(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
If you’re a pet parent, you’re far from alone. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, nearly six in 10 American households have at least one pet.
When the time comes to move that household, however, there are a few things you should consider to keep your four-legged family members happy and healthy.
Moving with Pets
1. Before you pick up the rental moving truck:
• Check with your pet’s veterinarian to see if a mild sedative is recommended for the move.
• If your animal will be traveling in a crate, consider preparing him ahead of time by leaving the crate out and open for your pet to go in and out of freely.
• Consider taking small trips in your car with your pets in a crate or carrier to help get them more acclimated before your big move.
• Put your pet on a leash or in a kennel or cage when outside the moving truck.
• Be sure to have an appropriate ID tag attached to your pet’s collar with a current phone number. You might also consider microchip technology that has the full information about your pet placed on a chip under his skin.
2. During your move:
• Try to keep your pets away from the action.
• Animals should travel only in the cabin of the Penske rental truck, where the driver can control the temperature and keep an eye on the animal. Use a dog harness or crate your pet properly for the trip. Never place pets in the back of a moving truck, as the temperature can become dangerously high and create an unsafe environment for animals.
• While on the road, make sure to take your pet’s favorite blankets, toys and high-value treats to make the ride as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
• Bring enough water and food for the journey, as well as any medications they may need.
• If you are moving with small pets, such as guinea pigs, birds or fish, keep them contained at all times.
• Never leave your pet in the truck.
• If your pet becomes overheated while traveling, take her to an air-conditioned area and place her in a shallow tub of cool water or rub her down with cool, wet towels.
• If you have to travel a long distance to your new home and have to stay somewhere overnight, look for a pet-friendly establishment.
3. When you arrive:
• Make sure to unpack your pet’s belongings — bedding, food and water bowls, toys — as soon as you get there. Having familiar items around will help your pet adjust as quickly as possible to his new surroundings.
• Remember, pets may take a little while to get used to a new place with new smells and sounds. Be patient and understanding of any bathroom accidents or unusual hiding as they establish themselves into a new environment and learn that the new home is a safe place.
For further moving tips and tactics, visit www.PenskeTruckRental.com. There, you can also learn about free unlimited miles on all one-way truck rentals; discounts for AAA members, college students and members of the military; packing supplies; and 24/7 roadside assistance.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)