Published on 05 Aug 2020 in moving, tips and techniques, pets by Mark Zappia

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely image

Moving can introduce a number of stresses and challenges. Moving with a pet increases those challenges, especially if you're moving across the country. How can you move your pet safely? What should you do to ensure your pet's comfort during the move? At Clear Sky Moving and Storage, we can help you get your pet to your new home with a minimal amount of stress.

How should I prepare for moving with a pet?

As you're creating your moving checklist, make sure you take your pet into consideration. Interstate moves may mean that you must carefully consider the requirements for moving a pet into a new area.

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

1. Research the entry requirements for the state or country you're moving to.

Many states and countries have highly specific entry requirements. In New Zealand, for example, there are several dog breeds you cannot bring in:

  • the American pit bull terrier
  • Brazilian fila
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese tosa
  • Perro de Presa Canario

New Zealand also has highly specific requirements on which pets you can bring in: you can't import birds or ferrets, for example. Make sure you have a solid understanding of any isolation requirements, vaccination requirements, and other needs of your animal. Each location may have its own specific requirements, so make sure you're familiar with them before moving forward.

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

2. Make a vet appointment for your pet.

Once you know the entry requirements for your pet, including what paperwork you'll need from the vet, set up a vet appointment. At this appointment, you'll arrange for your pet to get an update to any needed vaccines and provide your pet with a full exam to ensure that they're healthy and prepared to travel. During this appointment, you should also:

Inquire about sedation for your pet. Some pets may not travel well, especially if they have serious health concerns or may suffer from anxiety after being separated from you. You should also carefully consider how your pet will be traveling and the requirements of the company they'll be traveling with. Discuss sedation options with your vet to make your pet as comfortable as possible on their journey. Keep in mind, however, that sedation may prove dangerous for your pet. In fact, some airlines will not transport your pet if you sedate them before the journey. Make sure you understand the regulations associated with transporting your pet and how sedation has the potential to impact them.

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

Get a copy of your pet's health record. This will make it easier for you to take your pet to a new veterinarian once you arrive in your new home, since it will provide you with a full record of past treatments, vaccines, and needs.

Ask your current vet for a recommendation concerning a colleague in your new city. If your vet cannot recommend someone, they may be able to put you in touch with someone who can make a good recommendation or give you a better idea of what to look for--or when you should steer clear of a specific area.

In some cases, you may need more than one trip to the vet to conduct any last-minute tests or to ensure that your pet is caught up on all of its vaccines. Make sure to schedule these appointments as early as possible to allow you your choice for times.

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

3. Apply for an entry permit, if one is needed.

If your destination has an entry permit requirement, make sure you know when you need to apply for that permit and how long it will take for your request to be approved. The sooner you handle that task, the better the odds that you'll get your entry permit in plenty of time.

4. Make sure you have updated travel tags with accurate information.

A travel identification tag can include all the relevant information your pet needs to get back to you if something happens on their journey. Dogs often wear tags anyway, but they may grow worn with time. They may also contain your old contact information, rather than contact information that will allow someone who finds your pet to get in touch with you now. Your travel identification tag for your pet should include:

  • Your name
  • A contact number to get in touch with you
  • Contact information for your vet, if needed
  • Any specific health alerts concerning your pet, which can also prove helpful for any handlers who will work with your pet during the move

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

What paperwork do I need to move with a pet?

Before you move, there are several key requirements that you must take care of, depending on the type of pet you have and where you're moving. A visit to the vet can help ensure that you have the right paperwork to move your pet safely; however, by researching ahead of time to make sure you know what is expected of you, as the pet owner, you can ensure that you have the paperwork you need on hand when you leave the vet.

You'll need to check with your vet to make sure that you have:

  • An RNAT test, including a lab report
  • Rabies vaccination certificate, including a Rabies Antibody Titer Test three to four weeks after the pet receives the vaccine
  • Leptospirosis vaccination for your dog
  • A test declaration signed by your vet

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

While you don't have to have them, there are also several vaccines that are recommended before you make a big move with your dog, including distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, para-influenza, and bordatella. Getting your pet up to date on those vaccines not only makes the move easier, it can make it easier for you to keep up with your pet's care after the move, when you're busy trying to manage all the responsibilities of the move and may not have time to make a vet appointment.

