Moving With Pets to Florida: Regulations and Tips for a Smooth Transition


Moving to Florida with pets should be a simple procedure because the state is extremely pet-friendly.

As seasoned relocation professionals, we’ve traveled from frigid Illinois to the sunny beaches of Florida, assisting countless clients in locating their dream homes with their furry and non-furry dogs.

In this blog, we’ll provide vital insights and ideas for relocating to Florida with your furry, feathered, or scaled companions, guaranteeing a comfortable adjustment for the entire family.

What Do My Pets Need Before Moving to Florida?

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, your pets must have a veterinarian-issued health certificate within 30 days before visiting Florida.

  • Moving is stressful, and the to-do list grows, so make sure you schedule your appointment in advance.
  • Florida requires a health certificate from a veterinarian because it demonstrates that your pet is healthy and ready to travel.

There are certain exceptions to this rule, however.

  • Rabies vaccine Exemption: Pets under three months of age are exempt from rabies vaccine until they reach three months. However, if your dog or cat has continuous health difficulties, you must submit a formal request for a rabies exemption each year. In addition, a licensed veterinarian must send a written notice to Animal Services within 30 days of the vaccine’s expiration date.
  • Pets Entering Florida for Sale: Are you bringing dogs and cats to Florida to sell them? There are additional rules for this. You must follow the Florida Pet Law (Section 828.29, Florida Statutes). This rule ensures that pets for sale are healthy and have the proper documents. It’s all about ensuring that pets are well-cared for and healthy.

What Information Should My Pet’s Health Certificate Include in Florida?

When consulting with your veterinarian, ensure that they include all necessary information on the health certificate.

Florida requires the following information:

  • The pet should be healthy
  • Free from contagious diseases
  • Proof that they did not come from a rabies quarantine area or have been in contact with a rabid animal.
  • 3+ months old pets need updated rabies vaccination.
  • A date stamped within the last 30 days

Are There Any Limitations or Bans on Specific Dog Breeds in Florida?

In Florida, a new legislation (House Bill 941) goes into effect on October 1, 2023, prohibiting public housing authorities from banning dogs based on breed, weight, or size, thus overturning municipal breed prohibitions.

This amendment primarily impacts pit bulls, a breed that has been prohibited in Miami-Dade County since 1989 following a serious attack on a kid.

Is It Too Hot in Florida for My Dog, Cat, or Bird?

However, pets do well in Florida, but the weather is different in the tropics.

Because it is hot and sticky in Florida, people who live there need to take extra care of their pets.

  • In this environment, pets are at a high risk of heat-related illnesses like heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburn.
  • Dogs are especially at risk and must always have access to clean water and rest.
  • It’s important to keep them from doing hard things when it’s really hot outside, and you should watch out for hot surfaces like asphalt that can burn their paws.
  • Cats will often find quiet places on their own, but make sure they always have access to clean water.
  • Birds also need to be able to find shade and drink clean water. To keep germs from growing in their water, the water should be changed every day. In hot cars, pets can quickly become sick or even die, so never leave them there.

Here’s a useful table that lists the main points:

Animal Type
Care Tips in Hot Weather
Access to fresh water and shade; avoid hot surfaces; limit strenuous activities; never leave in cars
Ensure access to water and shade; monitor closely
Keep out of direct sunlight; place aviaries in temperature-controlled areas; change water daily

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Moving pets to Florida involves meticulous planning to protect their safety. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services requires a veterinarian’s health certificate to prove pets are healthy and disease-free.

Age and purpose of travel affect rabies vaccine needs. Due to the state’s hot and humid climate, pet owners should provide shade, drink, and avoid vigorous activities, especially for dogs. Furry, feathery, and scaled pets can adjust to Florida with proper care.

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