Advanced Search

Tips for Moving Pets

Your pets may understand a few words, but they will not comprehend, “Can you please be on your best behavior in the back seat as we drive 1,700 miles across the country to our new home?” That means it’s up to you to get them ready for the move and help them acclimate once they arrive.

Moving Tips for Pets - from BoxesandBags - GBE Packaging - Fast Professional Source for Wholesale Shipping and Packaging Supplies Since 1998.

Moving Tips for Pets

Below are some suggestions or recommendations
you may find useful if you are moving or relocating with a pet. 

Moving can be just as stressful for your pet as it is for you but as long as you share your love with your pet and make them feel safe and secure that can help them adjust to the new environment.

Cats and dogs are the most common pets but there are exceptions, if you have a monkey or pig, ferrets, there are lots of pets out there, but in most cases the moving tip's will work with any animal it's all common sense when having to deal with a living animal. Always make sure they are safe and protected from the sun and have lots of fresh water and food. Some vets might have suggestions for your pet so dont be afraid to call your vet. Professional movers will not move pets. So, you will need to transport your pets with you. They'll be much more comfortable in your presence, and you'll be able to keep an eye on them.
Because pets have an instinctive fear of new surroundings, pet owners want to help them adjust quickly.Prior to moving day, make sure your pets are fitted with collars and ID tags with your name and current cell-phone number. Microchipping is also recommended and will serve as a backup if your pet loses its collar.On moving day, make sure your pets are secured in a crate or closed room of your house or apartment until you are ready to load them into your car.
Pre-Move Preparation for Dogs, Cats and More.

● Try to keep your pets routine as close to normal as possible
● Collect all the pet supplies you will need for the move, you might include treats in a zip lock bag so they do not dry out.
● A pet carrier is recommended for cats or dogs, it can give you peace of mind when transporting your pet. (They are great to keep your pet safely confined on moving day, get a carrier ahead of time and gradually accustom your pet to spending time in it.)
● Prepare your pets by gradually acclimating them to their carrier with food or treats and try to get them use to spending time in the carrier. Try carrying your pets around the house in the carrier or taking a short drive with them.
● Have all the familiar pet toys and necessary things, brushes, clips, and other things needed for your pet in a bag and ready to use if needed to keep them comfortable during the first few days in your new home or apartment.
● Locate hotels along your route that are pet-friendly in advance (Two recommended sites are Pets Welcome and Pet Friendly Hotels ) Also have an updated copy of your pet’s vaccinations in case you need to show them at a hotel or kennel during your trip.
● Just in case have a recent photo of your pet on hand should your pet become lost.
● If you're moving out of the area, inform your vet so you can take records and any prescription medications with you. See if they can recommend another vet in your new neighborhood.
● Update any tags they wear and any computer chip registrations to your new address in case they are lost during the move.
● Have the number of a veterinarian in your new city, just in case an emergency arises. We have a veterinarian locator on our moving links page. Moving Links  
● On moving day you may want to reduce stress on your pets by keeping them in the quietest area possible. If you cant leave them with a friend, relative or a kennel for the day (which is recommended), at least remove them from the strangers and moving action. This could mean emptying a bedroom on another floor and closing the door, mark it with a sign so the movers do not let them out, or you can put them in their carrier or kennel in the garage or car (please take proper caution to ensure they'll be at a safe temperature and that they have water and food if they will be there for some time). Make sure you check in on them regularly, and try to feed or walk them at the time you usually would; having some sense of a routine in the midst of all the changes will help a lot.
● If you plan to take your pet to the new house in your own vehicle we recommend a carrier or kennel in the back seat, which can then be secured with a seatbelt. Larger dogs can be moved in a kennel in the back of the car; you may need to put seats down if possible. Some animals might feel more comfortable if you throw a blanket over their carrier during the car ride so they can't see the environment changing outside but make sure they can get fresh air.
● For long-distance moves, make sure you give your pet potty breaks and fresh water whenever you stop for a break yourself. Make sure pets are leashed at all times during potty breaks.
● Your pets can easily be lost - Once they're in the car, it's safer to not open the kennel until the pet is in the new home, even if your pet is usually well-behaved or trained the stress of a move can produce unexpected results. Give them a few days in the new home to adjust.
● If possible move your property, furniture, and clothing before you move your pet. Set up as much as you can, even just in one room, before you introduce your pet to the rest of your new home. Keep them in one section of the house while they slowly adjust to their surroundings. Give your pet lots of attention and introduce familiar objects like toys or blankets as soon as possible. Make them feel at home with personal items and treats!   
● Remember to make sure you update their tags or microchip information to the new address and phone number.
● For your pets safety remember to pet-proof your new home, tuck away electrical cords, plug up nooks where your pet could get stuck, make sure that all windows have secure screens, remove any poisonous houseplants and confirm that no pest-control poison traps have been left anywhere in the house.
Always transport cats, small dogs and other small animals in a secure, well-ventilated pet carrier. Keep larger dogs leashed and under control at all times.NEVER transport any pet in an open truck bed, trunk of a car or storage area of a moving van.For long-distance moves, make sure you give your pet potty breaks and fresh water whenever you stop for a break yourself. Make sure pets are leashed at all times during potty breaks.

