Answered by Jenna FarmerApril 10, 2013
State-to-state moving companies will not move any type of pet unless it is a seeing-eye dog accompanied by the blind. Therefore, your animal friend has limited travel options - either by car or by air (whichever mode of travel you will be using). Each state has different laws andregulations regarding any pet, so before you jump in your car toting your pet taxi, contact your destination state's Veterinarian Office or the State Department of Agriculture for the latest information. You will also need tolook into regulations in the community you will reside in, as some zoning restrictions may prohibit you from keeping small livestock-type animals, like chickens, for example. Additionally, many condo and apartment complexes limit the size of your pet, if they allow pets at all.
Once you've received the OK to move your pet, make sure you request all of your pet's health records and a Health Certificate (less than 10 days old) from the veterinarian and have a recent picture in case he or she gets lost, and a permit for any exotic animal (if applicable). The pet should have a collar with ID tag on it as well, or an identification leg band.
Small animals like gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas and guinea pigs are very sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, so traveling by airfreight isn't the friendliest option for your tiny companion. Some airlines won't even fly with certain exotic pets, like venomous snakes and tarantulas, while some may allow your pet to travel with you in the cabin at a first-come, first-serve basis as long as the pet is in a USDA and IATA approved container that fits under the seat, and is not offensive to other passengers.
The best option for traveling with small animals is by car(and more budget friendly, too), as you have more say so in regulating and making adjustments to your trip based on your pet's behavior – it will also minimize stress for the both of you. Here are some tips to help you with car travel:
- If your pet is not used to car travel, start off with some short car rides down the street so the pet can get accustomed to the car's motion.
- During travel, it is not necessary to feed your pets more than once a day, and you can also minimize their water consumption – take a supply of your home water with you to give your pets consistency during the trip.
- You can crack the windows, but don't leave them all the way down – small animals get curious and may jump out.
- Sometimes pet carriers/pet taxis keep small animals calm during the trip, while some would rather be perched on the passenger seat. Either way, have a pet carrier on hand in case you have to stop, and try not to leave your pet alone in the car.