Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Traveling with Pets

For many folks, pets are considered part of the family and just like human family members pets experience different levels of stress to new environments and are sensitive to new sights, sounds and smells and their level of care must be taken into consideration. If you should plan to travel with your pets instead having they stay home and be cared for by a sitter please consider these great tips courtesy of Bay County, Michigan’s government website and the following resources below for safe and happy pet friendly travel:

* Consider a pre-travel vet visit.
* Attach a pet ID tag, with your name, address, and telephone to the pet's collar.
* Consider adding a temporary ID tag to the collar, including where you're currently staying.
* Microchips, tattoos and pet registries are also available.
* Get all current vaccinations and shots, and secure a rabies tag to the pet's collar.
* Consider a Lyme disease vaccination.
* Keep current records of your pet's vital records and vet's contact methods accessible.
* Bring medications and prescriptions along on your trip.
* Consider the use of a crate for short term and travel restraint.
* Pack a pet first aid kit. Obtain a vet telephone number for the areas that you to visit.
* Plan to bring plenty of water for your pet, along with their regular food, water and food bowls and treats. Keep your pet on their regular schedule.
* Bring extra pet collars, leashes, chew toys, and pet brushes.
* Check with your destination whether pets are permitted. Pets are prohibited from some parks and campgrounds.
* Carefully consider your pet when you're selecting a campsite. Selecting a site with adequate tree shade is always helpful.
* Read the park and understand the rules. As a pet owner, you have an obligation to act responsibly in caring for your pet.
* Maintain control of you pet at all times. Use the pet leash at all times. Do not leave a pet unattended.
* Respect for other campers and the wildlife includes ensuring that your dog doesn't bark.
* Closely monitor your pet around other people, children and pets.
* Always pick up immediately after your pet. Use ziplock bags to pick up after them and properly dispose of it in appropriate trash containers.
* Give your pet time to adjust to their surroundings. Give them adequate water and rest breaks.
* Watch that your pet doesn't get tangled around tent poles, or stakes, tables, trees.
* Make sure that your pet gets regular exercise. Also consider the effect of activity and energy levels on your pet.
* Be aware of how the weather may affect your pet – heat, cold, rain, etc.
* Carefully consider where you place your pet's food, as this food may attract insects and wildlife.
* Consider your pets sleeping arrangements.
* Be courteous of others as you walk your pet. Keep your pet calm and controlled.
* Be aware that your pet may be exposed to ticks, fleas, and other insects. Use proper repellents, and flea/tick collars when possible.

Dog Friendly.com Travel Guides - http://www.dogfriendly.com/
Pet Friendly.com Travel Guide - www.pettravel.com/
Pet Friendly Travel.com - www.petfriendlytravel.com/
Pet Friendly Travel Directory - http://www.petvr.com
Pets on the Go - www.petsonthego.com/
Pets Welcome - www.petswelcome.com/
San Diego Dog - http://www.sandiegodog.com
San Diego Dogs - http://www.thesandiegodog.com/aboutus.html

If you should decide to have the pets stay home, please consider the myriad of pet care options available to you, do your research wisely, trust your instincts, make sure you hire someone trustworthy and reliable (if they can prove background checks, insurance, bonding, etc, the better), and consider not only what works best for you but what’s best for your pets. For Pet Sitters, Private in Home Boarders, Kennels, Boarding Facilities and House Sitters:
Classifieds For Your Pets - http://www.classifiedsforyourpets.com
Kudzu – http://sandiego.kudzu.com
Pet Sit USA - http://www.petsits.com
Pet Sitters Associates, LLC - http://www.petsitllc.com
Pet Sitters Biz - http://www.pet-sitters.biz
Pet Sitters International: http://www.petsit.com
PetCare Directory (PetCare Link Partners) - http://www.ready-pet-go.com
Professional United Pet Sitters: http://www.petsits.com
Yelp – http://www.yelp.com

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Moving with Pets

Below are some tips compiled from a variety of sources and surveys conducted as well as some references on how to better move with your pets. This is very lengthy so here’s a map to this information. First paragraph discusses how moving affects your pets. Second paragraph discusses what mistakes are typical during a move. Third discusses what the average pet owner faces during a move, specifically when and how often. Fourth discusses obstacles in moving. The following four sections will discuss some tips and suggestions on what to do before a move, during the actual move (moving day), what to do when you have arrived in the new home and some resources of pet friendly housing, moving, pet relocation, airline info and more.

Moving is extremely stressful, fearful and emotional for pets according to professionals in the field of pet care and landlords. Animal Communicators, Nutritionists, Pet Care providers, trainers, behaviorists, veterinarian, and animal shelter advocates all agree that moving is one few most stressful events for not just humans but pets as well. Most people like to move in one day, from packing to moving to unpacking. In the process of doing this we accidentally leave doors open and add stress to the pets. Stress manifests itself in behavioral and emotional issues in pets which could lead to training issues. Pets are more likely to escape if given an opportunity if they see their environment or routine changing. They experience fears of being left behind, fears of where going? There physical body may have increased heart rate or blood pressure. They may pant and need more water. The most common adverse affect is fear that they are in harms way with all the scary noises and smells. Emotionally they become stressed from the change in routine/environment. Physically they can become dehydrated, over excited, nervous etc Psychologically they are unsure of what the future will bring, what will happen to them. Animals who have been abandoned in the past may drum up all of those anxieties from the past. If pets are used to traveling, even if it's just to the dog park or a training class, they adjust easily. Well socialized pets have learned that they can handle new experiences, even if they haven't handled a particular experience in the past. Socializing teaches them that they can handle anything that comes their way, not just the new stimulus. Pets that are not socialized who never go out of their own yards or homes experience fear and anxiety due to new surroundings. They do not predict that their owners are going to leave them that are a human trait. They simply realize that their life pattern has changed. Pets who are prepared for changing circumstances and routines from the time they are puppies adjust easily.

