Your Guide to Moving Cross Country With Pets

Written By

Machaela Casey
cat and dachsund being held

Tips for Moving Your Pets Across The Country

Your pets are your family. So, when you’re moving cross country with your pets, you need a solid plan to make sure moving day is easy and stress-free for everyone. Here’s what you need to know about moving cross country with pets.

Create a Plan

Whether moving to Hawaii with pets or a few states away, you need a plan so you can get organized early for a stress free move. This means figuring out how you’ll transport your pets, where they’ll stay during the move, and what vaccinations and paperwork you’ll need.

Ways to Transport Pets a Long Distance

There are a few different ways to transport your pets long distances. You can fly, drive with them, or use a pet shipping service. If you are moving pets internationally, there is even more to consider.

Flying With Pets

Each airline has different rules and regulations about flying with pets. For example, some airlines only allow small dogs and cats in the cabin, while others only allow pets in the cargo hold. When flying with pets, you’ll need to check the airline’s pet policy before booking your tickets.

Also, most airlines have regulations regarding the size and type of carrier your pet must travel in. So be sure to check with the airline before you book your tickets.

Driving With Pets

If you’re driving to your new home, your pets can come along for the ride. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure your pet is comfortable with car rides. If your pet gets car sick or becomes anxious during long car rides, it might be best to leave them with a friend or family member during the move.

Also, you’ll need to take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and give your pet a chance to use the restroom and get some exercise. And, if you’re traveling with a dog, you’ll need to ensure they have a proper seat belt or restraint.

Pet Shipping Services

Pet shipping services are businesses that specialize in transporting pets long distances. They will pick up your pet from your home and deliver it to your new home. You can use a pet shipping service if you can’t take your pet with you when you move.

When choosing a pet shipping service, be sure to do your research. Read reviews and compare prices before making a decision.

Preparing Your Pets for the Move

Moving is a significant change for everyone, including your pets. So it’s essential to prepare them for the move ahead of time.

Here are a few things you can do to prepare your pets for the move:

  • Start packing early. This way, your pet won’t be as surprised and confused when the boxes start appearing.
  • Include your pet in the packing process. Let them sniff around the boxes and get used to change.
  • Make a checklist of your pet’s belongings. This way, you can be sure nothing gets left behind.
  • Create a comfortable space for your pet in your new home. Set up their bed, food and water bowls, and toys in one room, so they have a familiar space to retreat to.

-Introduce your pet to their new home gradually. Start by letting them explore one room at a time. Then, once they’re comfortable, let them wander the whole house.

Special Considerations for Moving With a Dog

If you’re moving with a dog, there are a few special considerations to keep in mind.

Check All Vaccinations and Paperwork

First, you’ll need to ensure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations and has the proper paperwork. This includes a health certificate from your vet.

Also, if you’re moving to a new state, you’ll need to check the state’s requirements for bringing in a dog. Some states require a rabies vaccination and a health certificate, while others have more stringent requirements. For example, when moving to Hawaii with pets, you may need to quarantine your dog for up to 120 days.

Choose a Pet-Friendly Hotel

You’ll need to choose pet-friendly accommodations if you’re driving and stopping overnight at hotels. Not all hotels allow pets, so call ahead and make a reservation.

Also, keep in mind that most hotels charge a pet fee. This is typically around $25 per night.

Prepare for Long Car Rides

If you’re driving to your new home, you’ll need to prepare for long car rides. This means bringing along food, water, and bowls for your dog. You should also plan to take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and give your dog a chance to use the restroom and get some exercise. Include an emergency kit for your dog in case of sickness or injury.

Special Considerations for Moving With a Cat

If you’re moving with a cat, there are a few special considerations to keep in mind.

Get Your Cat Used to the Carrier

You want to get your cat used to the carrier. This means letting them sniff it and explore it at their own pace. You can also put a towel or blanket in the carrier to make it more comfortable.

Put the carrier in a quiet room a few days before the move so your cat can get used to it.

Pack Their Belongings

Next, you’ll need to pack your cat’s belongings. This includes their food, water bowl, litter box, and toys.

You should also put together a first-aid kit for your cat. This should include things like gauze, bandages, and antiseptic wipes.

Prepare for the Trip

When you’re ready to hit the road, put your cat in the carrier and put it in a safe place in the car. You may want to put a blanket over the carrier to help your cat feel more secure while moving a long distance.

During the drive, take breaks every few hours to give your cat a chance to use the restroom and get some exercise. If possible, purchase your cat a leash and harness to keep them safe while giving them some stretching room.

Your New Home: Is it Safe for Your Pet?

Once you’ve arrived at your new home, there are a few things you need to do to make sure it’s safe for your pet.

Check for Potentially Hazardous Plants

First, you’ll need to check for potentially hazardous plants. These include things like lilies, azaleas, and tulips. If you find any of these plants on your property, remove them or keep them out of your pet’s reach.

Also, be sure to check your new neighborhood for common poisonous plants. If you’re unsure what plants are safe, ask your vet or a local nursery.

Look for Pests

This includes things like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. If you find any of these pests on your property, take steps to remove them. This may consist of hiring a professional exterminator.

Ensure the House is Secure

You’ll also need to make sure the house is secure. This means repairing screens’ holes and ensuring all doors and windows are properly latched.

You should also create a safe space for your pet. This is an area where they can go to relax and feel secure.

Moving long distances with pets can be difficult, but it’s doable with some preparation. By following the tips, you’ll be able to make sure your pet is safe and comfortable during the move. For help with the moving process, consider choosing professional cross country movers. With their help, you can focus on taking care of your pet and making sure they’re comfortable in their new home.