• 6 Steps to Safe Travels with Pets

    by Jackie Heath | Apr 24, 2014

    traveling with petsOne of the most often overlooked difficulties of a long-distance move is how to successfully (and happily) travel with a beloved pet. From goldfish and reptiles to our furry four-legged friends, transitioning with any kind of living creature is a challenge.

    To make your move easier, we’ve complied this list of pet-friendly travel tips and tricks that will help you get from point A to point B without a hassle.

    1. Determine Costs: Flying with a pet can be expensive, but so can driving cross-country. Check with airlines to learn what kinds of pet carrier options they have and how much it will cost. (Most charge based on the weight and size of the crate.) You’ll also want to consider things like whether or not the airline requires health certificates, insurance, or other pet safety features.

    2. Update IDs and Microchips: It’s much easier for a pet to get lost on the road than at home, so make sure you get your animal’s ID tags updated and fitted with collars that won’t slip off. It’s also a good idea to look into microchipping (if you haven’t already) or to update your current microchip information with your new address and/or phone number.

    3. Checkups and Vaccinations: Get the all clear from a vet before you move any animal. Not only is it important to ensure the pet is in good health, but your vet can update vaccinations, fill prescriptions, and maybe even provide sedatives or advice on handling your pet.

    4. Crate Early and Often: Moving is traumatizing enough on a pet…if you introduce a crate for the first time during move day, you might only be adding to the stress. If you don’t normally crate your four-legged friend, try to give your animal time to grow used to and comfortable with the idea. You should also make sure they’re packed up and secure before the movers arrive, since the hustle and bustle of moving day is often overwhelming to pets.

    5. Plan Your Journey: Like traveling with kids, it’s important to include regular stops along the way so your pet gets plenty of exercise and stimulation during the trip. Plan ahead so you can identify pet-friendly resting points and hotels. Nothing is worse than arriving at your destination only to be told your dog or cat isn’t welcome.

    6. Always Leash Your Pet: Animals in transition tend to scare easily, so avoid letting them off the leash or a chance to escape. Always leash your pet in public areas, and make sure the crate’s latch is secure. While you do need to give your four-legged friend a chance to run and play, do it in an area where you feel safe in not losing track of them.

    While most of the above tips provide insight on moving a dog or cat, specialty animals (fish, lizards, birds, etc.) also need to be safe during their travel. Because these types of animals need specialized equipment, it may take a few extra steps to get their aquarium or cage moved. Talk to animal experts to ensure that you know the exact process for keeping them safe on the journey, and visit our post on moving unique pets.

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  • Moving with Pets: Beyond Cats & Dogs

    by Jackie Heath | Apr 22, 2014

    moving with petsIn terms of difficulty when it comes to moving with animals, dogs and cats are fairly easy. After all, your furry companions tend to be vocal about their needs, and you can tell from their actions whether or not they’re hungry, tired, thirsty, or in desperate need of a good run. With the right planning and a little extra wiggle room built into your schedule, you should be able to move your canine or feline pet without much of a hassle.

    For many pet parents, however, there’s a lot more subtlety and care that has to go into the process. If you have an animal that is kept in a cage or tank (fish, reptiles, rodents, or birds), it’s not enough to plan a pit stop on the road. You may need to hire specialty movers or even consider giving your pet away to someone closer to home. It’s also recommended to always take your pet to a veterinarian for a checkup to ensure they’re healthy enough to make the move.

    Moving with Fish: Fish who live in aquariums tend to be the most difficult in long distance moves because they require regular oxygenation and temperature controls (especially if you’re moving a saltwater tank). Some families choose to give these fish to families or friends—or even see if a pet store will adopt the fish back—rather than attempt the move.

    If you do move your fish, always transport them separately from the aquarium itself. Fish should be moved in specialty Styrofoam fish containers (pet stores will be able to supply these) in clean, properly warmed water from their original home. In fact, it’s best if you keep as much of this water as possible, transporting it in sealed buckets, if you can. It will be less traumatic for your fish when they arrive to have the familiar water to return to.

    Moving with Reptiles: Like fish, most reptiles require temperature regulation in order to survive. For short trips, you can line a cardboard container (with moist towels if they need the damp or dry towels if they need to stay warm), provide air holes, and transport them via car. Large reptiles can even be moved in dog or cat crates, assuming they are properly lined.

    Many types of reptiles can actually be transported by mail (as long as you do overnight shipping to reduce the amount of stress on the animal), but you must follow all the guidelines carefully and ensure that you follow laws regarding animal transport across state lines.

    Moving with Rodents: Treat your rodent animals the same way you would a dog or cat during a move. If their regular cage is easily transportable, all you need to do is ensure they have clean bedding, plenty of food, a blanket to cover the cage, and you should be all set. (All these items should be secured to the cage to ensure they don’t spill or move around.)

    Airlines have their own regulations regarding rodent air travel, but most of the time, a clean, secure crate is all that’s needed to make the move.

    Moving with Birds: Birds can be easily stressed out by a move, so plan on being as gentle as possible to your winged companions. Specialty cages exist to facilitate the transition (especially if you’re shipping a bird via plane), and you should always expect to move your bird in a cage that’s clean and has a cover.

