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We are going to be moving this summer with our 1 1/2 (well, he’ll be 2 by then) GSD. The only time I’ve moved with a dog before was when I was a kid, and we had a small terrier mix and moved from Los Angeles to Oklahoma. Our terrier was terrible in the car, so my mother bought tranquilizer pills from the vet and gave him one every morning and then however often the vet suggested. He slept most of the way, but after we arrived, she found all of the pills lined up under the back seat, where he had spit them out!

Anyway, Siggy is well- behaved on the car in his harness/seat belt, but he does show some signs of nervousness. He sits up, lays down, sits up, lays down every minute or two, and he drools a lot. He keeps his eyes on me the whole ride.

We don’t know for sure where we will be moving to, but likely across the country (USA). So, we can either take him in the car, or fly him. I have not compared prices yet, and,we don’t know yet whether the move will be covered by the company. Does anyone know if companies who cover your move normally cover the cost of flying pets? We also have a cat, so we will likely either put both in the car, or fly both. (And I have no idea how to do bathroom breaks in a car with a cat. Stop and put him in his litter box in the car? He doesn’t go on command, like the dog sort of does.) Siggy’s crate doesn’t fit in my car, so he can either be in his harness attached to the seat belt in my car with the kids, or go with my husband in his SUV, which I believe the crate will fit in if we flatten the back seat.

So, I’m just looking for any tips on cross-country travel with a dog. Anyone have a preference as to flying or driving him? He’s never been on a plane, and it makes me a bit nervous, as one does hear horror stories of dogs lost or dying in flight. Plus, I’m afraid he’ll be terrified the whole way and may bark. If we drive, I’ll have to research hotels that take pets along the way.
 

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Personally, I would not fly with my dog. Flying is stressful enough for me, I can't imagine for the dog. I have done a few cross-country trips with my dog, for me it is fun! There are actually quite a lot of pet friendly hotels if you aren't too fussy, some of the big chains like La Quinta are often pet friendly, I've also stayed in pet-friendly Best Westerns / Days Inn / Comfort Suites, etc. just check with the individual hotel or use a website like Bring Fido. Riding with him in his crate is probably the safest option!

Edit: Also, if you do drive, make sure you do maintenance on your car before you go! I had a minor breakdown in 115f heat in the middle of the desert somewhere along a similar drive you are doing. Not fun! 😂
 

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I am fine with flying myself, but I can’t decide which makes me more nervous, the possibility of something happening to Siggy or Noodles (our cat) on a flight, or the possibility of one of them somehow escaping and running away (or into traffic) at a rest stop or a hotel. Siggy’s recall is great in the back yard, but I wouldn’t trust him where he isn’t fenced in. And the cat has no recall at all, and is an escape artist.
 

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We've only ever done one/two day trips with our dog. La Quinta Inns aren't fancy but they have a pretty no fuss pet policy. Haven't had an issue in one yet. Some even have dedicated dog parks for guest. Although a crate is safest we don't crate when we travel 1: the crate doesn't fit in the car and 2 she wouldn't settle. As a result we are always able leash her before we open any doors reducing the likelyhood of getting loose. If you travel by car I would try to arrange it so you can be sure to get your dog is leashed before opening doors to be let out of the car. As for your cat maybe rather than a standard cat carrier you could use a small dog crate that would also fit some sort of small litter box. Cats don't need the exercise and space to potty like dogs. I would think the cat would be fine in it's crate until inside a hotel room at he end of a days travel.
I might fly with a cat but unless I had to I wouldn't fly with a large dog. But that's just me.
 

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I'd just drive the pets. As for logistics, you'll want a litter box in the car or for the hotel. Most cats will hold it while in a car, but I'd get a carrier big enough to put a little tray with litter.

We don't harness our dogs unless the Jeep top is all the way off. But that's up to you.
 

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the possibility of one of them somehow escaping and running away (or into traffic) at a rest stop or a hotel.
I have no idea about cats, but for your dog if you are travelling with him in a crate, then you can easily open the trunk and put a leash on him without him being able to immediately jump out of the back. Or you could just make sure that you put a leash on him before you open any doors. I don't let my dog off leash ever when I'm travelling through a random area, just not worth the risk. When you are in a hotel, if your pets are loose in your room just make sure you double bolt the door (and put a do not disturb sign up) so a maid doesn't accidentally open the door. Make sure your collar is good quality, preferably a metal buckle, and well fitted so you have no worries about any mishaps, and you should be good!

