Moving to a new home requires a lot of organisation, and it becomes even more complicated if you're moving a long distance. When it comes to moving your pet over a long distance, there are a few things you need to be aware of. You need to ensure that your pet travels in comfort and safety, since they're a valuable member of your family.
Moving your pet by land is perhaps the option that is the least stressful for your pet. Your pet gets to travel with their pack (which is you and your family) and it gives you the most control over allowing your pet to eat, drink, take an exercise break, and to go to the toilet. Your pet's possessions can be unloaded straight from the removals truck, and this helps to de-stress the animal. An unfamiliar environment can quickly become comfortable when your pet has quick access to their old, comfortable and familiar bed and toys. This option is of course only appropriate if you're driving to your new home. So what do you need to do if you and your family are flying to your new home, leaving the removals company to transport your possessions by road?
Only full service airlines in Australia will transport your pets by air. The budget carriers do not offer this service. There are also a number of air freight companies that can transport your pet, and your removals company might have an arrangement with such a company, which can allow you to save money. Your pet will be transported in a pressurised section of the cargo hold, and not with the regular luggage. There are some things to consider when you're thinking about transporting your pets by air.
- Travelling on the same flight as your pet is the best option. Some carriers will transport unaccompanied pets, but the animal will need to be held at your final destination until you're able to collect them. This is only possible if the airport in question has animal handling facilities (which is not always the case with smaller airports). If travelling on the same flight as your pet, you simply collect them once the plane has been unloaded.
- Your animal will need to be transported in an approved animal container. Some airlines stipulate that only animal containers approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) will be accepted. Buying such a container can be a considerable cost (particularly when transporting a large dog), so have a word with the airline or freight company to find out if it's possible to rent the container.
- Be wary of sedating your animal for their journey. If the animal is sedated, it's possible that they will be injured in the event of turbulence. If the animal is unconscious, they might be unable to safely and comfortably position themselves if the flight is bumpy. Speak with your vet if you feel that your animal is likely to become particularly anxious during a flight. They might suggest a small dosage of a calming drug which will make your pet groggy, as opposed to totally sedating them.
By considering all your options, you will be able to ensure that your pet has a safe and comfortable journey, and will arrive in the best possible shape to begin its life in your new home.