Step 1: Hire a dog shipper
Whether you are moving your dog across town or to another country, professional dog shippers can make your move go smoothly. They can provide ground transportation for your dog across the US, flight scheduling on dog friendly airlines, import and export documentation preparation, pet health certificates and overall peace of mind.
Step 2: Microchipping
Moving dogs internationally requires them to be microchipped, but we suggest you microchip every pet regardless of where you are going. The microchip and collar should have your mobile phone recorded so you can be reached throughout the move.
Step 3: Dog Crate
Teaching your dog to love his crate is something you can start months before your dog’s relocation. The more comfortable your dog is in his crate, the more comfortable he’ll be during his travels. Depending on your dog’s size and breed you might need a customized crate.
We suggest you start with some games so your dog is comfortable going in and out of his crate. Then keep your dog in his crate for a few minutes at a time while you are still home, rewarding very often. As your dog begins to enjoy his time in his crate you can ask him to sleep in his crate during the night or for a few hours while you run errands. You can also put the crate in the car and have your dog ride in it. Short rides first and then a bit longer. Like this, when the time comes for your pet’s relocation, your dog will be ready to get in his crate without fuss and be comfortable knowing it’s his spot.
Step 4: Dog vaccinations
Your dog’s vaccinations need to be up to date. It is very important to vaccinate AFTER you have microchipped your pup so that all vaccinations are registered under that microchip number. Many countries will not consider vaccinations prior to microchipping valid.
Step 5: Dog travel documents
Depending on where you are moving to you will need different travel documents for your dog. Within the continental US, all you need is a health certificate but if you are moving internationally or to Hawaii, requirements change and documentation for your dog can include import permits, antibodies test results, notification to quarantine services, etc. It is best to contact a dog shipping expert at this point so they can arrange all the documents you will need.
Step 6: Book direct flights for your dog
You want your dog’s travel day to be as short as possible, lay overs can be tricky. A dog shipping expert can help ensure your dog gets on the flights they are supposed to and only on the most pet friendly airlines. When your dog is shipped through a professional dog shipping company, we make sure that your dog is taken care of properly whether there are delays or layovers along the way.
Step 7: Ground transportation
Getting to and from the airport with your dog, dog’s crate and your luggage can be a bit much even for the most experienced travelers. When you hire a dog shipping company that has ground transportation services, they will drive your dog and his crate to where they need to be, from trips to the local airport to trips across the US.
Step 8: Stock up on food and medications.
Some of the important things to keep in mind when moving with dogs have to do with logistics. Make sure you have enough food and medications for several weeks at least. You don’t want to be forced to rush around looking for a new vet and feed store as soon as you arrive at your new location.
Step 9: Packing your dog’s things
When you are packing, keep your dog’s things together in one box. Leave water and food bowls at the very top, along with food so you can welcome him to his new home with everything he needs. We like to include one favorite toy to make the transition a bit easier.
Step 10: Stay calm
Dogs are excellent at reading your mood so if you can stay relaxed and calm throughout the moving process, your dog will too. Try to keep your dog’s routine as close to normal through the planning and packing stages. Make sure there is always a safe place for your dog to be in that he can call his own. We like to set them up in their crates. They know that their crates are a spot to relax in and that they will be safe while the movers are coming in and out, while they are being transported and when they arrive at a new place that is unfamiliar.
Need more help with your dog’s move? Give our pet shipping experts a call, we’ll gladly assist every step of the way to your new home.