Pets, like any other family member, feel the stress of relocation. When moving with pets, minimizing their exposure to extreme changes in routine will go a long way toward easing their stress (and yours).
Consult your veterinarian before transporting pets. Make sure all vaccinations are current, obtain medical records, and ask for a recommendation of a veterinarian in your new area.
Household movers are not permitted to transport live animals in a moving van. Bus companies will only accept seeing-eye dogs accompanied by their owner.
Dogs and cats can ride in your car, but make sure you stop at least every two hours. Call ahead to find motels and hotels that allow pets.
If you are flying, your cat or dog can ride in the baggage compartment. Call your airline to find out about vaccination requirements. For long plane trips, or if your pet is nervous, talk to a vet about tranquilizers.
Atlas Van Lines can make shipping arrangements on your behalf for a nominal charge, or you can use a third-party firm that specializes in transporting pets. There are a number of companies in Canada and the United States that specialize in these travel arrangements.
Some step-by-step tips to make your pet's travel to your new home as comfortable as possible:
Before moving with pets, keep their daily routine as consistent as possible. If possible, arrange for a friend or a kennel to take your pets during the move.
Make sure your pet has an identification tag, and that the phone number on the tags is current. Have extra food and water on hand in case of an emergency.
The sooner you re-establish old routines, the better. Allow your animals to become familiar with the home. Cats should be kept indoors for a few days before being allowed to roam free. Dogs will benefit from frequent familiarization walks around your new location.
Transporting pets such as hamsters, birds and guinea pigs is easily done in their cages in your own car. Make sure the animal has enough food and water, and do not park in the sun.
There is no practical way for relocation of fish in their aquarium. It is best to give the fish away to a good home, move the aquarium dry, and then purchase new fish when you get to your new home. For short trips, you can carry your fish in plastic bags.