Moving to the US with pets

If you have ever moved before then you probably know that the process isn’t always a smooth ride. There are so many things that can go wrong, and even if that is not the case, moving comes with a lot of changes in your life. Since we are the ones who make the decision about relocation, we usually know what to expect. When it is time to move, our pets do not know what comes next. They can be anxious, scared or even terrified to see that something is going on and that everything is different now. That is why they need special attention from you to feel that everything is going to be fine. Here are some pieces of information that might help you if you are moving to the US with pets.

Leave enough time to prepare before moving to the US with pets

Relocation is a project that needs thorough planning and good organization in order to be a successful one. As soon as you decide to move and find a new home, you should start making what-to-do lists and a timeline of your move. Make sure to book a reliable moving company for some months in advance and prepare for moving abroad with professional movers. But, do not expect the moving company to deal with your pet’s relocation since that is not allowed. If you want to get professional help for your pet’s relocation, you should consider hiring a pet transportation company. Even if you decide to take care of it by yourself, they will give you some useful pieces of advice. Feel free to ask your movers about the details concerning your pet, for example:

  • Do I need a special permit for moving to the US with pets?
  • Should I take my pet to a veterinarian before we move?
  • Should my pet (a dog or a cat) have a microchip when entering the US?
  • What is the safest way to transport my pet?
Adorable puppy winks
Moving to the US with pets doesn’t have to be difficult if you make a good plan.

Pay visit to the vet

Take your pet to its veterinarian for a check-up before your relocation. Since he or she is the one taking care of your pet’s wellbeing, they should be informed about the change that you are about to make. The vet office is the place where you can get all the information about the shots that your pet might need for its US relocation. If you are moving with a dog, ask your vet whether it needs a microchip implant. There are some other specific requirements that some US states have and you should be informed about those too. You can ask your vet about those or just search online. If your pet is taking some medications, make sure you have enough of them for moving and the first few days upon the move. Ask if there are some vitamins and probiotics that are recommended when changing the area.

You will probably need your pet’s health record for the relocation you are planning. Once you move in, you should find a new vet office to take your pet to. Your old one can help by recommending a colleague if he or she knows one in your new home town. Don’t forget to bring the health record to your new pet to help him or her get better acquainted with your pet’s health conditions. You will also need to update the info (your new address and a phone number) on your pet’s tag or microchip. Add those chores to your moving checklist.

Ways of transportation when moving to the US with pets

Since you are moving to the US with pets, there are basically two ways of transportation that make sense. The first one would be by airplane and the second one by car. The recommendation of the Humane Society of the United States is that pets travel by car rather than airplanes. Flying can be very stressful for an animal and sedation is not a good choice. If you still think that your pet should be traveling by air, check out the airline company’s website for the instructions and any possible restrictions that you might encounter. Depending on the kind, breed, and size of your pet the airline company will tell you whether you need to carry on, check or transport it otherwise. All of this might sound a bit overwhelming, especially if you are moving for the first time, but don’t worry, you and your pet will be just fine.

A terrified kitten on a couch with cushions
Our pets can be terrified of the change.

If you choose to move your pet by car, make sure that you take breaks every few hours since a long ride can add up to your pet’s anxiety about moving. Also, you should get a travel identification tag even when your pet is traveling by car with you. The tag should include the pet’s name, your full name, address and phone number. Some states require dogs to have a rabies tag on their collars when they are entering the country.

Prepare a pet travel kit

Whether you are moving by yourself or hiring movers to help you, you should always have the essentials bag close to you. It should be no different when it comes to your pets. So, what should you pack here? Well, everything that your pet might need in the following few days:

  • water
  • a food bowl
  • a blanket
  • medication and vitamins
  • supply of your pet’s regular food
  • your pet’s favorite snacks for the road
  • the most loved toy if your pet has one

If you are not sure how to deal with some moving issues, visit to find all the answers you need.

A young woman and a dog walking  - a usual sight after moving to the US with pets
Keeping up the routine will help your pet adjust to the new environment more easily.

Your pet deserves a special treatment

Animals can be quite intuitive. They can feel the change coming and they are usually not fond of it. Even though you don’t have any time to spare now that the relocation is getting closer, you need to find some room in your schedule for your pets. Spend some time with them and make sure that they feel that nothing is going to be different (except for the address) after moving to the US with pets. Do not forget to prepare and pet-proof your new home.

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