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Moving is a big step and takes planning and action. Moving abroad can be even more challenging for families including children and pets. There are things that need to be taken care of before even stepping foot in another country. Being informed and ready for the move will make the transition easier, and there are ways to make it exciting for pets and children.
Following are some tips to keep children and pets safe, excited, and involved when moving abroad.
Moving Your Furry Friends Overseas
Moving pets to another country entails many details. There is worry over the spread of diseases like rabies and avian influenza. Identification tags are a necessity, regardless of where you end up. Follow these tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible:
- Find out what the regulations are for the country to which you are moving. How long is the quarantine period, and what animal restrictions are in effect?
- Have certified rabies vaccinations for your pets, as it's required for many countries.
- Many countries require microchips that connect to vaccination records.
- Research your pet's breed to ensure that the climate and weather will be comfortable and appropriate for them.
- Call the airlines, buses, and shuttles you'll be using to learn about their pet travel rules and regulations.
- Prepare pets for travel by keeping them in a kennel for longer than normal. It acquaints them to being in a small space for extended periods and readies them for long flights and a possible quarantine.
- To also prepare, while running errands, take your pet and keep them in the kennel. This will help them adjust to the stop-and-go and constant activity outside the kennel.
- If taking multiple pets, try to arrange it so they can travel together in a larger travel kennel.
If you are unable to take your pet, be sure to find a suitable and loving home for him or her. Abandoned pets make up a large number of the animal population - according to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million animals enter shelters annually - and can be a death sentence.
Helping Kids Adjust to an International Move
Children of all ages adjust and prepare differently for the moving experience. Kids can deal with the change more easily as long as their routines are not interrupted. Following are some ideas to make moving abroad with children smooth and entertaining.
- When packing, keep bottles, blankets, and small toys out. They'll be helpful when traveling for entertainment, warmth, and feeding time so the children's routine isn't interrupted.
- Give children tasks before the move. While packing the house, have your kids pack three special items they can take on the trip. Then, they can pack a special box that has ten of their favorite items - this box will be opened immediately when you arrive at your new home.
- Ask your kids often how they feel about moving to a new country. Keep an open line of communication, allowing them to voice any questions or concerns.
- While downsizing for the move, have your kids pack a box of clothing, toys, etc., to take for donations. Remind them that another person/child needs that item more - and that by donating, your child is helping make someone else's life better.
- If moving to a country with a different language, use various language-learning games to get your kids excited - and to help them feel more prepared.
- Give them an address book to write friends' addresses, phone numbers, and emails in so they can stay in touch.
- Let the kids plan a "Bon Voyage" party for friends and family.
Moving abroad is a huge step in a family's journey. It can be a great opportunity, but can also be trying. By planning ahead and following the above tips, you can help keep your pets and children safe and excited for the move ahead.
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