Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Pet Talk

March 23, 2012

Relocating with Pets


CNHI News Service —

Large pets travel as air freight, small pets may be allowed to travel in the passenger cabin with the owner, and those pets travelling without their owners need to be shipped by air express (usually rodents, birds, and tropical fish). These shipping containers are available at pet stores and pet supply companies.

Crist recommends a strong container to withstand the pressure of other freight accidentally toppling on it. She also suggests choosing containers with good ventilation and a leak-proof bottom.

Other transportation modes require other precautions.

“If traveling by automobile, be sure to get your dog or cat accustomed to riding in the vehicle,” Crist advises.

A travel kit with the pet’s regular food and fresh water is important.

“Changing the drinking water suddenly may cause an upset stomach in some of our four-legged friends,” Crist says. “A favorite toy, treats, scooper, and plastic bags to clean up after your pet are recommended as well.”

The recommendations for transportation vary for different pets. Crist recommends that fish should not be overcrowded in their transportation containers, and the water temperature should not change suddenly.

Horses can be transported by air freight or a horse trailer (ground transportation).

“Horse transportation agencies are available and even have pick-up and delivery,” Crist says. Birds are highly sensitive to changes in wind drafts and temperature, not to mention being easily frightened. “It is recommended to travel with the bird cage covered but with plenty of ventilation. During transportation, remember to have travel identification tags with the new phone number attached to the pet’s collar.”

Dogs and cats can have this information on their collars, while horses can have brands, tattoos, and registration papers, and birds can have it on their leg bands, she says.

Most importantly, one needs to be aware of the health regulations of the place you are moving to when transporting pets. Pets need a health certificate after a veterinary examination, and an international health certificate for international travel. These certificates have expiration dates, and it is important to check that the valid period has not expired before you travel.

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