Moving and Traveling with Pets


Moving is stressful enough without having any extra headaches to deal with. Whether you’re relocating across the country or across the street, the key to coordinating a successful move is to have of your ducks in a row; this includes a plan for your pet. From fish to Fido, it’s important to have a plan for the most important family member!

Know Before You Go!

Chances are, your family pet is either a cat or dog, but if you have an unusual pet, make sure you contact the State Veterinarian’s Office or State Department of Agriculture requesting the pet laws and regulations of your new state. You might need to get a special permit, depending on the type of animal.

Once you’ve determined the state’s regulations, it’s a good idea to check with the City Clerk’s office in your new community for local pet ordinances.  Some apartments will not allow cats or dogs, or will have weight limits on specific animals. Make sure you’re 60 lb. lab will be welcome in your new home!

Pets Have Paperwork

Bet you didn’t even realize it, but your pet has paperwork! Most states require a health certificate for dogs and many states require one for cats, birds. Check with your veterinarian to determine if your pet requires a health certificate. Typically, current inoculation records must accompany it.

In addition to a health certificate, your pet must have proper identification. Whether you are moving by air or by car, any pet that can wear a collar should have one on, with an ID tag secured to it. Most tags will and should include the pet’s name, your name, and the destination address.  In addition, most animals require rabies tags so if your pet hasn’t been inoculated for rabies, you will want to make sure to handle this before you move.

Prep Your Pet for Travel

While many of us cannot bear to be away from our furry friends for more than a few hours, if you are traveling by air to your new apartment, your pet might have to fly separate. Your first step is to confirm that the airline allows animals. Some airlines allow pets to fly with you if they are kept in a USDA and IATA-approved container small enough to fit under the seat. Pets not accompanied by the owner must travel air freight. If your pet must fly air freight, make sure you sedate your pet to alleviate any additional stress. Also remember to clearly indicate write the words “FRAGILE. LIVE ANIMAL” and “THIS SIDE UP” on the outside of the container.