If you are traveling or moving with pets, a veterinarian is your best source of professional advice. Please consult one for answers to specific questions.
Regulations prevent household-goods carriers from transporting live animals on moving vans, and none of the major bus lines accept pets with the exception of guide dogs. You will be limited to train, plane, family car or companies that specialize in moving pets. Your Highland representative can make arrangements for one of these companies to move your pet at a reasonable charge.
Pet Moving Countdown Calendar
5 or 6 weeks before the move
- Having one person handle all of the details reduces the likelihood of anything being overlooked.
- Consult the municipal office in your new city about pet regulations and licenses.
- Obtain your pet’s veterinary records and ask the vet about any medical problems in your new community.
- Also ask for a flea collar or spray.
- Obtain a sturdy pet-travel container with good locks and open ventilation meeting the carrier’s regulations. A water dish should be fastened securely and you should be able to fill it from the outside.
- Molded plastic and wire cages are most easily cleaned.
- The container should not restrict the animal’s movement. The pet should be able to stand up and turn around in it. Remove anything that might hurt or entangle your pet, such as a leash and collar.
- Help your pet get used to its container. Make a habit of feeding it treats there, cushion the container with the pet’s blanket and have the pet use it as a bed until moving day.
2 or 3 weeks before the move
If you plan to use hotels or motels during the move, ensure they accept pets. If your pet will be boarded on the coming busy days (packing and moving days) make all of the pet-boarding arrangements now.
A week before the move
Prepare your pet identification tags – double-sided luggage tags are convenient. They should include: the pet’s name, your name, destination address and phone number, and the name, address and phone number of the person responsible for the pet at origin and/or destination. Prepare adhesive tags marked “Live Animal” for the travel container. Assemble a pet travel kit containing:
- food and water dishes
- a supply of food in a sturdy cloth bag for dry food
- a few treats and toys
- a scooper and plastic bags
- paper towels in case of an “accident”
- leash or harness
- a sedative from your vet if appropriate
The day of the trip
- Place absorbent material (a diaper is better than newspaper) at the bottom of the cage.
- Water and feed your pet as usual, no later than four hours before the trip.
- Administer sedative medication.
- Exercise your pet before confining it to the car or travel container. Comfort it. Remove its leash and collar once it is inside the car or cage.
- Include a few of its favourite toys.
At Your Moving Destination
Segregate your pet in its cage or a fenced backyard until unloading is complete. You might board your dog or cat at a local kennel for the day. Arrangements for this will have to be made in advance.
Keep your pet confined for a few weeks until it is used to its new environment. This is particularly important for cats who are more likely than any other pets to try to return to the old house. Try to recreate your pet’s old habitat by placing its bowls and sleeping quarters in places similar to the old ones. Keep to regular times and keep some favourite toys handy. Birds are easily frightened and should be left undisturbed in a quiet area until they are used to the sound of the new house. If you have moved fish, replace the aquarium aerator as soon as possible. To allow them to adjust gradually, use as much of the old water as possible. Fish can easily bruise during transportation. You may wish to add some healing agents to the water. Consult your tropical fish store for advice. Moving small animals and pets such as hamsters and guinea pigs will generally have no problem adapting to the new home, except for some stomach upset due to the change in the water supply. This is a normal reaction. Consult a veterinarian if this lasts more than a day or two. Visit a veterinarian at destination and take your pet’s health records with you. Obtain any new pet licenses that are required. The transportation of pets from one province or territory to another is generally not governed by any regulation. Since new laws come into effect from time to time, however, check with the animal health authorities before you travel.
Tips on Traveling With Pets by Car
If your pet is not used to car travel, take it on short, frequent trips leading up to your move. Allow pets to find their own place in the car, away from the driver’s feet or in a special carrier. For the move, prepare your itinerary and plan stops for exercise and water at regular intervals. In warmer weather, stops should be more frequent. When outside the car, keep the pet on a leash at all times. If you have to leave the vehicle, leave the windows slightly open, If it is warm, park in the shade; if it is cold, park in a sunny spot. Check your pet regularly. Don’t forget to give it extra water in hot weather. Keep your pet away from strangers and children; it might become nervous and snappish even if it is usually even-tempered.
Tips on Pet Travel by Air
In general, airlines accept most species of animals for transportation, either accompanied or as air freight.
A number of airlines allow their customers to bring animals in the passenger cabins, if they can fit into a carrying case small enough to be placed under a seat; most pets, however, ride in the cargo compartment. Reserve airline space for your pet early, as airlines limit the number of pets allowed on each flight. Most carriers have restrictions regarding the transportation of warm-blooded animals in cold weather. At the time of booking, enquire about shipping containers, health documents required, feeding of pets, and so on. Find out if the airline provides identification tags, sells shipping containers and offers pet insurance. If the route requires changing flights or airlines, and/or transferring from one airport to another, find out whether “through-checking” of your pet will be your responsibility. If your pet is traveling in the cabin, take it with you when you check in. Otherwise, it should be checked in not less than one hour before departure time. Pets are usually loaded last and unloaded first. Pick up your pet as soon as possible. If it is not picked up within a reasonable time, it will be boarded at your expense. Exercise, feed and water the pet at your first opportunity.
Dogs, cats and other medium and large sized animals should be shipped via air-freight, while smaller pets should travel by air-express. Ask about insurance, payment of charges and feeding. Give all the flight details to the person who will be taking care of your pet in your absence. Call the person who will be shipping or picking up your pet to confirm all the pet travel arrangements. Give him/her the waybill number assigned to the shipment. Feeding on most trips is not advisable. Water, however, should be made available frequently in small amounts.
Pets Requiring Special Attention
Certain pets require special attention when traveling. More information can be found at the following: