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The prospect of relocating can be complicated enough before you factor in the needs of one, two or multiple members of your household menagerie.

Marian White at says the type of animal, along with their specific needs and health concerns, greatly affect how you prepare for their move. If you’re fortunate enough to be moving close by, White recommends introducing the animal to the new house before the move.

On the site, White has a ton of advice and linked articles on moving pets, including these pearls of wisdom:

Prepare well ahead. White recommends creating checklists, researching travel requirements, contacting your vet and looking into pet relocation services.

Compile health records from the vet prior to moving. If you’re moving to a new state, this is especially important in states requiring animals have proof of vaccinations, particularly rabies.

Check airline rules. Make sure that your pet’s breed is allowed on planes—whether your dog can travel with you or has to be transported in cargo.

Don’t mix essentials. Keep pet moving day essentials separate from your belongings so you know where your pet’s food and other important items are when you need them. An essentials bag could include food, bottled water, bowls, medication, kitty litter, waste bags, chew toys and a familiar blanket.

The American Moving & Storage Association ( says while packing and preparing to move, designate a room just for your pet. Then, pack it with familiar toys, food and water bowls, litter box (for cats) and so forth to give them a reassuring space to stay during the moving process.

The AMSA advises folks about moving all kinds of pets. Check these tips:

If you decide to ship your pet by air, make arrangements ahead of time regarding delivery and pickup from the airports.
Consult with your veterinarian concerning mild sedation of your pet during the trip.
Consider sending smaller pets, such as birds, hamsters, gerbils and tropical fish, by air express. Airline freight departments, pet stores or department stores can supply shipping containers.
Tropical fish should be packed by a local pet shop specializing in tropical fish.

Finally, American Humane says prior to moving day, make sure pets are fitted with collars and ID tags with your name and current cell phone number. The stress of a move can cause even the most obedient dog to run away in unfamiliar surroundings.

John Voket is a contributing editor to RISMedia.