Sometimes we become overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done during a move and overlook the needs of our pets. With a little planning and a few simple items, however, your trip can be pleasant for both you and your trusty companion.
• Call your vet and schedule an appointment as soon as you can.
• If your pets are due or almost due for shots, now is a good time to get them. It may take you a while to find a new vet and you may need to have updated shot records for boarding, traveling, etc.
• Get copies of vet records and vaccination certificates. The rabies tag will not serve as proof of vaccination. You may need to show the documentation. Make sure your pets get the kennel cough vaccine or other vaccines that will be necessary for travel or boarding. Ask what you will need to do to have these vaccinations recognized in your new state or if they will carry over.
• If your pet is traveling by air, you will probably need a health certificate from the vet, and there may be a time requirement (for example, the health certificate may need to be dated within 30 days of the travel date).
• Get a sedative for your pet. If you are traveling long distances, flying, or exposing your pet to a means of transportation they’ve never experienced before–unless the pet is traveling in the cargo area of an airplane, in which case sedatives should be avoided. Again, discuss with your vet.
• Call the airline directly and confirm they accept pets. Keep in mind airlines have very specific regulations for pets transported in the cargo area. They will not allow a pet to fly in temperatures in departure, layover or destination cities if the temperatures are too hot or too cold. It may be a pleasant 75 degrees F in Los Angeles but it may be 40 degrees F in Chicago. The decision may not be made until the day of your flight.
• If you are traveling by car, check the hotels or motels along the way to confirm they are pet friendly. Call directly as online information may not be updated for new policies.
• Limit the amount of food and water your pet has the night before you leave. Give animals water in the morning, but no food.
• If your pet is not used to riding in a vehicle, take them for short rides and then extend the rides prior to making your move. Soft or collapsible kennels are great for dogs and cats and are much easier to carry and take up very little space when collapsed and be set up and taken down with ease.
• Never leave your animals in a parked car, even with the windows down. They can overheat and die in a matter of minutes, even on overcast days.
Happy travels and good luck in your new home!
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