You should also do your research to be sure you know what pets you can move with safely, and which ones cannot move into certain areas. Keep in mind that in some states, like Queensland, ferrets are banned completely. Other animals may also make the banned list, including some breeds of dogs. Do your research ahead of time to learn whether your pet will be able to make an interstate move with you.

Note that if you're planning an international move, your pet may need to spend 10 days in quarantine before moving in with you. Don't worry! Your pet will be in a facility filled with great caretakers, and they'll be back with you before you know it.

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

How can you prepare your pet for transport in a kennel?

Placing your pet in a kennel is often the most efficient way to help your pet get from Point A to Point B. Sometimes, you may need to tuck your pet in a kennel even if you'll be driving your pet to your new home. If you're using a moving service or transporting your pet via plane, you'll need a kennel to keep them safe and secure during transport.

That doesn't mean, however, that you should drop kennel transport on your pet unexpectedly. Try some of these steps to help prepare your pet for travelling in a kennel.

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

1. Buy the kennel well ahead of time and introduce your pet to it as soon as possible.

If you already have a kennel, you may be able to use it to transport your pet. Make sure that it's in good repair and that your pet is comfortable inside it. If it's in poor condition, you may need to replace it.

Introduce your pet to the kennel gradually, if needed. You may want to put a t-shirt that smells like you in the crate so that your pet will associate it with the familiar. Start by leaving the top off of the kennel so that your pet can explore it freely. Make sure the kennel is a safe space that your pet can enjoy.

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

2. Include the right items with the kennel.

You want to make your pet as comfortable as possible during the transportation process. Consider including:

  • Official documents, as needed, taped to the side of your crate and clearly labelled
  • Labels stating that you're transporting a live animal in the crate
  • A t-shirt or other item of clothing that smells like you
  • Your cell phone number clearly displayed on the paperwork
  • A puppy pad so that your pet can go to the bathroom if needed
  • Water and food bowls in the crate or attached to the side of it. Pro tip: try freezing your pet's water bowl the night before so that it won't leak everywhere

If you'll be travelling with a layover, consider attaching a leash to the crate so that you can take your pet out for a walk, if needed.

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

3. Cable tie the door, if needed.

In order to keep your pet as safe as possible, cable tie the door before dropping your pet off with the airline. This simple step can help keep your pet safer by preventing escape during transport.

What should I do to make the move easier on my pet?

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

Moving can be just as hard on your pet as it is on you. You'll be moving to a new home, with new rules and new things to consider. You may be separated during the move itself, or you may need to spend long days travelling, often with your pet in its crate.

To make the trip as pleasant for your pet as possible, try some of these important steps.

1. Try not to get stressed about the move--or board your pet somewhere else for a few days, if needed.

Sure, things may not go according to plan, or you may find it difficult to keep up with everything. The shipping tape might disappear at the worst possible moment. Your spouse might have to leave ahead of you, or stay behind to finish up a few last things before the move.

When possible, however, try to remain as stress-free as possible. Your pet will likely pick up on your stress, triggering more misbehavior--not to mention more stress in your pet. If you know that you're going to struggle with stress related to the move, consider boarding your pet for a few days so that they don't see you stressed out. This can also help your pet avoid the stress of people constantly coming in and out of the house over your last few days there.

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

2. Spend some time acclimating your pet to your new home.

When you first move in, your pet may seem overwhelmed by the new space. It likely has new smells, new areas to explore, and new challenges. There may be other animals nearby that your pet has never met before.

Take some time to allow your pet to acclimate. You may want to allow your pet to decide when to exit its crate. If you have a cat, get the litter pan set up as soon as possible. If you have a dog, you may want to put out its bed or favorite toys ahead of time. Take your dog for long walks around the neighborhood and allow some time for sniffing. Spend lots of time with your pet when you can to help make the transition easier.

Getting Bella from Point A to Point B: Transporting Your Pet Safely

3. Utilize the services of a professional, when possible.

Using a professional pet mover can help ensure your pet's comfort during the move as well as making your trip much easier. Hotels may not accept pets, for example, while many airlines have very strict regulations involving pet transport. Not only that, you may struggle to keep up with your pet along with everything else you need for your move. By utilizing the services of a professional, you can make your move much smoother.

If you're gearing up for a big move, let Clear Sky Moving and Storage help. Contact us today to learn more about our pet moving services and how we can help safely move your pet to their new home.