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Make the big move less stressful for the 4-legged members of the family

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Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:35 am, Sat Jul 26, 2014.

(BPT) - When moving houses, you make a checklist of the utility companies you need to contact for stopping and starting services. You also schedule all the volunteer or professional movers to pack, transport and unpack your belongings, and you let all your friends and family members know your new address. Additionally, you need to remember to make plans for your special family members, too – your pets.

Pets add an extra element to a move, but it doesn’t have to be stressful for you or your pet. Here are some tips from Penske Truck Rental to help you plan your move successfully with your pet in mind.

* Microchipping – The Humane Society recommends all pet owners microchip their cats and dogs, especially before planning a move. It doesn’t matter how long the distance, an animal can easily get confused in the chaos of the move and then become lost. If this were to happen, be sure to connect with animal shelters and veterinarian offices in the town where your former home is located, as well as the area where your pet slipped away.

* Name tags – Update your cat or dog’s collar with its name, your new home information, and a phone number that will stay active even after the moving period.

* Food and medications – Don’t pack your dog’s or cat’s food and medications until you are ready to get into the car to make the move. Be sure to also have at least an extra week of both in supply, just in case you experience delays in your travels. Put all the materials into a travel bag on top of other luggage so it is handy.

* Practice travels – If you’ve never traveled with your pet prior to the move, start taking it on short rides. You may discover your cat gets motion sickness, or that your dog prefers to ride with a training harness, rather than inside a crate. Knowing your pet’s preferences can help you work with your vet to determine whether any medications are needed. If you don’t have the equipment needed to help your pet travel safely, Penske Truck Rental partners with Kurgo, and customers can receive 30 percent off all dog travel products with the code PENSKE30 at Kurgostore.com.

* Make a list of emergency vet clinics in towns along your route so you have information in case you need to make a sudden stop for your pet.

* On moving day, be sure to keep your pet in your personal car or in the cab of the moving truck. Never put a pet in the back of a Penske truck, because it could become injured or sick. Have plenty of food and water available, and consider not feeding your pet for a couple of hours before you depart to avoid an upset stomach.

* While packing the moving truck, keep your pet in a small room in the house so it doesn’t become overwhelmed by the commotion. A bathroom or closet works well. Put a note on the door advising your friends or professional movers to not open the door for the protection of your pet.

* During rest stops along your route, be sure to keep your pet leashed or in a crate, and keep it in a well-ventilated area. Schedule these rest stops every two hours. Trucks and cars can get dangerously hot very quickly in the summer, so don’t leave your pet in a closed vehicle without air conditioning for any amount of time.

* Upon arrival at your new home, put your pet in a small room while the unpacking happens. Once the truck is unloaded, you can let your pet out to explore your new home together. Also, check with local ordinances on required licensing for your pet. Keep your pet’s vet records handy in case you need to show documented proof of vaccination.

While the new home will look and feel different, the familiar smells of your belongings will help it adjust quickly. And in no time at all, you’ll be moved in and it will feel just like home.

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