Moving Cross Country with Your Pet? Don’t Fret – Plan!

Moving Cross Country with Your Pet? Don’t Fret – Plan!Moving across the country is not a task for the faint of heart. The logistics alone of hauling your person, any persons living with you, and all of your possessions across a couple thousand miles is enough to make even the most stalwart traveler stress. And, if your pooch is going with you for the long haul, you’re likely to stress even more.

Fortunately, we can help. With a few straightforward tips and a positive attitude, everything can go much more smoothly than you might think. You might even find that you’re really enjoying yourself along the way, and feeling grateful for the chance to bond and create memories with your fur buddy.  

Staying calm and in control is key, for you and your pooch. The best way to minimize the stress of moving with a pet is to create a really great plan. To that end, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Where will you stay?

With your pet along, you won’t move along at the same clip you would if you were traveling slowly. Those potty breaks add up quickly, and hey  – you've got a bunch of extra legs to stretch! More time on the road can easily translate to more overnight hotel stays. Do yourself a favor -- plan well ahead of time how often you will stop for the night, as well as where you will stop, and when.

Priority numero uno is, of course, finding pet friendly lodging. Fortunately, this is not a difficult task. You can easily find great lodging options, no matter where you are in the country, and no matter what price range and type you’re looking for. Whether you’ve got one eye on the budget, an eye on being decadently pampered, or you’re just about convenience and pragmatism, you can find a perfect place for both of you to stay the night.

To make things even simpler, we offer a “search hotels by route” feature designed to help you find pet friendly accommodations at just about any point in your travel route. Once you find the perfect place, you can book your room right from our site, or you can call a representative and book it over the phone.  Make sure you reserve your hotel far in advance -- pet friendly rooms fill up quickly, and you don’t want to be left searching for another alternative in a strange city.

Moving Cross Country with Your Pet? Don’t Fret – Plan!

Moving Cross Country with Your Pet? Don’t Fret – Plan!How will you keep your pet safe?

For his own safety, your pet should be secured in your vehicle at all times while you’re on the road together. Secured pets are much less likely to escape, become injured, or cause driving distractions during a road trip. There are a lot of great restraint options, including seat belts, pet barriers, crates and carriers. You will certainly find one that works for you, your vehicle, and your pet.

It's essential to acclimate your pet to his safety restraints long before your trip advance. It takes a long time, especially with nervous pets, so don’t procrastinate!

Never, ever leave your pet alone and unattended in a vehicle. Even on cooler days, the temperature inside an enclosed car can rise exponentially within minutes, putting your pet’s health and safety at serious risk. Leaving your windows open slightly won’t do as much as you think to help your pet – but it is a great way to up the chances your pet will escape or be stolen. The best plan will include a way for a responsible person to be with your furry friend at all times during your trip.

Where will you stop along the way?

You can't survive on kibble and treats, and your potty breaks will be of the indoor persuasion. You will have to stop to meet your own needs, and you will have to figure out who will stay with your pet while you are in the restroom, or grabbing a bite.

Drive-thrus are one good option – they save time, they’re cheap, there’s a lot of variety, and no one has to get out of the car. Another option is brown-bagging it -- packing sandwiches and snacks and keeping them handy while you’re out and about. You can, of course, treat yourself to a few special meals. Research pet friendly restaurants in areas along your route – lots of fantastic restaurants allow pets to dine with you at their outdoor seating areas.

Moving Cross Country with Your Pet? Don’t Fret – Plan!What should you bring along for the ride?

There’s a long list of things your pet will need a lot of things to keep him safe, healthy and happy on an extended trip. Jot them all down -- in the hustle and bustle of a move, it can be hard to focus on even the basics, and you never know what can slip your mind. Make sure your list includes:

  • Medications
  • Certificate of health (you will need this for interstate travel)
  •  Certificate of health (you will need this for interstate travel)
  • Pet IDs (with new address and phone number)
  • Current photo
  • Favorite toys
  • Leash and collar
  • Poop bags
  • Food, water, and bowls
  • Pet vehicle safety restraints
  • Favorite cushion or pet bed

Take time to Stop and Smell the Roses (and everything else!)

The kind of moving experience you have is going to depend largely on your ability to stay positive and roll with the punches. Rather than focusing on the stress of it all, think of the move as an adventure. A real, old-school road trip, with your best bud by your side. Build “time cushions” into your schedule to stop and have some fun together. Find some fun pet friendly attractions to see, hike some trails, or take a walking (or bus, or trolley tour) of some amazing cities and towns. Getting to your new place may ordeal, but you will, in fact, get there in the end, with a lifetime of memories to share together.

Moving Cross Country with Your Pet? Don’t Fret – Plan!