Personally, I would be very worried about my dog dying / suffocating or whatever could happen to them in cargo. I know my girl would be terrified the whole time also. Would it be possible for someone to fly with your cat as carry-on and then do a separate trip with dog via the road?
 

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Fix the nervousness by taking lots of small trips NOW -- start by driving around the block, then go home and give the dog nice rewards. Build up to driving a few minutes or longer, and try to end these trips somewhere that something good happens (like a fenced field where you can throw a ball). Doing this consistently got all of my dogs over the nervousness and drooling, now they clamor to get in the car and go with me...anywhere. They became great travel-dogs by simply acclimating to driving.
 

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I thought about taking them separately, too. Maybe. We don’t know our plans yet.
The situation is that we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the cost of living is very high, so we’ve been talking about moving for a while, and then his work site was bought out by another company, so since he has enough points to retire, we decided this would be a good time for him to retire from this company and find another job somewhere less expensive. We are waiting until the summer to move, because my oldest daughter graduates from high school this year. She is going to college nearby, but will live in the dorms. So, he just started looking for another job, so we don’t know where or when we’ll be moving yet. He just saw a job posted in Pittsburgh, PA that he is perfect for, so is applying for that one. He is a chemical engineer and works in the oil refining industry, so most jobs are around the Gulf coast or near waterways of some sort. I’m just looking for advice in advance, trying to plan.
 

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Fix the nervousness by taking lots of small trips NOW -- start by driving around the block, then go home and give the dog nice rewards. Build up to driving a few minutes or longer, and try to end these trips somewhere that something good happens (like a fenced field where you can throw a ball). Doing this consistently got all of my dogs over the nervousness and drooling, now they clamor to get in the car and go with me...anywhere. They became great travel-dogs by simply acclimating to driving.
Yes, I need to do that. He just started a dog socialization class that he goes to once a week, but I don’t know if that’s a reward, or a punishment to him! He readily jumps in the car, though. He recently started barking and showing aggression/fear of dogs on walks, so that’s why he’s going to this class with a nearby trainer we have worked with before. Yesterday was the first time he has actually socialized with some other dogs (was in a corral next to them before, where he could see/hear/smell them), and the trainer said he did well.
I walk him every day, and he usually looks at other dogs, but hasn’t barked or growled or anything I was concerned about until recently. I guess I should have had him actually interacting with other dogs when he was younger. Anyway, that’s another issue, but, hopefully, is getting better.
 

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DRIVING by all means... flying SUCKS for pets.
I can't speak for the cat but having a small litter box in it's crate sounds like a great idea. I've seen the result of trying to have a cat on a leash on the side of the road for a potty break, it wasn't pretty.
IRT Siggy…. sounds like he is already "used too" his harness/seat belt combo and that's GREAT. Make sure it's a bungie type belt and hook it to the head rest so it stays above him and doesn't tangle his legs. Take plenty of drives with him to get him more used to the back seat!
 

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Once you are on the freeway he might settle on his own. Don't pay attention to his anxiety but act as if is the most normal event he could imagine.
 

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I’ve been on a flight with a screaming cat. Unhappy cats are much harder to appease than dogs. I would not recommend flying with cat.

I’ve done the LA to SF round trip with my cat once, and one way another time when we moved... she did great. Carrier and bed only. I fed / watered / relieved her once I made it to my destination.

I have a good friend who has also driven cross country (LA to ATL) with her cat and then cats... same thing. Fed/watered/relieved at hotels.
 

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We've driven across the country twice with dogs and kids. (NY/Seattle) We've also flown dogs across a few times. Not fun to hear from other passengers how he barked the whole way so I recommend drive. We stayed in Holiday Inns that had a pet policy. You get the 'dog room' but it's not that bad. Just call ahead and make sure. Few cigarette burns in the furniture and scratches around the doors. No biggie. Figure you are going to stop for lunch so you can walk him. And you'll want to stop at rest areas. I've never seen one didn't have a pet area. Max was a basket case for the first hour but settled down. Didn't hurt that he discovered Burger King has a drive up! bring a favorite blanky and his bowl, familiar things help. Just take your time and watch the weather. Last time we dove south to avoid a blizzard in the midwest which added a day but it beat sitting in snow. We used a portable CB radio for both cross country adventures and it helped avoid weather and find alternatives around it. You get to see how big and beautiful the country really is.
 
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