Having pets can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience, especially if multiple animals live with you. However, while your pets can add richness to your life, what happens when you need to move to a new apartment or house? Knowing what to do and how to handle the situation is easy, but your pets may not be so understanding.

Fortunately, moving with multiple pets doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. With the proper planning and coordination, you and your animals can start enjoying your new place in no time.

Step One: Start Preparing Your Pets

Depending on what kind of pets you have, you may need to do some legwork to get them ready to travel. For example, if you have indoor cats that have never been outside, you should start bringing them outdoors to gauge their reaction. Similarly, if you’ve never had to use a pet carrier or harness before, you should practice putting it on your pet.

This step can help acclimate your pets to the various elements required for moving. If you spring it all on them immediately, they’ll be stressed and nervous throughout the trip. However, if you make a fun and rewarding experience, your pet may look forward to the move, even if they don’t understand what’s happening.

Step Two: Determine Logistical Needs

As a rule, dogs and cats are relatively easy to move with if you have a pet carrier for each animal. It’s best to keep them all separate during the move so they can remain calmer. Prepare them by getting them used to a crate using high-value treats and incentives. Begin this crate acclimation process weeks ahead of your move.

If you have more exotic pets like fish, lizards, or birds, you may have to transfer them to a smaller tank or terrarium for travel. Again, acclimating your pets to this experience can help them adjust more quickly when it’s time.

Also, consider whether you need to wrap or protect your pet’s equipment. For example, a glass aquarium could break during travel, so you should cover it in bubble wrap before transporting it.

Step Three: Consider Timing

Moving happens in stages, so you must determine the best stage for moving your pets. For example, maybe it’s best to have them move first so they can get used to the new house before you bring furniture and belongings. Alternatively, moving them last after all the big stuff is gone might be best. This way, you can focus on one thing at a time and give more attention to your pets.

That said, you may have little luxury, depending on your situation. If you’re moving across the country, everything has to happen simultaneously, although it’s easy to arrive before your belongings do. Also, for long-distance moves, take longer so you can stop for breaks regularly to help ease your pets’ stress.

Get Help Moving Your Belongings

One of the best ways to make moving pets easier is to get someone else to handle your furniture and belongings. Contact a full-service mover to handle your move so you can focus on caring for your pets from point A to point B.