Pet owners make many mistakes when it comes to moving. Some of the biggest have to do with planning ahead both in the search and having an available budget, being prepared and not securing a place to move into before settling on moving out of the old one. Other mistakes are:
· Not factoring in your pets needs with a move.
· Not having adequate emergency pet supplies prior to moving.
· Not practicing common sense in general.
· Not acclimating pets to new places or traveling in the car beforehand.
· Not having appropriate and accurate identification.
· Not utilizing a veterinarian for advice on a move or a service provider for a temporary home, communication with pets or addressing training issues and behaviors associated with moving.
· Not including pets in your moving plans.
· Not taking the extra time to reassure their pet.
· Not properly securing their animals during travel to prevent escapes.
· Being so stressed out themselves that the worry and distress transfers to their animals.
· Planning ahead ensures that your pets’ needs are met and not forgotten.
· Being careless with open doors.
· Not keeping dog records (health, vaccinations, registrations, etc.) easily available during the move.
· Securing the wrong home, especially in the case of pet owners who decide to rent – they decide to opt with a no pets rental or didn’t secure a signed pets ok written (not verbal) contract from the new landlord securing their pet as a tenant.

More than half of pet owners asked how often they have been faced with the tasks uprooting their home environment and relocating to another home in the past 2 years said more than twice. 33% specifically said they had to move as much as 5 times in that period. This tells us that pet owners often face moving every year more often than should be. More than half of pet owners agree that the best time of year in San Diego to move is in the Spring and the Fall. This tends to be the time of year when most rentals are available for pets, when landlords are most likely to rent to pet owners, when the climate is perfect for a move and when is most best climate to move an animal in. Summertime may be too hot for pets. Winter time is terribly cold or wet and may not be convenient when loading up a moving truck needs to occur. Spring and Fall seem to have moderate temperatures to move and is a good time to introduce pets to new homely and garden-like smells. Many pet owners also noticed that keeping in mind school schedules, flea seasons, holiday travel periods and moving trends also will complicate when the best of year is to move. A small percentage of pet owners mentioned that there is a small window of opportunity when rentals are most available shortly after the Holidays are over when people are back into their offices and when the weather is reasonable as well.

There are many obstacles pet owners need to be aware of when moving. The following are just a short list. Taking the tips and suggestions of others with regards to finding pet friendly housing (for rent or own) and what to do when moving should plow your road of most or all of these obstacles, making your journey to your destination as smooth as possible.
· Climate and environmental conditions – Moving in a rainstorm is, well, a bad idea
· Stress, fear and anxiety – both of the human and animal variety
· Communication Issues with the animals – pet care is tough work but just because you move doesn’t mean you sacrifice you and your pets’ relationship!
· Disruption of normal pet routine
· Safety – Moving can be hazardous, heavy things, open doors, traveling with stuff, unpacking, physical labor – it also can pose a risk. But you can practice safety and avoid some of those hazardous mistakes!
· Money – face it, moves and pets aren’t cheap but don’t have to break the bank if you plan ahead and budget wisely!
· Time – face it, moves take time and your job, home life, the amount of stuff you have, who you live with and what pets you can all complicate how quickly things can happen but you can make time and avoid those last minute mistakes!
· Emergencies – are you sure you can safely react for your pet in an emergency during a move?
· Legal ramifications – are you sure your pet is allowed where you are going?


If you’re a pet owner and are planning to move to a new home, remember that moving can be even more stressful for your animals than it is for you. But there are several things you can do to make it easier on your dog or cat long before you actually start your move. Here are some things you can do even weeks or months in advance:

