Pet transport, be it domestic or international, can be very stressful on both pet owners and pets alike. There are a number of things a pet owner can do to reduce the amount of stress associated with their pet relocation. First and foremost, don’t procrastinate. The worst thing you can do is wait until a week before the travel date to research what requirements must be met for your pet’s move and then rush out to buy a crate last minute only to throw your pet into an unfamiliar box for the big day.
Rather than putting it off, start early by looking on the internet or calling around to find out what you need to do. For domestic pet transport, the most important thing to start early on is the crate training. It may only be a few hours on the flight but, in an unfamiliar crate and in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar people, a few hours is a long time for a pet to be stressed out. Being familiar with their crate can provide a huge amount of security to your pet under such stressful conditions. If your pet will be traveling domestically via car or van, work on getting them used to the car. Start by taking them with you when you run errands just to get them familiar with the movements and sounds associated with the car.
For international pet transport, crate training your pet is one of the many things you should do to prepare. It is also important to find out in advance what import requirements are necessary for the country to where you are headed. For some countries you need to get started 6-8 months in advance if you want your pet to travel around the same time that you do. Other countries may only require you to wait as long as it takes to obtain the import permit (can be anywhere from a week to a few months to obtain). In addition, if you regularly keep your pets up to date on their vaccinations, you could save yourself from running into any potential problems associated with fulfilling the import requirements.
Long story short, the best way to minimize stress levels for you and your pet is to plan ahead. You cannot start too soon! The more informed you are, the more prepared you and your pet can be come time for the big move. Pet transport can be done easily—it just takes time and resources!