Imagine someone packing up all your stuff, picking you up, and taking you away from everything you know without a word of explanation about what’s happening or where you’re going. That is what your pet is experiencing when you move!
In time, your pet will adjust and come to love their new home just as you will. The moving process can be scary for them though, especially when it involves extended travel.
Once you have your own resources in check for your long-distance move, take these steps to make the experience as comfortable as possible for your beloved four-legged friends!
Where to Start:
Consult with your vet.
The first thing to do to prepare your pet for travel is to take a trip to the vet. Have them get a checkup to make sure they’re fit to travel. Before you leave, don’t forget to ask for:
- Copies of health documents and vaccination records
- Extra ID or travel tags
- Microchip information
- Medication for sedation or motion sickness (if recommended)
Research state and local regulations where you’ll be traveling.
If you’re traveling internationally or making overnight pit stops during your trip, be sure to have everything required for your pet’s lodging or travel in each place. Familiarize yourself with local leash laws, limits on the number of pets you can have, and which permits or health records you might need to present.
Traveling with Pets by Car:
Prepare your pet before the move.
You don’t want to head out for a cross-country road trip with your pet and learn for the first time that they get motion sick! Take short practice rides before the move to see how they are in the car and get them acclimated to being there. If they appear to have motion sickness or a lot of anxiety, talk to your vet about medications they can prescribe to help.
Pack a pet travel kit.
Make a checklist of what you’ll need to make your pet’s ride as smooth and safe as possible. Keep these items in a separate bag so you don’t accidentally send it along on the moving truck. Your pet’s car kit should include:
- Separate food and water dish for each pet
- Enough food for travel time and plenty of fresh water
- Favorite treats, toys, and blankets to help them relax
- Adjustable harness for dogs
- Carrier with seatbelt loop for cats
- Portable litter box, bags, and a scooper to clean up at bathroom stops
On the road:
Remember as you’re driving to take frequent exercise breaks for dogs and to give your pet fresh water. Stick to feeding them just once in the evening to minimize the chances of motion sickness. Be sure to keep the windows cracked for fresh air but locked so Fluffy can’t hit the button and accidentally fall out!
Traveling with Pets by Air:
Check that you meet all regulations for every airline you’ll be using.
Airlines have strict policies about animal travel, so you need to be sure you meet their requirements to prevent any hiccups. Determine whether your pet will be able to travel with you, accompanied by an attendant, or unaccompanied as cargo.
Buy the approved carrier and a label that clearly states your contact information and important information about your pet. Come to the airport prepared with proper ID and health/registration documents needed for travel.
Plan accordingly for moving day.
Most airlines accept a limited number of pets on a first-come, first-served basis—make sure yours is one of them! Book your airfare and your pet’s travel accommodations as far in advance as possible.
When the day arrives, get to the airport with more than enough time to deliver your pet where they need to be or check them in with you for boarding. It is usually recommended that you feed your pet 5-6 hours before the flight and give them water 2 hours before. Unless they’re traveling for more than 12 hours, they won’t need any extra food.
While you’re preparing your pet for your long-distance move, let Highland Van & Storage help prepare you and your belongings! Our experienced team of movers will handle the packing, loading, customs, regulations, transport, and unloading of your items to make your transition as easy as possible. Contact us today to reserve our reliable service for your long-distance or local move!