Moving is not only a stressful event for you and your family but it can be hard on your pets. However with some careful planning you and your pets will enjoy a smooth and stress-free transition to your new home.

Take your time. This should apply to moving in general, but try to avoid a last minute packing job. Your pets are more intuitive than you think and if you panic your pet might feel stressed and anxious about what is going on.

Visit the vet. A week or so before your moving day take your small pet to their veterinarian for checkup. If you are moving a long distance you will also want to obtain your pet’s health records and a health certificate, which may be checked at any time during the move or in some instances is required prior to entry in your new state. Also, ask your vet if they have any referrals or recommendations for vets in your new area.

A couple weeks before moving, request a copy of veterinary records, a rabies vaccination certificate, and a health certificate. Be sure your pets are up to date with their shots. If your pet is a senior or has health problems, ask whether a mild sedative would be advisable before travel. Can your vet recommend another in your new location? For out-of-state moves, contact the State Department of Animal Husbandry or the state veterinarian about entry regulations—almost all states have entry laws for most animals except tropical fish.

Research your state's pet requirements. Some states have certain laws regarding pets and entry. Since some states have border inspection, it is important to learn about these local laws and regulations before you move as to avoid fines, or worse, face the possibility of not being able to move with your pet. Check with the city clerk in your new city. Often times, local laws prevent owners from having more than one cat or dog or some housing communities, you may find that horses or livestock must be a certain amount of miles from your neighbor’s home. There may also be certain tags (for rabies), permits, licenses and fees required to keep them in your new state.

Day of the move. Try to keep to your pets schedule as much as possible. For example, if your dog goes for a walk, make sure he gets proper exercise and is feed. Before the moving company arrives, make sure that your pet is wearing an ID tag that includes their name, destination address and your name. You can also include an alternate contact name and address.

Transporting your pets. Depending on the distance of your move, you may have them ride with you in your car. In other instances, you may have to travel via airplane. In these instances contact the airlines and ask about their pet regulations. For the most part, your pet – specifically cats and dogs – will travel as air freight in a container. Ask about insurance, what papers you need, their labeling systems, how the pick-up system works, costs, etc.

Also, if your flight is not direct, make sure you know their procedures in regards to connections and transfers.

Pet supplies. In addition to the packing and moving supplies you will travel with, your pet will also need supplies for the road and first few days in your new place. Make them a special care package of their food and some treats, a blanket, their favorite toy, etc.