While moving can be an extremely stressful time for you and your family, it can also be for your fur baby. Most pets know what is going on even before you do. They are well aware of all the changes happening. That being said, you want to make sure everything goes smoothly for them, just like any other member of your family. But in order to do that, you have to be prepared.
Not many know, but I will be moving out of state soon, so it only made sense to do a deep dive into researching this topic for a blog post.
I tried to make these 5 tips practical and to the point, because moving with pets does involve a different set of challenges and questions.
5 Practical Tips for Moving with your Pet/s
- Make a plan
- Know the laws
- Take a trip to the vet
- Pack for the trip
- Give your pet plenty of rest stops
#1 Make a Plan
Whether you are driving or flying, preparing and making a plan is the first thing you want to do. Not being prepared for the trip ahead will only cause everyone more stress.
If you are driving, plan out your route. Traveling by car can offer many benefits, but you have to take everything into consideration. If your pet’s tummy gets upset or they get dehydrated easily- these are all things you will have to manage while driving yourself and your family to your new home. If you are staying in hotels along the way, it is also a good idea to book them ahead of time so you know they are pet friendly and can accommodate every member of your family. Sometimes there’s an additional charge for pets, so be sure to read the fine print!
If you are flying, make sure you take a look at the airline's pet policies. Every airline is different and some even have their own pet carriers that you can purchase for the flight. This is super helpful when you’re dealing with sizing restrictions. Make sure your pet has all their creature comforts met. Flying can be extremely stressful for their bodies, so make sure they have toys (without squeakers), a soft blanket and water. *More info on flying with your pet is at the end of this post.
Pro Travel Tip: Getting some pet diapers is also a good idea, as depending on how long the flight is, they may have to go to the bathroom
#2 Know the laws
Don’t let this part scare you. This is part of the process and doing a little research is all it takes. Some states have laws regarding dogs and cats moving into the state. They may want to inspect animals at the border, or ask to see health certificates. Just be prepared and know that some state requirements can be more difficult than others.
Make sure to contact the Animal Control Commission for the city or town you’ll be moving to in order to know which documents you’ll need if an inspection does happen. Also, once you get there, you will also need to get the information on licensing your pet in that city or town.
#3 Take a trip to the vet
Before you leave, make an appointment to see your vet for a general health checkup. Make sure your fur baby is up to date on vaccinations. This is a great time to get any documentation you might need for your trip.
Keep these documents in a handy spot while you’re traveling, in case you’re asked for them along the way. The most commonly needed documents when moving with pets are proof of rabies vaccination and a health certificate.
Also, don’t be shy, talk with your vet about any concerns you may have about keeping your pet safe and healthy during the drive or flight, including motion sickness.
#4 Pack for the trip
Your fur baby has items to pack as well! Things like their favorite toys, blanket, bed, carrier, food, treats, water, medications, potty bags, harness/collars, leashes and travel bowls. To remember everything you’ll need on the road or flight, put together a checklist of what needs to go along with you. That way you won’t forget anything.
Pro Travel Tip: Get your pet a new toy and some treats. This way, you can get them excited for the trip ahead plus let them know they did so well on the drive or flight.
#5 Give your pet plenty of rest stops
This one is mostly for those who are driving with your pets. Make sure to factor in some pit stops along the way.
When you stop for food or bathroom breaks, please don’t leave your pet alone in the car. It’s unsafe and, in some states, illegal. Either plan to drive-thru and eat in the car, or simply stop at parks or rest stops that allow animals.
Many rest stops have special places for pets to get out and stretch their legs. It’s also a great time for you to stretch and get a reset before the next leg of the journey. Don’t just let them roam free though, you would hate for them to get in a fight with another animal or run off and get lost.
Pro Travel Tip: If you need to take a bit of a longer break with your pet, pet stores can be a great place to stop since most allow leashed animals inside.
I hope you found these 5 practical tips helpful for moving with your pet! Hopefully, they will help you and your family- including your fur baby- relocate to your new home with ease and less stress. Happy moving!
*Here’s the additional information for flying with your pets:
Many airlines allow pets on the flight, but some are more pet friendly. Make sure to compare the policies, requirements, and pet fees so you can make the right choice.
Dogs and cats that fit inside an airline-approved carrier can fly in the cabin with you. However, larger animals and exotic pets need to fly in the aircraft’s baggage compartment or be shipped as cargo. Just make sure you do your research. A quick phone call with someone at the airlines will do you a world of good, plus it will help put you at ease knowing everything before you fly.