10 Tips for Moving With Pets

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner 21498
Moving to a new home can be stressful on your pets, but there are many things you can do to make the process as painless as possible. Here are some helpful tips for easing the transition and keeping pets safe during the move.   

1. Update your pet’s tag. Make sure your pet is wearing a sturdy collar with an identification tag that is labeled with your current contact information. The tag should include your destination location, telephone number, and cell phone number so that you can be reached immediately during the move.

2. Ask for veterinary records. If you’re moving far enough away that you’ll need a new vet, you should ask for a current copy of your pet’s vaccinations. You also can ask for your pet’s medical history to give to your new vet, although that can normally be faxed directly to the new medical-care provider upon request. Depending on your destination, your pet may need additional vaccinations, medications, and health certificates. Have your current vet's phone number handy in case of an emergency, or in case your new vet would like more information about your pet. 

3. Keep medications and food on hand.  Keep at least one week’s worth of food and medication with you in case of an emergency. Vets can’t write a prescription without a prior doctor/patient relationship, which can cause delays if you need medication right away. You may want to ask for an extra prescription refill before you move. The same preparation should be taken with special therapeutic foods — purchase an extra supply in case you can't find the food right away in your new area.

4. Seclude your pet from chaos. Pets can feel vulnerable on moving day. Keep them in a safe, quiet, well-ventilated place, such as the bathroom, on moving day with a “Do Not Disturb! Pets Inside!” sign posted on the door. There are many light, collapsible travel crates on the market if you choose to buy one. However, make sure your pet is familiar with the new crate before moving day by gradually introducing him or her to the crate before your trip. Be sure the crate is well-ventilated and sturdy enough for stress-chewers; otherwise, a nervous pet could escape. 

5. Prepare a first aid kit.  First aid is not a substitute for emergency veterinary care, but being prepared and knowing basic first aid could save your pet's life. A few recommended supplies: Your veterinarian's phone number, gauze to wrap wounds or to muzzle your pet, adhesive tape for bandages, non-stick bandages, towels, and hydrogen peroxide (3 percent). You can use a door, board, blanket or floor mat as an emergency stretcher and a soft cloth, rope, necktie, leash, or nylon stocking for an emergency muzzle.  

6. Play it safe in the car. It’s best to travel with your dog in a crate; second-best is to use a restraining harness. When it comes to cats, it’s always best for their safety and yours to use a well-ventilated carrier in the car. Secure the crate or carrier with a seat belt and provide your pet with familiar toys. Never keep your pet in the open bed of a truck or the storage area of a moving van. In any season, a pet left alone in a parked vehicle is vulnerable to injury and theft. If you’ll be using overnight lodging, plan ahead by searching for pet-friendly hotels. Have plenty of kitty litter and plastic bags on hand, and keep your pet on its regular diet and eating schedule.

7. Get ready for takeoff. When traveling by air, check with the airline about any pet requirements or restrictions to be sure you’ve prepared your pet for a safe trip. Some airlines will allow pets in the cabin, depending on the animal’s size, but you’ll need to purchase a special airline crate that fits under the seat in front of you. Give yourself plenty of time to work out any arrangements necessary including consulting with your veterinarian and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If traveling is stressful for your pet, consult your veterinarian about ways that might lessen the stress of travel.

8. Find a new veterinary clinic and emergency hospital. Before you move, ask your vet to recommend a doctor in your new locale. Talk to other pet owners when visiting the new community, and call the state veterinary medical association (VMA) for veterinarians in your location. When choosing a new veterinary hospital, ask for an impromptu tour; kennels should be kept clean at all times, not just when a client’s expected. You may also want to schedule an appointment to meet the vets. Now ask yourself: Are the receptionists, doctors, technicians, and assistants friendly, professional and knowledgeable? Are the office hours and location convenient? Does the clinic offer emergency or specialty services or boarding? If the hospital doesn’t meet your criteria, keep looking until you’re assured that your pet will receive the best possible care. 

9. Prep your new home for pets. Pets may be frightened and confused in new surroundings. Upon your arrival at your new home, immediately set out all the familiar and necessary things your pet will need: food, water, medications, bed, litter box, toys, etc. Pack these items in a handy spot so they can be unpacked right away. Keep all external windows and doors closed when your pet is unsupervised, and be cautious of narrow gaps behind or between appliances where nervous pets may try to hide. If your old home is nearby, your pet may try to find a way back there. To be safe, give the new home owners or your former neighbors your phone number and a photo of your pet, and ask them to contact you if your pet is found nearby. 

