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International Moving Guide - Moving With Pets

International Moving With Pets

If you think moving is stressful, imagine how animals feel. Whether it's a dog, cat, bird, iguana or any other pet variety, preplanning is extremely important when it comes to moving a pet. Pets can become nervous when faced with an unfamiliar situation. The better prepared you are, the more comfortable your pet will be.

Pets are generally creatures of habit so keep your pets' routines as regular as possible in the days coming up to your move date. Continue to carry out normal activities and try not to break your pets routine too much, for example if you walk your dog each morning continue to do so.

Before moving your pet, schedule an examination by a veterinarian. The veterinarian may suggest a tranquilizer or some other precautionary measure for the duration of the trip. Obtain copies of your pet's health and rabies vaccination records and update identification tags.

Pet Air Shipping

If you decide to ship your pet by air, contact the airline well in advance to check regulations and services and to make reservations. If possible, it's probably best to book a weekday flight during slack periods when there's more room in the plane's cargo compartment. Also, try to book a direct flight to reduce the amount of time your pet will be confined

Pet Kennels

Select a portable air-transport kennel that's large enough for your pet to stand and move around a bit. Most airlines sell or rent these special carriers. Let your pet get accustomed to the kennel well in advance of the trip. Mark the container "Live Animal," and affix a label that includes your pet's name, your new address and phone number, and special handling instructions.

Pets Traveling in a Car

If you'll be traveling to your new home by car, acquaint your pet with car travel by taking it for short drives around the neighborhood. Don't feed your pet for several hours prior to your trip. Do, however, pack a canteen of fresh, cool water and stop frequently for drinks and walks.

If you plan an overnight stay in a hotel, determine in advance whether or not pets are welcome. Finally--and this is important for all pets at all times--never leave an animal in an enclosed, locked car. Even in moderately warm weather, the temperature inside a car can reach 120 degrees in just a few minutes. Conversely, in winter months, the temperature can drop well below freezing before you realize it.

Birds and small pets such as hamsters can travel by car in their cages--provided the cage is stable, properly ventilated, and protected from drafts. Covering the cage will often help to keep your pet calm.

Arriving at the New Destination

Like you, your pet needs time to adjust to the new house and new surroundings. Use your pet's favorite food bowl, bedding and toys to help it feel at home.

Once everyone's settled in, locate a new veterinarian. Your old vet may have a recommendation or you can contact the local Humane Society for references. Consult with your van line at any stage of your move. They are always ready to help.

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