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Moving with Pets

Relocating can be stressful for family members - pets included. At Premiere Van Lines, we want to make the transition as smooth as possible for your pet, furry or scaly, by providing some basic information and tips on moving your pets. All pets require special attention and consideration when moving, and the essential ingredient to your pet's stress-free move is preplanning. The following information outlines the points to consider when relocating with your pet.

Before You Move

Contact the State Veterinarian's Office or State Department of Agriculture requesting the pet laws and regulations of your destination state. Many communities have zoning laws that prohibit you from keeping pets such as goats, pigs and chickens in residential areas. 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. If you have a wolf, monkey, big cat, or any other large exotic animal, you will likely need a special permit to keep it. The state agencies listed at the end of this page can help answer your pet questions. After complying with the state regulations, check with the City Clerk's office in your new community for local pet ordinances. "Leash Laws" are common, licensing may be necessary, and the number of pets per household may be limited. Once you are sure your pet will be allowed in your new community and/or complex, request your pet's health records from your veterinarian. This information will help your new veterinarian provide better care for your pet. Before your departure, make sure you have a recent photograph of your pet (in case the animal is lost), and the proper pet documents.

Choosing A Moving Method

Now you are ready to relocate your pet but must decide how to do it. You can hire a professional pet-moving service to transport your four-legged family member or do it yourself. Movers are not permitted to transport pets, nor are buses or trains (Seeing Eye dogs are the exception for the latter two). If your pet requires special handling when moving, you may consider using a professional pet service that can take care of everything for you. Your Atlas representative can recommend a reputable service.

The Pet Carrier

The importance of a sturdy, comfortable carrier for your pet cannot be overemphasized. A carrier should be large enough for the pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down. It must have adequate cross-ventilation and a leak-proof bottom with layers of absorbent lining. It should have a secure closing mechanism on the door but do not lock the kennel. Federal regulations require that your pet be accessible in the event of an emergency. Most airlines have pet carriers available for purchase with advance notice (48 hours or more). These kennels meet all US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements for pet transportation. Pet stores also may have acceptable carriers for sale. Birds must be placed in durable pet carriers other than conventional bird cages. Get your pet accustomed to the carrier several days before a flight or car ride by using it as a bed. Placing a favorite toy or blanket inside will make your pet feel more secure.  

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