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Moving long distances with pets


So at some point my husband and I will inevitably have to move provinces, since he's started a career in the military and we'll be posted somewhere in the future. He has training to do out around Halifax at some point, and we're in Manitoba right now. We have two cats and a dog, and my biggest concern is not moving all of our stuff, but moving the creatures. If you've moved long distances with pets, how did you do it? Did you fly them? Are there pet transport services available? I've never done it before, so I have no idea what to expect.
Apr 09, 2016 @ 08:59 pm

16 Replies



We moved from Ontario to Alberta 4 years ago and we had to fly our dogs out. They have to be in a approved carrier to fly and I think it's about $50 per pet. We checked them in and then there's a place where you can pick them up where you pick up your luggage. They require you to have towels or blankets in their crates just in case they go to the bathroom and a travel bowl that attaches to the door just in case there's a delay and the crew can give them water. Our flight was about 4 hours long and he was fine when we picked him up. I think depending on how big your animals are you might be able to buy them seats on the flight too. But I'm not 100% positive on this. But definitely check the company you're flying with, it's usually stated on their websites what their pet policy is. Oh and if you have to put them in cargo make sure you zip tie their cages shut. Hope this helps!
Apr 09, 2016 @ 09:30 pm


It's pretty stressful and expensive to fly with them. However I only flew over countries (scotland to Montreal) So I don't know about cross Canada!
Apr 09, 2016 @ 11:49 pm


Hey! We moved last year from Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia with two cats and we decided to drive. You can fly (as mentioned above > You can keep them with you, under your seat, one pet per person) but we decided that it would be way too stressful for all of us (They have to go through security out of their carrier, have to stay in their carrier for many, many hours, no straight flight to NS, etc...). We set up the entire back of our truck for them and they were amazing for the entire 5 days. We stayed in hotels along the way which gave them a chance to run around at night and they slept the majority of the time we drove. We also purchase a big dog kennel for them but they just ended up sleeping on top of it (LOL). We also stopped and emptied the litter box each time they used it which was no big deal. It honestly could not have gone any better, I'm glad we chose to drive out with them. Let me know if you have other questions, I'd be glad to help! Good luck with the move!
Apr 10, 2016 @ 09:22 am


Katguevara That's not as expensive as I thought it would be! I was worried it might be a couple hundred per pet, and that there would be all these weirdly specific rules that we wouldn't meet the criteria for or something. I'm also wondering if I should go to the vet when it comes time to that and get some sort of anti-anxiety or calming stuff for them, because I can only imagine them freaking out a bit. Thanks for the advice! It's nice to talk to someone who has done it before without a bunch of hassle.

wonderwhatif I could definitely see flying over countries with them a lot more stressful than across provinces. I figured it would be kind of expensive so we are saving up specifically to transport them. Hopefully across provinces won't be so bad.

Fleurdelis22 One of my cats has traveled long distances in the car before and he's fine with it. He's pretty old and lazy though, so he's pretty chill with anything. The thing I'd be worried about driving is we have a car, and if it was just our dog or just one of our cats I think it would be okay, but I don't know about a hyper 45 pound dog, an old cat, and a neurotic cat. I'm almost wondering about sending the old cat with my husband in the car, and then I fly with the other cat and the dog, and meet up with him wherever we end up moving. Ugh, if we weren't animal hoarders, this would be so much easier haha.

Thanks for your input, ladies! :)
Apr 10, 2016 @ 12:53 pm


Lol!! Yes, with a big dog I could see it being difficult! It definitely depends on the animal (and their parents ;)). One thing I've heard if you do decide to fly with your one cat is not to give them any type of medication as it can make them more scared or even sick. Maybe look into pheromone spray, I've heard that it works great. You know your pets and what would work best for each of them!! :) I know what you mean, I love animals as well! :)
Apr 10, 2016 @ 01:20 pm


I moved with my dog from Alberta to Sint Maarten. I put him in a carrier with a couple old towel and blankets, his favorite toy and tennis ball. Fed him a few hours before and a big walk as well. It was stressful but he was treated well. Their crates are tied down a doors are zip tied shut. They're put in a pressurized and temperature controlled hold. I had to do the journey in 2 days, otherwise it was too much flight time for him. Calgary to Toronto to Newark. Next day Newark to Puerto Rico to Sint Maarten.
Apr 10, 2016 @ 05:31 pm


I believe I paid $100 for my dog. That was 9 years ago.
Apr 10, 2016 @ 05:32 pm


I'm not too sure if they allow any anti anxiety during flights as sometimes your pet might react differently at a different altitude. Don't quote me on this but I sort of remember reading it somewhere. I'm not 100% on the cost either but it definitely isn't hundreds of dollars. Just make sure you book them at the same timw you book your tickets as sometimes they have limited space.
Apr 10, 2016 @ 10:40 pm


I wish you luck with your little ones. If at all possible, depending on where you're going try and take them with you in the car. It is so traumatic for them to fly.
Apr 11, 2016 @ 12:12 am

Good luck

Good luck whichever way you travel. I only had a 5.5 hr drive when I moved with two big dogs in my SUV. Both are not good passengers - one paces and cries because every single drive he would think we were going to the dog park, and the other barks and howls like a wolf. CONSTANTLY. I gave them vet prescribed calming meds (and tried them on it a few days before the trip as per vet's suggestion to see how they would react and if they would need 1 tablet or 2). They each needed two. Crating was impossible because they panic in crates. It was a rough drive with them plus two kids. Finally, after about 1.5 hours into the drive they calmed down a bit with heavy lids but man, did they ever fight the sleepy effects of the meds. I felt so bad for doping them up but I would never have survived the trip otherwise. And I believe the other girls are correct about not being able to give calming meds on flights bc no one is there to supervise or provide medical assistance if needed. Also, I think the prices are just a bit higher than $50 if I remember correctly. I think it depends on pet and size. Best thing to do is talk to your vet for tips as well as the airline. I wish you very good luck.
Apr 11, 2016 @ 03:50 am

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