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Moving With Pets


The moving van is on its way, the boxes are packed and Grandma is going to help keep the kids occupied while you move.  You think you’ve thought of everything, until you realize poor Scruffy is anxiously looking for his chew toys that you just packed away.  What are you going to do with your dog?  Moving with your pets has its own challenges but RentalHomesPlus wants to make sure you—and the animal members of your family—get to your new home safely and happily.
 
Knowing the Laws
   
There are some laws you should be aware of when you move with your pet.  First, if you are traveling across state lines with a dog (or horse), you will most likely need a health certificate to verify that your animal does not carry any diseases.  Every state has its own laws pertaining to pets, so make sure you check with the state before you move to make sure you are prepared.  Some states do have border patrols and will check your pets as you enter, so be sure you inquire before leaving as to whether you will need an entry permit or documentation from a veterinarian.  In addition, all but four states require rabies inoculations and some require a tag proving this on an animal’s collar.  Local regulations in your city or town may require you to leash your pet at all times or limit the number of animals you can have in one home.  Call your city department prior to moving and be sure to check with the owner of your rental home (this information should also be in your lease). 
 
Traveling with Your Pet
 
If you know your pet is prone to motion sickness or is excitable; ask your veterinarian if there is medication that can be prescribed for your pet for the trip.  If you’re moving a good distance away from your vet, this also might be a good time to ask for a recommendation for a vet in your new town. 
 
You probably won’t want to pack your pet and have him/her carried with your other belongings on the moving van, you don’t want to treat your animal this way in the first place.  If you are flying to your new home, you may be able to fly with your pet in an overhead carrier or have it sent it by air freight.  If you send your pet by air freight, you will be responsible for the air container, health documents, delivery time, shipping papers, destination pick-up and advance payment of shipping charges.  Make sure you arrive at least two hours early so that you can give your pet food, water and exercise before taking off on the long journey.    
 
Many people prefer to travel by car with their pet.  If you will need to stay overnight on your way to your new home, make sure to call the hotels or campground that you will be staying at to make sure that they allow pets.  Visit www.tripswithpets.com to find locations for accommodations that accept pets. Some dogs and cats can easily be transported in a portable carrier.  This is a much safer method of transporting your pet versus letting him/her loose in the car as you drive.  If your pet is too large to be transported in a carrier, make sure to properly restrain your pet in the seat.  Believe it or not, you can find safety belts and harnesses specifically designed for pets.  Prepare your pet ahead of time by taking him/her on short trips.  Make sure you bring ample pet food, a blanket, toys, treats, grooming brushes, paper towels, a scooper and deodorant or air freshener if you are going to be staying in a hotel. 


Birds, hamsters, gerbils and others small animals can travel in their home cages.  Remove water dishes and provide plenty of ventilation.  When you make stops, give your pet fresh water.  Birds often don’t do well when traveling; keep their cages covered to prevent them from becoming frightened.  Tropical fish can be transported in a small tank (5 gallons or less).  They can go up to a week without food but should never be overcrowded or subjected to abrupt changes in temperature.
 

Keeping Your Pet Happy
 
Your pet may feel confused, scared or excited about the trip and it’s important to know and understand how your pet feels.  Keep your pet away from strangers until it realizes it is in a new home and has time to adjust.  Keep your pet surrounded with familiar belongings and food.  Contact a new veterinarian as soon as possible and have records on file in case of an emergency or illness.  Keep your pet on a leash when outside and allow it to adjust to the new neighborhood.  Always be respectful of your neighbors’ space and property and realize that even the gentlest pet can become angry when loneliness or fear strikes.  With some loving care and attention, your pet will soon adjust to your new home!

 

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