Doing a PCS move with an all-human family can be stressful and complicated. Adding animal family members can make the whole process much more difficult and expensive. This is especially true when traveling very long distances or overseas, where country-specific rules can recreate a web of requirements or restrictions that are difficult to navigate.
Kari Mendoza, who owns and operates Hawaii-based Island Pet Movers, said she’s seen it all when it comes to helping the military move their pets. She shared her top tips for doing just that on a recent episode of PCS with Military.com. Here is what she said.
Find out before adopting. For families who have not yet brought a pet into their home, now is the time to learn the rules and know the barrier gestures, she said. It is important to know that not all pets can be moved overseas, including birds and many reptiles, and that some pets, such as very large dogs, are extremely expensive to move, a she declared.
listen now: Moving With Pets: What You Need to Know for Your PC (with Kari Mendoza)
“Military families should really … be aware that there are difficulties in moving certain races, and people just don’t know about it,” she said. “If we can talk about finances, if we can talk about sexually transmitted diseases in boot camp, we can talk about pets. Because pets are really, really important. And they always will be. .”
Get help if you can. Although hiring a professional pet shipper like Mendoza’s company may seem out of budget for many families, paying for help can be a big stress reliever when navigating overseas. stranger in particular, she said. That’s because pet shippers don’t just deal with the physical movement of pets, she said.
“We are the logistics experts in all things pet related. So for us, we take a down payment on our contracts, and that down payment is for us when we start our service. have to do to help you move,” she said. “People go to business mentors, they go to financial mentors, they go to real estate agents for help. help when they move. And people often forget that pet shippers, we’re here to help you all the way, not just physically bypass them on a plane and get them to their final destination.”
Train your pet for the expedition. Moving a traveling dog or cat in a crate is much easier for families who spend some time preparing their pet by crate training and socializing it with other animals, she said. .
“Having a pet that’s socialized and knows how to behave around other pets is really important when you’re going to move house,” she said. “It comes back to cage training and the importance of cage training. The amount of people who come to see us, they’re trying to travel in three weeks and their pets have never seen a cage. It’s is really stressful for the owner.”
Remember that your pet does not feel human emotions. While humans want to believe their pets feel happy, sad, or empathetic, it’s important to remember that animals aren’t people and don’t share our emotional intelligence. That means the stress or sense of loss we think they’ll feel while moving is likely just the fact that we’re projecting our own emotions onto them, Mendoza said.
“One of the biggest things, though, that I think are stressors for pet owners — and it’s not just military pet owners; it’s all pet owners. of pets – is that we give animals too many human emotions, and these human emotions that we put on our pets create stress for us,” she said. “They give us that unconditional love that you can’t get from one person. And people feel that, and they’re just like, oh my God, my dog absolutely loves me, and my dog is going to be super stressed. But you know, I have a German Shepherd who loves everyone, especially if you have a ball, and sometimes it’s annoying how much she loves everyone. And that’s how it is with a lot of animals.
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