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All You Need to Know About Moving with Your Pets

Monday, September 19, 2022
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Pets are part of the family, and as you’ve watched your family grow, and eventually fly the nest, your pet has probably stayed with you. There’s nothing more joyous than your dog, cat or rabbit bounding towards you as you enter through the front door. So when you move, its no surprise that your pets move with you. 

In today’s day and age of pet passports, vaccinations and shorter quarantine requirements, it is easier than ever to move with your furbabies. 

In this blog, we explore the different ways that you can move with your pets, be they dogs or cats, safely from one place to another.

Check the pet relocation laws

 A happy woman petting her dog in the field, they’re both enjoying each others’ company

Every state probably has its own set of laws when it comes to transporting your pets. Laws can also change over the years. If you are moving to a new state, and even if you have lived there before, you should brush up on the pet transportation laws. Researching before your moving day arrives can help you better plan the moving process for you and your pets. You may have to do additional paperwork. Such as making sure your pets have a passport if you are planning to move to a new country.  

Most states do not require quarantine when bringing pets from other states, but it's best to check the laws and make sure. What you will require is an up-to-date pet vaccination certificate and proof of rabies vaccination. The required pet certificates of health from your vet can include a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI); Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI); or an Official Health Certificate (OHC). 

For travel to other countries, ensure to check quarantine requirements. If quarantine is required, prepare yourself and your pet for this time apart.

Not all breeds are allowed to travel

 An elder man sitting down while his dog is on a leash in front of little children who pet the dog

If you are planning to move to another country, then you would have to double check if your pet breed is allowed to move with you at all. When it comes to traveling internationally some breeds of cats and dogs are at high risk depending on the country. On the cats’ end, it could be Himalayan or Persian breeds. The dogs’ list is a touch longer with mostly, Shortened head or brachycephalic dog breeds are dogs that have short noses and muzzles. These breeds are not accepted on many airlines as they are prone to breathing problems, especially at high altitudes.

Examples of such breeds include, but are not limited to: 

Some countries, like the UAE, have a ban on certain dog breeds, and dogs over a certain age are not allowed to travel, so please be advised.

Flying with your pets

A dog in a moving box, relaxing after its owners transported him to a new home

When it comes to flying with your pet into another country or even to another state there are some things that you would have to keep in mind. For example, if you are moving to a new country, you would have to make sure that your pets have their own passports or that their passports are current. Another thing is that you would have to apply for pet visas immediately.  

Make sure that your pets have the correct vaccinations or that their shots are current. You should also double-check before flying with pets if they are even allowed to enter this new country. This is just another friendly reminder.  

When it comes to picking which airline you want to travel with, you would have to consider which ones have the necessary pet relocation procedures and if any companies offer relocation services. It would also be best to find an airline that has a direct flight as this would make your pets’ lives easier. Another thing that you would have to consider is what certain airlines offer when it comes to flying with your pets. Some may have the option of having your pet in the cabin with you.

Some airlines also have the option of your pet being “viewed as” excess luggage. This is when the pet will go into a crate and will be transported in the cargo hold. There is also another option where your pet is manifest cargo where the owner is not present on the flight. If you do not know which type of travel method you should go with, you can consult or hire a pet relocation agency that can help you get around all the rules. These types of companies can do all the organization when it comes to flying with your pet, and if you need assistance, you can contact Shyft, who will connect you with such a specialist.

Know the basics about flying with your pets

A pug in a blue sweater and wearing red shoes standing on the beach on a leash

If you want to know about the options in a bit more detail about flying with pets, before you speak to a professional pet mover, here is a brief breakdown of what you can expect. Regarding having your pets in the flight cabin with you there are restrictions when it comes to what size of the pet is allowed, as well as what their weight is. If the pet is to be “viewed as” excess luggage, then you would want to make sure that the cargo that they will be placed in is climate controlled and pressurized.  

This is so that your beloved pets are as comfortable as possible during the transit. Bonus points if the airline has a professional who caters to your pets by giving them water and food during the travel. An on-site vet is also another bonus point for the airline.

Moving your pets from one state to another by car

 A cat sleeping on the bed next to the owners’ suitcase being unpacked after the move

If you want to go on a road trip to your new home, then it is a great idea to have your pet as your travel companion. As you know traveling with a pet by car will require you to prepare before the journey begins. A few friendly reminders are that you pack a travel bag from them, one different from yours, with their favorite foods, water, and toys just in case. Another thing to do, in particular, if you are traveling with a cat or small dog, is to get them used to being in a travel crate. This can go in the passage seat beside you, or even in the back seat.  

