How to ship pets across country?

So, it’s a fact – you’re about to move house and things are getting kind of chaotic around the house. Time is sprinting towards moving day and you feel like you’ve fallen behind schedule. The pressure is on! Will you be able to finish all the required tasks before the big day comes around? Only time can tell.

Whatever your specific plan of action is, your family comes first. Your top priority is to make sure the safety and well-being of each family member is guaranteed, and that also includes any pets you may have.

Moving with pets is no joke and the pet relocation challenges you will face won’t be a walk in the park either. Special cares are required when transporting your dear animal friend to another home across the country or even to another country altogether. The pre-move preparation period is crucial for the success of the entire operation but making the right decisions as far as arranging the proper pet transport is even more vital.

SEE ALSO: How to move my dog cross country

What is the easiest way to ship a pet across country?

You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the best way to ship a pet to another state in the country is to take them with you in your car and embark on a cross country journey to your new home. Your constant presence will have a calming effect on your pet’s nerves and will lessen the stress, anxiety and fear of those sudden changes in their life. They will know that you will protect them no matter what happens and that reassurance alone can contribute to a largely problem-free household move for all of you.

Unfortunately, that ideal car moving trip with your pet to the new address is not always possible for a number of valid reasons, the most common one being the decision to fly to your new home instead of drive hundreds or sometimes thousands of miles. In such cases, you are expected to weigh in all possible options for shipping your pet safely and choose the safest and easiest transportation method for your pal.

READ ALSO: What is the best way to move with cats?

How to prepare your pet for transport in 3 steps

Regardless of whether you choose to move your pet by land or by air, there are a few preparation steps that you are strongly advised not to skip. After all, the ultimate goal here is to guarantee the safety and happiness of your animal pal during that highly transitional period.

  • Make an appointment with your family vet and take your pet for a full check-up before the trip. This is very important as you don’t want your friend to be feeling unwell while the relocation trip lasts. Speak with the vet about good ways of reducing the stress of your pet on the road, including possible medication.
  • Get the proper documents in order, including required health certificates, copies of vaccination records which may be requested by airline companies, pet transportation companies or regulatory bodies in the destination state.
  • Obtain the proper pet transportation carrier when it comes to type, size, construction and other specific requirements. You will need a pet container regardless of how you choose to move your pet to your new home – have them with you while you drive across the country, ship them by airlines with or without you, or hire the services of a specialized pet transportation company.

USEFUL READ: How to move with pet birds

How to ship a pet by land

The safest way to ship pets is to move them by land. Air travel can cause extreme anxiety and fear in some animals, which in turn might lead to unpredictable outcomes. Additionally, shipping your vet as cargo in an airplane may not be too safe for your friend due to a score of worrisome factors, and sedation while in the air is not usually recommended due to unexplored side effects.

This is why you should always opt for moving your pet by land, if possible.

Moving your pet in your own car

Without a question, this is the best way to ship a vet to wherever the household move is taking you.

  • Prepare a handy bag with their favorite food, water and objects of interests such as blankets, toys, etc.
  • If you have the time, take a few short practice runs around your neighborhood to get your animal friend acclimatized for the much longer car trip ahead.
  • Place them in their pet carrier as letting them loose in the car might cause serious problems for both parties.
  • Make sure you plan for stops along the way, especially if you’re moving with your dog.
  • See if relaxing music over the car stereo will calm down your pal or not.
  • If you need to spend the night on the road, never leave your pet inside your car but have them stay with you in the pet-friendly hotel or motel.

SEE ALSO: How to move your fish

Having a pet transportation company move your pet

Household movers will not usually agree to move your pet for the same reasons they will be unwilling to transport your plants – safety. This means that you may choose to contact specialized pet shipping services – the so-called pet movers.

  • A simple Google search on pet movers will get you started on your search for a reputable and reliable pet transportation company. Remember that all pet movers must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Contact a few pet transportation companies and ask for price quotes. Also, request more information about the type of insurance they offer.
  • Ask the pre-selected animal transportation companies for proof of their experience in transporting pets safely and quickly to any point within the country.
  • It’s important to know you can actually trust the pet shipping services you will hire. Base your final pick on all of the criteria above, including your first impression and your intuition.

GOOD TO KNOW: What to know when moving with rabbits

How to ship a pet by air

Regulations for shipping animals by air vary from airline to airline, so if you plan to ship your pet by air, contact airlines that ship pets and request more info about exactly what you must know prior to the flight, including specifics about what type of pet container you need. Visit their respective websites /see below/ to get ready and to get your loyal pet ready for the journey ahead.

How to ship pets by airlines?

  • You should not ship your pet by air if they too young (under 8 weeks old), too old, ill, aggressive or not accustomed to being enclosed in carriers, or if they are prohibited by airlines or destination states.
  • Prepare the necessary paperwork for pet air transportation in advance. Health and vaccination certificates are a must so obtain them from your licensed vet no more than 10 days before the flight. Contact your chosen airline company for additional info.
  • You will need to place your pet in a suitable pet carrier – it should be big enough so that your pal can sit, stand and turn freely. Also, the kennel must be made of a rigid material with a solid top and ventilation holes on at least 3 of its sides, while the door and its elements should be made of metal and in good working condition. The best part is that your local pet shop should have exactly the pet carrier you need for pet air travel.
  • Feed and water your animal friend no more than 4 hours prior to your arrival at the airport.
  • Arrive at the airport on time (at least 2 hours before the scheduled flight). Then, check in your animal pal at the baggage counter if you will be allowed to have them with you in the passenger cabin. If not, proceed to the cargo area where you sad pet will fly as cargo.
  • As soon as you land in your destination, claiming your pet must be your top priority.

Major airlines that will ship pets:

Call now for a cost estimate:

 

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