5 Things You Must Know About Moving Long Distance with Pets

5 Things you must know about moving long distance with pets

Pets are part of our families and add tremendous value to our lives. It’s no surprise that most owners want to be extremely careful when moving with pets, especially for long-distance moves.

Traveling long distances can be a big challenge for animals of any shape or size. There’s a lot of time spent in confined spaces, temperatures are tough to control, and a bumpy ride can make things even worse. Hopefully, the tips in our article will help you avoid all of that.

We’ll be speaking about moving with cats and dogs today since most owners will find that useful. 

A Dog seated in a car passenger seat

A dog ready for a road trip - via Charlie Cowins

Before we get started with these five valuable tips, we’ve got to remind our readers of something. If your dog or cat has medical problems or a history of travel issues, you should speak to your local vet. Specific information from a professional could be exactly what your furry friend needs.

#1: Train and Familiarize Your Pet with Traveling

Imagine if your first ride in a car lasted for five hours; of course, you’d probably feel overwhelmed. A pet should slowly get familiar with riding in vehicles too. 

Since we can’t explain to our pets what’s going on, we need to make sure that a car journey isn’t a new experience. You can do this by bringing them on trips, starting with small cruises around the neighborhood and gradually getting longer.

Dogs are usually excited to go driving for hours, but cats don’t have the same travel goals. You can create a more comfortable environment for cats by covering their container partially, which makes them feel more protected and calm. 

Even with tricks like that, most cats are not going to enjoy the experience. Remember that this won’t be a regular ordeal once you reach your new home and do your best to be patient with them.

Cat in a medium sized pet carrier

For longer journeys, a bigger-sized carrier is better - via frankieleon

#2: Check Local Laws and Regulations

Depending on where you are coming from and the state you are moving to, there could be some hoops to jump through first. 

It’s not just the state either; the city and even the apartment or housing complex might have their own special regulations. Save yourself the frustration and deal with this before you reach your new home.

Several states will ask to see a certification of health from a registered vet. In other places, specific breeds might be banned.

#3: Speak to Your Vet or Book an Appointment 

Guides are a great starting point, but your local vet is the best source of information. Hopefully, they’ve already met your pet and know about their health situation. 

If you are visiting a vet for the first time, just let them know about your needs. Tell them how long the journey is, how many stops you’ll make, and any other relevant details. Vets might have crucial insight about feeding times and bathroom breaks that could make your long-distance move go much smoother, so don’t skip this step. 

The longer you need to travel, the more important a chat with your vet is.

A cat receiving check-up in a vet clinic

A fluffy cat receiving a check-up (or some head pats - it’s hard to tell) - via Kent Wang

#4: Prepare Your Vehicle and Bring Supplies

Don’t wait until moving day! Try to anticipate your needs before the time comes. When you’re bringing a pet long distance, you must have a few things to keep them comfortable.

At the very least, make sure you bring:

  • Enough drinking water, with extra bottles just in case.
  • Food that your vet recommends, with more than one choice. 
  • Cleaning supplies.
  • Extra blankets and bedding.

Traveling long distances with a pet is not a normal thing, for you or the animal, so expect the unexpected. If you think you might need it, bring it. 

#5: Make Your Pet Comfortable and Monitor Regularly

When you need to leave your pet in one place for a long time, it should be as spacious as possible. For cats and dogs, this means buying a large enough carrier or kennel. In a small space, your furry friend could become stressed, overheat, or deal with air supply issues.

We care about the temperature inside our vehicles and so do our pets! There’s no need to have the air conditioning making icicles, but be aware of the heat. Dogs and cats usually don’t have issues managing a little heat, but this isn’t a usual situation. In the back of a vehicle and inside a confined space, the heat is something pet owners need to be careful of.

You should be able to create a meal plan using the information from your vet and everything you know about your pet’s diet. Use your smartphone to schedule regular water breaks too. Don’t worry if your pet doesn’t always want water, but make sure that it is offered. 

Make sure your animal is secure in case the ride gets bumpy. Whether this is an animal seatbelt or simply tying down the carrier, check it periodically.

One advantage that dogs have is the ability to let them outside for a quick walk. Cats can be put on a leash too, but anyone who has tried this knows how tricky it can be. Losing control of your pet somewhere unfamiliar is something to avoid at all costs, so don’t be casual about letting them out for walks.

Need Any Information or Help Moving?

If you’re moving to the California area, we could help you do it for free! This will take a lot of expenses off your plate, plus we’ll make sure there’s room for your animal companions on the trip. 

The Jamison Team is a real estate agency formed in 2008. Our offices are in San Jose, California, where our team lives and works. If you want to reach out and ask us questions about your big move, we’re here to help. 

More Questions? Follow-up With Us!

If you have more questions about what to expect from the markets around the Bay Area, don’t be afraid to reach out to us today. Our experts are experienced in all property types and the entire San Francisco Bay Area, and we can help you to find what you need to know today.

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