Safely and Easily Moving Your Dog Across States

Adaeze Nwakaeze Adaeze Nwakaeze · Updated February 23, 2024

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Safe Dog Transportation Across States

Ever experienced the bustle and hassle of moving? Packing up all your belongings, trying to remember where you put that one box, dreading the long drive, or maybe even flight? And for those who have a four-legged friend in tow, there’s an extra step involved: making sure your pet is able to come along with you on the journey. Whether you’re driving or flying, there are some specific steps to take when moving your dog across states safely and legally. Here, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to getting your pup from one state to the next.

How Do I Get My Dog Across States? — Travel Preparations, Requirements and Paperwork

If you’re planning to bring your pup, here’s what you need to do:

#1. Research the Animal Importation Laws of the Destination State

The first thing to do is research the animal importation laws of the state you’re moving to.

This means contacting the Department of Agriculture in that state. Find out what paperwork is required for importing your pet. That could include health certificates, rabies vaccinations and more.

You can find this information on the state’s Department of Agriculture website. Each state has different requirements for pet relocation, so make sure you’re up to date on the laws in your new state!

#2. Make an Appointment with a Veterinarian

The vet will conduct a health check on your pet to ensure they are fit enough for travel. The vet will provide you with a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. They’ll give your pet the required vaccines or boost shots and recommend any additional treatments that may be necessary.

The vet will also document or show proof that your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations, as the USDA authorities will demand to see these documents once your pet reaches the destination state.

#3. Purchase Pet Travel Insurance

We all hope that our furry friends stay healthy during the move — but just in case, it’s a good idea to purchase pet travel insurance.

This way, you’ll be covered financially if something unexpected happens on the journey. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a hefty vet bill.

#4. Crate Train Your Dog 

You know how new clothes may require a few “wear-outs” before they feel comfortable? The same goes for crates.

If you plan to fly with your pet or use ground transport, it’s a good idea to get them used to the travel crate before you go. You can introduce your pet to their crate gradually by leaving it open and layering it with cozy blankets, treats and toys.

It’s also important to get your dog used to being away from you. You can do this by taking them on short trips, leaving them with a friend or family member, or having them stay at a pet boarding facility. 

#5. Pack the Essentials for Fido

When you’re packing up your pet’s belongings, make sure to include all their favorite toys, treats, a blanket and enough food for the duration of the trip, as well as plenty of water and a bowl.

And if you’re planning to fly with your pet, don’t forget to pack their favorite chew toy or tug rope. This will help them stay calm during take-off and landing.

Once you’ve taken care of all the essentials, double-check that you have copies of your pet’s medical records and any other paperwork your new state may require.

#6. Contact a Professional Pet Transport Company

If you’re not comfortable driving with Fido, or if the distance is too far, you may want to hire a professional pet transport service.

These companies have the experience and expertise to move your pet safely across states. They are well-versed in animal transport regulations. You can rest assured that your pup is in good hands. You can find experienced and reputable pet transporters on CitizenShipper.

#7. Book Pet-Friendly Accommodations

When you’re on the road with your pup in tow, you’ll need to plan ahead and book pet-friendly hotels and restaurants along the way. You don’t want to be stuck with nowhere to stay in the middle of your trip.

Most hotels will charge an additional fee or require a pet deposit. It’s best to research your options in advance. Book a place that will provide a comfortable stay for you both.

And don’t forget to research pet-friendly restaurants near the hotel too, so you can both enjoy a nice meal along the way.


Taking your pet across states may seem like a daunting task at first. With careful planning and the right preparations, you can give your pup a comfortable and safe trip.

Don’t let the thought of moving your beloved pet scare you off. Stay organized and seek professional help if needed. Don’t forget to give your pup a hug before you hit the road!

To get started, submit your pet’s travel details on CitizenShipper today and find the perfect pet transport service that will transport Fido to his destination safely and in style!