Moving with Pets

Moving with Pets

Preparation prevents surprises when moving with pets. Each animal may react differently to traveling and new surroundings. The easiest way to insure that a move goes smoothly is to familiarize each pet with the experience in advance. Practice using travel kennels and riding in a car if these will be new adventures. Try to keep pets calm on moving day and away from the excitement strangers.

Legal Requirements

Many cities have extensive requirements and regulations that apply to pet owners. Registration permits, vaccinations and leash laws are common. Research all regulations before moving. A few states also regulate entry. For example, Hawaii has a mandatory 120 day quarantine period before releasing any animal to an owner. Fines for violations can be expensive in addition to being inconvenient. Verify all state and city requirements well in advance to insure compliance with all regulations.

Dogs and Cats

The temperament of dogs and cats is unpredictable when traveling for extended periods. Confined spaces, prolonged vibrations and unfamiliar noises may all cause traumas. Despite these challenges, moving with pets is not difficult when anticipating their reactions and needs along the way.

Prepare a specific place for each dog and cat when moving with pets by car. Be sure to keep them separate if possible. Familiar bedding, favorite toys, fresh water, frequent stops, and a little extra attention may be required. Carsickness is also common. Consider using plastic to protect upholstery.

Traveling by air requires a special carrier. In addition, all airlines require identification tags, do not permit muzzles, and refuse to carry sedated pets. Each airline may also have special requirements for checking in and picking up various breeds based on special circumstances. Call in advance for reservations and request assistance to avoid last minute surprises.

Marine Fish

Maintaining a marine aquarium presents unique challenges when relocating. Short moves over a few hours are not difficult when handling fish with care. Longer moves however require additional preparation. The replacement cost for a Clown Triggerfish easily exceeds $100. Yellow Tangs and Blue Surgeonfish are notoriously fragile. Nevertheless, these fish frequently travel thousands of miles to reach local vendors nationwide. Moving marine fish long distances is difficult but not impossible for individual owners.

Contact a reputable vendor and request assistance. Preparing fish for transport requires sealed containers with sufficient food and excess oxygen to last long after a scheduled arrival. Delicate handling is essential during all stages of transport. Fish vendors may provide special containers.

Changing Veterinarians

Consider scheduling a veterinarian appointment a week or two before moving with pets. Good health, current vaccinations, a final checkup and traveling tips may be invaluable. In addition, a new veterinarian will request medical records. Request records at least several days in advance to insure availability. Be sure the most current record of vaccination is included because proof is required to register a pet in most cities.

After Moving

Animals may require time to acclimate to a new home. Begin familiarizing each pet slowly and anticipate odd reactions. Established routines are a source of comfort for most pets. Maintain familiar routines as closely as possible and provide reassurance. Use a leash when walking dogs to prevent running away. Carry cats outside several times before allowing them to roam. A few precautions may prevent hours of searching for a runaway.