Moving coast-to-coast with pets – the perfect guide

When moving across the country, you will certainly meet a lot of challenges on your way. One of the biggest ones will be how to prepare and safely move your little friends. Beside the very complex regulations you will need to handle on this matter, you also need to make sure your pet feels through the process. Animals have an instinctive fear of the unknown environment, so you really need to be there for them in these moments. We have made a perfect guide for moving coast-to-coast with pets, let’s give it some thought.

Before you start collecting your documentation, make sure you check that your new destination will be pet-friendly. Not just your new home, but the neighborhood as well. If you are moving to some of the best cities for families and pets, your little buddy will have time of its life.

Visit the vet first

Most importantly, schedule a checkup with your vet on time. You want to be sure that your pet is up to date on vaccinations. Not just because of the travel regulations for our furry buddies, but also because you want to be sure they will be safe and healthy. Any health issues your pet has can come to the surface on transport. Furthermore, you want to make sure they don’t have some parasites that would take advantage of a weak immune system, already compromised by stress moving is causing. Additionally, your vet should provide an interstate health certificate, which is required for moving coast-to-coast with pets.

Moving coast-to-coast with pets, like a man travelling with dogs by car.
Prepare your little buddies for the moving.

Documentation required

  • Interstate health certificate is required for dogs and horses entering nearly all states. Also, many states have the same requirement for cats, birds, and other pets. Additionally, the state’s regulatory agency on the destination you are moving to needs to provide you with advance receipt of the health certificate. A health certificate must include a complete description of your little friend, list all vaccinations it has had, and state that it is free from infectious diseases.
  • Some of our pets must have entry permits issued by the destination state’s regulatory agency. Your veterinarian may apply for the permit, or you can do it yourself.
  • Almost all states require dogs to have rabies vaccination, and some of them have the same regulation for cats. You should probably check what are the exact regulations for the state you are moving to. Attach this tag to your pet’s collar safely, and leave it there until you arrive at your destination.

ID tag or a microchip as an option

Make sure your buddy or buddies have up-to-date ID tags. You can purchase those in any pet store for a few dollars. This is certainly an inexpensive way to avoid losing your pet. And microchips offer even more insurance.  Just try to update the information on file with your new address as soon as possible. Also, your phone number should be updated as well. This is really a small effort that can help you avoid major problems.

Moving coast-to-coast with pets, like with cat in suitcase.
There are professional pet transporters that fly your pet in cabin, not as cargo.


How to fly your pet

The main issue with long distance moving is that most air companies offer transportation of your pets only in cargo. And this kind of transportation requires that your little buddy is sedated. Sometimes the sedative can add to the anxiety of the moving experience. Therefore you need to think this through. And if you want to avoid it, which is perfectly understandable, there are alternatives.

Luckily, you can skip the sedatives and allow your pet to travel with other furry friends. There are professional pet transporters such as Pet Airways, which flies cats and dogs in the cabin, not as cargo! They can why them across the country with their own pet attendant. Reservations aren’t cheap but if you want your pet to have real human travel experience and avoid sedation, this is the way to go. Of course, make sure you have already mentioned up-to-date vaccination records, sturdy crates and all identification documents for your pet.

Hire the pros

As you already know, most moving companies have a service of moving pets. Since you are probably hiring professionals long distance moving, you might as well check the options they offer. You should know that these services are usually listed as special moving services and require some extra charges. This is certainly a safer option than handling the move of your pet on your own. Just make sure you inform your movers as soon as possible that you are moving coast-to-coast with pets and give them time to organize everything.

If you haven’t picked the company yet, it’s not a bad idea to include your pet’s transportation into the moving estimate you get from the companies you are considering. This way you will have more accurate offers to compare and it will affect your decision of choosing the movers. You need the company that understands how important your pets are, so you may as well skip the ones that don’t offer handling them.

A dog sniffing the hand.
Give them special attention in order to adjust to a new environment.

Help them adjust

Whether you are moving on your own or hiring a professional moving company, the moving day will be a pickle. Try to keep your little buddies away from the hustle on moving day. Typically, it includes lots of open doors and visitors and it can be really stressful for them. Also, you probably don’t want the movers trip over your pets while carrying boxes. A good idea is to turn a bathroom or some other spare room into the pet’s space, complete with food, water and litter boxes. You can leave them in that space safe until everything is packed up. And you can use the same tactic once you arrive in your new space. They could be safe and calm in a spare room until everything has been unpacked. And then you can allow them to roam the space and adjust.

Once everything is settled, let your little companions acclimate on their own terms. Moving coast-to-coast with pets is a big change for them too, so be there for them. And don’t worry, they will adjust eventually. The most important thing for them is that you are there because home is where you are.

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