Moving With Pets

Moving with pets can be both be an exciting and stressful time your family. There are things you can do to have a successful move and also keep anxiety at a minimum for your pets.

Contact Your Vet Before Moving With Pets

Let your vet know you are moving and that you will need your pet’s records and any prescriptions. Ask them for recommendations for a new vet that would be suitable for you and your pet. You can also ask your vet any questions you may have about moving that relate specifically to your pet.

Prepare for Moving Day

Whether you are packing everything yourself or using a moving company, make sure your pet is away from all the action. Let them relax in a cleared-out room with familiar items like toys, blankets, bed, and carrier. If movers are coming to your home, make sure you have treats for the movers to offer your dog or cat. This will help subdue the anxiety of new people in their home.

Update Their Information

It is vital that your pet’s contact information is up to date. Tags and microchips need to have your current information associated with them. When you make address and phone number updates to your personal information, remember to also make the proper changes related to your pet as well.

Create a Necessities Kit

It may be a few days before you can get officially settled into your new home. Make it easier for your pets by having food, kitty litter, treats, blankets, toys, and bed easily accessible. Sed aside things that help keep them relaxed.

Keep Your Pets Away from the Action

You may want to consider letting your pet stay with a familiar friend or at a kennel on moving day. If this is not possible, let them stay in a cleared-out room or in their carrier located in the garage or vehicle, if temperatures allow it. Check on them regularly and feed and walk them at their regular times. Keep things as normal as you can by sticking to their routine.

Travel with Your Pet

Transport your pet in your own vehicle. You can use a carrier or use a bigger crate in the back of your car for bigger animals. Place a blanket over the carrier to shield your animal from seeing the environment change. Make sure they are safely secured in your vehicle and not potentially going to distract you while you drive.

Letting Your Pet Out

Be extremely cautious about letting your pets out before arriving at your new home. If you are stopping at a rest area and want to let your pet out, be sure to secure them on a leash. Cats and dogs also need to have collars on with up to date information attached.

Keep Your Pet Secluded

Move all your stuff before you move your pet. This will provide a sense of familiarity to your pet on arrival. If you are unable to set up the whole home, try setting up at least one room for you animal. They can then have time to adjust to their new home. Give your pets plenty of attention to calm them.

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Moving with Dogs or Cats

Dogs and cats can handle moves better than smaller pets, but they can still experience anxiety due to new surroundings and increased stimuli. Introduce them to their surroundings gradually and limit them to one or two rooms in the new home at first. Consider arranging a friend or pet sitter to visit a few hours a day in the beginning of living in your new home. This will help ease anxiety if you are unable to stay at home.

Small Pets

Drastic temperature changes can have a negative effect on gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters. They can travel in their normal cages, but double check to make sure they are not able to get out. Be extremely careful with guinea pigs and make sure they are transported in a warm, comfortable, small carrier. Their hearts are prone to suffering from change or being moved around.


Transport fish in a bag with a mix of new water and old water from their aquarium. Do not overcrowd your fish. Secure the tops of bags with rubber bands, and place the bags inside a dark, insulated cooler. Allow the tank filter to run for a few hours before returning your fish to their tank. Limit the time away from their normal habitat to less than 48 hours. If you have a long distance to travel, it may be best to give your fish to a friend and buy a new one when you are settled in your new home.


For birds, use appropriate size carriers with the bottom lined with litter. Be extremely cautious about letting your bird out of its carrier. Secure the doors from the outside, and keep your bird cool and protected from the sun.