    If possible, have a cage set up for the bird at your destination—preferably with all his or her favorite toys an comforts in place. This will help them settle in better and unwind from the stresses of travel.

    moving with pets

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  • Allied TV: Hiring a Mover vs. Moving Yourself

    by Jackie Heath | Apr 18, 2014
    As the moving season fast approaches, many families are weighing their options for an upcoming move. The two main options include hiring a moving company or moving yourself. Both options have their pros and cons, as well as different cost factors to consider. 

    Here is a short video to make sure you consider all factors when deciding whether to hirer a mover or move by yourself.

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  • Allied Apps: Apps for Pet Owners

    by Jackie Heath | Apr 16, 2014

    apps for your petsIt might not seem like owning a dog and a smartphone have anything in common, but it’s becoming increasingly more common for pet services, pet perks, and pet retailers to pop up on screens everywhere.

    • Tagg: One of the most important apps for pet parents to have (especially if you’re moving to a new area) is a pet tracker. This GPS location tracker allows you to tap into your pet’s collar so that you can always find him or her in the event of an emergency or loss.
    • Pet First Aid: It’s always a good idea to have some knowledge of pet first aid if you’re an animal lover. This app highlights what you need to know for emergency situations so that you can stave off death or further injury while you wait for professional veterinary assistance.
    • Map My Fitness: This running app might be designed for human exercise, but there’s no reason why you can’t adapt the route mapper for your favorite pooch. Know where you’re headed before you put the leash on and get the perfect amount of activity for you both.    
    • iCam: Hesitant to leave your pet home alone? Curious how your dog manages to escape the fence every time? Set up this virtual camera and watch the live stream from your phone.
    • Pet Phone: If your animal is getting up in years or has special needs that require constant vigilance (or if you just tend to forget important things like nail clipping appointments and vaccinations), this app helps you track your pet care itinerary.
    • Dog Whistler: Want to have fun with your dog? Planning on putting a course of dog training into action? Skip the dog whistle with this app that simulates the sound only audible to your canine’s ears.
    • Games for Cats: The internet loves a good cat-playing-with-the-iPad video, and it’s now easier than before with Friskies’ series of cat-friendly swipe games.
    • Dog Park Finder Plus: Looking for dog parks and dog-friendly areas in your city? This app makes it easy to pinpoint locations where both you and your canine will be welcome to enjoy the great outdoors.

    Many of these pet app options are free or come in at under a few dollars, making them a smart choice for pet owners who want to get the most out of their technology. While nothing can beat a good, old-fashioned game of fetch in your backyard, there’s still plenty of fun and information available on your smartphone.

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  • Navigating Pet Services in Your New Hometown

    by Jackie Heath | Apr 14, 2014

    moving with petsOnce you’ve made the successful move with your pets, it’s time to start settling into your new city. Getting used to a new community and a new way of life is challenging enough, but when you need to find pet services you can trust, it only adds to the stress. 

    Although the best way to get any information on pet services is to rely on word of mouth or get a recommendation from someone you trust, you can also go online to find vets, kennels, pet sitters, and more in your new residence.

    Online Pet Service Finders 

    Depending on where you live and what services you need, you can find many listings for pet services online. A few of the more popular options include:

    • PSI: Pet Sitters International provides information on dog sitters in multiple locations, and focuses on those with the proper licensing and insurance. 
    • Care.com: This website doesn’t just find pet sitters and dog walkers—it can also be used to search for child and elder care. Users search by zip code.
    • Dog Walker: Dogwalker.com is one of the more well-known websites for finding dog walkers in your area. Larger, more urban cities tend to offer the most range of choices. 
    • My Veterinarian: Vet services tend to be the easiest to find, since these professionals advertise more widely than pet sitters. My Veterinarian is part of the American Veterinary Medical Association, so it’s a great place to start looking.
    • American Animal Hospital Association: If you have a pet emergency, it’s a good idea to look first to the AAHA website. You can quickly and easily find accredited animal hospitals in your area. 
    • Craigslist: One of the most popular places to find local anything is to search the Craigslist for your area. These tend to be people rather than businesses posting, though, so always be wary of giving out your private information.
    • Kennel Finder: Kennel Finder has over 7,000 listings for animal boarding services nationwide. 
    • Pet Boarding Finder: This website offers another place for you to search for pet boarding options, and also includes listings for grooming, pet sitting, and dog walking.
    • DogFriendly: If you’re in search of an off-leash dog park, you may want to stop by this website for a state-by-state breakdown of options. 
    • Nylabone: This chew toy company provides an online service to match dog owners with parks where their pets can get the exercise and socialization you both need.

    The Pitfalls of Finding Pet Services Online 

    While the internet provides a great starting place for finding pet services in your new city, it’s always a good idea to be wary of information you get online. Don’t give out personal information to any company you haven’t already confirmed has the proper business license, and ask for references from any individual who will have the care of your pet.

    It’s also a good idea to meet someone in person before you make arrangements for pet walking or pet sitting. Your furry friend deserves to be put in the care of someone you trust to treat them well, so even though the extra step might make finding the right pet service provider more time-intensive, it will be worth it in the end—freeing you up to make the most of all the restaurants, shops, activities and more in your new town.           
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MC 15735 U.S. DOT No.076235
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