Before you begin the trip, you should let your pets get used to being in the car. Let them explore the vehicle, inside and out. They also need time to get used to the motion of the car so you should take them for a few drives before the moving day. Even if they are, a few more drives with them can help them prepare for the long journey ahead.   

You should also include a lot of stops in your driving plan. This is so that both of you can stretch your legs, and take a break from the road. It is also strongly recommended that you research beforehand so that you can have your meals at pet-friendly restaurants with them by your side. Obviously, this includes motels, or hotels if you are making an overnight trip.

If you plan on stopping off at a park for a meal, then make sure that your pet, including a cat, is on a leash. It can be easy to forget to put them on one if you are not used to it. Regardless of how well-trained they are; it is best to keep them on a leash while outside of the car. You should also remember to have their name tags updated or you can also have them micro-chipped in case they get frightened and make a run for it.

Prepare your pets for travel - friendly reminders

 A happy man petting his lovely dog in a park

You should start the process of getting your pets used to the idea of moving as soon as possible, at least a week before the big moving day. As you know moving can cause a lot of anxiety for them and maybe even you so the sooner you get the idea of moving to be fun in their head, the better. It can also give you more time to get right with the moving process too.  

Placing moving material around the house is a great way to get them used to the idea. They can explore the items, and if they behave themselves they can get a treat. It can also be a great way to help you keep on top of the moving process as well due to the physical reminders of what task you have for the day. Keep in mind that while the moving material is around your current home, you should not make a big deal out of it. Make it as if these items were always there. 

As you know you have to take your pets to the vet for their check-ups, and shots if need be. While you are there you can also ask the vet for medication in case of motion sickness as well as to stock up on the pet’s medicine if they have any. As you know, having a surplus of medicine is handy not only for you but for your pets too.

When it is the big moving day you would want to treat your pets like you would small children. This means making sure that your pets have a safe space while everything is being moved into the moving trucks. This place should also have their favorite items as well as some food and water while the door is closed. Their items are to be packed last, much as you would do with a child. Remember that they have to “go” before the trip begins. This applies to traveling by plane as well.

AARP® Moving Services Powered by Shyft

A woman over 50 in the splits watching moving quotes on her laptop while thinking of moving to a smaller place

As mentioned above one of the best ways to handle relocation with your pet is by using a relocation service that is pet-focused. If you want someone else to find a world-class moving company that is not only pet friendly but can also do your entire moving process for you then you can reach out to AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft. You can get in touch either through the website or by ringing Shyft at 1-888-838-5981.  

Shyft is a tech-driven moving marketplace with a huge network of moving companies, and Shyft organizes the whole moving process for you, not just for your pets. The moving companies that Shyft works with are all independently verified. Shyft is an easy company to work with.  

The first step is, obviously, to reach out to Shyft. From there a hard-working Move Coach will call you at the time that you say. This call is a video chat that is done through ShyftNext. It is a free-to-download mobile app.

Two young people helping a man over 60 find the right relocation package on his tablet

This initial video call lets you see the real human being that will be personally handling your moving process. The call will also give them a chance to get your details right as well as to create an accurate inventory list of all you wish to move with you. This very list is then sent to you within half an hour from the ending of the video call. You can add items to the list, make notes, and even remove some things if you made an error.   

When you are satisfied with your inventory list you send it to your Move Coach. They will take it, along with your moving details only, no personal ones, to Shyft’s secure bidding platform. This is where moving companies that are all verified, licensed, and experienced bid on moving projects, yours included. This method is used as a way to reduce the moving costs and to pair you with the right moving company. One that is not only pet-friendly but can also fulfill your every moving need.  

It is here that Shyft gathers as many moving quotes as possible along with all the information about the movers. All this is sent to you and every moving quote comes from a different company. 

You will have variety and be able to make an educated choice. You can decide which is the best mover for you and your pets. You can also contact Shyft at any time of the day, and during the night. This includes over the working week and at weekends. Whenever you have a concern or question or just what to stay on top of what is happening. Your Move Coach is on call for you.

Use Shyft to make your next moving process that much easier. You and your pets will be grateful for it. AARP members are entitled to up to $250 off any move that is booked with Shyft.

A woman on her motorbike driving a few small dogs around to amuse them