Relocation can be quite stressful on your entire household—and that includes our pets. In fact, moving is likely harder on them than it is on us, for the simple fact that we know what’s going on and why, while they have no idea what’s going on. When moving day arrives, their world experiences a sudden and dramatic shift which—if not handled correctly—can feel quite traumatic.

At the same time, knowing this does nothing to make the moving process easier on us humans. Moving with pets requires that special considerations are made to keep them safe and secure. That’s why it’s important to learn the steps we need to take beforehand to ensure a smooth and easy relocation when our pets are involved. 

If you’re moving to a new home and bringing along your family pets, it’s a good idea to know what to expect during the process. In this guide from your expert team of movers at Harrington Moving and Storage, find out what you can do to make your next relocation with pets a breeze—for you, your movers, and of course, for the furriest members of your family.

1) Make Arrangements For Their Safety on Moving Day

The single most important step you can take when planning any relocation, with our without pets, is to get organized weeks before moving day arrives. Take time to plan out every step of the process in the weeks leading up to the move by creating a detailed moving calendar filled with important dates and to-do lists. If you are moving with pets, make sure to have a solid plan set in place as to what you plan to do with them on moving day. 

This might mean using a pet shipping company, flying them on an airline, or driving with them in your car. Whatever you decide, you’ll want to work out the details beforehand to avoid last-minute problems or hassles that could delay your move. If you’re using an airline, for example, make sure that the crate you use meets their standards and that your pet has all of its necessary vaccinations and medical records on-hand. If you’re looking into pet shipping companies, make sure to do your homework to find the best one—and get prepared to ensure a smooth and easy hand-off. 

2) Have a Solid Travel Plan

If you’re traveling long-distance, it’s a good idea to get your travel plans in order as soon as possible in order to properly plan your moving day around a set schedule. This is clearly important for your pets as well, as the way you’re traveling to your new home will determine how they get there as well. Try to have your travel plans set at least a month in advance, or longer. Even if you’re just driving with your pet, you’ll want to have a solid itinerary in place that includes rest stops for your pet and if necessary, an overnight stay in a pet-friendly hotel. 

3) Keep Your Pet's Belongings Together

It might seem obvious, but keep your pet’s snacks, food, toys, blankets, medicines, grooming tools, and other items together. but if you’re doing a rushed packing job it can be easy to scatter your pet’s belongings into several different boxes or bags, which will make things difficult to find later on. If traveling long-distance to your new home and driving with your pet in the car, make a separate bag for your pet with snacks, toys, blankets, and anything else your pet might need during the trip and keep it in the car with you.

4) Gather Your Pet's Medical Records

In the rush of moving, it’s easy to leave this one to the last minute. Make sure that your pet’s medical records and other important papers are up-to-date and kept in a folder along with your other important documents. If possible, scan these documents and save them digitally to keep from losing them during the move or afterward. 

If flying with your pet, it’s very possible that you’ll need to obtain a certificate of health from your veterinarian anyway—check with the airline to make sure. If so, take the opportunity to check and see if you have everything you need or if something is missing. If there is something missing, you can have it replaced at that appointment. 

5) Get to Know the Neighborhood Together

If you have a dog, take it for a walk on a leash around the neighborhood to explore. Dogs love getting a sense of their surroundings, and a good brisk walk will not only ease up tense muscles after a long drive, but it will also help your dog feel excited and begin to adjust to the new territory. 


At Harrington Moving & Storage, our residential movers have been moving people and their pets to new homes near and far since 1996. If you’re planning an upcoming move with your pets or would like to hear more details about our specialized moving and storage services for residential or commercial needs on the East Coast, our team is here for you. Give us a call to speak with an agent today or fill out our online form to get started with a free, in-home moving quote and consultation.