The Ultimate Guide to Moving Pets Across the Country

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Cheerful woman sitting in a box with her dog

Moving to a new home is an exciting adventure, but it can be a bit stressful when you have pets to consider. As Canada’s largest moving company, AMJ Campbell is here to help you navigate the process of moving pets across the country. Whether you’re relocating with cats, dogs, or other furry friends, we’ve got you covered with some practical advice to make the journey smoother for everyone.

Preparing Your Pets for the Move

Veterinarians holding a small dog

First things first, a little preparation goes a long way. Before you hit the road or take to the skies, make sure to visit your veterinarian. It’s essential to check that your pet is in good health and up-to-date on vaccinations. You might also need a health certificate, especially if you’re flying. Don’t forget to update your pet’s ID tags and microchip information with your new address and contact details.

Getting your pet used to their carrier is another crucial step. Place the carrier in a familiar spot at home, and encourage your pet to explore it with treats and toys. When moving day comes, having a travel bag packed with essentials like food, water, toys, and a blanket that smells like home can provide comfort and reduce anxiety.

Best Way to Move Pets Across the Country

German Shepherd with its head out of the car window

When it comes to the actual move, you have a few options. Driving is often the most flexible method, allowing you to stop as needed for breaks and comfort. If you choose to fly, plan carefully. Pick a pet-friendly airline, book a direct flight if possible, and familiarize yourself with the airline’s pet policies. For those who prefer a hassle-free experience, hiring a professional pet moving service can be a great choice. These experts handle all the logistics, from paperwork to transportation, ensuring your pet’s safety and comfort.

Moving Cats Across the Country

Cats can be particularly sensitive to changes in their environment, so moving can be quite an ordeal for them. To ease their transition, start by gradually acclimating them to the carrier. Place familiar items inside and take short trips to help them get used to the motion. During the move, keep your cat in the carrier, lined with absorbent pads and a cozy blanket.

If you’re driving, make sure to take breaks, offer small amounts of water, and keep the car well-ventilated. For those flying, choose an airline known for its good pet care practices and ensure your cat’s carrier meets all requirements. Upon arrival at your new home, set up a quiet, safe space for your cat with all their favorite items and allow them to explore at their own pace.

oman holding a cat near a pet carrier

Moving Dogs Across the Country

Dogs often adapt better to change, but they still need special attention during a long-distance move. Start by training your dog to be comfortable in a crate or carrier and taking them on short car rides to get them accustomed to the experience. On the day of the move, ensure your dog has had plenty of exercise to tire them out, making them more likely to rest during the journey.

When traveling by car, secure your dog with a crate or harness, plan for frequent stops for bathroom breaks and exercise, and keep them hydrated. If you’re flying, select a pet-friendly airline and book a direct flight. Make sure your dog’s carrier is comfortable and attach a note with your contact information and any special instructions. Once you arrive, create a welcoming space for your dog with their bed, toys, and other familiar items, and stick to their regular feeding and exercise schedule to help them settle in.

Tips for Moving Pets Long Distance

Planning ahead is crucial. Start by researching pet-friendly hotels and rest stops if you’re driving, and book your flights early if you’re flying. Always prioritize your pet’s health and safety by keeping them well-hydrated and never leaving them alone in a vehicle.

Staying calm during the move is essential, as pets can sense your anxiety. A relaxed demeanor will help reassure your pet. Once you’ve arrived at your new home, give your pet time to adjust. Set up a safe space with familiar items and gradually introduce them to their new environment. Maintaining a consistent routine for feeding, walks, and playtime can help your pet feel more secure and comfortable.


Moving pets across the country might seem daunting, but with careful planning and the right approach, it can be a smooth and successful experience. Whether you’re moving with a cat, dog, or other pets, AMJ Campbell is here to support you every step of the way. By following these tips and choosing the best method of transportation, you can ensure a safe and stress-free move for your beloved pets.

At AMJ Campbell, we understand the importance of family, including the four-legged members. Trust us to make your move as seamless as possible, so you and your pets can start enjoying your new home without worry.


Q1: What should I include in my pet’s travel bag?

A1: Pack essentials like food, water, bowls, toys, a blanket that smells like home, any medications your pet may need, and a first-aid kit. Also, bring copies of your pet’s health records and vaccination certificates.

Q2: How can I help my cat adjust to a new home after moving?

A2: Set up a quiet, safe space for your cat with familiar items such as their bed, toys, and litter box. Allow them to explore gradually and maintain a consistent routine to help them feel secure.

Q3: Are there specific airlines that are better for flying with pets?

A3: Yes, some airlines are more pet-friendly and offer better services for pets. Research airlines, read reviews, and choose one known for its good pet care practices. Always check the airline’s pet policies and requirements before booking.

Q4: What can I do to reduce my dog’s anxiety during a long car trip?

A4: Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise before the trip, keep them comfortable in a crate or harness, and take frequent breaks for bathroom and exercise. Bring along their favorite toys and a blanket to help them feel more at ease.

Q5: Is it better to hire a professional pet moving service?

A5: Hiring a professional pet moving service can be a great option if you want a hassle-free experience. These services handle all the logistics, including transportation, documentation, and ensuring your pet’s safety and comfort during the move.

Additional Resources

For more information on moving pets across the country, check out these helpful links:

1. Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) – Travelling with Pets:

CFIA Travelling with Pets

2. Air Canada – Traveling with Your Pet:

Air Canada Traveling with Your Pet

3. WestJet – Traveling with Pets:

WestJet Traveling with Pets

4. Government of Canada – Traveling with Animals:

Government of Canada Traveling with Animals

5. Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) – Traveling with Pets:

CVMA Traveling with Pets