Daniel’s Moving and Storage wants to make the entire process of moving as easy as possible for every member of your family, and that includes pets. When planning to move a significant distance with your pet be sure to take into consideration some of the following information and advice: Before the Move: First thing to do when preparing to move your pet is take him or her to the veterinarian and get them caught up on any shots or necessary procedures. Be sure to also check the pet laws and regulations of your destination.  Research your destination community’s ordinances, such as “leash laws” and necessary licensing, as well.  Also, cats, dogs, aquariums and exotic pets (iguanas, venomous snakes, tarantulas, ferrets, etc.) may not be allowed in apartment or condo complexes. Make sure your lease allows them on the premises before you move in. After you know for sure your pet is allowed in your new home, request your pet’s health records from the veterinarian.  You will also need to take a picture of your pet and get the following pet documents:
  1. A Health Certificate less than 10 days old. Most states require one for dogs. Many states require one for cats, birds, and certain exotic animals as well. Check with your veterinarian or one of the state animal-control agencies listed in the back to determine if your pet requires a Health Certificate. The certificate must be issued by a licensed veterinarian, and current inoculation records must accompany it.
  2. A Permit. You may need to purchase a permit allowing your exotic pet to enter the destination state. Your veterinarian may assist you in applying for one.
  3. Identification. Whether you are traveling by air or car, any pet that can wear a collar should have one on, with an ID tag secured to it. Birds may be identified by leg bands. The ID tag should include the pet's name, your name, and the destination address. In addition to ID, most states require dogs, cats and some exotic animals to have a rabies tag on their collars. Check with your veterinarian or one of the state animal-control agencies listed in the back.
When Traveling by Air: While most airlines allow pets to fly, some have stiff regulations including size restrictions, kennel restrictions, type of animal restrictions, and more. Some airlines only allow carry-on animals or will only fly the pet during certain time periods. Be sure to research all of this before booking any flight.  It is important to try and make sure your pet is as comfortable as possible by avoiding any plane changes (schedule a direct flight, if possible). Make sure you mark the kennel or container with the animal’s name, that it is FRAGILE and contains a LIVE ANIMAL. Keep your pet’s photo and paperwork with you.

Atlas Van Lines also recommends, for your pet's welfare and comfort on any flight, accompanied or not, to:

  1. Feed your pet a light meal five to six hours before flight time; but, do not give it water two hours before take-off, except on very hot days. Do not feed fish for two to three days before shipping.
  2. Exercise your pet (on a leash) at the airport and administer any required medications. After placing your pet in the carrier, secure the closing mechanism and fasten the leash to the outside of the container.
  3. Turtles — the easiest pet to transport — can be mailed overnight. Pack them in well-cushioned Styrofoam boxes with air holes and lined with soft grass or leaves. The box should not be so tight that the turtle cannot extend its legs or head. Write "FRAGILE. LIVE ANIMAL" and "THIS SIDE UP" on the box. Keep the surroundings moist, but not wet, by dampening a cloth and placing it inside the container.
  4. Fish — should be packed in plastic containers equipped with battery operated aerators and placed in strong boxes.
Pets must be picked up from the airport within a reasonable time (usually within 24 hours of arrival). If not, they will either be returned to point of origin or placed in a kennel at the owner's expense.

Be aware that airlines may refuse to transport a pet if:

  • it cannot be shipped within a 24-hour period,
  • the ground temperature is below 45°F or above 85°F at either origin or destination,
  • it is not in a USDA and IATA-approved container or without proper identification and certificates,
  • the pet has been sedated, unless the drug name, dosage and how it was administered is noted on the carrier.
When Traveling by Car: Usually car travel is the easiest and most common way to transport a pet. You will be able to feel secure your pet is in your possession, plus it is usually much more comfortable for the pet. Avoid giving your pet and food or water a few hours before you leave. Also, be sure to take water from home to give to your pet, since different waters could upset their stomach. Be sure to stop frequently to let the pet exercise and get water. Keep to their usual feeding schedule as much as possible. Keep air ventilating to the pet. Small animals are especially sensitive to temperature changes.

If you have any other questions or concerns with traveling/moving with your pet, be sure to bring them up to your Daniel’s Moving and Storage move coordinator.