Moving with Pets

Moving is a big change, and pets don’t like change. Making proper preparations before your move can help alleviate your pet’s stress, avoid stress-related destructive behaviors, and keep your pet safe.

ID Tags, Registration, & Vaccinations

Make sure that Kitty and Spot are wearing collars with identification tags at all times. Microchipping adds an extra level of protection (make sure you update your address with the microchip company!) in case their collar breaks or is removed.

Check your new place to see if your pet needs to be registered with the town, city, or homeowner’s association. Update vaccines well in advance of the move, and attach the Rabies tag to their collar. Let your veterinarian know your new address and when you will be moving in there. Even if you will be needing a new, closer veterinarian, the Rabies tag on your pet corresponds to the veterinarian who administered the vaccine, and that clinic can look up your pet by Rabies number in case your pet gets lost.

If you are moving across state lines, your pets may need a Health Certificate from your veterinarian. This requires a vet checkup, and your veterinarian will give you a certificate to keep with you during the move. Usually Health Certificates are good for 30 days. Check with your veterinarian to see if this documentation is necessary for your specific move.

unhappy cat
anxious dog

Anxiety in Pets

In the weeks leading up to a move, your pets will know something is amiss. Your routines will change and their environment will change as boxes are packed. Make sure to leave time for playtime, extra belly rubs, and treats.

If your pet has a history of anxiety, consult your veterinarian to see if a mild sedative would help your pet prior to and during moving time. A stressed pet can be destructive (chewing up household items), self-destructive (excessive licking, fur-pulling), aggressive toward strangers (and movers!), or can have indoor elimination problems—so it is best to try to keep your routine as normal as possible.

Make sure your dog is accustomed to being on a leash, and familiarize your cat with a carrier well ahead of the move. Leave the carrier open and keep treats inside so your pet can go in and out freely. If your pets are not used to car rides, a few short trips around town for errands weeks in advance may help them get used to it. Make sure they get plenty of treats when they get out of the car! If you will need to stay in a hotel, make sure to find a pet-friendly one prior to your move date.

Time to Move!

On moving day, be prepared by stocking your car with food, treats, their water bowl, an extra bottle of water, their favorite toy, a leash, their bed/blanket, and poop bags. Remember to never leave your pet unattended in a car on a hot day!

Lastly, carve out some down time on moving day to go to a dog park (try out the Red Wing Dog Park!) or relax. It’s best for you AND your furry friend.