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Tips For Moving to Florida With Pets

A dog swimming in a pool after moving to Florida
Moving with pets? Sunbeam Movers are here to help you out! Read on to learn more!

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Packing furniture, dealing with all the paperwork, choosing the right moving team – in all that hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget that your furry friend needs attention. Moving to Florida with pets is often an underestimated relocation adventure, especially by people who haven’t owned one. 

However, this can be pretty complicated – your pet might not react to the change very well, and adapting to the new space can take a while. We want to share some tips to help you transition to your new Florida home and make this relocation easy for you and your fluffy companion.

Tips For Moving to Florida With Pets

Prepare for Packing

Packing for a move involves a lot of boxes and other new items and changes in your home. This may upset your furry friend, or they may get extra curious about all these items. Unless you’re using packing services, give yourself time to pack your home and gradually introduce your pet to all the supplies.

Also, you can start packing items you don’t use much and leave the boxes open. Let your pet get used to the idea of your items inside the boxes so you won’t have trouble later with packing the rest of the household and unpacking after the move. These actions will ensure a more peaceful moving day and avoid common ‘box attacks’ or your pet getting scared.

Routine Is a Must

If you’ve had your pet for a while now, you probably have some routines – eating and playing time, sleeping arrangements, etc. Try not to disrupt these through the moving process at all costs. Sticking to the well-known routines will ensure your pet feels safe and peaceful despite the changing environment. Don’t skip their play time or walks in your favorite Florida dog park; feed them at the usual times. Ensure their favorite bowl and toys are always available, and bring them to the new home.

A woman using her phone to find out more about moving to Florida with pets

Let Them Have Their ‘Safe Space’

If your pet has a dedicated space in the house, such as their bed or a corner with toys, ensure you don’t disrupt it until necessary. While the rest of the home will probably be a mess during the moving period with all the boxes and piles of items everywhere, your pet can have a safe space to go to whenever they feel stressed or scared.

Even though it may not seem like it, moving house can be pretty challenging for animals, as they are deeply connected to their base, providing them security and peace. This place should be a bit secluded, away from the noise and mess packing can cause. Their bed, blanket, or crate should be at a safe distance but not too far away from you so they don’t feel left alone.

Increase Safety Levels in Your Home

Moving all the furniture and having unknown objects, such as boxes and strangers, in your home can make your pet feel upset and afraid. Unfortunately, a pet often tries to escape and goes out of an open window or door. This can be very stressful for both the pet and its owner, and it can also slow down your moving process. Avoid this scenario by being extra careful when leaving doors or windows open, and try to keep your pet inside a room they cannot escape while the furniture is being carried out.

Even better, try finding a pet sitter in Florida to look after your furry friend while you’re busy. It can be someone from a professional pet care agency or someone you already know—a friend or a family member. It can be a safer solution to ensure your pet feels peaceful and cared for while you deal with all the moving tasks.

Tips for Moving With Pets – Cats, Dogs, Fish, Guinea Pigs


Cats can be pretty friendly, but they are usually easily scared by movers or moving situations. If you notice your cat is afraid, try to keep it in a separate room and give it a bit of its own safe space. Keep them inside, even their litter box, as cats can quickly run away when scared.

A cat sleeping on a desk


Moving with a dog can be challenging, as some dogs may react aggressively to movers, start barking, or even try to bite. This is normal if your dog is protective over you and your home, so it’s necessary to be as patient as possible.

Try to find someone to care for them while you’re busy, and let them use their old toys for extra security and peace. And don’t forget to find some time for your dog even when you’re busy – they’ll appreciate it more than you think.


Moving with fish is not the easiest – here are some tips that can help you make things smoother:

  • Avoid feeding the fish one or two days before the moving day, keeping their water as clean as possible.
  • Use a strong, clear plastic bag to transport your fish, and fill it with tank water. This will ensure optimal travel conditions.
  • Secure the bag safely, but don’t forget that fish can survive like that only for an hour or two. For longer drives, get some oxygen from your local pet store.
  • Unfortunately, fish don’t always survive long-distance car drives, so consider giving them away to friends or family before the move.

Guinea Pigs

Due to their size, these lovely furry animals are easy to transport. You’ll need a pet carrier of an appropriate size (in case you’re moving more than one guinea pig). Ensure the car’s temperature is cool enough, as these cute fur balls can overheat quickly. You can freeze a water bottle, wrap it with a towel, and keep it inside the carrier. To keep them hydrated, offer water-rich vegetables and other foods appropriate for guinea pigs, and keep the airline out of direct sunlight.

Requirements for Moving a Pet to Florida

Moving with your pet is not only about packing it safely into your car. If you’re bringing it to Florida, there are some requirements you should meet to prove that your pet is healthy and ready to move with you.

Firstly, you’ll need a vet health certificate. Your vet needs to check your pet’s overall health and make sure it’s free from contagious diseases. You can visit your local vet to get one, but be sure to add this task to your moving to-do list on time. Don’t wait for your moving schedule to get too busy before making an appointment with the vet. Remember—the certificate can’t be more than 30 days old.

Next, a rabies vaccination certificate is necessary, especially if the animal is older than three months. If the vaccine is not possible due to health issues, make sure you have that on paper.

Furthermore, Florida has specific laws on certain prohibited reptiles. Even though Florida is generally very friendly and comfortable for reptiles, some are on the Florida Reptile Prohibited list (certain types of pythons, green iguanas, green anacondas, and more).

Certain dog breeds were also under the ban, but the ban was lifted in 2023. However, breeds such as pit bulls are still controversial, so make sure you discuss it with your vet.

Regarding birds, Florida is bird-friendly, but you’ll still need a health certificate from a vet.

A happy woman with a dog looking at cell phone

Change of Lifestyle After Moving Pets to Florida

Pet owners usually have particular concerns about the days after the move. These worries are justified, as pets may struggle to adapt to the new environment. Adapting to the new living space can take some time, and some pets can even try to run away from the new home. This requires extra attention and safety until they finally feel at home again. Pet-proof your new home and make sure your pet is safe, especially when you’re away.

One great tip is to keep the routines you’ve had before the move. This will make them feel safer and more peaceful, knowing everything is still the way it used to be. However, Florida weather may require you to change your routines a bit. Hot days in Florida may shift your walk or playtime, and you may need to pay closer attention to the temperature in your new home.

New Life Chapter For You & Your Pet

Moving with your pet may be stressful, but what comes after it is totally worth it. Trust your moving process with a certified moving professional so you’ve got more time to dedicate to your furry friend. Give them more attention and start exploring Florida together—we’re sure you’ll love it!

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