Recommended Sites Related to Moving with Pets

Atlas Van Lines - Moving with Pets
Atlas Van Lines - Pet and Animal Information by Type and by State
Atlas Van Lines - Pet Carriers are Essential
Atlas Van Lines - Pet Travel by Air
Atlas Van Lines - Pet Travel by Car
Find a Professional Pet Shipper

Trips with Pets - Moving Tips for Pets
Trips with Pets - Pet Travel Tips for Flying
Trips with Pets - Airline Pet Policies

Find an Accredited Veterinarian Hospital Locator

More Links for Dogs

Best Dog Food


More Links for Cats




Send us your link suggestions!

One of the most unique challenges of moving is figuring out how to move a fish tank to another house.Each aquarium has its own ecosystem that keeps your fish calm and healthy.
Moving with Fish
● Thinking about moving your Fish? Fish respond strongly to stress, shock and temperature changes so a move can be traumatizing, if not fatal. It isn't recommended but you can transport fish short distances in bags filled with their old tank water (check with your local aquarium store for supplies and suggestions). If you have a long distance to travel it might be best to give them a new home with a friend, empty and clean the tank, and buy new fish after you unpack.
● If you have specialty fish, or something special the local fish store might purchase them from you.
● If you want to keep your pet fish some people have shipped their fish overnight in insulated shipping boxes or traveled with their fish, again a local fish store may have some recommendations for moving or shipping fish but we also have a few tip's that have been shared with  us about moving fish.
● Carefully bag your fish with as much water as possible and do not forget to keep living plants also bagged up with enough tank water to keep them moist. You can also bag any sand, gravel, tank accessories or rocks for travel we recommend a double seal zip bag that is leak proof. Warning!! Be careful when transporting some coral they can release toxic airborne spores.
● Any electrical items such as heaters and air pumps should be switched off at least 15 minutes before moving this will allow the appliances to cool down and thus prevent cracking. Wrap fragile items such as the heaters or light tubes in bubble or paper and remember to label everything for easy access. You may want to photograph your set up prior to taking it apart.
● Be sure to protect your tank by wrapping in bubble wrap or moving blankets and remember to stand it on a cushioned surface. You never want to twist, pressure or crack the seal of the tank or it will leak when refilled. If possible it is best to transport the tank in the back seat or trunk of a car rather than the moving truck that way you can then keep your eye on it and start to set it up immediately on arrival at your new home.
● Remove any filters and transport separately and remember to get it up and running as soon as you reach your destination. With some filters if you store them for too long in static water then the beneficial bacteria within the filter may start to die off. Some people just start out with new filters but in any case remember to adjust the temps and de-chlorinate the water in the tank before adding the fish slowly.
● Try and get your fish to their destination as quickly as possible. Be careful of extremes in weather temperature. On a hot day the water will heat up causing the fish to overheat and die. On a cold day the water will cool down to a very low temperature in which fish also cannot survive. Consider buying a battery powered air pump and heater if you are traveling on a long journey or in really warm or cold weather. We recommend an insulated shipping container which has a sealed polystyrene inside or a clean bucket as a temporary storage container but make sure the box or buckets have not been used with anything potentially toxic and rinse them well before use. The movement of the journey will help to aerate the water and agitate the water surface.
● Settle your fish into their new home as quickly as possible and treat them as if they were new fish, remember to de-chlorinate the water in the tank, get the filters running and make sure the water in the tank and water in the bags are the same and correct for the fish before release. You can float the bags in the tank prior to release to get the temps the same. When you release the fish open the bags slowly and let your fish get used to the new water slowly. Just dropping them in the new water could put them in shock and kill them.
● For the next week or so monitor your fish carefuly as they may be stressed and check the water for nitrate and ammonia levels. You may need to treat the fish with medicine if you notice any fish diseases.

