It’s that time of year…peak moving season, that is! Planning for a move is a big task, and DogTails is here to help! Whether your moving to an apartment down the street or relocating across the country, read our tips to help prepare your pets for the big day. Follow this advice to help make this transition as smooth as possible for your precious pup, and for your faithful feline, too!

Before the Move

1) Pack Up Your Home Gradually

When it comes to boxing up all your things, take your time…your pet will appreciate it. Too much change can be overwhelming for dogs and cats. Keep up all of your regular routines (walking, feeding, play time) as well as you can to help ease the stress. And pack up your pets’s things last, and make sure they will be easy to find when you’re ready to start unpacking in your new home.

2) Local Distance Move? Do Your Research.

If you’re moving across the country or internationally, plan ahead when it comes to traveling with your pets. If you’ll be flying with your cat or small dog, check with your airline regarding appropriate carriers, size restrictions and other policies. If your pet will be flying cargo, check with your airline about certain breed restrictions and extreme temperature-related travel restrictions.

If you are planning a long drive with your animals, be sure to add plenty of extra time in your itinerary for bathroom breaks and opportunities for people and animals to stretch their legs. If travel makes your pet especially anxious, talk to your veterinarian about medication options.

Lastly, take time before the move to familiarize yourself with the pet laws, registration requirements and other local regulations. Check to see if your new town, city, state, etc. will require health certifications, vaccinations and registrations for your pets. If any or all of these are required, talk to your vet ahead of time to make sure all the paperwork is in order come move day.

3) Schedule a Pet Sitter or Doggie Day Care

Moving Day is a busy, often chaotic experience. Open doors, heavy furniture, moving trucks – all these things and more can be risky for pets. Bringing your dog to a local doggie day care for the day can help keep him safe and away from move-day stress. Another option for dog and cat parents would be to arrange for friends or family to look after your pets, or to hire a pet sitter who can take care of your pets in their home. They’ll get to enjoy some extra attention, and you’ll appreciate the peace of mind in knowing that they’re safe.

On Moving Day

4) Pet Staying With You? Keep Them Out of Way.

If your pets must stay with you on move day, keep them in their crate or in a separate room with the door closed. Place a sign on the door alerting movers that your pets are inside. Make sure your pets have plenty of food and water, and surround them a few favorite toys and a trusty blanket or bed. Trust us, they won’t mind missing out on all the action on this particular day!

 5) Unpack Your Pets’ Things First

It is important to keep track of your pets’ belongings during your move, as you will want to unpack them as soon as get to your new house or apartment. Have your cat’s litter box ready for their new room, and make sure you’ve set aside some food for the first few days so you won’t have to hunt for that bag of dog food among your many boxes and suitcases.

You may want to get a fresh start and clean all of Fido and Fluffy’s bedding and toys, but don’t do so right away. The reassuring smell of a familiar bed or favorite squeaky toy can go a long way in easing your pets’ anxiety in those first few days.

After the Move

6) Introduce Pets to New Home Gradually

When you arrive at your new home, you may be tempted to let your pets out of their crates right away to explore their new space. Instead, keep your pets contained in a single room, one that you have already determined to be safe for them and free of potential hazards like loose wires or open windows.

As the days go by and the unpacking moves along, you can let your pet explore new areas. You can do the same when introducing your dog to his new neighborhood. Slow walks around the block, building up to longer treks and even a visit to the local dog park or dog-friendly hiking trail. He’s got a lot of new things to sniff, so he’ll have plenty of things to keep him busy.

7) Stick to the Old Routines

As much as you can, stick to your old routines with your pets. Set up your pets bowls in a similar way to your old place, and if your cat loved to sit by the window, make sure she can do it in her new home. Don’t be surprised if your pets have a few accidents in the early days – they may need a quick refresher on housebreaking or a reminder where you placed the litter box.

No doubt you’ll be busy with unpacking clothes, arranging furniture and many other important tasks, but don’t forget to set aside time for your pets, too. Take a few minutes to groom your cat, and plan for an evening walk or game of fetch with your dog. They’ll love it, and we bet you will too!


And don’t forget, if you are a DogWatch Hidden Fence customer, you can bring your hidden fence system with you! You may need to have new wire installed at your new house, but your local DogWatch Dealer can use your existing equipment to create your new hidden fence. If you’ve moved out of town, visit dogwatch.com to find your new local DogWatch Dealer or call Customer Service at (800) 793-3436. We’d be happy to help your pets enjoy their freedom in their new yard!