How To Move Exotic Pets

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The majority of Americans have pets and the majority of those have either cats or dogs. What about those of us who are a bit more adventurous and opt instead for fish, reptiles, amphibians or even insects?

Can exotic pets be moved?

Depending on your moving destination, you may be able to move with your exotic pets, or perhaps not. Each state and country has their own laws as to importing exotic animals. All states require up to date vaccinations. Some only allow quarantined pets. Some do not permit them at all. Check with your state’s Fish and Wildlife Office. Many exotic pets require permits.

Can a mover move exotic pets?

Most moving companies are not licensed or equipped to move exotic pets. Most moving trucks are not climate controlled and movers can’t be held responsible for feeding or cleaning up after pets.

How to move exotic pets

Some animals have very specific environmental requirements.

Most insects have particular temperature and humidity requirements, but can tolerate some time outside of their preferred conditions. But because they do not thermoregulate the way mammals do, they are much more sensitive to extremes. Peter T Oboyski, Executive Director & Collections Manager at Essig Museum of Entomology, University of California, Berkeley

The same can be said of most reptiles, amphibians and fish. Exotic mammals are usually better suited to environmental changes.

Your exotic pet might be able to manage the small climate changes in your car, a plane’s cabin or a train, but not in most moving trucks. And if you’re flying, check with the airline. You might have to purchase an additional seat, if they allow exotic pets at all.

Is there an exotic pet mover?

There are movers who specialize in moving animals, and some move exotic pets. The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association has a wealth of information. And you can search for companies that ship exotic pets in your area.

Moving them yourself

For many people, the best way to transport pets of all kinds is to do it themselves. Keep your small mammals and reptiles in crates. Store fish in spill-proof containers such as bags or buckets that seal. Even then, fish might not survive long outside their normal habitat. Amphibians require a moist area, such as a damp sponge. Keep birds in their cages. Lastly, contact hotels for pet policies before arriving.