Moving Guide

Moving with Pets

Moving with Pets

You’ve made arrangements for the movers. You have a plan for closing up your old house and getting into a new one, but now you need to consider your pets. The first step before any move with a pet is a trip to the vet. Gather records and immunization histories and refill any needed prescriptions. Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification prior to moving. Find a vet in your new location and make contact prior to the move. Then figure out your travel plan.

Listed below are some options plus a few tips to make each option easier on you and your pet.

Drive the pet yourself. This is probably the simplest and definitely the most cost-effective option. Still, it can be a complicated and difficult drive when with animal companions.

  • Plan your route and overnight stops, if travelling long distance. Make sure you have reservations at a pet-friendly hotel and are prepared to stop every couple of hours at areas with grassy spaces so you can walk your dog. It’s best to transport cats in a crate with a litter box.
  • Have at least one other person travel with you. You never want to leave your pet alone in a locked car. Take turns visiting the restroom and grabbing food.
  • Bring more than enough food and water in the car. If you’re delayed, you don’t want to have to feed your pet something unfamiliar. The move is plenty of change for one day!

Fly the pet on a commercial flight (either as a carry-on or in cargo, depending on the size). While air travel for pets can be risky and expensive, there are a few things you can do to prevent trouble.

  • Do your research. Each airline has a different and very specific policy on pets. Many small dogs and cats can fit under the seat in front of you, but larger pets must be checked in cargo. There are regulations on everything from crate sizes to your pet’s health.
  • Allow yourself more than enough time for check in. Getting your bags checked and your family through airport security is tough enough – and now you’ve added your pet in the mix. Arrive well ahead of your scheduled departure time.
  • Travel when the weather is mild. Airlines regulate when a pet can be transported in the cargo bay. This is for your pet’s safety, so it’s best to avoid flying at any time of the year when the weather could be extremely hot or cold on your flight route.

Hire a pet transportation company to take care of moving your pet. While this can be an expensive option, hiring a reputable company to move your pet means you can focus on moving yourself. These companies can provide peace of mind as long as you do your part.

  • Check a company’s credentials. Make sure it is legitimate and hold the proper certifications. Ask other friends who’ve moved pets for recommendations, or ask your moving company. They should be able to assist you in hiring an experienced pet relocation company.
  • If possible, try to meet the person who will be responsible for your pet on moving day. It is important that you feel comfortable with the person and confident in the person’s ability.
  • Give the person any and all information about your pet and its behaviour, including anything your pet finds particularly soothing.

If moving is stressful for you, imagine how it must seem to your pet, who has no clue what’s going on. Do all that you can to ease the transition, and hopefully these tips will lead to a painless relocation for both of you.