8 min read

12 Tips For Moving Pets With Less Stress

Havana Dauncey
12 Tips For Moving Pets With Less Stress


Pet Transportation

Pet transport service trusted by thousands of pet owners. Door to Door Transport. Same Day Service. Any Pet Type. Fixed Prices.

9.3 · 3,499 reviews
Pick up address

Are you prepping for your big move and looking for the best way to transport your precious pets? You’ve come to the right place! Here’s everything you need to know to transport your pet with the least amount of stress possible so that you can focus on the move and your pets can enjoy their new adventure!

Why Moving Pets Can Be So Stressful

If you think about how stressful the moving process is for you, imagine what it’s like for your pets that don’t know what’s happening. Both dogs and cats can not only pick up on your stress; causing them anxiety as well, but can also be sensitive to changes in their environment, like moving boxes and furniture removals.

Dogs and cats are also both territorial. Meaning, their home space is very important to them. So suddenly taking them out of their territory causes a lot of stress and can take them a while to adjust to the new environment.

That’s why it’s our job to do everything we can to alleviate their stress during this period of change. From the packing process to the car ride, and first at the new home. That way, this can be a time of excitement rather than stress — for both you and your pet!

Also, read our article on important vaccinations, inoculations and paperwork you'll need to do before you move: https://www.wisemove.co.za/post/pet-transport-south-africa 

12 Important Tips When Moving Pets with Less Stress

Get Your Pet Comfortable With A Cat Carrier

Tips For Moving Pets

If you’ve ever tried to get a cat in a cat carrier, then you know it’s no easy task. Cats are notorious for their contempt for car rides, and this experience becomes even more traumatising if they’re forced into a carrier they are unfamiliar with.

The best thing to do to make a peaceful journey for your cat is to get them used to the cat carrier in advance. You can:

  • Place it in their environment so they can get used to its scent.
  • Put their favourite blanket or toys inside to encourage them to explore it.
  • Place their food inside.
  • Once they’re able to get inside, take them on short walks around the house.

The same applies to your dog if you’ll be transporting them in a crate or carrier.

Prepare Your Pets With Car Travel

Tips For Moving Pets

Some pets love cars, while others hate them. But with the added stress of the move, you can count on this car ride being more difficult than the others.

Once your cat is more comfortable with the cat carrier, it’s time to take it up a notch and familiarise them with the car. Before your trip, take your cat on shorter and longer car rides so that it won’t be such a shock to their system on moving day.

For your dog, whether you’re using a crash-test certified harness, travel crate, or carrier, it’s important to get them used to it beforehand with practice car rides.

Maintain Your Routine Both Before And After The Move

Pets quickly pick up changes in routine, causing them some anxiety. So make sure to stick to your regular schedule for feeding, grooming, walks, treats, and bedtime before the move to put them at ease.

This is even more vital after your move. They might be in an unfamiliar place, but keeping to a familiar and regular routine will help them settle faster into their new home.

Bring Boxes Into The House One At A Time

Tips For Moving Pets

Both dogs and cats are very sensitive to changes in their environment, so suddenly filling their space with new and foreign objects like moving boxes can put them on edge. So try to introduce your moving boxes into the house one at a time, allowing your pets to sniff the new scents as well as rub their scent onto them.

Also, make sure to pack your pet’s belongings last to ensure they have their favourite and familiar items with them for as long as possible (and don’t forget your pet’s vaccine cards!).

Take Your Dog On Walks In The New Neighbourhood

If it’s not too far away, taking your dog on walks in your new neighbourhood is not only a great way for your dog to familiarise themselves with the space and scents of their new home, but it’s also a fun opportunity for you to explore it as well!

You can even walk your dog up to your house to help them become comfortable with the new space.

Keep Your Pet Secured On The Day Of The Move

Tips For Moving Pets

The last thing you want to happen is that when you’re ready to leave you suddenly can’t find your dog or cat. So while you’re handling all the logistics on the day of the move, it’s best to keep your pet in a designated room or area. Make sure everyone knows not to let them out.

This is also a good idea once you’ve reached your new home, to not only let them slowly familiarise themselves with a small space but to also keep them secure while you’re going through the chaos of unloading and unpacking.

Update Your Pet’s Microchip And Collar

The day of the move is a bit chaotic, with all your boxes and furniture being loaded, saying goodbye to your old home, driving to your new home, and unpacking everything, there are a lot of ways to get distracted and a lot of opportunities for your anxious pet to bolt.

Accidents do happen so just in case, make sure that your pet’s microchip and collar are updated with your new address.