· Start your packing well ahead of time; it’s not only easier on you, but on your pets as well. It may be easier to systemize your packing and store them out of the way or in the garage as you.. Start with the stuff you rarely ever see or need, such as your long term storage items (holiday decorations, past files, things you kept from childhood, etc). Then move onto the things you use maybe a couple of times a year, then move onto the things you use once a month. Then as the week approaches leave only the things you will need over a few weeks including any of your pets’ favorite places out to be packed on that last few days and pack the rest. You probably won’t need that extra case of shampoo you got at Costco, but could leave out a couple of bottles, right? And you won’t need all those tools in the garage except maybe a few essentials like screwdrivers, hammers and such, just leave out what you need and might use. Same thing for your pets – say you have stockpiled cases of cans of dog food, you won’t need them all over the few weeks of the transition so why leave yourself more to pack the last few days, just pack twice what you need for your pets and you’ll be fine.
· Get copies of certificates, medical, and immunization records from your veterinarian.
· Purchase identification tags with your new address.
· If you’re planning to travel by air, schedule your flights early and try to book a direct flight – this will be much easier on your pet. You need to find out what the airline’s regulations are for transporting your pet. You will also need to find out what kind of crate will be necessary to contain your dog or cat. Ask for early morning or evening (non-stop) travel times.
· If you’re driving and the trip will take more than one day, be sure and check ahead and reserve motels that will accept pets. Also buy a cooler to keep foods, water and drinks fresh.
· Contact the state to which you’re moving and find out the regulations regarding animals. Some states require an entry permit for pets. Start making a list of items you’ll need for a “pet travel kit,” including a carrier, collapsible dishes, favorite toys, water, food and treats. If your pet isn’t used to car travel, start practicing with short trips around the neighborhood. If necessary, ask your vet about tranquilizers to relax the animal. And when traveling with a pet, it’s a good idea to have a “clean-up kit” in the car for motion sickness situations. Don’t forget to take a few exercise, water and bathroom breaks, and remember, you won’t be able to stop for leisurely meals if you have an animal in the car. Don’t forget - get your car tuned up a month in advance.
· Start packing items that aren't regularly used such as off-season clothes and decorations and items in storage areas(garage, attic, and closets).
· Get medical records from your doctors, dentist, optometrist, and veterinarian.
· Send items (rigs, drapes, clothing, quilts, bedding) to the cleaners.
· Back up important computer files to floppy disk.
· Contact your utility companies (gas, electric, water, cable, trash collector, and local phone service providers) and notify them of your move.
· Sign up for services at your new address.
· Contact your long distance phone company and notify them of your move.
· Call friends and family and recruit help for the moving day if necessary.
· Confirm your travel reservations.
· Arrange to close or transfer your bank account, if appropriate. Pick up items from safety deposit box.
· Pick up items from the cleaners, repair shops, or friends.
· Pack a survival kit of clothes, medicines, special foods, and so on to carry you through the day after arrival in your new home.
· Finish packing all boxes minus what you'll need in the final week.
· Inform the post office of your upcoming move. Send Change Of Address Cards to friends, family, banks, insurance companies, bill collector companies, magazines, newspapers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, realtors, state and federal tax authorities, the department of motor vehicles, the voter’s registrar office, workplace, schools, your pet’s walker, groomer, vet, sitter, trainer or anyone else you do business with.
· Plan to take your pets with you – do not opt for non pet-friendly housing in your search for a new home! Research tips on how to find pet-friendly housing and be as informed and prepared as you can before you even plan to move.
· Know the culture climate of the area in which you are moving and where you are coming from – are they relatively the same or better? If your pet is used to a quiet peaceful farm moving into a loud inner city condo with strange noises from the street may stress your pet. Be considerate of that in your search.
· Provide pets with leashes and new ID tags in case they get loose en route or at your new residence.
· If you’re selling a home, there are going to be lots of strangers around in the coming months – realtors, potential buyers, and inspectors. Make plans for your pet for during these times. Perhaps your pet should be confined to a familiar crate so that he/ she feels safe when there are newcomers in the house. Or, a particularly sensitive animal might do better staying with a neighbor or boarding at a kennel during these times.
· Try not to expose your cat to your new living arrangements all at once. It’s a good idea to limit the number of rooms the cat is allowed in and gradually let him/her explore. Surround the cat with familiar items during the move to reduce emotional stress, and once you’re in your new home, don’t let your cat outside until he/she is familiar with the new living environment to reduce the risk of running away.
