Moving TipsPlanning a Move

How To Move With Pets

How to move with pets

What’s on your moving checklist? If you haven’t made arrangements for your pets, you may want to update your list with a few to-do’s that will make life easier for you and your animals during the move.

Moving with pets can be difficult. It’s a time of upheaval. Many animals become distressed when their homes are being dismantled and their owners aren’t paying much attention to them. Additionally, pets can find themselves in dangerous situations during a move. If they’re underfoot or away from their food and water for extended periods, accidents can happen or they might escape and run off. As experienced movers, we’ve seen what happens when owners don’t make plan ahead for their pets during moves, so we’ve put together a list of helpful tips on how to move with pets.

Preparing for Travel

dog out for a car ride

Wherever you’re moving you’ll want to obtain your pet’s vaccination and veterinary records before you leave. If you’re concerned about your pet’s health schedule a vet exam, and ask about precautionary measures for your trip. If your pet isn’t used to travelling, ask your vet how you can make it less stressful for them.

Consider having your dog or cat microchipped, if they aren’t already.  In a worst-case scenario, ID microchips are key in helping reunite lost pets and their owners.

Check with any hotels you’re staying with to make sure they allow pets.

If you’ll be traveling by car for a long distance, help your pet to be comfortable by taking a few short car trips around the neighborhood in the days and weeks leading up to the move. If your pet will be in a carrier or crate, get them used to it well in advance. Feeding them in it or just throwing a few tasty treats in every day for a few weeks will go a long way towards establishing a positive association.

Consider car arrangements ahead of time. Smaller pets like birds and hamsters can usually travel in their cages. Just make sure their cages are positioned in a stable, well-ventilated part of the vehicle. Pets often stay calmer when their cages are covered while the vehicle is moving.

Bring extra bedding, mats, towels in case your dog or cat gets carsick! Yes, it happens to pets too.

Packing and Loading

Boy holding a cat

Your pet may experience the most stress while you’re packing up your home and loading everything into the truck. This is also one of the most dangerous times for pets. Since they can get stepped on or panic and run out through an open door.

If at all possible, ask a friend or neighbor to keep your pet for the day while your home is being packed and loaded. Staying in a kennel for the day is another good option for your pet. You will have less to worry about, and you’ll know your pet is safe during the move.

If you don’t have any other options, keep your pet safely confined to a low-traffic area of your home while you’re packing and loading. If possible, crate your dog or confine them to an exercise pen.

Settling In

Man and dog in their new homeOnce you have arrived at your new apartment or house, you’ll still want to unload and unpack before your give your pet free rein of the place. Again, if you can place your pet in a kennel for the day, this might be the best option. If not, place your pet in the quietest part of your new home. Keep him or her contained until potential escape routes are closed and there’s some semblance of order.

Let them get used to their new home a little at a time – especially if your dog or cat is older. This is a big change for them – don’t overwhelm them. Cats especially are often best off living in one quiet room for a few days and gradually being allowed to explore as they gain confidence.

If your pet has a bed or toys, make sure you show him or her where they’ll be. Make sure your cat knows how to find the litter box. Introduce your pet to the neighbors and to their animals (if they’re friendly!)

If your new place has a fenced yard, make sure all latches are secure and there are no “escape routes” in or under the fencing before leaving your dog out unsupervised. If you have a “jumper” make sure they can’t jump or climb over the fence. Even if this was never an issue in your previous home, you never know what they’ll do in a new environment.

Update your pet’s identification tags to reflect your new address or phone number. If the registration of your pet is necessary, take care of it as soon as possible. If your pet is microchipped, update your info with the company that issued the chip.

Find a new veterinarian near your home, and deliver your pet’s vaccination and vet records. Note the location of the nearest 24 hr emergency vet. It can be helpful to take your pet in for a visit to the regular vet you choose before you really need them. Some vets will accomodate a brief “get acquainted” visit.

Moving with your pets doesn’t have to be dangerous or stressful. By taking a few precautions, your pets will remain safe and healthy during your move.


Looking for a company to move you and your pets in the NYC area? Contact Serenity Movers today  for a free moving quote! We’re an experienced Bronx moving company serving the entire NYC tri-state area for over 19 years, and we’re pet friendly besides!



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