March 23, 2020

Tips for Moving Across the Country with Pets

No matter how many times you do it, a long-distance relocation is never an ordinary event. If you are a proud pet owner, you should know that moving across the country with pets asks for a very delicate approach. Your furry friends may react badly to all the ado that goes with stacked boxes, broken routines, and increased levels of movement and excitement. Here are some of the best tips to help you prepare your beloved animal for the long trip that awaits them.

What Is Needed for Moving Across the Country With Pets?

Unlike most household belongings, pets are living beings that may require specific documentation for a cross-country journey in the US, except for Hawaii. Every animal that needs to board an airplane is required to have a Fit to Fly Health Certificate. Also, it is recommended that your furry friend has a microchip, and that is freshly vaccinated for rabies.

Check Local Rules

An important step is to check out regulations of the state and even the community you’re moving to. Every US state has its own rules on pets, and communities even more so. Some kinds of animals may need a special permit to enter some US states. If you’re relocating to a pet-friendly community, you’ll be fine. Still, many are imposing restrictions, such as a requirement for a special license for your furry friend, or a limitation on a number of cats and dogs allowed per household. Some species of dogs may be banned altogether. Larger animals, such as horses, often can’t be held within the city limits.

Prepare Your Pet’s Documentation

Pet’s medical documentation is vital for moving to a new home with your four-legged friend. Certificates on inoculations and proof of being parasite-free can be asked from you at any checkpoint during the trip. So it would be best to always have them near you.

Also, you should update the ID tag of your cat or dog, in case an animal gets lost during the trip. All eventual licenses and permits are also a must-have.

Pay a Visit to Your Veterinarian

The thing you certainly would like to do before the move is to take your furry friend to the veterinarian. It is highly recommended for several reasons. Not only can the vet find out if there is any previously unknown medical condition and prescribe medication, but he can also help you in filing an application for a health certificate.

Clip Their Nails

There is also the question of care if you are traveling by car. To keep your seats safe and your pet healthy, you might consider taking your canine to a pet grooming session to have his nails trimmed. If your route takes you through rural areas or those with lots of grass, you may treat your cat or dog with an anti-flea bath before the move.

Prepare Your Pet for Travel

It’s no secret that cats and dogs don’t like to travel. It may affect their health in various ways, and none of them are good. So you need to help them. Do your best so that when the big day comes, you can be sure that your four-legged friend will be at as much ease as possible. This can be done by slowly introducing them to a car or a carrier and taking them for rides, first short, and then longer.

Introduce Them to a Carrier

Most cats and dogs will be traveling in a carrier if you’re flying to your new destination. So get them used to it. Put a blanket they like in the carrier. Or a favorite toy. They may even find food inside. In time, they will enter the carrier like they’re entering their realm. When they do, spending some time in a plane cargo hold will be just that much more bearable. The same goes for the time spent in a car.

Transportation to a New Home

When the relocation day comes, all should be already set. Food and water for the pet should always be at hand, as well as their favorite toys, and a reliable leash. In the case of car travel, you should make a more detailed timeline of stops along the way, and always prefer pet-friendly places for resting.

Also, a veterinarian might give you animal sedatives for the trip, but it is not recommended to use them. In fact, many airlines won’t accept sedated animals on board.

Traveling Options When Moving Across Country With Pets

As mentioned before, you may opt to move your furry friends with you in a car or by plane. It may seem strange, but an airplane is a cheap option. Not to mention that it’s safer and more convenient. Cat or dog in the carrier can be put beneath your seat if it would fit. If not, or if the dog is larger, they will travel to a new home in the cargo hold. In both cases, there’ll be no need for you to worry. Just make sure that your pet’s well-stocked for these few hours of the day.

Going by car is a lot more complicated. It takes longer, and there is much more to plan for.

Of course, if you’re relocating with fish, or birds, or reptiles, each of them has its own specific way of handling, especially if they will be traveling in the cargo hold.

Tips for Preparing Your New Living Space for Your Pet

A new home can be as frightening to cats and dogs as the travel itself. Again, it is highly recommended that you introduce it slowly. Select a room just for them. Help them by arranging it in a familiar way, and then let them explore it. When they do so and start to feel comfortable, let them into another room, and so on, step by step, until they know it all.

Also, make sure that there is nothing in their way that can hurt them.

Final Tip – Be There for Them All the Way

Moving to a new home is a stressful event, even more so when it’s a long distance. There is always something more to do. But don’t lose it completely and forget about your pet. Your cat or dog will need you the most at that time. So do your best to spend as much time with them as possible before the trip. Animals are creatures of habit, much like us humans, so try to ease their transition to a new place as much as you can.

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