· Because you’re in a “new” home, often with new décor and furniture, you may be tempted to replace your pet’s old favorites, too. But it’s better to use your pet’s familiar food and water dishes, bed, blanket and toys to make him/her feel “at home.” Try to keep things in the same locations as they were in your previous residence, as well. Only add don’t subtract!
· Make use of available resources. Contact the humane society or animal care and control agency serving the area into which you are moving; the agency may be able to provide you with a list of great resources for moving.
· Do not move your cats’ litter box from its customary place until you are ready to leave the house permanently.
· File your pets’ vaccination certificates and records with your family’s medical records so you don’t misplace them in the moving process.
· Before the move, take your pet to the veterinarian for a thorough physical exam. If your cat or dog is on any medication, be sure that you have enough for the first period of settling in your new home. Don't forget to take with you copies of your pets' records; it'll make things much easier for the new veterinarian at the new location.
· Take photographs of your pets and you before you move.
· Take care of getting pets licensed, permitted or registered where you are going in advance. Plan to make a vet visit as a health certificate is often required.
· If you are planning to use a pet relocation service, remember movers are not permitted to transport pets, nor are buses or trains. Be sure to research the qualifications and insurances of pet relocation companies and call in advance to see if they have your time frame available and if they need anything from you.
· The importance of a sturdy, comfortable carrier for your pet cannot be overemphasized. A carrier should be large enough for the pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down. It must have adequate cross-ventilation and a leak-proof bottom with layers of absorbent lining. It should have a secure closing mechanism on the door, but do not lock the kennel. Federal regulations require that your pet be accessible in the event of an emergency. Most airlines have pet carriers available for purchase with advance notice (48 hours or more). These kennels meet all US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements for pet transportation. Pet stores also may have acceptable carriers for sale. Birds must be placed in durable pet carriers other than conventional bird cages. Get your pet accustomed to the carrier several days before a flight or car ride by using it as a bed. Placing a favorite toy or blanket inside will make your pet feel more secure. Most airlines accept dogs, cats, birds and fish in air freight. But if you have a venomous snake or other exotic pet, it may not be allowed on the plane. Be aware that airlines may refuse to transport a pet if: it cannot be shipped within a 24-hour period, the ground temperature is below 45°F or above 85°F at either origin or destination, it is not in a USDA and IATA-approved container or without proper identification and certificates, the pet has been sedated, unless the drug name, dosage and how it was administered is noted on the carrier.
· The Animal Welfare Act prohibits air transportation of puppies and kittens less than eight weeks old and prior to weaning, whether accompanied or unaccompanied.
· Put together a pet travel kit to contain: Supply of pet's regular food, Can opener, Pet's food and water dishes, Blanket, Favorite toy or two, A few treats, Comb and/or brush, A mop-up towel, paper towels or a few newspapers, Flea or tick repellent if you will be in rural areas, A sedative prescribed by your veterinarian, Scooper and plastic bags to clean up after your pet at motel or campgrounds, Spray-type room deodorant or air freshener if you will be taking your pet into a motel or hotel room
· If moving outside the United States, make sure that you check into the quarantine policy. To be quarantined is to be kept in solitary confinement. Some countries policies are so long in duration, it might not be fair for your pet to have to endure it. Pets must have been vaccinated 30 days prior to departure.
· Follow the advice of others regarding how to find pet friendly accommodations and see what you can do to improve your chances of finding a place to house your pet prior to making plans to move.
· Give yourself plenty of time to move and always accomodate the time needed for the work involved with packing, moving and unpacking.
· Save up the funds to move. Chances are if you have pets, you will not only need the monies to move in, but monies for hiring moving or packing help, a moving vehicle, loss in incomes because you need time to pack or move, paying double rents or mortgages for a month, and you will need monies to accommodate your pet without disrupting their normal routine (causes separation anxiety and behavioral/training issues later on down the line).
· Once you have secured a new place to live, update the contact information with licensing, micro-chipping and information on your pet’s identification tag.
· Prepare an emergency contact list for family, friends, pet service providers and your veterinarian.
· Make sure to notify family, friends, service providers, employers and bill collectors of your new address change.
· Have your vet see your pet to make sure your pet is current on vaccinations and for advice on any nutritional, behavioral or training needs prior to a move.
· Plan your travel itinerary wisely if you plan to move long distance. Anticipate time and location for potty breaks, water breaks, feedings, medications and exercise time. It may be wise to map out all rest areas and gas stations along the way.
· Gather all your references, information and documentation you will need for your prospective landlord.
