Moving with Pets Checklist and Move Planning

Moving Checklist

Moving with pets can be just as difficult as it is for the rest of your family. They can sense stress levels and can be affected by a change of routine. To help with your move we’ve put together a moving with pets checklist that can help you plan for travel as well as settling in.


  • Find a Pet-Friendly Hotel

    Need a place to crash during a long distance move? You’ll need to research pet-friendly hotels before hitting the road. Unfortunately, not all hotels allow animals. Those that do usually require a pet fee and only allow a certain number of pets in the hotel at one time. So when making travel arrangements, be sure to check the hotel’s pet-friendly policies before booking your stay.


  • Make Flight Reservations

    Now’s the time to make travel arrangements for your pet. If flying, be sure to reserve your furball’s space on the plane well ahead of time. Rules and regulations vary by airline, so be sure to research your specific airline’s requirements beforehand. Many airlines only allow pets of a certain size to accompany their owners in the cabin area. In addition, airlines usually have a limited number of spots available for pets on a plane. Certain breeds of dogs may not be allowed to fly in the aircraft cabin, while others may not be allowed to fly in the cargo area. Bottomline: be sure to check whether there is space available for your pet on the plane before purchasing a ticket. Read more information on air travel with pets.


  • Check Your Pet Carrier

    Those flying with Fluffy or Fido will also need to check the airline’s pet carrier requirements. Carriers for cats and dogs must be well-ventilated and large enough that the animal can comfortably move around inside. If bringing a small pet on-board the aircraft cabin, the pet’s carrier must be able to fit underneath the seat in front of you. For more information about pet carriers, check with your airline before the flight.



  • Gather Pet Vaccine Records

    A month before the move, gather all pet vaccine records from your veterinarian. Be sure to keep these in a safe place. Not only will you need health records for future vet visits, but you’ll also need to send a copy of your pet’s rabies vaccination certificate to your new county within a few months of moving.


  • Check Your Pet’s ID Tag

    Is the information on your pet’s ID tag correct and up-to-date? If not, you’ll need to create one that has your new address on it. Be sure to also include your name, phone number, pet’s name and chip number.


  • Hire a Pet Sitter

    Many pets do not handle moving well. In the midst of a chaotic move, your animal is likely to get anxious. You may also have a difficult time keeping an eye on Fluffy during a complicated move. For these reasons, try hiring a pet sitter to watch your pet on moving day. If you can’t find a pet sitter, look into local pet daycares and boarding facilities.


  • Pick Up All Pet Medications

    Since it could take a few weeks to receive your shipment, go ahead and order all necessary medications from your vet. Medications may include heartworm prevention, flea and tick medication, eye drops and any other medicine needed by your cat or dog. Make sure you have enough medications to get your pet through the first few months in the new house.



  • Have a Vet Assess Your Pet

    Before moving, make an appointment to have a vet assess your pet. Not only will this give you peace of mind when traveling with your animal, but it will also ensure that your pet is up-to-date with all shots and medical needs.


  • Invest in Pet-Friendly Furniture

    If ordering new furniture for a move, go ahead and start researching pet-friendly options. When it comes to upholstered or slipcovered furniture, aim for stain-resistant fabrics and darker colors. Opt for furniture outfitted in synthetic microfiber, leather and “outdoor” fabrics. Also, be sure to avoid velvet, silk and tweed – as these are vulnerable to stains and tears. Want the furniture delivered in time for moving day? Check out our list of furniture companies with white glove delivery service.



  • Pack a Moving Day Bag for Pets

    The day before moving, pack an essentials bag or box for your pets. This should include all necessary items, such as medications, treats, kitty litter and scooper, poop bags, toys, bones, leashes, blankets, extra water bowls and food. Also, don’t forget to pack a crate or small bed for your animal to sleep on during the moving process.



  • Have a Water Bowl On Hand

    You’re not the only one who needs to stay hydrated on moving day. Don’t forget to also refill your pet’s water bowl every few hours.


  • Keep Pets Safe

    Your pet’s safety should be top of mind on moving day. If you’re not hiring a pet sitter, make sure to use crates or gates to contain them in one area of the house during the move. Open doors and windows make it easy for a pet to get loose, so be sure the movers are aware of your animal’s safety needs at the beginning of the day.


  • Avoid Feeding Pets Right Before Travel

    If traveling with a pet during a move, go ahead and plan their meals ahead of time. Most experts recommend feeding pets four to five hours before heading to the airport or going on a road trip. This will prevent your pet from getting an upset stomach while traveling.



  • Choose a Safe Space for Your Pet

    During the first week in your new home, choose a safe space for your pet. This area should have your furball’s crate, bed, toys, water and food bowls. Having this safe space will help your pet acclimate to their new surroundings more quickly.


  • Install Screens in High-Rise Windows

    Have cats? When pet-proofing your home, consider installing screens in upstairs windows. This will prevent your cat from falling victim to “high-rise syndrome,” a phenomenon that occurs when cats fall out of high-rise buildings and two story windows. For more tips on making your home as pet-friendly as possible, check here.


  • Walk Your Dog Around the Neighborhood

    Own a dog? Try walking them around the home and neighborhood during the first day in your new place. Not only will this help your pup adjust to the area, but it will also make it easier for you to meet neighbors while outdoors.


  • Register Your Pet

    If you’re moving out-of-state or across county lines, you should look into registering your pet during the first few weeks post-move. While requirements vary by state, many areas urge owners to register their pets and purchase a license within a month of moving. This is mainly to ensure that animals receive all necessary shots for public safety purposes.


  • Find a New Vet

    During the first month in your new home, schedule an initial visit with a new vet. Before moving, ask your former vet for suggestions. You can also ask new neighbors for recommendations and find crowd-sourced reviews on websites such as Angie’s List and


  • Visit a Dog Park

    Live in an apartment building? To ensure that your dog receives adequate exercise, seek out a dog park in your new community. Bringing your pup to the park a few times a week will give your furry friend a good sense of routine. It’ll also give you an excuse to get out of the house and meet other dog owners near you.


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Moving with Pets Checklist and Move Planning
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