More Recommended Links for Moving with Fish
Steps to Protect your Fish during the Move
Moving Your Aquarium
How to Move with Fish
How to Move an Aquarium
How To Move A Fish Tank - Step-By-Step
Moving with Fish
How To Move A Fish Tank The Right Way

Your birds will pick up on your demeanor, so if you are stressed, they will become stressed, too. If possible, clear out a room for your bird before the professional movers arrive. This way, the bird can avoid most of the stress caused by the moving chaos.Many pet owners ask whether a bird should be transported in their cage or in some kind of box.
Moving with Birds
● Birds can easily be lost, they are very high strung and jittery about change and the activity of a move can be very alarming for birds.
● Birds can fly the coop on moving day even your smart parrot might balk at the idea of being put in a cage but it really is a good idea - Make sure you put all your birds in cages on moving day and keep them safe and cool with plenty of water and food.
● A lot depends on how you will transport your birds, by airline or car. As with dogs and cats, bus lines and trains do not accept pets. For the safety and comfort of your birds, traveling by car is the best option. This is not always possible and most airlines will allow birds to be flown with owners in the cabin or in the cargo hold.
● Regardless of how you transport your birds it's best to have them checked by a veterinarian and obtain health certificates. Some states require health certificates and some do not but it’s better to have the documents, if for no other reason than to show proof of ownership.
● Consider a professional pet transportation company. If you are expensing relocation, see if you can negotiate having your company pay to have your pets moved professionally. When considering professional movers, you can ask if they work with or can recommend a pet transportation company. Pet movers handle everything from picking up your pets at home to delivering them to your new home or a kennel. Most offer airline or vehicle travel options.

More Recommended Links for Moving with Birds
Moving with Birds - Moving.com
How to move with Pet Birds
How to Make Moving Homes Easier on Your Pet Bird
Tips on Moving Birds


      Talk to your guinea pigs whenever you get the chance. Make them feel safe. Say something like, "(guinea pig's name), you are going on a trip to (wherever) with me!"      Try to pull over at a rest stop every hour. Use that time to pet your guinea pig and refill their food supplies.
Moving with Guinea Pigs
● Guinea Pigs do not like moving and are known to suffer from change or being jostled around. Their hearts are particularly susceptible so please take care with guinea pigs and make sure they are transported in a warm, comfortable, small carrier. Try to handle them as if they were eggs and very breakable.
● It is important for them to be in a familiar environment during travel, even better if they can stay in their own cage if it is not too big, if they have a huge cage you may want to invest in a smaller cage for the trip.
● We suggest you get your pet familure with their travel carrier so purchase a carrier well in advance of the trip, for several days, leave the carrier out and open with the guinea pig when he is out of his cage for exercise. Allow him to explore and go in and out of his new cage at will. You can put some treats (veggies) in the carrier as well as some of their bedding, and close them in the carrier for short periods to get them used to it. Increase the time periods your pet is in the cage for short trips and by the time moving day rolls around they will be ready for the trip.
● When you are ready to transport them make sure the cage is secure in your vehicle, it's a good idea to belt them in with the seat belts. Take the water bottle out or it will just drip. You can provide watery veggies (cucumbers, lettuce, etc.) so they have something to eat during the trip. The cage or carrier should be as bounce-proof as possible remember to treat them as if they were eggs. Make sure there is no risk of your pet escaping from the cage or carrier. The last thing you need is an escaped guinea pig in your car or truck. You can add towels or terry cloths for comfort.
● During the trip when you stop for yourself, give your guinea pig some food and water or a healthy snack. Keep hay in the carrier as well.
● Depending on the season you can run the heat or air conditioner to maintain a nice steady temperature. Just don't allow a direct blast on the guinea pigs. Also make sure they are shaded from any direct sunlight.
Drive easy with your pets they do not like or understand G forces so drive slow and easy and keep their stress levels to a minimum.
● Do not leave them in the car overnight or during breaks, especially a hot car. Guinea pigs are more susceptible to heat stroke than dogs, cats, and kids. Some restaurants may let you bring them into the restaurant in a carrier, but try to either have them in the hotel or go through a drive through.
● Some motels or hotels will allow a pet in a carrier or small cage. Please do not leave your pet in the car overnight.
● With a little patience and safe driving you will be to your new home in no time. Give them a few days in the new home to adjust.

More Recommended Links for Moving with Guinea Pigs
How to Transport a Guinea Pig
5 Common Mistakes Guinea Pig Owners Make
Moving Cross Country With Exotic Pets
Guinea Pigs and Moving Anxiety
Moving to the USA with my Guinea Pig
Traveling with Guinea Pigs
Top Tips For Moving House With Guinea Pigs






Back to top