How To Move Your Pets

Moving with pets.

When you go new places® every member of your family should be at ease. Cats, dogs and other animals are especially sensitive to moving. The secret to pet relocation is planning. Follow these pointers and ask your Atlas Agent if you have questions.

Pet Regulations Checklist:

Check the rules and regulations before moving your pets. Typically when moving, you need to bring certificates with you showing that your pet has had the proper inspections and vaccines. These requirements may differ in your new home, especially when moving to a new state.

  • State rules. Each state has their own laws and regulations for pet owners. Find your state's Veterinary Office or Department of Agriculture here.
  • Local ordinances. Check with the City Clerk's office in your new town to find out about local ordinances. You can learn about any leash laws, licensing rules, limits on the number of pets per household, and zoning laws that may prohibit specific animals in residential areas.
  • Apartments & Condos. Many communities do not permit cats and dogs, let alone exotic pets like iguanas, snakes, tarantulas, and ferrets. Make sure that you know the policies for your furry (and scaly) friends and any extra costs they charge for pets.
  • Health certificates. Many states require a health certificate for dogs and some require it for cats and other pets as well. Find out your new state's requirements here.
  • Rabies tags. Most states require a rabies tag for cats, dogs, and some exotic animals.
  • Permits. You may need to purchase a permit before your exotic pet can enter your new home state. Ask your veterinarian for help with the application process.

Tools to keep your pets safe while moving:

The devices below will help ensure your pets’ safety while moving. They include items that will help you find your pets if they get lost, tools to keep with you while traveling, and papers for helping your pets if they get hurt.

  • ID tags. If your pet can wear a collar, put one on and attach an ID tag. (For birds, put the tag on a leg band.) The tag should include the pet's name, your name, and the destination address and your number.
  • Microchips. Pets with microchips are entered into a pet recovery system so if your pet gets loose, you’ll be contacted once it’s found. If your pet was purchased from a breeder, pet store, or shelter it likely already has a microchip.
  • Pictures. Keep a photograph of your pet so you can show your new neighbors what your pet looks like if it gets lost.
  • Collars. Make sure you have collars on your pets while they’re traveling in the car or on a plane. For animals that get fidgety, you probably want to get a harness they can’t wiggle out of.
  • Leashes. Keep a chain and leash for your dog to keep them in your new yard if you have to wait for a fence to be built. Pack a spare in case your pet breaks the leash.
  • Pet carriers. If you’re traveling by airplane, any pet in the cabin must be in a pet carrier. In a car, some pets are less stressed in a carrier rather than on the loose. To find out more about pet carriers click here.
  • Records. Getting your pet's health records from your veterinarian will help a new vet provide the best care for your pet.

Take water from your home during your journey. It will help keep your pet calm and prevent them from getting sick.

Pet transportation methods:

Do you hire a pet-moving service, or do it yourself? Many moving companies, like Atlas, are not allowed to move your pets. Buses and trains cannot transport pets unless they are medical service animals. If your pet requires special handling and you cannot move him or her yourself, consider a professional pet service. Ask your Atlas Agent for their recommendation.

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ProMover® Certified

All Atlas Agents are ProMover Certified, the highest designation from the American Moving & Storage Assocation.

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Better Business Bureau A+ Ranking

Atlas World Group, Inc. (parent company of Atlas Van Lines) is awarded the Better Business Bureau A+ Ranking, the highest ranking. Among other criteria, it reflects our time in the business and transparent business practices.

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Award Winning Agents

Atlas adheres to formal, measurable standards for quality. Our Agencies are accountable with regular inspections and evaluations. Customer feedback is also essential for our efforts to improve service on every move.