You’re all set for your family’s big cross-country move. But is your pet ready?

Our beloved dogs and cats are truly members of the family, but it’s not easy for them to understand why they’re being moved to a new environment. This leads to stress, anxiety, and misbehaving pets, as they aren’t sure to handle the changes in their life. 

If you’re moving across country with pets, you’re sure to be worried about how your pet will react to the move. Is there anything you can do to make things easier?

Yes! To learn how to transport a dog across country, or a cat, check out this useful advice to learn how to make the move as stress-free as possible.

Talk to Your Vet

The first step in planning to transport a dog is to speak to your vet. They are experts in animal health and can help you plan the move in a way that will be easiest for your pet.

Different pets have different needs and tolerances for stress, so an honest conversation with your vet will help you make a plan.

If you’re concerned that the move will cause your pet a huge amount of stress, the vet can prescribe medication that will help your pet feel calm and more relaxed during the move. Often, long-distance moves mean your pets will need to remain in a crate for long hours, so medicine can help them get through the process easier.

Introduce Your Pet to the Crate In Advance

Usually, your dog and cat will need to be transported in a secure crate. This will keep them safe and protected while they travel.

However, some pets have never spent time in a crate, so the experience can be tough for them. The best way to help them feel comfortable is by introducing them to the crate as far in advance as possible.

Let them get used to being in a confined space, the smell, and the feeling of being inside the crate. It helps to put something that smells like you in the crate with your pet, such as a t-shirt, as this helps your pet know that you’re not far away, which can bring comfort.

You can also feed your dog meals or treats in the crate, which will help them associate being in the crate with good experiences.

Look Out for Signs of Stress

To ensure your pet is going ok before, during, and after the move, you should be on watch for signs of stress. In dogs, you can often tell if a dog is stressed if they are pacing, whining, or unusual body language.

Your vet is the best place for advice when your pet is stressed, but be sure to also give them as much attention as you can. Animals, like people, enjoy routine, so moving to a new home can be hard on them too!

Ways of Moving With Your Pet

Now that you know how to prepare your pet for the move, how should you actually move them? There are a few options, so here are a few ways you may want to approach the move.


If you have the time, the least stressful way to move your pet is to drive. You and your pet can enjoy a cross-country drive–assuming they are comfortable riding in the car.

By driving, you and your pet will be together the whole time, so your pet won’t need to stress about being apart from their family. They can ride in the car with you and relax while you do the hard work of driving!

You’ll need to plan plenty of restroom stops though, and you’ll also want to plan ahead by booking pet-friendly hotels or campsites along the way.

Make the trip comfortable for your pet by putting pillows and blankets in the backseat for them, along with access to snacks and fresh water. Depending on the size of your dog, you may want to invest in a pet seatbelt or a way of securing them, to keep them safe in case of an accident.

Use a Pet Transport Company

If driving isn’t for you, using a pet transport service can be a fantastic option. By using a transport service, a caring and responsible company will handle the move for you, from beginning to end.

They can handle the paperwork and the immigration side of things, if you’re moving internationally. We recommend using a company with plenty of experience, good reviews, and looking for a company that is skilled in moving pets similar to your own.


You can also fly with your pet, but this will vary based on the size of your animal. Well-behaved cats or small dogs can often ride in a crate within the plane, placed under the seat in front of you.

Larger pets will need to go via the cargo hold and can’t ride in the cabin with passengers. This can be tough for pets, so confirm all of the details with the airline well in advance, helping you prepare.

Use These Tips When Moving Across Country With Pets

Luckily, moving across country with pets doesn’t need to be a nightmare! Use the advice above to make the move as stress-free as possible for both you and your pets.

It also helps to plan your move well in advance, so that you can have plenty of time to help your pet get adjusted. Once the move is complete, accept that it may take some time for your pet to get used to their new environment—there may be some toilet accidents or signs of stress.

However, within a few weeks, you and your pet will be happy and healthy, enjoying your new home together!

Did you find this helpful? If so, please read on for more insightful content.