May 3

Overcome challenge of moving with pets

Looking for a place to move that’s pet friendly? Finding rental housing for you and your pet can be an incredible challenge, particularly if you have more than one companion animal or a larger dog.

The first thing you need to know about finding pet-friendly housing is that a deposit is almost always required. That deposit can be relatively steep – typically anywhere from a $100 nonrefundable deposit to one month’s rent of which some is refunded when you move out. If a landlord seems hesitant, it is okay to offer a deposit and try to negotiate a deal.

Another trick to help overcome a landlord’s objections is a pet resume. The pet resume lists your pet’s vital statistics, veterinarian, any training or obedience classes, and references from past landlords who can attest that your pet didn’t cause any damage. Pet resumes are relatively rare, and combined with the offer of a deposit may be enough to sway a reluctant landlord. They show that you care a great deal about your pet, that it is well-behaved, and that your family is responsible and willing to prove that.

Some local rescue groups keep lists – formally or informally – of apartment buildings or rental companies that accept pets under some or all circumstances. Heartland Humane Society maintains a list on its Web site of such housing in Corvallis at www.heartlandhumane.org/rental_list.php.

When renting from an individual, you may want to let them meet your pets – if possible, in your current home – so that they know directly that the pets are acceptable and have not caused damage to where you presently live.

Once you have the living situation figured out, you still have to move there. Moving with pets can be a challenge, but is definitely possible. One of the biggest reasons for surrendering an animal to a shelter is because of a move, but you don’t have to give up your companions.

The headache of moving all your possessions is compounded by having living, furry critters to transport, as well. Your situation will dictate your decision – for example, if you are moving abroad, you may not be able to take your pet no matter how much you wish to do so.

But most people move within the state or within the Northwest, and you can keep your pet safe and comfortable during such a move.

“Moving can be tough on pets, as well as their caregivers,” says Stephanie Shain, director of companion animal outreach for the Humane Society of the United States. “The hustle and bustle leading up to moving day and settling in to a new home can be stressful on pets. However, you can help make it a smooth transition with just a little advance planning.”

First, make sure you transport your pet’s things along with your pet. A favorite blanket, toy and food dish can make the strange surroundings a bit more comfortable.

You’ll need a roomy and sturdy pet carrier for the move – either borrowed or purchased. You can sometimes find them at garage sales, and it’s a good idea to have one on hand for every pet anyway. Before moving, set up the carrier and let your pet get used to it. Feed treats in the carrier and put toys inside.

The carrier should be transported in the interior of a vehicle. Never strap your pet’s carrier – with your pet inside – to the top of a vehicle, an open trailer or a pickup bed.

Make frequent stops during your drive. Always provide fresh water to your animals when you pause, and if possible, put them on a harness and allow them to get their bearings on firm ground. Air conditioning is definitely a plus – if it is warm and you don’t have it, you’ll be best off if you stop even more to get some fresh air.

When you get to your destination, give your pet time to get used to the new surroundings without a lot of stress. Many animals may take any opportunity to wander off, and are likely to get lost in a strange neighborhood. Keep your pets in a closed room at your destination and make sure movers aren’t going to disturb them.

Good advance planning also includes getting pet identification with your new address and phone number. If your pet has a microchip, update the registry immediately with your new contact information.

Moving is stressful for both you and your pet, but do what you can to make your companion animals comfortable during and after the trip to your new home.


See also: Taking the plunge into foster care   Buying pet medications online