Moving with Pets?

Moving can stress everyone, including our four-legged best friends.

1. Get the Right Identification.

“Be certain that any required license tags are secured properly and the contact information is current,” advised Will Featherstone, founder, and owner of Featherstone & Co. of Keller Williams Excellence, a real estate team located in Baltimore, MD.

If your pet’s ID tags are out of date, be sure to update them with a current phone number and your new address. You’ll likely need a new rabies tag if you move to a new county or city. It is also wise to keep a copy of their health certificate handy in case you need to unexpectedly board them or they need to go to the vet.

Make sure you have a recent picture of your dog with you as well.

“If your pet is lost during the move, a photograph will make it much easier to search effectively,” said Featherstone.

If you’re prepping for an international move, check that your pet has all the vaccines and documentation needed for the next country.

2. Prep Records and Medications.

For moves that will require switching veterinarians, get a copy of the pet’s health certificate and vaccine history, suggested Meister-Yetter.

Also consider a final check-up with your current vet.

If your animal needs a prescription, “make sure the supply of current medications will last until a veterinarian in your new location can be found to provide refills,” Featherstone said.

3. Visit the Next Home Ahead of Time

Moving somewhere close to your current home?

“Take your pets to the new place that you will be moving into and spend time with them there,” suggested Rachel Sentes, CEO of gal-friday publicity, who has moved several times with pets.

“They should get to know the place a little and have your smells there so it’s not completely a surprise for them,” Sentes said.

If your new house is a long distance away this might not be an option. Just be prepared to give your pet time to adjust to the new surroundings by making sure you remember to pack his or her favorite toy.

4. Make Trip Arrangements.

If your pet will be traveling on an airline or internationally research airline pet policies and practices, suggests Kyla Sentes, founder of Dog Hair INCluded.

“They are not all created equal even if their stated policies are the same,” Kyla Sentes said.

Ask about boarding practices for pet owners.

“Most airlines are good about you waiting with your pet until the last minute possible to board,” explained Kyla Sentes. “Be super nice and friendly with those transporting your dog – the more they see your relationship with your pet, the more willing they are to make you feel at ease.”

5. Moving Over Land.

Moving companies will not handle transportation of your animal companion. However, there are pet transportation companies that can transport your pets to your new location for a fee. Pet travel services can be particularly helpful if you have a large number of pets to move, which can be a challenge if you are moving a long-distance away.

The best option is to transport your pets yourself if you are making a cross country road trip to your new home.

6. Settle Them In For Moving Day.

Before movers arrive, consider placing your pet in an area of the home, such as the bathroom, and shutting the door.

A plug-in pheromone for a dog or cat can help calm nerves.

“Don’t forget food, water, and litter box if applicable,” added Meister-Yetter.

Better yet, have a friend, relative or neighbor keep your pet at their place until the movers leave.

7. Take Precautions on the Trip.

If you’ll need to stay overnight in a place, use sites such as Pet-Friendly-Hotels and to find hotels that accept pets.

Also keep routines as close as possible, noted Rachel Sentes.

“When I moved my two dogs on a 13-hour car ride, we stopped to walk them as per our usual schedule,” she said.

Be sure to keep your pets well fed and hydrated while on the road, and plan to stop for bathroom breaks. Provide a crate or carrier for your pet to give them a place to rest and to keep them constrained during the course of the trip.

8. Adjust Slowly.

“Try to get one room in the new home set up beforehand with familiar things: furniture, blankets, clothing – anything with your scent on it is preferable,” stated Meister-Yetter. “When you arrive with your pets, quarantine them in the room you set up beforehand, again using food, water, and a plug-in pheromone.”

It may take a few days for your animals to start eating and acting normally.

“Let them adjust in their own time, but make yourself available for extra cuddles and love,” advised Meister-Yetter.

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COVID-19 Update

As a COVID-19 essential service, we are open for business and are committed to providing safe and efficient moving services to our customers.

Our Commitment to You

We are committed to moving you safely. In these unprecedented times, we take our role as essential service providers very seriously. We will continue to provide services while following recommendations from the CDC and the WHO while working to protect our customers and front-line employees.

Limiting in-person contact is the best practice when limiting the spread of COVID-19. While our business requires we enter the residence to provide packing and loading services, we can conduct the quote process via virtual survey.  While the staff is working remotely, they are available to customers, agents and drivers during the same business hours and in the same manner as if they were working in the office.

As you plan and prepare for your move, here are some steps you can take:


  • Rather than greeting the crew with handshakes, greet them in some other way, verbally for instance.
  • To ensure everyone’s health and safety, if you or anyone within your household may have contracted Coronavirus, or are isolating due to exposure to the virus, call us and explain the situation; in many cases, we will try to work with you
  • If you must cancel your move, be sure to ask questions about how we are managing cancellations now
  • Your health and the health of your family is important. If you are in a vulnerable group, over 60 or have a compromised immune system, schedule your move after the pandemic is over if it is at all possible.
  • Provide the moving crew access to a sink, soap and paper towels throughout your move. If this isn’t practical, and it is readily available, provide hand sanitizer
  • Purchase new moving boxes and tape; this isn’t the time to use recycled boxes from online sources and free sites or from stores
  • If you have not already purchased food for the next couple of weeks, you’ll want to stock up on items that you eat regularly. Any shelf-stable items can be donated to Move For Hunger before your move to lighten your load
  • When moving long distances, you may want to fly in to meet your moving truck. Be sure that you book refundable plane tickets and select hotels that offer free cancellation. Ask about cancellation policies before you book, and remember to read