· Start crate training and housebreaking early, if you haven’t already.
· Before you consider a move or even packing for a move, consider relocating the pets temporarily so they may keep their current routine and not become stressed or anxious as they see you pack up things they are most familiar with. This is one of the most opportune times of the year pets tend to escape and become lost. You may not have the opportunity to reunite with your pet once you have to start your move. It would be better to find a second place to call home and start getting your pet acclimated to that place right away. There are a variety of boarding services available out to the public, some that have multi-pet settings, some private, some in kennel like facilities, some day camp like settings, and there are some at private homes. Choose the best option for your pet. Don’t wait to give your pet that vacation once you have started packing, do it first before you even grab those moving boxes. You should only need the amount of time it takes you to start/finishing packing, moving and unpacking your things. If you cannot budget long term boarding consider at least daycare options or family or friends and trying them out beforehand. Pack your pet first each time, so that on moving day when you first pack their stuff and load the car, they know what to expect. Never begin a move and pack your pet last. There are too many opportunities for something to fall and injure your pet. Not to mention once you begin to move how many open door opportunities may arise as things are brought out to the car.
· Give your pets extra love and attention prior to the start of a move. It will help ease the transition.
· If you have the opportunity to pack ahead of time, if its weeks in advance, do it. Keep essential cleaning supplies handy and available. If you rentals overlapping in time, do it. This will give you opportunity to transition your pet to the new house as you unpack should your pet not have a second home to go to during the transition.
· Find information about pet friendly rentals, even if you buying a house. The same tips could apply to your situation and be helpful with regards to finding housing and pet care needs.
· Be aware of the risks associated of where you are planning to move that might pose health threats to your pets.
· Relocating pets can be very difficult, especially over long distances. The best thing is to act natural, as if everything should be the way it is. All animals pick up on stress and anxiety and it will make the transition worse for them.
· Have any medications at arms' reach. Don't pack them away.
· Call ahead and reserve animal friendly rooms. Check the room ahead of time at any hotel to make sure there are no places scared animals can get behind, under, out of, etc.
· Before moving, and in addition to everything else you must do for all the humans in your family, make sure you your pets medical records, contact information is updated, ID tags, licenses, emergency kits, first aid kits, photographs, vaccination records, all their supplies, toys and bedding handy for you will need them. Prepare a sheet of instructions of what to do with your animals in case you are injured on the road. Call your veterinarian to see what else you might need to do. Pack extra medications and portable food dishes.
· Make sure you have your new veterinarian available before you move to the new home and that you are all set up with them.
· Meet with new care providers to get you set up for when you need their services (again the planning in advance issue comes into play here as you may actually want to get set up with more than one care provider in case they are booked up when you need them!).
· Some animal communicators suggest talking to the animals about the new place beforehand in a positive tone and even to visit the home before the move. After all a little pep talk and excitement might encourage your pet to enjoy the new place before you are even ready to move over.
· Take the time to positively reinforce crating behaviors. Many animals, including dogs, cats and birds should be crated when traveling long distances, whether by car or airplane. The less stress created by traveling, the more likely the animal will be calmer upon arrival.
· Double check that your pet has accurate identification one last time. Have a vet check to see if the micro-chip is readable, that tags on collars are secure and that all the information in the city/county license department, with the micro-chip, tattoo or other identification company is 100% accurate. The last thing you want is to discover that the micro-chip doesn’t read or that they wrote down the wrong address for you.
· Don't get rid of your pets. If you have done things right from the time you looked for appropriate housing and everything before this, your pet should be coming with you. Don’t give up at the last minute. If you still haven’t been able to find a pet-friendly home, find a temporary home for them right away and begin looking for another place while you move into the new place.
· Make sure you assess your pets emotional state, know your animal and what its trigger anxieties are and try and compensate for that to the best of your ability. Moving can also be a big bonding experience with your pet, especially a rescue animal who may associate moving with being left behind. Lots of reassurance and attention is never a bad thing.
· Practice travel beforehand! Especially with animals that are not used to being confined.
· For an older pet, have a vet checkup done before moving. A blood panel may indicate that the move may be to stressful for them, especially if they are flying by air.
· Practice trailoring your cows or horses if they have never been moved before.


