By Kim Salerno

Moving can definitely be one of life’s more stressful endeavors. There’s the organizing, the arrangements and the packing, plus a thousand and one little details to attend to. And when you’re moving with your pet, your list gets even longer.

One helpful way to take some of the stress out of moving is to focus on the positive. Moving with your pet can actually be a pleasant new adventure for both of you– provided you take some time to organize and prepare yourself and your pet for the transition. To help things go smoothly, here’s a list of the essentials you’ll need for your pet when you make your big move to your new pet friendly apartment.

Veterinary Records

The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet - Veterinary Records

Prior to your move, take time out to see your veterinarian and request an up-to-date and complete copy of your pet’s medical records. Your new vet will need these records in order to assess your pet’s health and keep him or her current on vaccines.


The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet - Medication

During your pre-move trip to the vet, take the time to refill any medications your pet may be taking to ensure that you have an ample supply on hand. This includes flea and tick preventatives, as well as heartworm medications.

New Identification Tag

The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet - New Identification Tag

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting new ID tags. You should get new tags before you head to your new home, and have them ready to go before the move. If your pet is microchipped, be sure to update your pet’s microchip company with your new address.

Pet Vehicle Restraint

The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet- Pet Vehicle Restraint

It is absolutely critical that you properly secure your pet in your vehicle. There are so many pet car safety products out there, from pet travel carriers, to pet car seats, to pet seat belts, and vehicle pet barriers. You’re sure to find something that’s right for your pet. Pets need time to adjust to new restraints, so plan to acclimate your pet to your new device well in advance of your move.

Favorite Toys

The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet - Favorite Toys

Your pet’s toys are a source of both entertainment and comfort. Taking their favorites along on your move will make your trip easier, and help ease their stress once you settle in to your new home.

Pet Bed

The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet - Pet Bed

You only have to take a short trip to realize how much you love sleeping in your own bed. Pets feel the same way – their bed smells right, it feels right, and it’s a comforting thing in a world of change. Securing your pet’s bed in the car will help comfort him or her on the drive, and prepping it in your new home will help them adapt more quickly.

Food & Water

The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet - Food and Water

It seems like the first thing pet parents would think of, but that’s not always the case. People often forgo packing food, believing they can pick up some kibble on the road or get some once they get to the new place.

However, your pet’s regular brand may not be that easy to find, and switching brands suddenly could cause stomach upset – not pleasant on a car ride. Further, it’s important to keep your pet hydrated during your road trip, so don’t forget the bottled water.

Travel Bowls

The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet - Travel Bowls

This is another item that pet parents should think of, but often don’t. You can place your pet’s usual bowls in the car for your trip, or pack them with your kitchen items and bring collapsible pet travel bowls along instead. These are handy to have, as they fit neatly away into a backpack, and can be used in your new place until you have had a chance to unpack the others.

Car Seat/Cargo Cover

The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet - Car Seat/Cargo Cover

Pets can get your vehicle dirty in the blink of an eye – not something you want to deal with during a move. Car seat covers, cargo covers and throvers are all great options for keeping your car neat and tidy during an extensive trip with your pet.

Poop Bags/Litter Box

The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet - Poop Bags/Litter Box

You really don’t want to leave a trail of poop from your old place to your new place. Keep poop bags handy at all times throughout your move, and when you get to your new neighborhood, too. Best to start out on good footing with your new neighbors!  And for the kitties, don’t forget the litter box.

Collar, Harness, and Leash

The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet - Collar, Harness, and Leash

This should be obvious, but during a move, you never know what you might forget!

Calm Energy

The Essentials for Moving with Your Pet - Calm Energy

Did you know that your energy can “rub off” on your pet? Pets really internalize and reflect their human’s stress levels, so it’s essential that you stay as calm as possible during this time of change – for your sake as well as theirs.

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The Essentials for Moving With Your Pet

Kim Salerno is the President and Founder of, a pet travel guide that provides online reservations at more than 30,00,000 pet friendly accommodations across the U.S and Canada. Kim spends her free time traveling with her four-legged kids, Tucker, Charlie, Brownie, and Diamond.