Moving with Pets

written by Elyse Berman, CRS
Boca Raton, FL   
Feb 2, 2021

Moving to a new home is an exciting time. Moving with pets can make the process more complicated. Try to eliminate stress by having a plan in place. Your pets will sense something is up. They're in tune to you. Having a plan will help to ease the burden and make a smoother transition for all.

You've looked for and bought a pet-friendly home in a new city. You've done your due diligence and checked the pet restrictions and local laws. This is especially important if you have multiple pets, larger pets or what is termed an "aggressive" breed. So, you're all set and getting ready to go.

Plan a trip to your vet. Make sure your pets' vaccinations are up to date, especially rabies. Get a copy of your pet's medical records and any meds s/he may need for the trip and the immediate future. You can usually have their records emailed to you or on disc. Ask your old vet for a recommendation. You might get lucky and s/he may know a vet in your new city. Update your pet's ID tags and microchip records. This is vitally important if your pet should get out.

Put together a carrier for each pet. Bring along an old tee shirt that has your scent. Put it into the carrier or in with your pet's bedding. It will help to calm them. Pack a bag for your pets. Make sure you have enough food, water, treats, medications, familiar toys, beds and blankets for your pets for several days, if not more. You want to be prepared in case the movers get held up or anything that could delay getting your things for a few days.

Try to keep pets as calm as possible on moving day. They will sense something is going on. This includes leaving your old home and arriving at your new home. Perhaps your furry friends can spend a few hours with a relative or friend while the moving truck is being packed. If not, confine them to one area. Make sure they are wearing their tags with your contact information. We don't want anyone getting out. Same thing when you arrive—make sure your pets are safe as your furniture is being unloaded. If they can stay with a friend, in daycare or in the car with you, that should be fine.

Once your furniture and belongings are brought into your new home, make sure to set up a new space for your furry friends. You want your pets to have a sense of familiarity and start to feel comfortable in their new surroundings, too. Put their beds, blankets and toys into this area. They need a place to feel safe and get comfy.  Having their own beds, blankets or whatever you use will be a big help in getting your dogs settled in their new home.

Welcome home!

Elyse Berman, PA, CRS  is a Pet-Friendly REALTOR® who has been helping people buy and sell homes for the past 16-plus years. She serves Palm Beach County, Florida.  Check out her blog.