Though it might seem unlikely, many pet breeds can, in fact, be shipped professionally as precious cargo. While safety in shipping your beloved pet might be your primary concern, sometimes it is the easiest and most humane way to transport your pet to a new home.
Check out these tips to learn about pet shipping.
Find a pet shipping company
For a pet shipping service, you might visit the website of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA). The IPATA site lists pet shipping services that follow the regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Act. You might also ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.
Before the shipping process begins, make sure that your pet’s health papers are in order. Shippers may require you to obtain a health certificate from your vet within a certain timeframe of the travel date. Also, as some states have regulations about vaccination protection an animal must have in order to cross the border, make sure you know the rules of the state to which you are moving.
Pick the right travel kennel
The shipping company you use will have detailed rules about what type of kennel transport to use. Read the rules carefully, and follow them exactly.
Here are some examples of common standards for travel kennels:
- No wheels
- Hard plastic with side ventilation holes
- Large enough for the pet to stand up and turn around with two inches of clearance above the head
Don’t sedate your pet
Even if your pet is a nervous traveler, never sedate your pet before shipping him or her. The results can be unpredictable and sometimes fatal. Instead, get your pet used to the shipping kennel. This will make it less of a shock on moving day when your pet is loaded into the kennel space for the trip.
Pack toys separately
Many pet shipping companies have strict rules about items allowed in the kennel with a pet during travel. Even though you think it would be nice for Fido to have a chew toy or bone mid-flight, a treat might pose a safety hazard. Be sure to check with your pet shipping service for a complete list of what is allowed inside the shipping kennel.
Pick the right time to move
For safety reasons, airlines will refuse to fly your pet if conditions are too hot or too cold. If possible, plan your move for a time of year when the climate is not extreme.
Realize that, even though the shipping process is a foreign experience for pets, it will also be a temporary one. You will soon be reunited with your loved one, safe and sound in your new home!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / WilleeCole