Moving long distance is a big step. It is difficult to leave behind familiar haunts, people, and places that are a part of our lives. Among the many challenges of moving, one that even the best long distance movers can’t take care of for us is what to do about our pets. Pets are an integral part of our lives. Just like you wouldn’t consider leaving behind your children when you move, pets are just as important to many people. The best and safest option is to drive your pet in your own car. This is more important for dogs and cats so you can make frequent stops to let your pet stretch their legs, play around and walk. 

However if transporting your pets in your own vehicle is not an option for any reason, you might want to consider having them shipped. While it is not easy to ship animals across the country, it is doable and the most feasible option as long as you take the necessary measures to keep your pets safe and sound. Here are a few things to keep in mind when moving your pet long distance.  

  • Take your pet to the vet before to make sure that your pet is in good physical health. You should also ensure that your pet’s immunization records and health certificates are up to date.
  • Check any regulations and shipping requirements for your destination and get the necessary paperwork in order. 
  • If you are choosing to ship your pet, you need to find an appropriate shipping container that meets the regulatory safety requirements and is comfortable for your pet. 
  • Find and purchase some comfort items for your pet like food, water, or chew toys. 
  • Fish are delicate and need extra care. You have to make sure to keep the same water bacteria colony so put fish in smaller easier to transport containers filled with water drained from the aquarium. Keep in mind though, that shipping fish is almost impossible.
  • Snakes and other reptiles, amphibians, and insects are also difficult to relocate. In addition to moving the terrarium with the same care you would take for an aquarium, you also need to secure your pets in a way that eliminates the chances of your pet escaping. An escaped snake or spider may cause unnecessary panic and cause trouble.
  • Birds and birdcages are easier to transport than snakes and fish. The obvious transport solution is to move your bird in its own cage if you are driving yourself. However, if you are shipping your bird via air, you need to get a commercial hard plastic kennel cab suitable for shipping. Regardless of whether you are using a cage or a kennel, you should use a lightweight cloth cover for the container as it will minimize the stress your bird is likely to feel. You should also include food and lay down the paper at the bottom. You will need to remove the water bowl so include some juicy fruit instead.

Written by Lara Harper