Essential Tips for Moving with Pets


Our pets are an integral part of our families and our lives, providing their humans with comfort, entertainment and companionship. In thinking about a residential move, a little planning goes a long way toward ensuring a stress-free move for your pet.

Here are some tips to make moving with pets easier:

Before Moving

Socialize your pet.

One reason moving is hard on pets is that they are creatures of habit. They become used to the same people and environments, day after day. Take your pet to new places before your move, and if you can, include an overnight trip. Seeing new places and meeting new people can help your pet feel more relaxed in new environments.

Plan Ahead

Sometimes, when pets move to a new home, the anxiety can make them more likely to run away.  Make sure this doesn’t turn into a disaster by updating your pet’s tags with the address of your new home. And even though this seems like common sense, be sure that your pet is wearing its collar and tags when you move. If your pet is microchipped, make sure that address is updated as well.

Vet Appointment

Schedule a wellness visit with your pet’s veterinarian one to two months before your move. Aside from seeking your vet’s advice on how to minimize the stress of moving with pets, be sure you understand and are aware of time frames for obtaining required health certificates (as applicable), updating vaccinations and administering required medications and treatments. In addition to your vet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service can be a good resource on pet travel, particularly in cases involving international moves, deployments and corporate relocations.

Food and Prescriptions

Nothing can upset a pet’s tummy more than a sudden change in food. Be aware that your pet’s regular food might not be available in your new location, particularly if you’re moving long distance or overseas.  Purchase and carry a few weeks’ worth of their current food with you to your new home. And if your pet takes medication, be sure to have an ample supply before you move. This will be helpful until you can find a new veterinarian in your new area. Another helpful tip is to order your pet’s food and medication online so you never have to worry about running out!


When you move, you may need to find a new groomer for your pet, which can take some time. Schedule a grooming appointment for your pet just before the move. That way, you won’t have to worry about matts building up or nails getting too long, which can be laborious to manage later on. Consider having long hair dogs trimmed if you are moving to a warmer climate.

Research the Route

If you are staying overnight on the way to your new home, make sure your selected hotel is pet-friendly. We recommend you talk directly with the hotel manager; do not assume a hotel is pet-friendly because it says so online. Note that many pet-friendly hotels charge an additional fee for overnight pets.

Make a List

Create a list of things that your pet will need for the road and make sure these items are not packed on the moving truck. These items might include a pet carrier, a small suitcase for pet supplies and medicine, a favorite toy, a small litter box if you’re moving with cats and a water bowl.

Moving Day

Keep to Your Routine

Routines are important, so try to stick to your normal schedule. If you walk your dog every morning, keep this routine going while traveling to your new house. The less change, the less stressed your pet will be. Maintain your pet’s normal feeding times, as well. While the movers are in your home, keep your pet in one room, preferably one that is away from the noise and hubbub of moving.


Upon arrival at your new house, closely inspect the inside and outside of the house to make sure there is nothing harmful for your pet, such as broken glass, wet paint, sawdust or chemicals. And if there is a fence, make sure it is secure before you let your pet outside unaccompanied.

Familiar Items

Once you arrive at your new home, unpack your pet’s bed and toys. Keep your pet in one room and play with him or her for a few minutes before beginning to unpack. This will show your pet that your new house is a positive place.

At Interstate, we love pets and the joy they add to our lives.  It’s important to us that all members of your family have a positive moving experience, whether they have two legs or four, a wagging tail or a wriggling nose!  When you and your furry friend are ready to relocate, we hope you’ll let us help you with our decades of experience. Ready to get started? Click here to contact us. 

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