1. Before you leave, check with your new city’s animal or health department to see what, if any, bans or restrictions in place. Some areas prohibit ownership of certain breeds or varieties, like ferrets or pit bulls.
2. If you are crossing state lines, check if the state or states you are traveling through require border inspections.
3. Make an appointment with your veterinarian. Have your pet thoroughly examined, get copies of his or her medical records and ask for a referral to a vet in your new hometown. Travel with the medical records readily available in case you need to seek treatment during the trip.
4. Test any tranquilizers or medication a couple weeks prior to the move. Your vet may also recommend a tranquilizer for your pet if he or she is high strung or easily upset.
5. If you are moving overseas, find out what vaccinations are required. Some foreign companies have quarantine regulations as well.
6. If you are flying to your new home, check with the airlines to see if your pet can be brought in the cabin or has to be checked into the baggage compartment. Some airlines have temperature restrictions pertaining to shipping pets in a cargo cabin, so it’s best to check before you book your flights.
7. When making any necessary hotel reservations, check what accommodations, if any, are available for pets.
8. If your pet is on medication or requires a special diet, bring an extra supply with you in case the food or medicine isn’t readily available in your new home. Vets cannot write a prescription without first examining your pet, so bring any required drugs with you.
9. When traveling in the car, make sure the kennel is the right size. An adequately sized kennel or carrier should have enough room for your pet to stand, turn around and move about without crowding.
10. Put something with your scent on it, such as an old sweater or blanket, in the carrier. A familiar scent will help keep your pet calm.
11. Pack a suitcase for your pet containing his bowl, blanket and favorite toy. Make sure you bring your cat’s litter box in the car, and pack extra liners and litter to use during stops.
12. Make sure your pet has proper identification on his or her collar. This may include the name and telephone number of a relative who will be able to contact you while traveling if your pet gets lost or runs off during the trip.
13. Bring a supply of water from your old house to prevent your pet from getting sick by drinking water he isn’t used to.
14. Keep your pet on a leash at all times during the trip. Stop frequently to allow your pet to exercise.
15. Small pets, like hamsters, gerbils, and birds, can travel in their own cages. Keep them in close proximity to you, remove any loose items so they won’t get hurt, and cover the cage with a light cloth.
16. Never leave the pet alone in the car with the windows rolled up. If you must stop, leash your pet or remove the carrier and bring him or her with you.
Spend some time with your pet when you reach your new home to help him or her adjust to the new environment.