windows won’t be identical to your current ones, and your blinds and curtains won’t fit. You don’t even have to donate or sell these – you can simply leave them behind for the new occupants to use should they want.

Kitchen and Bathroom Items

Moving is an excellent opportunity to declutter. You probably have a ton of excess in your kitchen and bathroom that doesn’t need to be moved long-distance. In the kitchen, first, go through your pantry. You probably won’t need to bring most of these items. Get rid of expired foods and donate nonperishable foods to a local food pantry. Next, weed out chipped dishware, mismatched pieces you don’t use, duplicates, take-out condiments and menus, and any unused small appliances. 

Next, move into the bathroom, get rid of almost-empty shampoos, conditioners, and soaps. Discard used toothbrushes, loofahs, razors, and old makeup. Plan to buy new toiletries and shaving products when you get to your new place.

Pro Movers Can Help

Eliminating the items that you don’t need makes a move less expensive, easier to pack, and ensures no clutter in your new home.

Are you getting ready to move? Call us for a free estimate today!