Tips for Moving with a Pet

Tips & Advice

Tips for Moving with a Pet

Moving with a petGuest post by Erica Jorgensen,

Moving to a new city or town can be incredibly stressful, and it’s also a huge stress to your pet. New sights and sounds and unfamiliar smells can combine to make a move upsetting to even the most well-behaved and mellow of animals.

According to some estimates, up to one third of pets get lost at some point in their life. The chaos of moving and unfamiliar surroundings in the days and weeks after a move raise the risk that your pet may escape or even try to run away.

If you are moving with a pet, here are some tips from experts including the American Humane Association to help you make your move go smoothly.

If You’re Traveling By Car

  • Before your move, make sure to get dog tags made with your new address, as well as your phone number and email address. Keep your old dog tags and your new ones on your pet during the move, and have a recent photo of your dog with you just in case he or she gets lost.
  • If you’re moving by car or van, make reservations ahead of time at hotels that accept pets. Check the Pet Friendly Hotels website for a state-by-state list of hotels that accept dogs and cats. Keep in mind that the hotel rooms reserved for pets can book up. Make reservations well ahead of time, and plan out a route with reasonable daily mileage to keep both you and your pet from getting overtired.
  • Note that pet-friendly hotels often have guidelines against leaving your pet alone in the room. Fortunately, many go out of their way to accommodate your pet, and should be able to give you pointers about surrounding restaurants that are likely to be pet friendly.
  • Keep your dog crated or on a leash at all times during a move. According to the American Humane Association, “The stress of a move can cause even the most obedient dog to run away in unfamiliar surroundings.”
  • Rover’s partners at Petco recommend that you pack slowly, over the course of weeks. They also recommend that you take time to get your pet used to staying in a crate if he or she isn’t used to one, and make sure that your pup’s nails are trimmed to help avoid getting them hooked on the crate.
  • We hope this goes without saying, but never, ever leave your pet unattended in a car, even on cool days.

If You’re Traveling By Plane

  • If you’re transporting your pet by air, keep in mind you need to book well in advance, both for travel in the cabin and in the cargo compartment.
  • Note that airlines may cancel flights for pets traveling in the compartment area if the temperatures are too hot.  Similarly, if your flight is delayed due to bad weather, your pet may get bumped and moved to a kennel facility, and not make it on the same flight as you. You’ll then need to foot the bill for any related costs.
  • Crate sizes can be very specific, as is the list of requirements for the kennel construction. (See Alaska Airlines’ guidelines as an example.)

For All Moves

  • Try to find a vet in your new town ahead of time, just in case your dog becomes ill during travel. Know your vet’s hours and locate an emergency 24-hour clinic just in case.
  • Keep your dog out of the fray as boxes and furniture are moved in. Falling objects and household poisons can be hazardous during a move.
  • Set up your dog’s bed and play area with familiar toys. Be sure to spend extra time with your dog in the first days after a move to keep him or her feeling loved and secure.

As always, if you have any questions about your dog’s well being, be sure to check with your veterinarian. And to make sure you have a dog sitter at the ready when you arrive in your new town, visit and search for the dog sitter who’s perfect for both you and your dog.

About Erica Jorgensen and

Erica Jorgensen has written award-winning magazine features and is a senior copywriter for, an online dog-sitting marketplace. is the simple, savvy way to find a local dog sitter and is used by tens of thousands of dog owners across the country. You can follow Erica on Twitter at @JorgensenErica and follow Rover at @roverdotcom.

Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.

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