Moving with pets? Take extra care

Your four-legged friends rely on you to be organized and well prepared for a safe, comfortable moving experience.  So, when you’re planning a big move remember they have special needs, too.

While exotic pets require extra special attention during moves, the “Move Ahead” team is focusing on dogs and cats – the most common pets among Americans.  According to a recent study by the American Pet Products Association, 71 million homes have at least one pet.  Of those households, 45 million have dogs and 38 million have cats.  Nearly 11 million households move with their pets annually.

The Humane Society recommends getting microchips for cats and dogs prior to a move.  Microchips are tiny transponders containing a dog or cat’s unique identification code.  Microchip companies use this code to identify the pet and retrieve the owner’s contact information.

“When you’re moving into a new environment, there is a higher probability of your pet escaping,” said Dylan Heckart, director of development and public relations, Humane Society of Berks County, Douglassville, Pa.  “Your pet is unfamiliar with its new yard and new surroundings,” he continued.  “If your lost pet is taken to an animal shelter or vet clinic, we can scan the microchip and reach you immediately.  It’s really the best way to make sure your animal is quickly reunited with you.”

Heckart also recommends researching the new licensing and vaccination requirements if your move is out of state.  Pet owners should obtain a copy of their pet’s vaccinations and medical history or request that this information be faxed to the new pet care provider.

The Humane Society and other animal experts recommend the following additional tips to help movers and their furry companions have a pleasant experience aboard their Penske rental moving truck.

Before the Move

  • Make sure your cat or dog has a sturdy collar with its name, your name, your cell phone and your destination address and phone number (or another emergency contact).
  • Stock up on at least one week’s worth of your pet’s medications, should you have difficulty scheduling an appointment with your new veterinarian.
  • If your dog becomes ill while traveling, ask your vet about a new prescription medication for motion sickness treatment.
  • Pet crates provide a safe haven for most animals during long rides in a moving truck and help reduce their anxiety levels.  Purchase a pet travel crate, if you don’t own one, and crate train your pet in advance of your move by taking it on shorter trips in your personal vehicle.  If your pet is happy on the road without a crate, be sure to use a restraining harness for your own and your pet’s safety.
  • Pack a traveling bag for your pet and include items such as food, water, treats, plastic bags, a scoop and bed, if needed.
  • Research a few emergency animal care centers or veterinary hospitals in advance along your planned travel route.  Put those numbers into your mobile phone in the event of an emergency.

On Moving Day

  • Refrain from feeding your pet for a few hours before and during the trip to avoid an upset stomach, but be sure to keep your pet hydrated with plenty of water.
  • While furniture and boxes are being taken to the moving truck, keep your pet away from the commotion.  Bathrooms or other small rooms provide a safe and quiet place for your pet.  Be sure to hang a sign on the door to alert others not to open it.
  • Your pet should always ride up front in the truck cab with you, either in its crate or secured in a harness.
  • Do not keep your pet in the back of your Penske truck’s cargo area while traveling as it may be injured.
  • Be sure your pet is leashed or in a pet crate when outside your truck and that it is always wearing its ID tag.
  • Do not leave your pet in the cab of the truck with the windows up or in the back of your Penske truck while stopped.  Animals can quickly overheat in these areas.
  • If your pet becomes overheated while traveling, take it into an air-conditioned area and place it in a shallow tub of cool water or rub it down with cool, wet towels.

Remember, if you have any concerns about traveling with your pet please be sure to check with your veterinarian well before your move.  By following these tips, you and your pets can have a positive moving experience from start to finish.

To reserve your Penske rental truck, please visit PenskeTruckRental.com or call 888-996-5415.

By Kandace Wertz

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