A dog sits next to a moving box full of dog toys

How to Prepare Your Pets for a Long-Distance Move

Long-distance moves tend to require a lot of coordination for all members of the family, including the furry ones! Moving with pets can be a stressful experience, and when you add on extra miles, whether it’s by plane or a cross-country drive, the process can be even more traumatizing. However, with some thoughtful planning and patience, it’s possible to move long-distance with your cat or dog and keep stress levels low.

How Do I Move My Pet to Another State?

Whether you decide to travel with your pet or send them on their own with a pet relocation company, it’s important to prepare well in advance. First, there are several housekeeping items that are important to check off your list before moving long distance.

Check Pet Laws at Your Destination

Pet laws vary from state to state and from species to species. If you are moving between any of the contiguous states in the USA, you will need to acquire the following:

  • Microchip (recommended)
  • Current rabies vaccination (recommended)
  • Current Fit to Fly Health Certificate, also known as the APHIS 7001 form

These requirements cover the basics for moving your pets to a different state. However, there are more stringent rules for the state of Hawaii, and if you do not follow them, your pet will be required to complete 30-120 days of quarantine upon arrival:

  • Microchip (required)
  • Current rabies vaccination (required)
  • OIE-FAVN rabies blood test
  • Veterinary credentials
  • Import documentation

Update Your Pet’s Information

Before you have arrived at your new home, you will need to update your mailing address to ensure that all mail arrives at the proper place. This applies to your pets, as well! Update your pet’s ID tags, microchip registrations, and any other identification with your new address to keep them safe and returned to you as soon as possible if they get lost.

Steps to Prepare Your Pet for Travel

Now that you have completed everything you need to legally relocate your pet to your new home, it’s time to consider something else before your move: your pet! Most animals thrive with familiarity, and while they are often quick to adapt to new routines, you can make the entire moving process easier on your pet by keeping their unique needs in mind.

Keep Your Pet Safe

There are lots of things happening during a long-distance move, from packing to driving and flying. You and your pet will be spending a lot of time with open doors, lots of changes, and even more new places. You can keep your pet safe throughout the move by keeping them secure on moving day, whether it’s in a spare room or with a family friend, and by putting on a leash at pit stops.

Bring the Scent of Home

Keep your pet’s mental state in mind just as much as their physical safety. Bring their favorite toys along for the ride (unless they’ll be traveling by plane cargo, in which case they shouldn’t have any hard items in the crate with them to avoid injury). Another option is to bring an unwashed towel or shirt to keep in their crate that reminds them of a more familiar space.

Trust a Professional Moving Company

When you’re moving long distance, the best way to stay stress-free is by hiring a professional moving company like Affordable Quality Moving and Storage. We have moved thousands of homes and businesses since 1996, and we look forward to taking care of everything for you so that you can focus on what matters: your family.

For more information on how we can make your move easier, contact Affordable Quality Moving and Storage at (661) 622-2636.

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