· Set aside moving materials, such as tape measure, pocket knife, and rope.
· Pad corners and stairways of house.
· Lay down old sheets in the entry and hallways to protect floor coverings.
· Remove hanging fixtures.
· If moving yourself, pick up the rental truck and a hand truck or dolly to move heavy boxes.
· If you're driving, check oil and gas in your car.
· If you're traveling, make sure you have tickets, charge cards, and other essentials.
· If traveling by car, do not feed or water your pet for a few hours before you leave. After you are on the road, feed only once daily. Take a supply of water from home; different water on the road can cause upset stomachs for pets. Make frequent stops to water and exercise your pet, and keep your pet on a leash for its protection — and yours. While riding in the car, do not let your pet hang out the window. Dirt and insects can fly into its eyes, causing irritation and infection. Keep power-windows locked to prevent your pet — especially cats — from lowering the window and jumping out. If your car is not equipped with air conditioning, leave the windows cracked 1" to 1 1/2". Pets need plenty of air, especially when it is hot, or when the animal is prone to motion sickness. Small animals, such as gerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. A good guide is your own comfort zone; if you are hot or cold, chances are your small pet will be, too. Try not to leave your pet in the car alone. If it is unavoidable, lock the car doors, crack windows for cross-ventilation, and leave water with your pet. Check on your pet frequently if you must leave it alone for very long. Remove the water and food dishes of birds and other small caged animals to avoid messy spills while the car is moving. Feed and water these pets at stops along the way. Keep your bird's cage covered to help calm it. If you are transporting fish in plastic bags, do not put them in direct sunlight or cold drafts.
· If you anticipate overnight stops, contact several lodgings along your route and confirm your pet will be admitted. No pet should be left in the car overnight. The reservation center may be able to assist you in finding hotels on your route that accept pets. Check your local library for pet-friendly lodging directories, or search the Internet. Snakes should be put into the bathtub and allowed to soak for about an hour once you have checked in. If you leave your pet alone in a motel room, notify the management and hang the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. When staying overnight on the road, be sure to have with you: an ample supply of food, fresh water from home, and a dish for each pet, a leash and grooming brush, medications, extra towels and newspaper, a favorite toy or blanket, room deodorizer for hotel rooms.
· Do not permit your pet to do things to antagonize people.
· Also if you are shipping or flying your pet - your pet will need to stay in this container for the entire duration of the trip.
· Make sure it is large enough for your dog or cat to stand, turn, and lie own comfortably. Make sure that you clearly write LIVE ANIMAL on the container or carrier, in order to alert baggage handlers Shipping containers should be purchased well in advance of departure date to allow your pet to gradually become accustom to it. It is up to you to retrieve your pet at the destination (usually within 90 minutes of arrival). If pets are not picked up within a reasonable amount of time, they
· will be boarded at a kennel at the owner’s expense
· Carry with you: The keys to your new home. Map of new town and directions. The telephone number of the moving company. Cash or traveler's checks. Documentation related to the sale of your home. You insurance policies and agent's phone number. Your current address book or personal planner. Prescription and non-prescription medicines. Enough clothing to get by if the movers are late. Any important personal records and documents. Any items of great personal value to you that are virtually irreplaceable(for example, a photo album). Back-up copies of important computer files. Sheets and towels for the first night in your new home. Personal hygiene items(for example, toothpaste, soap, razor).
· Packing Tips: Gather boxes in all sizes from friends, neighbors and stores., Collect cushioning material such as bubble wrap, Styrofoam pellets, furniture pads, old blankets, plastic bags...etc., Create a "portable packing kit" with marking pens, a tape measure, packing tape, twine, and scissors. Carry it with you as you pack up items around your home., Reinforce the bottom of boxes with extra tape for added strength., Label each box with the name of the room in your new home where it should be placed., List the contents of the box on the side of it., Number the boxes and keep a list of which boxes go in which room in your new home., Label boxes containing fragile items with large red lettering., Place china in plastic bags and stack plates upright on their sides, not flat., Pack your TV, stereo, and computer in their original boxes whenever possible.
· Remain calm. Enjoy the move. Have a sense of happiness. This will reflect to the animal.
· If you are stopping at a rest stop, clean up after your dog, and stay in the "pet walk" area. Doing so will make sure that rest stops will continue to allow people to let their dogs out of their car at rest stops.
· Have their normal food and water available. Many animals will go off their food during a stressful time. Find a quiet place to offer food. Encourage them to drink so they do not get dehydrated during travel. Ice cubes work for dogs, they can eat them without the mess of spilled water dishes. Try to stick to their normal feeding times during travel.
· If animals will have to fly, make sure you know all requirements ahead of time. Different airlines have different requirements for animals traveling by air. Animals will need a health certificate by a veterinarian stating the animal is in good health.
· Dogs and cats can ride in your car or be shipped by air. Taking them in the car is fairly simple. Bring their food, water, dishes, etc. and stop at least every two hours. Make sure to walk your dog or cat on a leash. Even the best behaved animals may try to run away when they are being moved to a new location. Call ahead to find motels/hotels that allow pets. If you are flying to your new home, your cat or dog can ride in the baggage compartment. Call your airline to find out about vaccination requirements. If the plane trip will be long and your pet is nervous, you may want to talk to a vet about tranquilizing them.
· Small Animals: Hamsters, birds, mice and guinea pigs are best transported in their usual cages. Make sure the animal has enough food, water, etc. and do not park in the sun. It’s best to transport these animals in your own car.
· Fish: There is no practical way to move fish in their aquarium. It is nearly impossible to move an aquarium safely as each gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. It is best to give the fish away to a good home, move the aquarium dry and then purchase new fish when you get to your new home. If the trip is only an hour or two you may want to try moving your own fish by putting them into a plastic bag with water and air, as if you were bringing them home from the pet store. This website http://www.aquariumfish.net/information/moving_your_fish.htm has some great information about moving.
· Keep animals secure during packing, moving & unpacking process. Territorial animals such as cats & dogs need to be restrained in kennels & not allowed to pee or poop inside on floors or walls or scratch doors & floors.
· If the move involves a car trip, have a dog first-aid kit on hand. Keep fluids on hand if it is in the summer. Dogs can get heat-stress and heat-stroke even while you are in the car.
· Use calming aids to aid the stresses associated with travel.
· With any pet, an actual move requires all their familiar items with them at all times. This way pets know they are coming with you on this new adventure.
· If you must put your bird in a different cage for transport, put some highly tasty treats in that cage so the bird will have a positive association with the cage. Also practice putting the bird and cage in your car if you are traveling long distance in it.
· Small caged animals should be left in their cages with a towel over the top (if it is not too hot). This should minimize stress.


