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Planning and preparation are necessary when traveling with family pets. Consider whether your pet's comfort needs when traveling: before, during and after. Relocating isn't just stressful for people. It'll be equally stressful for your pets because pets like familiar surroundings. As with humans, pets are very sensitive to changes in their surroundings. Seeing the house become gradually emptier may agitate your pets. If you are moving locally, take your pets on several visits to the new home before you move in to familiarize them with their new habitat.

A car-sick animal can make a trip miserable for everyone. Some ill or physically impaired dogs and cats cannot withstand the rigors of travel. If this is the case, discuss options such as using a reliable pet-sitter or a clean, well-managed boarding facility with your veterinarian.

If you will be staying with friends along the way, find out in advance if the pet is welcome. Of course, the same applies to hotels, motels and campgrounds. Having a portable kennel is a good idea for use in hotel rooms or when staying with friends who do not want a pet loose in their house.

There are other things to consider. You might consider identifying your pet with a current tag or a microchip. Grooming your pet before a trip and having its favorite toys available are helpful and dishes available will make your pet more comfortable. Have both proof of rabies vaccination and a current health certificate with you when crossing state or international borders. Before undertaking any trip, consult your veterinarian to be sure that all required vaccinations are up-to-date and to receive a health certificate within ten days of travel.

Links:

Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association International
CBS News | Pet Travel Industry Takes Off | May 15, 2005 12:00:01
Continental Airlines - Procedures for Animal Shippers
Northwest Airlines nwa.com - Priority Pet
Pet Travel from Delta for happy healthy, jet-set pets
United Airlines - Rules and guidelines for your pet

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