10. Learn more about your new area. Once you find a new veterinarian, ask if there are any local health concerns such as heartworm or Lyme disease, or any vaccinations or medications your pet may require. Also, be aware of any unique laws. For example, there are restrictive breed laws in some cities. Homeowner associations also may have restrictions — perhaps requiring that all dogs are kept on leashes.  
Posted by

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the  Anderson or Greenville SC real estate areas, visit our website at www.SheilaNewtonTeam.com for tons of great information.


Sheila Newton   
Sheila Newton Team 
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices -
C. Dan Joyner, Realtors
864-225-1205 (direct)
864-940-6377 (mobile)


                  Follow Me on Pinterest

Our Team




Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Mary Macy 06/04/2011 03:41 PM
  2. Eric Crane -- Your Full Service, Discount Fee Realtor® 06/20/2011 04:10 PM
Real Estate General Information
South Carolina
The Lounge at Active Rain
South Carolina Real Estate
ActiveRain Nature Station
40 Somethings
pet safety
moving with pets
pet lovers
moving day

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Margo Currie
Exit 1 Stop Realty - Saint Augustine Beach, FL

Thank you for a very caring post. Moves can be traumatic for the little critters.

Jun 04, 2011 03:37 PM #1
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


These are terrific tips for folks who are relocating with pets. Having done so several times (including across the country) it is important to do some planning and think about your trip, whether by air or car.

It's really important to check with the airlines on their restrictions - they likely will require some sort of bill of health from a vet. Also, if you are flying from a cold are in the winter, we found that some airlines will not take pet cages in the hold (we needed to fly out of Minneapolis on New Year's Day - it was too day and we had to drive to Ohio in order to get a flight whwere they would take our dogs. That was some time ago so things may have changed.


Jun 04, 2011 03:39 PM #2
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

This is destined to be a successful post. Any info on happy, well-cared for cats and dogs is always welcomed. Suggested.

Jun 04, 2011 03:39 PM #3
Mary Macy
Top Agents Atlanta Metro - Roswell, GA
Top Agents Atlanta Metro

Great List of terrific ideas on how to make moving pets less painful, thanks for your thoughtful post.

Jun 04, 2011 03:42 PM #4
Brian Morgenweck
Power Realty Group, LLC Bergen County, NJ - Hackensack, NJ
Broker/Owner, GRI, CRS, ABR, SRS

Hi Sheila,

Great list! Take care of your buddies the way they'd take care of you! (...a chip is good measure as well.)

Maximus (my 110# Rhodesian Ridgeback "son") & I thank you.

Jun 04, 2011 03:42 PM #5
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Hey Sheila, it seems that getting that tag updated is always a missed step!  Also, people scare me to death with the way they transport their pets...cats especially.  Really good post and I'm hitting suggest on it.

Jun 04, 2011 04:12 PM #6
Doug Bullwinkel
Envoy Mortgage, NMLS 6666 - Roseville, CA
Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #281609

Those photos of the cats were great.  The two in the box look like they were packed, shipped and just opened at their destination.  The one that's passed out looks like it was a heck of a day for him.

Jun 04, 2011 06:41 PM #7
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Shiela - What a wonderful post for your pets.  I would always take special care w/ my cat in each new place (thankfully we are settled now).  It can be a scary experience for them and often takes a few days to settle.

Jun 04, 2011 09:03 PM #8
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Good Morning Shelia, an excellent post on relocating with a pet.  Clients will appericate the suggestions.  The photos are excellent choices to make the point!

Jun 04, 2011 09:49 PM #9
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

Margo- We are planning on moving soon, so I am trying to get ready!!

Jeff - thanks... And I agree about the airlines.. I have never gone with a pet on a plan, but from what I hear, it can be very stressful

Jill - Our pets are our family too!!

Mary - Thanks J

Brian - a chip is a must - and say hello to your “son” for me

Mona - I know a lot of people that totally forget the tags!!

Doug - Thanks… I love all cat photos.. The one passed out had a long hard day for sure, but I would love to be able to relax that way!!

Debbie - It is hard on humans and we made the decision, the poor animals don’t have a choice!

Dan - thanks.. Hope you have a great day

Jun 05, 2011 05:07 PM #10



Great post! This is a rough one for so many people- moving is tough enough, without adding the struggles of moving with some babies (my dogs are more work than most chilren...). Thanks for this!

Jul 18, 2011 07:26 AM #11
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC

Selling the Upstate since 1989
What can we help you with?
Spam prevention

Additional Information