· First at foremost, document the house, take pictures and note any existing damage. Start keeping track of any damage you do from the moment you step foot onto the property.
· Then get yourself settled. Unpack. Unwind. Begin to enjoy your new place.
· Then pet proof your house. If it can be baby proofed, it can be pet proofed.
· Once you are mostly moved in and things seem almost as similar as the old place for your pet, start unpacking the pets.
· Find the vet (if they haven't already) and look for dog parks and parks that are pet friendly.
· Then make sure pets recognize where the potty is, where they eat, drink water and sleep.
· Reward and praise the pet for being a good sport about the new place.
· Stay a responsible pet owner by preventing, and addressing damages or messes.
· Resume regular schedule with pets.
· Establish the house rules – where they are allowed, where their leashes are, etc.
· Have you and your pet meet the neighbors. Maybe they might know the happening hot spots in the neighborhood. This is the best time to build a positive report with your neighbors, especially when it comes to your pets. At this time you will also find out, who to avoid, who is allergic to your pet, who is afraid of your pet, etc. This is also a good time to network. If they have pets, kids or go on vacation this would be a great time to offer your availability to do a sitting or walking exchange. Who knows, you’ll want to go on vacation sometime, and wouldn’t it be nice for your pet to have a neighborly friend to swap with. Just make sure they possess the insurance to do any sitting assignments in case they were negligent, damage anything or steal something. That way you can avoid losing your deposit.
· Allow time for acclimation to your new environment. Some species may take weeks or even months. Follow the advice that was given to you at the vet before you moved.
· Reward and praise the pet for being a good sport about the new place.
· Address any other specific needs of your pet. Make sure your pets needs are well supplied. This will limit the amount of damage that will occur and if new stuff, it will serve as a reward for the pet.
· For cat owners with cats who scratch who rent a carpeted home, try purchasing additional rolls of carpet or rug to lay onto the existing carpet protected by plastic underneath in most frequented areas, so that the main carpet will stay as new as possible. This is also a great technique for dog owners with housebreaking issues. The backup carpeting will absorb messes, and the plastic will limit how much mess penetrates to the carpet itself. Plastic painters sheeting an inexpensive and durable method for this. Make sure to clean up messes as best as possible and to protect the place as often as needed.
· In the first few weeks, slowly introduce your pets to new areas. Don’t open the doors, plop them down and let them have a go at the whole place. Start with one room where they sleep and eat (and potty in cats cases), then open up the space possibilities by adding more rooms on as you notice the pet is comfortable with their new surrounding day by day or week by week.
· Learn more about your new area. Once you find a new veterinarian, ask if there are any local health concerns such as heartworm or Lyme disease, or any vaccinations or medications your pet may require. Also, be aware of any unique laws. For example, there are restrictive breed laws in some cities. Homeowner associations also may have restrictions — perhaps requiring that all dogs are kept on leashes. If you will be moving to a new country, carry an updated rabies vaccination and health certificate. It is very important to contact the Agriculture Department or embassy of the country or state to which you’re traveling to obtain specific information on special documents, quarantine, or costs to bring the animal into the country.
· Show movers where to place furniture and boxes.
· Check inventory to ensure that everything was delivered before signing delivery papers. Note any damages on the inventory sheet.
· Unpack any valuable items, such as silver, art, and jewelry, upon arrival.
· Make your new home safe for all pets by being mindful of, or providing a secure place for, hazards that can
· poison—such as cleansers, insect sprays and pesticides, medications, chocolate, certain plants, and antifreeze (ethylene glycol) burn—such as plugged-in appliances, boiling liquids, open flames electrocute—such as worn lamp cords strangle, choke, or obstruct breathing—such as choke collars, small balls, sewing thread and needles, pantyhose, and bones topple or crush—such as precariously placed appliances, top-heavy filing cabinets, and lamps allow escape or theft—such as loose screens and inadequate fences. Never leave your pet unattended on a balcony or chained in a yard.
· Even birds and reptiles can benefit from being shown their new surroundings, it gets them acquainted with new smells and "feelings" in their new home and makes them less nervous. Provide your animals with a designated area that is "theirs"
· Once you arrive, allow the animals to explore their new home with you. Act normally. Make exploring the new house fun. They will discover their new hang outs and sleeping spots or where to go potty or where to eat.
· If you own or rent a home, always be on time with your payments – never allow the opportunity to default causing a foreclosure or eviction. If you are fiscally responsible from the start, the chances of you or your pets becoming homeless is lessened and will be able to save for the next place much faster.
· Confine pets in one room of the home until the majority of the unpacking is complete.
· Pets often sleep excessively during the first few days in the new home.
· Resist the temptation to refurbish your pets’ belongings. Familiar beds, bowls, blankets and toys are soothing.
· Until pets are acquainted with their new surroundings, supervise all of their outdoor activity.
· Now is the perfect time to make your cat an indoor-only pet. Indoor-only cats live longer and healthier lives. Accessories such as window perches can ease the transition. If you play with your cat and supply lots of attention, your cat should have all he or she needs indoors.
· Wherever you live, disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes, or hazardous-material spills may occur. Make sure you are prepared for your pet's safety in case of a disaster. Start by keeping a list on hand of community animal welfare resources.
· If your new home was previously occupied by a family with pets, spray the premises for fleas before you move in -- you'll never have a better chance to get into every nook and cranny.
· If you make the effort to pet your pooch, scratch behind your cat's ears or just cuddle with them on a regular basis, they'll be reassured that home is where your love, care and affection is!
· If your pet has an accident, clean up immediately or it might be prone to repeat the behavior in the same spot.
· When ready to explore outside for the first time, only partially feed your cat. A slightly hungry pet will probably won’t wander off too far from their food bowl
· Before letting your dog outside, check to make sure fencing and gates are
· secure. You don’t want your pet to escape on you.
· If you have regular visitors to your house (e.g. a mail carrier), introduce them to your dog so that your dog will not see them as enemies.
· Avoid de-clawing cats just after a move in. The procedure entails removing the last digits of the front feet, which is very traumatic, especially for a pet who is already stressing over the new digs. This should never be considered if your cat ventures outdoors.
· Use of calming aids may assist acclimation to new home as well, but check with your veterinarian first.

