Tips for Moving With Pets

By Joe Cooke, RISMedia Columnist


"There's probably no perfect way to move pets," says Kay Lynn Clay, Business Development Manager for nation-wide moving company U-Pack. "The best way we've found is to carry your pets with you, if you can."

Cats and dogs can either be shipped by air or taken along in the car. If you are flying to your new destination, your cat or dog can ride in the baggage compartment.

Your pet will need a health certificate from your vet before the move. Call the airline in advance to find out about special boxes they may have. If you are going to make a container for your pet, make sure that the container complies with airline regulations. It is a good idea to put a piece of clothing with your scent in the animal's box so he/she feels more at home.

If you aren't flying with your pet, but are having it shipped by air, make sure that someone is on the other end to pick your pet up at the airport and take care of him/her until you arrive. The easiest way to care for your pet before your arrival is a kennel. Many kennels can take your pet several days before your move (keeping him/her safe and out of your way). Or you can take your pet to the airport and arrange to have a kennel on the other end pick him/her up and take care of him/her until you arrive.

Be smart when considering taking your dog or cat with you on a long cross-country trip. Not only can animals get car sick, but being cooped up in a car all day can make them nervous and upset. They must be fed and have plenty to drink (make sure that you take along a water dish), they have to make "rest stops," and they have to be on a leash to keep from running off anytime the car door is opened. Pets also need their routine walk and playtime, so plan in advance to work this into the travel schedule. During daytime travel, make sure your pets are not in direct sunlight. And if you are traveling with the windows down, make sure your pets are safe and secure.

Some motels and hotels don't allow pets, while others have special facilities for handling travelers' pets. Call in advance and check out the available literature on hotels along your route. National chains usually publish such information online.

Hamsters, birds, mice, and such can be transported in the family car fairly easily. Make sure that the animals have enough food and water in their cages and are out of drafts or extreme temperatures. Cover cages with a cloth to keep the pets quiet and restful.

It is not practical to move fish in their aquarium. A gallon of water weighs eight pounds. Plan on giving the fish away and restock the aquarium when you arrive at your new home.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.