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  1. Default Moving across the country

    I am moving from Minnesota to Phoenix this month (Feb 2014) and taking my dog and cats with me in the car. Looking for advice from those who have moved cross country with pets. Also, if anyone has any recommendations for places to stay with the animals, or websites that you found most helpful. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Been there, done that!

    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum. I've had extensive experience with dogs and cats on the road. #1 issue -- make sure both pets are comfortable with being in a travel carrier -- that you can close and secure. Here are some more tips about traveling with critters:

    10 time-tested Field experience tips

    Seatbelts are essential for dogs

    Tips for choosing pet-friend motels

    General tips:

    1) NEVER, EVER open a car door unless your cat is on a leash.

    2) Give your animals water at the start of the rest break, not at the end. You don't want a freshly energized critter to drink some nice cool water and immediately get back in the car -- that's a recipe for upchuck down the center console (I know this from personal experience).

    How large are your animals? Have they traveled in a car before? Do they like it?

    Generally most motels allow pets -- My favorite two chains for being pet friendly La Quinta and Holiday Inn Express

    Take a moment and scan those articles -- lots of time-tested learning therein.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    In general, we found that traveling with dogs is easier than with cats. Most kitties don't like the car and spend their first half day yowling. Though in the past, we have had a kitty loose in the car, Mark's #1 rule up there is spot-on. Our cat that rode loose in the car never made a move to jump out of the car, but our other cats would have done so in a heartbeat. That cat also would spill the water dish on the floor of the car, and there she would sleep while we drove! All other cats rode in a crate. Period.

    Dogs generally love to "go bye-bye". We had one dog who would drive us crazy when she saw that we were packing for a trip. My dad would put her in the car with all 4 doors wide open, and she'd sit on the car seat waiting for us. (Mind you, this was on the day BEFORE we'd leave.) One dog definitely did better riding in a crate, however, once she got too big.

    Bear in mind that some motel chains will charge you extra per animal per night, or will have a limit of two pets or on the size of said pets. I've seen that on coupons: "2 small pets allowed, extra charge".

    Of course, in any weather, don't leave the pets in the car for very long. Also, allow extra time on the road for walking the dogs and the cats.


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default A stationary vehicle is the BEST!

    Megan and I lived on the road for 6.5 years and Marvin the Road Dog went everywhere with us. I agree most dogs absolutely love the idea of going for a ride.

    Marvin the Road Dog was a bit of fraud.... He loved the CONCEPT of going on a road trip -- In practice, he hated the motion of a rolling vehicle. But he was Always up for jumping in ANY car door that was open. He loved being in any vehicle as long as it was stationary and he could see out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Cats....

    When my nephew moved a couple of years ago -- he took his very mellow kitty with him. He thought the constant yowling would be the worst part of the trip. He was wrong...

    At a fuel stop, when he opened the door of his car to get out -- the cat turned into open-air-seeking missle and shot through the gap before he could react. Luckily the cat wasn't killed, but she managed to wedge herself into the engine compartment and refused to come out for nearly 45 minutes. Not a good plan.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    We did a very long distance move about 25 years ago. At that time, we felt that it was best to find new homes for our dog and our cat, rather than subject them to both a very long car ride and 2 long plane rides. (SoCA to Aleutian Islands, AK). The dog probably would have done fine on both, but that kitty was just not going to handle either very well. We missed them both, but were able to find good homes for each. Something to think about.


    Donna

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