A long-distance move can be stressful for everyone involved, pets included

Image by Casey Wilson from Pixabay

If you are moving across the country, whether on your own or with professional movers, the wellbeing of your animal companions is something you’re most likely concerned about, particularly if you have never traveled with them before.

Some animals are good travelers, but many others are not – they don’t get to show you these ones in the movies.

But good traveler or not, how exactly should you handle pets when moving with them?

Here are some tips on traveling with pets that should guarantee a safe, enjoyable experience devoid of incident.

Start with a visit to the vet

It is important to make sure your pet is in tip-top shape before setting out. Your vet should be in the know regarding your impending move, as they will be well-placed to advise you accordingly.

Not to mention, they can prescribe some sedatives to stifle your pet’s anxiety if need be, as well as update your animal’s medical records.

Plan to deworm pre-move

A few weeks prior to the move, it’s often a good idea to deworm the pet if you haven’t dewormed in a while. You can work with your vet on this.

Parasites tend to weaken the immune system which could leave the animal in a susceptible state as the immune is easier to compromise when the animal is under stress (from the move).

About those feeding times

Minimize the risk of stress on your pampered friend by observing their regular feeding hours.

If you’ll be crossing different time zones, don’t rely on your watch but rather, calculate what time the animals should be eating.

Stock up on supplies

If your pet friends enjoy certain specialties you’re not likely to find easily en route, it’s a good idea to bring your own.

The familiarity is a good thing when moving, but sticking to the tried-and-tested also helps avoid tummy troubles caused by switching foods last-minute. That’s definitely not a mess you want to be dealing with on the road!

Speaking of which…

Slot potty breaks into the schedule

When moving long-distance, it is advisable to schedule pet breaks every couple of hours (every 3-4 hours should work fine).

This can be used as a poop break while also affording the pet some time-out to stretch their paws, if they feel like it.

Always have the animal on leash, although cats are very sensitive in this regard. Reason is because unless they’re used to leashes, now is not the time to introduce one.

Plus, unlike dogs, it’s generally not recommended to have the cat roaming around.

Make pet-friendly plans

If you plan an overnight stay along the way, don’t forget to map out some pet-friendly locations along your route.

You can make use of BringFido.com and Petswelcome.com to find hotels that allow pets, including any exotic species you may have.

A pet travel kit helps

As with us humans, pets too should have an essentials kit packed for convenience. You don’t want to be rummaging through stuff searching for the water bowl just because you didn’t remember to pack it conveniently.

So, what are these essentials exactly?

Well, at a minimum – in addition to the water bowl (suited for travel) – you should also have your regular pet food handy (and accompanying bowl), a first aid kit, some treats, a favorite toy (or two), a familiar blanket, and the vet records.

Pet ID

Lastly, it is best practice to update your pet tags with your new address and phone number when embarking on a move.

In the unfortunate event the pet gets lost or stolen, this increases the chances of them finding their way back to you.

Opt for a microchip if possible as it makes it possible to identify the animal even when they get separated from their collars.

With recent photos to boot.