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Moving with Pets Tips - Message Board
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Moving with Pets can be a challenge. This message board is a place to recount experiences, ask questions, and give advice about Moving with Pets.
Safety Tips
Transporting your pet can be a traumatic experience for them. Be sure to keep your pet's routine regular for as long as possible before you leave. It is necessary to have up to date medical records for your pet with you at all times while travelling. Travelling by car, if possible, is recommended. In the car, cats should always be kept in a carrier, while dogs have the option of using a restraining harness. Be sure to stop frequently to allow the pet to exercise and relieve itself (at least every two hours). Bring a litter box for cats on longer trips. Most importantly, NEVER leave a pet unattended in a parked car. Temperatures inside cars can rise up to 120 degrees, and could potentially kill the pet. If you must travel by plane, ask if you can bring your pet onboard as a carry-on. Regardless, always carry your pet's medical records with you, and get an identification tag for the pet. Information on the tag should include the pet's name, your full name, address and phone number, and have rabies tag on collars for dogs and cats. Always pack water, food bowls, grooming equipment, litter, medication and a good supply of your pet's regular food.
Pet Travel by Car
It is recommended that pets travel by car, rather than airline. All states require a recent health certificate and updated rabies vaccinations. When travelling by car, be sure to bring: a copy of pet's health records and any additional vaccinations, normal food and water bowls, litter box with extra litter for cats, scooper and elimination bags for dogs, any medications that your pet may need, and a current photo of your pet in case it gets lost. Also consider professional pet transportation services.
Pet Travel by Plane
If travelling by plane is the only option, be sure to know the rules and regulations of your airline. Not all airlines accept pets. Those that do may not accept all breeds of cats and dogs. All airlines require a recent health certificate of the pet. Also, be sure to know and meet specific kennel regulations. While you may be apprehensive about taking your pet on board, be aware that the regulations for pet transportation have been updated, and pet travel is much safer than it used to be. The majority of pets will have to be taken out of their carriers be examined by the TSA, so be sure to bring a harness to secure them. Prior to transport, keep your pet's exercise and eating times as regular as possible. Have your vet trim your pet's nails before the flight, which will keep them from being caught in the kennel. Some professionals do not recommend sedating your pet for airline travel, as the effects of medication at high altitudes are unpredictable. You will be required to offer water and food within four hours of check-in, and sign a form noting when you last offered food and water. You should not place water in the carrier as it could spill, making your pet uncomfortable. Also consider professional pet transportation services.
Moving with Pets Internationally
Different countries have different regulations for animals. Travel should be planned well in advance to be sure to meet all of the health criteria, sometimes including specific vaccinations not required in your home country. Additionally, be aware of other policies, including periods of quarantine or special documents. The best way to find this information is through the country's consulate. While travelling, veterinarians recommend keeping your pet as comfortable as possible. Consider including a favorite blanket or toy. Be sure to have clear identification tags on both your pet and the carrier. Allow plenty of time in advance to deliver them to the appropriate loading station.
Moving with Birds
Moving with birds can be tricky, as they are very sensitive to temperature. When travelling by car, they should stay in the back seat, with their carriers belted in. Be sure to bring a tarp or painter's cloth place to under the cage or carrier. Most airlines allow birds to travel in the cabin. If the carrier is able to fit under a seat, they usually allow 1-2 small birds per passenger. Loud birds will not be allowed in the cabin, but can travel as accompanied baggage. Always have an avian harness on hand. International flights do not allow birds to travel in the cabin, so be sure that it gets used to the carrier prior to the trip. Include its favorite toys or comfort items to keep it as relaxed as possible.
Moving with Fish
While experts recommend a box with a Styrofoam liner for transport, it is okay to use an inexpensive Styrofoam ice chest. Be sure to get enough containers to fit the number of fish you need to move, as overcrowding can affect fish. Always line the fish transport box or Styrofoam cooler with a plastic trash bag to prevent leaks, and to protect the fish should the transport container be damaged.
Moving with Reptiles
Prior to your move, be sure to get a signed health certificate no more than 10 days before travelling. Know the rules of the state in regards to your reptile, and have the pet spend time in the carrier in advance. Travelling with reptiles can become complicated if not checked in advance. While it is possible to ship reptiles through the USPS, airlines will take most reptiles as cargo. Though it may be more expensive than shipping, it might be less stressful to you and your pet. Make sure that you properly label whatever carrier you use. Write live animal on the carrier with any specific instructions, and always include your contact information. Travelling by car is much less stressful for your pet. You can transport your pet in its usual cage or container, but be sure to remove any objects that could fall. Keep stops to a minimum so as not to disturb your pet. If the drive requires overnight stay, plan ahead and select lodging that accepts reptiles specifically, as some places may not consider them pets. Also consider a pet transportation company.
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