Moving With Fish, Reptiles and Exotic Pets

Moving with fish, reptiles or exotics? You’re likely concerned about their safety during the impending upheaval. While all pets should be moved with extra care, some pets – like exotics – need special TLC. Here are some tips for moving fish, small mammals, and reptiles in the least stressful manner possible.

While movers don’t generally handle animals, it’s still a good idea to hire a mover skilled in specialty moves, as they can transport your pet accessories, tanks, and equipment.

Pre-Move Tips

Each state and community has its own laws about exotic pets and animals. Reach out to the proper authorities to familiarize yourself with any restrictions before the move. Your pet should also be current on all their vaccines and permits.

Schedule a vet visit for your pet before you make the transition so they can be deemed healthy and given the green light for the move. Ask your current vet for vet referrals in the new city.

To make sure your pet stays calm in the days leading up to the move, make sure to stick to their normal routine and feeding schedule as much as you can. If your long-distance move will require a hotel stay, research and book “exotic pet-friendly” lodging well ahead of time.

Stock a pet travel kit with your pet’s food, treats, toys, medications, and other essentials. Get a transport container that keeps them safe and secure during travel, taking into account temperature control and airflow. Acclimate your pet to the carrier, placing them in it for short periods of time before the move. This will reduce anxiety on the big day.

Moving Day

Each type of pet has its own unique needs. Moving can traumatize them so it’s important to adjust your moving schedule and tasks according to the type of animal you have.


Our feathered friends can easily get stressed with a change in scenery. Make sure you transport your bird in a properly sized cage with a well-ventilated cover.


Don’t feed your fish one to two days before moving, which will reduce the mess you will have to contend with during transport. The fish should be the last thing you pack as you head out the door. Put one fish per doubled plastic bag or use a clean, lidded five-gallon bucket, filled with tank water for transport.

Reptiles and Amphibians

The temperature for snakes or lizards (cold-blooded animals) should be closely regulated. You need to keep the environment damp. Be sure to double box and label venomous reptiles.

Small Mammals

For your hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits, keep them contained in a quiet area and check on them often on moving day. Place them in containers that are chew-proof.

Nocturnal Animals

Your move will probably take place in the daytime, so be sure to use a tightly-fitting, breathable container cover that will keep your nocturnal animals on a regular sleep schedule.

Large Animals

Book a properly sized trailer to transport your large pets or exotic birds such as llamas or peacocks. They need plenty of space, cover and ventilation for the trip.

Contact Around the Clock Moving and Storage

If you’re facing a move with fish, reptiles or exotic pets, get in touch with us today. We can dismantle and transport equipment such as tanks, cages and more. Get a free quote at 469-804-0720.