How Do You Move Across Country with a Dog?

Adaeze Nwakaeze Adaeze Nwakaeze · Updated February 23, 2024

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Cross-country move with a canine companion.

Moving is always challenging, especially when you have a four-legged friend in tow. As much as we love our pups, undertaking a move across the country with a dog can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, with careful planning and a few tricks up your sleeve, you and your furry companion can make the journey to your new home a breeze. 

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the move with your dog as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Pre-Move Preparation

Moving with your furry friend could be a breeze with a little bit of pre-planning. Follow these steps to make sure your pup is ready for the move:

#1. Researching Your Destination

Research your new location to ensure it fits your pet well. Look up local laws and regulations for pet owners, and find out if pet-related restrictions exist in your new neighborhood. Knowing this information will help you make an informed decision.

#2. Knowing the Rules & Regulations

Make sure you know the rules and regulations for transporting your pet across the country, depending on your mode of transportation. You may need certain certificates or permits before moving with your furry friend. Be sure to understand the requirements before you leave to avoid any complications during the move.

#3. Ensuring Your Dog’s Health

Schedule a vet appointment for a checkup and vaccinations to ensure your pup is healthy. You should get a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) before transporting a pet. It is also a good time to update your pet’s microchip information for added safety. Prioritizing your pet’s health will ensure they are comfortable and happy throughout the move. 

Packing for the Move

Preparing for a move with your furry friend requires some extra planning, and to ensure a smooth journey for your pup, you’ll need to pack the essentials. Here’s what you need:

#1. Supplies to Bring Along

Before you hit the road, ensure you have all the supplies for your pup. You’ll want to ensure you bring enough food and water to last the trip and any medications they need. 

Also, bring a first aid kit, a collar with an updated ID tag and a leash. Lastly, pack your pup’s favorite toys and bedding to help ease any stress they may feel during the move.

#2. Getting Your Dog Used to the Crate

If you’re flying with your furry friend, they’ll need to become accustomed to their crate. Crate training can take some time, so starting a few weeks before the move is best. Allow your pup to explore the crate and make it a positive experience by giving them treats and toys.

#3. Traveling Comfortably

If driving, ensure your pup has enough room to stretch out and relax in the car. But if you’re flying, choose a crate that allows your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down. Also, add a soft blanket or cushion to make the crate more comfortable.

Moving With Your Dog

Once you’ve packed up all your belongings and your pup is comfortable in the crate, it’s time to hit the road. Here are a few tips:

#1. Choosing the Right Transportation

Choose a safe and comfortable mode of transportation for your pup, and ensure you have the necessary supplies to keep them comfortable. Research pet-friendly airlines if you’re flying and follow their guidelines.

#2. Making Frequent Stops

Your pup needs to stretch its legs and relieve itself during the journey. Plan frequent stops to allow them to take a walk, get some fresh air and drink water. It is especially important if you’re driving long distances or flying with layovers.

#3. Helping Your Dog Adjust

Moving could be stressful for your pup, so it’s important to help them adjust to their new surroundings. Once you arrive at your destination, take some time to explore the new neighborhood with your pup, let them sniff around and get familiar with the area. 

Post-Move Adjustments

Now that you’ve arrived at your new home, it’s time to help your pup adjust. Here are a few tips to help your dog stay comfortable and happy in their new environment:

#1. Establishing a Routine

Consistency is the key to helping your dog feel secure in their new environment. Stick to regular feeding, exercise and play schedules. Gradually introduce new activities as your dog becomes more comfortable. This will help your pup feel at ease and adjust quickly to their new home.

#2. Finding Dog-Friendly Activities

Exploring new places and making new friends will be exciting for your dog. Look for dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants and other activities that will allow your dog to socialize and burn off energy.

#3. Keeping an Eye on Your Dog’s Health

It’s important to monitor your dog’s physical and emotional well-being. Schedule regular checkups with your vet and watch for any changes in behavior or appetite.

Moving with your dog can seem like a challenging process, but following these tips and guidelines can help make the transition smoother and more comfortable for you and your furry friend. Remember to prioritize your pup’s safety, health and well-being throughout moving.

Post a listing on CitizenShipper today and find the perfect pet transport service for your pet!