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Pets are part of the family. They love us, protect us, keep us company, complain when things don’t go their way (just like we do!), and greet guests at the door. So when it comes time to relocate, the question is not whether or not to take our pets with us. The question becomes what’s the best way to coordinate moving with pets.

Obviously, you want them along for the ride, and you’re not going to stuff them all in a box marked “PETS” and ship them to your new destination. (Although, truth be told, our cat seems to enjoy chillin’ in boxes; maybe cats are shippable, after all. Kidding!)

All jokes aside, it’s important to remember that our pets, as members of the family, deal with their own stresses and discomforts that come with moving to a new home. Relocating causes tremendous disruptions and uncertainty — especially until everything and everyone is safe and sound at the new abode.

Until then, though, just like their humans, pets can experience stress during a move. Plus, unlike their humans, pets don’t really know what’s going on. They have no idea why all of a sudden their familiar and comfortable surroundings are being upended, rearranged, moved all around.

And they’re especially curious when Smooth Move People shows up to load the truck for the big move to parts unknown.

And so, with the health and wellbeing of our furry friends (and not-so-furry friends, such as fishes and turtles and whatnot) at the forefront of our minds, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips and things to keep in mind when moving with pets.

In the meantime, be sure to take a peek at Smooth Move People’s residential and commercial moving rates, which are the lowest you’ll find anywhere. We’ve been in the moving business for a long time now, and our friendly, expert movers will do everything they can to make your move as stress-free and fun as possible — for you and your pets.


Before setting off on your new adventure, it’s important to update all your pet’s tags and IDs so that they reflect your new address and contact information. And remember to find a new veterinarian in your new town as soon as possible. Consider this a priority that’s at least as important as establishing care with a medical provider of your own.

But before the move itself, here are six things you can do to help ease your pet’s transition to its new home:

      1. Set up a safe place. During the loading process in the old place and the unloading process in the new one, it may be helpful to set aside a safe and comfortable space for your pet. With so much activity and unfamiliar people (the movers) in and out of the house, it can be a scary time for our pets.
        If you have a friend who’s willing and able to pet sit for you during this time, that’s even better. Be sure to include your pet’s favorite toy, blanket, or something with your scent on it (this is especially helpful for cats) during this transition time.
      2. Make the carrier comfy. Hopefully, your pets have already become accustomed to a pet carrier for those times you’ve taken them on trips or to the vet.
        When it comes to setting up a carrier for a long-distance move, some of the same recommendations apply as those we listed in the tip above: Make their carrier comfy by including toys, blankets, and other familiar, comforting items. And be sure to give them treats for being such a good boy (or girl)!
        Finally, make sure they always have access to water bowls. Don’t forget to set scheduled stops during long trips to feed and provide water for your pet that they own’t have access to during the car ride.
      3. Try to stick to a routine. Nothing’s more disruptive to a routine than the moving process in general and moving with pets in particular. 
        For dogs, during the move, try to stick as closely as possible to routines for feeding and exercise.
        Cats owners know that cats are a little more difficult since they’re good at establishing their own routines and not so good when those routines are disrupted. Plus, cats must have access to a litter box, which brings up a whole new set of difficulties.
        If you’re traveling a long distance (say more than six hours), it may be a good idea to get a disposable litter box. Place it on the floor of your vehicle and can dispose of it in the trash after they’ve used it.
      4. Bring a leash. This seems obvious, but it’s especially important during long road trips when your pet may feel inclined to bolt from unfamiliar surroundings. Plus, you’ll need to walk your dogs during the trip.
      5. Make special arrangements for small animals. Birds, fish, hamsters, and other small animals need their own accommodations, but in general, small, furry animals will be perfectly fine during a move in their cages. You may need to cover the cage with a blanket to keep them calm and to make it safe and pet-proof.
      6. Make extra special arrangements for your fish. Contact your local pet store to discuss arrangements. Some stores will board your fish during the move and then pack and ship them to your new home in pet-friendly, watertight packaging.


Pet owners know that pets are family members. But moving with pets can be a challenge. Smooth Move People can help you plan your trip so that it causes the least amount of stress and disruption for both you and your pets on moving day.

Please note, however, that you will have to make special accommodations in order to move your pets (as well as plants). We can help with moving boxes and things like that, but we do not handle cats and dogs.

Smooth Move People is a family-owned moving company. Since 1989, we’ve been helping people just like you get to where they’re going with the lowest rates in the business.

Contact us today to get a quote and to get started on your next big move.

And give your pet a belly rub and a pat from their friends at Smooth Move People.

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