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Moving Your Pets

Your pets need special care and handling to get to their new home. Here are a few tips on moving them.

FISH

It is not practical to move fish in their aquarium. A gallon of water weighs eight pounds. Plan on giving the fish away and restock the aquarium when you arrive at your new home.

CATS AND DOGS

Cats and dogs can be either shipped by air or taken along in the family car.

If you are flying to your new destination, your cat or dog can ride in the baggage compartment. Your pet will need a health certificate from your vet. Call the airline in advance to find out about special boxes they may have, If you are going to make a container for it, make sure it complies with the airline's regulations. It is a good idea to get some tranquilizers from your vet to give it right before going to the airport. It's also a good idea to put a piece of clothing with your scent on it in the animal's box so it will feel more at home.

If you aren't flying with your pet, but are having it shipped by air, make sure someone is on the other end to pick it up at the airport and take care of it until you arrive. The easiest way is to let a kennel do it for you. Many kennels can take the pet several days before you move (keeping it out of your way), box it, take it to the airport and arrange to have a kennel on the other end pick it up and take care of it until you arrive.

Think twice about taking your dog or cat with you on a long cross-country trip. Not only can animals get carsick, but being cooped up in a car all day can make them nervous and upset. They must be fed and watered (make sure you take along their water dish), they have to make rest stops and they have to be on a leash to keep them from running off any time the car door is opened.

Some motels and hotels don't allow pets. Others have special facilities for handling travelers' pets. Call in advance and check out the available literature on hotels along your route. National chains usually publish such information.

SMALLER ANIMALS

Hamsters, birds, mice and such can be transported in the family car fairly easily. Make sure they have enough food and water in their cages and are out of drafts or extreme temperatures. Cover cages with a cloth to keep them quiet and restful.