How to Ensure a Smooth Transition When Moving with a Pet

How to Ensure a Smooth Transition When Moving with a Pet

Moving to a new home is exciting, but it can also get stressful. If you’re moving with a pet, the process can get even more complicated. Cats and dogs are especially sensitive to new surroundings and may get nervous about the transition.

In some cases, cats and dogs may be so bewildered by their new surroundings that they will run away. Before you move, ensure your pet’s tags are up-to-date with your new address and contact information. If they get lost, it will be easier to reunite. Silver Paw Pet Tags offer stainless steel dog tags that are durable and easy-to-read.

Read on for more tips on how to ensure a move that is both stress-free and safe.

Pack up your pet’s essentials in one easy-access box

Before you move, set aside one box for your pet’s essentials. Include the things you will need in the first days after you arrive, such as food, treats, medicine, and a leash and collar. Keep this box separate from other moving boxes. Instead of sending it with the moving truck, pack it in your car. This ensures you have everything your pet needs when you arrive.

Prepare your pet emotionally and physically for traveling

Before moving day arrives, prepare your pet mentally and physically for the process. Preventive Vet has guidelines on how to prepare your cat, starting with getting them used to their carrier However, if you’re moving with a dog, check out these tips from USA Today. They recommend using a carrier or kennel in the car to keep your pup safe while driving. Placing a t-shirt that smells like you into the carrier with your dog can help alleviate nerves.

Ensure your pet’s health and identification records are updated

Before you move, take your pet for one last veterinary checkup. Ask your veterinarian for a copy of your pet’s health records to bring with you, especially their vaccination record. Beware that rabies vaccination requirements vary between states. If you’re moving across state lines, Fido or Fluffy may need a booster. Finally, make sure the contact information on your pet’s collar tag or microchip is correct.

Set up your animal support system in the new location in advance

When you see your veterinarian, you can also ask them if they have recommendations for an animal hospital in your new home’s location. If not, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has tips on how to find an accredited vet wherever you go. In addition to veterinary care, look into local groomers, kennels, and pet sitters or walkers — whatever your animal may need. You can use online resources like Care.com to find local professionals.

Secure affordable transitional housing if needed

Moving if you’re strapped for cash can be tough. If you’re in this situation, Redfin recommends arranging accommodation with a friend or family member while you look for a job and housing. Make sure your loved one can accommodate your pet, too. If they live in a rental property, they should check the regulations to ensure animals are allowed.

Set aside a quiet space in the new home to help your pet feel comfortable

Once you make it to your permanent home, take steps to make your pet comfortable. Set aside a quiet space for them away from the hustle and bustle of movers. If you have a cat, introduce them to their new surroundings slowly. Meanwhile, if you have a dog, check out these tips from the American Kennel Club. For example, they recommend taking the dog through the house on a leash as a first step.


Moving with a pet requires some extra planning, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Follow the above steps to prepare for a comfortable transition for you and your favorite furry friend.

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