Moving with reptiles, is anything but a walk in the park. After all, there are a lot more regulations and restrictions in place when it comes to living with and transporting these animals. Because of this, it’s important to be sure you’ve checked everything off the reptile-moving checklist to ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible.
Here’s everything you need to know about moving with reptiles.
1. Not every living situation or state allows entry to exotic pets.
If you’ll be renting at your new home, it’s important to ensure reptiles are allowed to stay there. Believe it or not, it’s incredibly common for individuals to decide on a place to live and later find out that their specific reptile isn’t allowed on the premises or in the state. This commonly leads to individuals giving their pets away, or even though irresponsible, simply abandoning and releasing them into the wild. Know that, if there’s no way around it, there are plenty of reptile rescues around the country that can take your pet if you need to surrender it. Don't be irresponsible and put it into the wild!
2. Transportation can get a little tricky. Thinking about how you’re going to transport your reptile on moving day is more important than you may think. Rules for transporting exotic pets vary by state, so looking at your new state’s regulations is incredibly important. Transporting your pet by airplane can be expensive and not all airlines allow it. However, if you’re allowed to fly with your pet, you’ll need an airline-approved carrier to transport your reptile. Be cautious because this method can be quite stressful on reptiles, and after you put them on that plane, their health and safety will be completely in the hands of the people who handle them. Transporting your reptile personally by car is usually an easier and cheaper way to go. You’ll have more room to accommodate the transportation crate you want to use, and you’ll be able to personally keep tabs on how your pets are doing during the journey. However, you should limit the number of stops you make to ensure your pet gets from point A to point B as quickly as possible.
3. It’s always best to have pet insurance for your reptiles when moving. Pet insurance is something that all pet parents should have, especially when moving. Moving can be a stressful event for reptiles, and they can unfortunately fall ill or get injured during the process. Pet insurance could potentially help you if the worst were to happen and you need to pay extensive vet bills. There aren’t a lot insurance companies that offer coverage for exotic pets, so you’ll have to do your research. Remember, It’s always best to be prepared before something bad happens.
4. It’s best to have an enclosure set up in your new home before moving your reptile. Animals are incredibly sensitive about their habitats and enclosures. Therefore, it’s important to ensure your pet has a habitat similar to their current one ready for it in its new home. While it might seem excessive, most people simply buy their reptiles a new habitat and set it up in their new homes before they move their reptiles. Having this ready, will prevent your reptile from having to stay outside of their enclosure for longer than it needs to, which can be especially detrimental for reptiles that require specific heating, lighting, and humidity levels.
5. Monitoring your reptile’s health before and after a move is important. Your reptile's health should be the top priority before and after you move. So, before moving it’s important to take your reptile to the vet to get a clean bill of health. This is also a good time to get it current on its vaccines if needed. After you move, it’ll be important to monitor your pet’s mood and health for a couple of days to make sure that it’s settling in well and isn’t stressed. Continuous stress can quickly lead to sickness and can quickly become fatal if it isn’t addressed.
If you notice your reptile exhibiting any signs of stress, contact a vet as soon as possible and figure out how to address the problem.
Moving with a pet can be quite a hassle, especially when that pet is an exotic pet. To ensure that you and your reptile have the most ideal moving experience possible, it’s important to be sure:
- Your new home or state allows your pet entry.
- Your pet is in tip-top shape for the move.
- You have a plan to transport your reptile.
- Your pet is insured in case of injury.
- You have an enclosure set up in your new home.
- You monitor your pet’s health to ensure it’s fine after the move.