Moving with Pets

Do Americans put pets’ needs above their own when moving to a new home?

Apr 8, 2019 – Hundreds of thousands of families move each year. The 2019 Mayflower Mover Insights Survey revealed a top priority for movers: their pets.

Pets play a large role in the decision to move and where to move. Also, while moving, some Americans will prioritize their pet’s comfort above their own.

There is no denying Americans love their pets. More than 90 percent of pet owners agree “wherever they and their pets are together is instantly home.” Furry friends play an integral role in an owner’s decision to move and where to move to.

For pet owners who have recently moved, their pet influenced 39 percent of the actual home they chose, and 26 percent of which community they chose. These decisions are based off the different amenities new homes and communities offer, as well as the overall benefit these new homes or communities offer to their pets. Over 80 percent of pet-owners prioritized a home that had features for their pets such as adequate indoor space, friendly landlord rules and the size of the yard. When choosing their new community, three-fourths of pet owners considered walkability, local rules and nearby veterinarians and parks.

Pets play an even bigger role for future movers… Someone’s pet basically decides which home to move to (48 percent) and which community they will move to (33 percent). When asked about which amenities they prefer in a future home, movers are split between their own comfort and their pets.

  • 50 percent of future movers prefer an updated kitchen, and the other 50 percent prioritizes pet-friendly features.
  • 49 percent of movers prefer being close to work, while 51 percent prefer having pet-friendly features.

To obtain the pet-friendly features they want, future movers are willing to pay 32 percent more than their current housing costs. Millennials are likely to pay even more (45 percent) when compared to older generations. Clearly, pets are important to their owners and essential when finding a new home.

Keeping Familiar Ties

Though people may not automatically look at their current neighborhood for their next home, they are willing to more so for their pet. While 76 percent of past movers did not stay close to their old community, 72 percent did try to stay close to their pet’s community (the park they went to, their pet’s furry friends, or their old vet).

Minimizing Stress

During the whole moving process, movers want to both prevent and mitigate stress. Prior to moving, roughly 50 percent of all movers researched “how to move with pets” ahead of time. Younger generations were even more likely to do so, with the majority of Millennial movers (71 percent) and Gen Z movers (81 percent) reporting they had sought out this type of information. Topics such as new parks, talking to past movers and speaking with their vet were hot commodities. Once a new place had been found, many pet owners took their pet to the new home to help familiarize them with their new surroundings (64 percent).

During and after the move, pet owners prioritized the well-being of their pets above themselves. To help ease the transition, more than eight in 10 pet owners spent more time with their pets and showed them where new things were. These efforts may seem small, but they go a long in making sure furry friend feels at home.

Cats vs. Dogs

Though all pets experience moving stress, the experience can vary depending on the animal. When choosing a new home, dog owners tend to prepare a lot more than cat owners and they are more likely to seek out dog-friendly amenities compared to cat owners. Dog owners consider yard size 85 percent of the time and 82 percent consider a fenced-in backyard. On the other hand, cat owners were not as concerned with specific features. After the move, cat and dog owners continue to face unique challenges. Dog owners reported their dogs had trouble adapting to the new neighborhood, while cats had more trouble adjusting to their new home. Two-thirds of cat owners said their cat experienced at least moderate stress throughout the move, compared to just under 50 percent of dog owners.

Pets weren’t the only ones to cause stress – past movers reported their partner added more stress than their pet did. To address any adjustment issues, nine out of 10 dog and cat owners recommend being patient, spending more time with the pet and showing them where everything is in the new home. With these efforts, past movers report their pet adjusted to their new home in under a month.

Unsurprisingly, our survey found pet owners will prioritize their pet’s comfort during the moving process. They prefer homes with pet-friendly amenities and prioritize communities that are beneficial to their furry friends. Even after picking a new place, pet owners will go the extra mile and research how to move pets, and then take steps to help them settle in as seamlessly as possible. As our survey shows, America puts pets first. At the end of the day, for many, home is where your pet is.

Click here for the press release.

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