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4 Ways To Make Your Long-Distance Move Easier On Your Pet

Published on: May 21, 2015  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

4 Ways To Make You Long-Distance Move Easier on your PetMoving long distance is harder on pets than it is on you, because they cannot understand what is going on. They just know everything is “out of order.” The more you do to soothe them ahead of time and prepare them for their trip, the happier you will all be.

Easing the strain of a long-distance move for your pet starts with making the decision to work with an international pet transport company. Choose a company with an outstanding reputation for treating pets as kindly and thoughtfully as you do at home. After all, we’re talking about living, loving members of your family, not your luggage. Whether they will accompany you as you travel or fly separately, you want everything to be exactly right for them. Learn what is less stressful for pets in long-distance moves - driving or flying.

A top-rated professional shipper will ensure all the details of your pet’s move are arranged with safety and comfort as Priority #1. That includes making flight arrangements with the right airlines – pet-friendly ones who have special procedures for live animals.

A transport company experienced in moving pets from where you are now to wherever you’re going knows all the ins and outs. That is critical when you know that every destination country has different rules you need to follow to import your pet. Some of these regulations can be complex and convoluted in their timing. Airlines have requirements, too.

Your shipper may also have additional advice about things you can do to make long distance moving easier on your pet, but here are four suggestions:

1. Talk to your vet right away.

Your pet will need an exam and possibly some extra vaccinations (not to mention lots of documentation), but initially you want to confirm he’s healthy enough for a long distance move. One thing your vet will tell you is that sedation is no longer allowed for pets traveling by air. Making them woozy with drugs literally throws them off-balance, and it makes them more confused instead of more relaxed.

Instead, following the rest of these suggestions will go a long way toward reducing your pet’s move-related stress.

2. Help them adapt to their travel carrier.

Shipping pets by air, domestically or internationally, requires you to use an airline-approved kennel, because these carriers are specifically constructed to keep your pet safe during their trip. There are no sharp edges that might cause injury and there is plenty of ventilation – but no spaces large enough for your kitty or pup to stick their toes or nose outside the kennel’s confines. The door has a latch that cannot be opened, even by your smarty-pants pet.

All those details instill confidence in you, but not every pet will be thrilled with this new space. Obtain the kennel as early as you can, so your pooch or kitty can get used to it. If your pet is very wary, start them off exploring just the bottom half of the carrier, then add the top later. Let them sit in it, eat in it, sleep in it. By the time they’re ready to depart, the kennel will be “theirs” – a familiar cocoon.

For travel, put a small blanket in the kennel so your pet will be more comfortable and stable. Some people suggest using newspaper as padding, but your guy could arrive decorated with rubbed-off newsprint, or he might try to eat the paper. If your pet has a snub-nose, don’t give them so much padding they could bury face – these guys need all the breathing room they can get.

3. Consider in-cabin travel.

If you have a cat, or your dog is small, he may be able to ride under the seat in front of you. Ask your shipper about that, because not every airline allows pets on board, and even when they do there are pros and cons to this option.

4. Try to maintain their regular routine.

This may not be easy, given the chaos inherent in moving – especially if you’re headed to another country – but look at the situation through your pet’s eyes. Change worries dogs and cats, so try to retain some sense of normalcy. Feed them at their regular time and place. Give them plenty of one-on-one time. When moving-related activities are most chaotic, take your dog to day care or shut your kitty in another room.

Remember, where your four-legged family members are concerned, you’re the leader of the pack. You set the tone. If you are upbeat and calm, your Furred One will be less stressed, too. The more work you hand off to your professional shipper, the more confident and relaxed you can be, and that will make your long distance move easier on you as well as your pet.

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