Moving With Pets: Checklist

Relocating with a pet can be a significant undertaking. However, you can simplify the process by preparing in advance and considering your pets’ needs at every stage of the journey. To stay organized as you prepare to move, utilize this checklist.

Six Weeks Before the Move

Roughly six weeks before your move, you should begin thinking about the legal and practical requirements for your pet in your new location. If you’re just moving across town, some of these steps won’t apply to you. The farther you’re going, the more planning you’ll need to do.

Prepare New ID Tags

Have new ID tags made for your pet as soon as you know your new address, so your pet can easily make their way home if they get lost. If your pet is micro-chipped, you should make sure you know how to update this information so you can promptly change your address when you relocate.

Make Sure Your Pet Is Licensed and Registered

Check the licensing and registration requirements for your new home. This is especially important if you’re moving to a different city or state. It can take time to apply for a pet license or register the animal in a new town, so it’s good to gather the paperwork early.

Make Pet-Friendly Travel Arrangements

If you’re traveling a long distance, make comfortable arrangements for your pet. This may include finding pet-friendly hotels if you’re staying overnight on a cross-country drive or making the appropriate plans for air travel with a pet. If you won’t be able to move into your new home right away, you might need to consider keeping your pet in a kennel for a few days. Start researching your options early so you can find the best place.

Make an Appointment With Your Vet

Schedule one last appointment with your local vet to help prepare your pet for the move. During this visit, you can:

  • Request your pet’s vaccination records.
  • Get sedatives for travel if needed.
  • Get recommendations for a new vet if you’re moving out of town.
  • Order enough pet medications to get you through the next few months while you’re moving and getting settled.

Your vet can also provide personalized advice on how to make your pet comfortable throughout the moving process. All animals are different, and your veterinarian is the best resource for finding a good way to care for your pet throughout this busy and complicated time.

Four Weeks Before the Move

As you get closer to the move, you’ll probably begin doing things that alert your pet to pending change. It’s important to keep your pets in mind during this period so you can react appropriately to the way they’re feeling.

Keep Routines Consistent

Keep your daily routines as consistent as possible so your pet doesn’t become alarmed. Don’t move the litterbox or food bowls ahead of time, as this will cause anxiety that may result in behavior like urinating around the house or scratching and gnawing on furniture. Continue feeding, walking, and playing with your pet as usual, even if your own schedule has changed and you’re no longer heading to work in the morning or engaging in other routine activities.

Put Together a Travel Bag

Assemble a travel bag for your pet ahead of time so you have plenty of opportunities to purchase anything that you might need. This bag should contain:

  • Food.
  • Litter.
  • Leash.
  • Toys.
  • Treats.
  • Medications.

You will want to pack items your pet uses every day last, but you might include a checklist in your pet’s bag so you don’t forget anything.

The Day Before the Move

With your big move looming before you, it’s certain that your pet will know something is about to happen. Take these final steps as you get ready for moving day.

Gather Remaining Pet Items

Put together the final items that you’ll need to take for your pet and store these in an easily reachable space. If you have a lot of travel ahead of you, your pet may need a special duffel bag in the car for all of your stops along the route. If you’re just moving across town, you can easily pack this last and unpack it first. This should include:

  • The pet’s bed.
  • Favorite toys.
  • Litterbox.
  • Food and water bowls.
  • Dog leash.

Plan Your Feeding Schedule

You should avoid feeding your pet for the last four or five hours before major plane or car travel, as they may get motion sickness. Consider your departure time and adjust your pet’s mealtimes accordingly.

Confine Your Pet

Keep your pet safely confined from the chaos as you’re handling the final preparations for the move. Keep in mind that your animal may feel especially nervous and make an attempt to bolt out the door if they have access.

Moving Day

On moving day, it’s important to include a few essential to-dos for your pet in the day’s activities.

Keep Your Pet Safe

Keep your pet in a closed room or pet carrier as boxes and furniture are being removed from the home. This will keep your pet from getting underfoot or escaping.

Provide Plenty of Water

Hydration is essential. Make sure your pet has access to plenty of water. You can include anti-anxiety drops in the water if needed to help your pet stay calm on this stressful day.

Create a Familiar Space in Your New Home

Set up your pet’s belongings in your new home as soon as possible. Place their food and water dishes in a familiar space (for example, if they were in the kitchen on linoleum before, keep them in the kitchen on the linoleum floor now). Give your pet a quiet corner with their bed where they can retreat, and make comfort items like a favorite toy or blanket readily accessible.

A lot of work goes into moving, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact our team at High Level Movers for assistance with all your moving needs, from packing to garbage removal to moving your belongings. We can help every step of the way.

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