15 Ways to Make Relocation with Pets Easier
Pets have been an integral part of our lives for as long as humans can remember. They’ve been living with us, providing emotional support, and acting as guide dogs. They are regarded as members of the family, with deep emotional bonds with their owners and friends.
However, when the need or desire arises to relocate overseas, we definitely want our furry friends to come with us, but it’s not that simple. Animals can be uncomfortable in a new location and coupled with different vaccination and laws about pets.
Here is a list of things that all pet owners definitely should consider before relocating:
1. SEND YOUR PET FOR VACCINATION AND A SEROLOGY TEST
It is important to protect your pet from possible rabies or infections that they might catch from the flight.
In addition, these dogs and cats must have undergone a blood serology test to check for rabies antibody levels at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. The test result must be at least 0.5 IU/ml.
2. CHECK THE STATE RULES
Every state has its own laws regarding pets. Most states in the United States will require a health certificate and records. Check the laws specific to the destination and consult with the vet on the vaccinations and certificates needed. An entry permit is also required by some states and needs to be applied for beforehand.
Read here: Australian Government Pet Laws
Read here: Laws on Exotic Pets for Each US State
3. CHECK VEHICLE OR PLANE RULES
Most trips are made using airplanes or cars, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Carriers have rules in place regarding the carriage of pets. Do check the pricing and decide if you want your pet with you in the cabin or handled as cargo. Pet safety is also important as animals have died aboard commercial jets. Thus, it’s important to check the carrier’s history along with their cargo conditions and decide if your pet is suitable for cargo.
4. BRING YOUR PET ON TRIAL RUNS
Pets are unique in their perceptions and reactions to changes in the situation around them. This makes it more than necessary to understand how your own pet reacts to changes in his environment. Some get car sick, some get withdrawn, some get aggressive, while some are perfectly comfortable with changes in the environment. It is important to consider the reaction of your pet to traveling, and then make a suitable plan based on these reactions.
5. PREPARE AN ‘EMERGENCY KIT’
Most people fail to prepare an overnight kit, and this is a common mistake pet owners’ make. Just like humans need an emergency fund stored away or food in the freezer for a late night snack, a pet needs an emergency kit consisting of food for a few days, toys and grooming tools. This is more important when moving to a different country or an unknown location, as your preferred choice of food or grooming kits might not be readily available.
6. GET A HARNESS FOR THE ROAD
The AAA estimates that about 30,000 accidents are caused each year by an unrestrained pet in the front seat. Apart from moving freely within the vehicle, they could be a major source of distraction, leading to accidents. Using the belts or a pet-friendly harness helps to mitigate that risk when traveling by road, allowing the driver to focus on the road.
7. PURCHASE A SUITABLE KERNEL OR CARRIER
Most people purchase generic kernels when moving animals, not taking the breed’s size and preferences into account. We recommend purchasing a carrier that allows a pet stand up without hitting its head on the carrier of the kernel. Ensure the kernel allows the pet to sit and turn around without obstructions, and is lined with bedding to absorb the impact of a drop or shock. It is also better to buy a carrier weeks before a trip, allowing the animal to spend time and get ‘acquainted’ with the carrier before traveling.
8. LABEL YOUR PET WITH TAGS
There’s a saying that goes like “you don’t know the value of what you have until you lose it”. When it comes to pets, we say “don’t even lose them”. Every pet should have a tag, or microchip containing useful information like your phone number, and medical information for the pet. It isn’t advisable anymore to put your address on a tag, and a phone number will suffice when your pet goes missing.
9. LOOK FOR A PET-FRIENDLY HOTEL
Most hotels are either against pets or indifferent towards them. This makes pet-friendly hotels important as they provide special beds and other amenities that can help relieve the anxiety of traveling. There are also extra charges for pets, so it’s important to find one beforehand and add the extra cost to your budget.
10. PREPARE PROPER IDENTIFICATION
You can never be too safe when dealing with a pet in transit, and it is advisable to label your crate, tags and every other thing belonging to the pet, to ensure everyone knows you’re carrying a live animal. Pictures have led to the recovery of hundreds of missing pets in the past and it is advisable to have a clearly recognizable picture of the pet on your phone for reference in case it goes missing.
11. BOOK DIRECT FLIGHTS WHERE POSSIBLE
A direct flight should be preferred for two reasons. First is because it’s advisable to keep the transit period to the barest minimum to reduce the stress placed on the pet. A direct flight is also preferred because of the manual handling process usually required for cargo on connecting flights. This ensures your pet isn’t left in a carrier on the tarmac, or manhandled by baggage personnel, leading to a smoother transitional period for your pet.
12. ARRIVE AT THE AIRPORT EARLY
Airlines usually have a cap on the number of pets allowed in a cabin, and it’s important to book early if you plan on having your pet with you in the cabin. It is also advisable to arrive at the airport earlier when traveling with a pet, dedicating at least 10-20 minutes to solving any potential issues that might come up as a result of traveling with your pet.
13. REDUCE STRESS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Pets suffer from stress, depression, and anxiety, just like us. Moving to a new location can be very stressful for animals and it is important not to exacerbate the effects. Keep pets in quiet areas during the move and ensure constant routines for a while. The proper temperature also need to be maintained for the first few days. Lastly, keep pets secluded from other neighborhood pets during the first few days, giving them time to adjust.
14. INSURE YOUR PETS
Every new environment comes with its own challenges, both physical and biological. Before relocation, bring your pet to visit a trusted vet for regular checkups and vaccination. Pet owners often overlook this important step and frequently results in health complications for pets during relocation. Worry less about financial strains as Liberty PetCare by PolicyPal covers non-surgical and surgical expenses.
If you think pet insurance only covers the medical costs of your pet’s health, think again. Pet insurance also covers third-party liability. In the event where your pet gets you into trouble (see point 6), you’re covered for the costs incurred. Should unfortunate mishaps occur *touchwood*, such as your pet passing on or getting stolen, there will also be an insurance payout. Buy, manage, and submit claims for your pet insurance all on a single platform at PolicyPal.
Now that your pet is financially covered for, you’re all set for the final step: Pet Relocation Services.
15. USE PET RELOCATION SERVICES
Moving your pet can be strenuous especially when you have a long checklist of to-dos’ while relocating. “Panic” periods like this tend to stress adults, and they end up paying less attention to the way their pets are moved. The number of pets dying on airlines and other forms of transportation keeps increasing. This alarming statistic, along with the stress to owners brought about the need for pet relocation services.
Pet relocation companies are companies dedicated to the handling and safe relocation of pets all over the world. There are several out there that can help with the safe and convenient handling of your pets during travels, including Moovaz who are one of the best in the industry.
And while Moovaz are based in Singapore, their robust web presence, coupled with their extensive network, allows for comfortable and professional haulage of your items and pets across continents. This makes pet relocation much easier, as every item is handled with care and dexterity. It is also important to note that Moovaz tailors its plan to suit the individual taste of their clients, and the type of pet being moved. This meticulous nature, coupled with their best manual handling practices has allowed the company to maintain a 100% delivery rate, with no unwanted accidents happening to pets on their watch.
Following these 15 tips will definitely ensure an easy pet relocation experience. A couple of these tips will be especially important, such as getting vaccinations, checking state laws, booking a direct flight and going through test trials. Using a pet relocation service would also be very convenient as these specialists are experts of pet relocation.
Have you ever brought a furry (or scaly) friend overseas with you before? Do share with us your experience!