Moving Guide

How to Move Cross Country with Pets

09.30.2014 | Moving Tips | Deidra Poltersdorf

Pets are often treated as family members. In fact, a 2011 survey found that 63.2 percent of pet owners consider their pets to be family, but they are more like children than they are like Uncle Frank. How your pet reacts to a long distance move has as much to do with their personality as with their species and type. Whether or not they have moved before can also affect how easily they travel. Plan out well in advance how you will help your furry family member transition into their new home to avoid overstressing your pet.

Research Transportation Methods

A successful long distance trip with a pet all depends on where you are going and how you plan to get there. Be sure to double check state laws regarding the import of pets. Laws can differ, and you don’t want to be surprised with fines or extra charges.

If you are driving to your new home, prepare your pet for the trip. Practice driving with them and gauging their reaction. This will help you decide what helps your pet remain calm. Even pets who enjoy a car ride may have trouble being in a car for longer than a few hours. Larger pets, such as dogs, will likely need to get out of the car every few hours, if only to run around.

Flying with your pet may be more difficult. Like laws in various states, the rules and regulations of airlines may differ when it comes to traveling with pets. Call airlines you are considering well in advance to discuss your pets flying options. Consider the personality of your pet as well as the price to fly them. Certain pets may do just fine in cargo, while others will be far better off if they are carried on the plane with you.

Never try to put your pet in a moving truck or van with your other belongings. A professional moving company will never put any kind of pet in a moving van.

Take Precautions Packing

How does your pet react when it’s time to go see the veterinarian? Are they familiar with the motions or do they recognize the route your drive? Animals are smart and some may realize they are involved with the moving process. This can be especially true for cats and dogs that have moved before. Smaller animals, such as guinea pigs, may even start to act a little nervous. Consider your pet’s personality and how they react to stress. Prepare accordingly.

Some pets do little more than get anxious, running around frantically, especially when they start to see boxes pile up. Some might do worse, urinating or vomiting on the floor. If this sounds like your pet stressed out, consider creating a room of fun for them. Put them in the room with all their toys, beds and food bowls while you begin packing. If you are packing yourself, it’s likely to take days. Do your best to hide boxes from your pet so they don’t catch on to the moving process.

Give Special Attention on Moving Day

If you are using a professional moving company and having them load your belongings, you’ll have plenty of time to give your pet extra attention. This will be particularly important on moving day, with strangers in your home and a lot of activity. If you must, keep your pet in a pen or cage so it doesn’t accidentally run outside. A better plan would be to leave your pet at a friend or family member’s home while you load the moving van. Your pet will have substantially less stress if it’s in a calm environment with people it is used to being around.

Your pets are your family. How they transition during the moving experience is extremely important to you and to us. We specialize in moving memories, including the memories of your furry friend, with extreme care. Moving long distance requires a lot of thought and planning, not only for your belongings, but for the well being of all family members. Taking your pet’s personality and stress into consideration will make your relocation more enjoyable for you as well as them.

Contact a National Van Lines agent today at 877-590-2810 for more expert moving tips and a no-obligation moving quote.

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