Plan Your Stops And Travel Ahead Of Time

If you’re planning a long-distance move which will require stops or even overnight stays, make sure to plan ahead of time. Look for stops and accommodation that is pet-friendly.

Additionally, if your move requires air travel, book your tickets in advance and confirm the pet travel requirements with the airline. And don’t forget to have a copy of your pet’s veterinary records on hand in case they are asked for at check-in.

Hire A Professional Pet Transportation Company For Longer Moves

Tips For Moving Pets

Another option for long-distance moves is hiring a professional pet transportation company who are highly skilled in handling your pets with care and getting them where they need to be — whether it’s just down the road or across the country.

Not only is it less stressful for your pet who avoids the chaos of the move, but it’s also less stressful for you. If you choose this option, make sure to secure it well in advance and make what preparations are required by the pet transportation company.

Make Sure Your New Home Is Pet Proof

Once you’ve successfully made the move, you want to make sure your house is ready for pets before letting them explore the new space. This includes:

  • Make sure the fence doesn’t have any holes for your dog to get out.
  • Checking if all the doors and windows are secure.
  • Securing any holes or spaces where your pet could get stuck or injured.

Slowly Familiarise Your Pets With The New Space

Tips For Moving Pets

Once your pet is safely secured in your new house and all the unloading is done, it’s time to slowly start introducing them to their new home.

Cats tend to be a bit more sensitive to new spaces, so introduce them to the new house one room at a time, giving them time to sniff everything out and spread their scent around. It’s often best to keep them indoors for the first few days, as it will be easier to get lost in the new unfamiliar neighbourhood.

Dogs are a bit more adventurous, so while you also don’t want to overwhelm them with all the new sights and smells, the sooner they get to know the new smells and sights, the better. So let them explore the house and the garden.

Get To Know The Pet Services In Your New Area

Tips For Moving Pets

Once you’re settled, it’s time to get to know the pet services in your area, including vets, groomers, pet-sitters, and more. While you can research online, asking your neighbours and getting their recommendations ensures you get only the best for your pets.

Once you’ve found your vet, book a consultation as soon as possible so that you can get to know them and they can get to know your pet, in case of any emergencies. Don’t forget to bring your pet’s vaccine card so that your new vet can make sure they’re all up to date.


We know how much you love your precious fur ball — that’s why it’s so important to make this transition as smooth and stressless as possible! Just remember that they pick up on your own stress, so the calmer you are through the whole process, the calmer they will be.

One way to alleviate your stress during the moving process is to hire a moving company that you can trust and afford. Wise Move is a top-quality, reliable and affordable moving service that goes above and beyond to get your goods where they need to be. Make the Wise Move and check us out for your next big move!

Pet Transportation

Pet transport service trusted by thousands of pet owners. Door to Door Transport. Same Day Service. Any Pet Type. Fixed Prices.

9.3 · 3,499 reviews
Pick up address

What do our customers say?

Read reviews of Wise Move to learn stories from our customers.
R 2,800
2 bedroom house move
Moreleta Park, Pretoria
Hennopspark, Centurion
Reviewed 6 hours ago
Excellent service thank you
R 3,200
2 bedroom house move
Cape Town
Cape Town
Reviewed 8 hours ago
We had a great experience with Christo and we moved from a 2 bedroom townhouse to a 2 bedroom appartment on the 4 th floor. (3km away) Big truck was used so all was moved in one go. We had some doubts on the bigger cupboards but they carried all. Covered everything in blankets. Nothing was damaged or broken. They arrived 5-10min early with 4 guys and we were finished offloading around 14h30. Went so fast. Assisted with putting things together and made sure it was put on the place we wanted it. Definately a guy to go to. Big thumb up and thank you
R 3,500
Sea Park, Port Shepstone
Cape Town
Reviewed 13 hours ago
This is the second time that Marthinus of Cheetah Express transported my bike, this time from Port Shepstone to Cape Town. As always he sent me a pic of my bike once loaded and regularly communicated until I received my bike. It is always comforting to know that my bike is good hands and therefore I highly recommend Cheetah Express! Thank you Marthinus and team!
R 2,900
Linbro Park, Sandton
Christoburg, Centurion
Reviewed 17 hours ago
Very happy with Nicholas and his team, they were professional, friendly and very careful with all our goods. Highly recommended !
R 1,250
Pomona, Kempton Park
Farrarmere, Benoni
Reviewed 19 hours ago
Brilliant service and friendly.
Are you a Transport Company? Learn More