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Are you planning an out-of-state move but are worried about how your furry best friends may take it? It can sometimes be stressful moving animals from one home to the next, but there are several things you can do to make it less anxiety-inducing for everyone involved. Whether you have a dog, a cat, or even a rabbit, check out these tips for moving with your animal companions: 

Plan every step 

When you’re moving with your pet, you need to ensure they’re accommodated at every leg of the journey. Depending on whether you’re moving just a couple streets away or are making a cross-state or cross-country move, you’ll need to make a checklist of the important activities. For instance, when moving outside of the U.S., you will need a USDA international health certificate (or Form 7001). This form includes all the essential health information for your pet and your contact info. 

Even when you’re not moving out of the country, you have to make sure your pet will be comfortable along the way. Talk to your vet about whether they would recommend tranquilizers for long car rides, and if you have to stay overnight at a hotel, make sure the place you stay allows animals.  

Essentially, you’ll want to work through every step of the day in your head and put your pet’s needs at the top of the priorities list

Moving on a budget 

If you’re transferring out of state and want to ensure optimal comfort for your little furry friend, yet don’t have a lot of funds, there are definitely options. One would be to contact any friends or family in the area and arrange to stay for a few days while you figure out your housing and employment situation. But make sure that before you set these plans in stone, these friends or family have enough room, time, and energy to accommodate your pet. You don’t want to get there and learn that your cousin’s baby is allergic to cats, for example.  

Even if you’re moving on a budget, if you don’t want to move with your pet’s old bed, it’s easy to find affordable options for a new, comfortable bed for your dog or cat (always read reviews on pet products before making a purchase). Introducing your pet to their new bedding may take time; you should place familiar scents near the new bed, give lots of treats and praise when they go in it, and generally give them the space they need to adapt to their new environment. 


Creating a sanctuary for your animals should be top priority once you reach your destination. On moving day, take your animals to a room (e.g., the bathroom) and close the door to ensure they won’t be underfoot when moving furniture (for their safety and yours!). Put their favorite treats, blankets, and toys that smell like home into the room so they can grow accustomed to the new house slowly. 

For cats, it may be prudent to invest in a product called Feliway, which is a diffuser-type device that releases pheromones into the air that calm your cat. 

Welcome home 

Once you and your pet are settled in your new space, it’s all just a matter of making this your new home and sanctuary. Soon your furry best friend will be enjoying their new living space! 

For more great, informative content for animal lovers and general awareness about animal behavior and care, visit Ali’s Animal Answers! 

About the author

Cindy Aldridge is a freelance writer from the US and dog lover. She started Our Dog Friends as a fun side project for herself and to educate pet owners and potential pet owners about how dogs can enrich our lives. She enjoys writing about dogs and pet ownership.

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