A Comprehensive Guide on How to Move Long Distances With Pets

Cat owner following tips on how to move long distances with pets

Are you considering moving long distances with your pets? It can be daunting to think about everything you need to do to ensure they’re safe and comfortable during the move. But this comprehensive guide on how to move long distances with pets will walk you through everything you need to know. From choosing a suitable pet carrier to packing their food and toys, we’ll cover it all. 

Pets can be just as anxious and stressed during a move as their human counterparts. But with a bit of preparation, you can make the transition as smooth as possible for them. So, read on for tips and advice on how to successfully move long distances with pets.

How Do I Move With a Pet to Another State?

For those moving out of the house or perhaps relocating to another city, town, or even state, moving with pets can be one of the most challenging tasks you will have to face. 

Pets are like family for many people, and there is no doubt that you love them. If this is your situation, you need to know how to move with pets without stressing them out or hurting their feelings. Moving can be a stressful experience for anyone, regardless of whether they have a pet or not. So you do not want to add any more stress on those furry friends of yours.

Things to Know Before You Move Long Distances With Pets

It’s important to consider what to do with your pet during a move before attempting to transport them across the country or states. 

You’ll need to decide if you want them inside the moving truck or in a transportation device strapped onto the back. If they are going into the cabin of the vehicle you are driving yourself, what will happen when necessary stops are made?

To limit the number of times you stop during your trip, it’s best to consider whether or not your pet is old enough and healthy enough to handle the drive. Generally speaking, cats can last longer than dogs on car trips since they are less active. 

The only time stopping every few hours for a potty break doesn’t apply is when traveling with a small animal like a hamster. If that’s what will travel with you, it may be better to keep them in their cage under your seat. Then they don’t get away from you between stops. 

Lastly, always choose a pet-friendly moving company.

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Priority Preparations to Make Before Your Move

While you are packing, make sure that you pack their necessities first. Pets need food, drinking water, bowls, a cat litter box or puppy pads (if your pup is still young and can’t go outside yet), and toys. If your pet is used to being walked twice a day, try your best to have somebody walk them before the move. 

Pets need bathroom breaks. If they can’t go outside or use a pet pad, you will have to make sure that a spot is readily available for them at your new home. Also, if you are bringing any of their medication with you (e.g., eye drops for cataracts), make sure that you pack them in the first few boxes that your movers pack for you. This way, they will be one of the last things that get put into your new home. These items also won’t be exposed to any weather or temperature changes. 

If there are any feeding schedules, toys, grooming items, etc., make sure to place these items with your pet’s necessities. For example, suppose your pet needs food every morning at 7 a.m. Then place the food with their breakfast bowl and water so it’s easier to stay on schedule.

Tips on How to Safely Move Long Distances With Pets

Dog strapped securely into a car's backseat during a move

It is critical to transport your pet in a suitable carrier or transportation device to guarantee the safety of everyone in the car, including children, other pets, and drivers. The best way to transport them will depend on the type of pet you have. But it’s essential to consider your options before traveling with them. Using cages is an acceptable option for small animals like hamsters, rabbits, and guinea pigs. However, this can be stressful for them. They won’t be seeing what’s going on around them while inside the cage. 

Generally, dogs don’t handle car rides well. They’re not used to them, even if the carrier allows them enough room to move around. For example, they may start barking, which can be very stressful for the other pets and kids. This can be challenging because of their size and sound level relative to humans.

Another tip is if you are moving in the colder months of the year, make sure that your pets wear a sweater or coat to protect them from getting too cold. If you are moving in the summer months, then provide them with plenty of shade and water for when they get thirsty.

If your move will involve lots of back-and-forth trips, it is best to place your pets in a kennel or pet resort during the entire process until the final trip. This will minimize the number of times you have to move long distances with pets. As a result, you’ll reduce the amount of stress that your pets will experience. Meals, walk space, and playtime are all available at many of these facilities.

Can Movers Move Pets?

The answer is yes — sometimes. If you can’t find a pet-friendly mover, do your best to find somebody that already has pets of their own. This is because they probably know how to handle animals better than people who don’t have any experience with them.

Pet-friendly movers have the knowledge to observe, interpret, and understand various pets’ behaviors. During the move, they can make sure that your pets are safely secured in their crates or carriers so that they cannot escape. If you bring them inside the van cabin (if allowed), follow all safety precautions. Only have the movers handle them if they are comfortable doing so. 

You need to ensure that your pets are not placed on boxes or furniture while the movers are carrying them. This can hurt your pet if they fall. So it is critical to be aware of this and make sure that your movers know about it, too.

You can also use various types of pet transportation to move long distances with pets. Pet-friendly movers offer services for almost any kind of animal. But be sure to check out their prices first before making a final decision.

Getting Your Pets Used to Their New Home

When the relocation is over, you need to ensure that your pets receive plenty of attention for a while. Many pets get depressed when they are away from their owners for too long, especially if they were with you all of the time. They will most likely be excited to see you again. But this excitement can cause them to act out. For example, they might aggressively jump on top of your friend or family member).

Cats tend to act out by spraying on the new furniture or carpet. Likewise, dogs act out by chewing on furniture or shoes if they are not given enough attention or exercise. They will also bark excessively at any new sounds that they may hear.

The Bottom Line on How to Move Long Distances With Pets

In the end, it’s essential to consider how your pets will react before deciding whether or not they should ride in a carrier or get held on your lap. Though you may want them with you while traveling, their safety should always come first. So, do what works best for both of you. 

If you cannot afford any pet transportation service, there are still options. For example, you can hire a sitter that will take care of them for you at your house. Regardless of what you choose to do, always make sure that your pets are safe and comfortable during the entire process. This will help minimize stress for both you and your pet!