American Kennel Club AIRLINE CHART - www.akc.org/love/dip/legislat/airline_chart0502.cfm.
Century 21 San Diego 55+ Senior Communities - http://55seniorcommunitysandiego.com
Fallbrook Homes for Sale and Real Estate Info, Susah Marsh - http://www.susanmarshrealtor.com
North County Times (free) – http://homes.nctimes.com/RealEstate/Rentals/SearchIndex.asp
Pet Friendly Apartment Directory (free) - http://www.peoplewithpets.com
PET FRIENDLY APARTMENT RENTALS (fee) - http://www.petrent.net
Pet Friendly Travel Directory - http://www.petvr.com
Pet Relocation - www.PetRelocation.com
San Diego Downtown Real Estate, Condos - http://sandiego92101condos.com
San Diego RealEstateAuthority.com - http://www.sandiegorealestateauthority.com
Pet Friendly Apartment Search (fee)- http://petfriendlyrentalssandiego.com
San Diego Union Tribune online (free) - http://www.signonsandiego.com
Team Aguilar San Diego Real Estate - http://www.teamaguilar.com/
Westside Rentals (fee)- http://www.westsiderentals.com

Friday, April 3, 2009

Finding Pet Friendly Rentals

Pet-friendly rentals are becoming harder for pet-owning renters to find these days as an increasing number of building owners have rolled up the welcome mat to tenants with critters. If you own pets and rent, you know that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to find housing. Unfortunately, many landlords just don’t want to deal with the hassles of irresponsible pet owners in their properties and so avoid renting to pet owners completely. This practice has left many well-loved family pets out on the street or dumped off at shelters when the owners can’t keep them. In fact, moving or no-pet landlord policies are among the top three reasons people give for abandoning their pets, according to the Humane Society of United States. But you can see the perspective of many landlords. The majority of pet owners are responsible; but one irresponsible pet owner is a nightmare to deal with - damage to property, noise, complaints from other tenants and neighbors, liability due to dog bites & the increased insurance rates that go with the increased liability. In many cases, it just might cost the landlord too much to have to deal with accepting pets. On the other side, pet owners have many complaints or are extremely frustrated with how the rental listing and application processes are. Pet owners are willing to do what it takes but are often exhausted with trying to get there. Pet owners are left feeling exasperated, unmotivated, uneducated, hopeless and in some cases taken advantage of. However, finding a pet-friendly rental is not impossible. If you're a pet owner committed to caring responsibly for your companion animal, there are several steps you can take to find animal-friendly rental housing without the headaches and exhaustion associated with the full-time housing hunt. If you're a landlord or housing manager, you can play an important role in preserving the bond between responsible pet owners and their companion animals by instituting a pets-allowed policy and taking a few steps to require specifics of a prospective tenant to hold them accountable for their pets and encourage responsible pet ownership. If you’re looking to rent and you have pets or if you are a landlord who is considering a no pets policy, here are some tips to housing that already accepts pets, what can be done to accept pets, how to approach a landlord who doesn’t advertise a pets-allowed policy or to read what pet owners can and may already be doing to win back that trust.


Compiled from istock.com, HSUS, and Rentnet

1. KNOW WHERE TO FIND PET FRIENDLY HOUSING - While there is no substitute for making a professional connection with someone who understands how important your pet is to you, try to find resources every where you can and be prepared to think outside the box. Some ideas are:
Ø community apartment guidebook at the supermarket
Ø newspaper distribution boxes on the street
Ø check with the local humane society
Ø check with local animal control authorities
Ø contact local real estate brokers or resident managers, and ask them if they know of any rentals that accept your type of pet. They may have good leads to places that have not been advertised yet.
Ø contact local property management agencies
Ø contact rental listing agencies or rental agents
Ø check online pet friendly listing sites
Ø check local advertisements
Ø roam around neighborhoods and look for rent signs
2. PLAN AHEAD - Two of the most common reasons people give for leaving their pets at the shelter are, "We're moving" and "The landlord won't allow my pet." The animals can't understand why their owner is leaving them. We can't know what pets feel, but they often show signs of stress and anxiety when their owner leaves them at a new home or a shelter. Before you get a pet, be sure you can move it with you and save yourself the guilt and heartbreak of leaving a part of your family behind. Most of all, be responsible and think ahead. If you’re renting now and think you will be renting for the long term, it just makes common sense to not have large dogs. Particularly if you live in a small apartment, don’t get a dog that likes to run and needs space - perhaps a cat or even an older dog might be better for your lifestyle. The worst thing you can do is getting a pet, have to move (or a new owner takes over your building and now has a no pet policy) and not be able to find another place that accepts it because of its breed or size. Your pet will only suffer and possibly be killed at a shelter if you have to give it up - and you will have lost a friend and companion. But if you must have your pets make sure you have plenty of time to find rental housing. Bringing along a pet involves extra considerations. Finding pet-friendly housing will probably take some extra time—plan for six months at the outside! Renters need to plan ahead. If you move, it is very difficult to find a new place that allows pets, especially dogs. Most will require an extra pet deposit. Decide before adopting whether you are willing to take a less attractive apartment in order to keep your pet. A pet that is neutered, tagged, and well behaved may convince a landlord to allow your pet, but be sure that your lease specifies your pets are allowed. If not, you may have to choose between keeping your home or your pet should a neighbor complain or the building is sold. No one likes the hassles involved with moving, much less finding rental housing that accepts pets. If possible, start to check ads and contact real estate agents and rental agencies at least six weeks before you plan to move.
3. BE PREPARED TO PROOVE YOURSELF AND YOUR PETS - There are many ways to show how responsible you and your pet is as would be tenants. Here are some tips to help you go in well armed with your application to rent:
Ø Put together an informative pet resume and pet portfolio. Just as you would be landing that job, this will help you land a pet friendly property. It also shows that you are diligent, trustworthy and very serious about your pet, their care and the property you will be renting. Portfolios should include photographs of your pets, proof of licensing, proof of spay or neuter, current records of vaccinations and veterinary care, dog training school diplomas, references from previous landlords, veterinarians, pet care providers, past neighbors and anyone else you can think and information on pet first aid and nearby emergency veterinary clinics.
Ø If you can't arrange for a meeting, consider making a short scrapbook with photos of your pampered pet in his or her current home, and/or draw up a résumé for your pet. Scrapbooks and résumés are unique ideas that are guaranteed to make a strong, yet positive, impression.
Ø A letter of reference from your current landlord or condominium association verifying that you are a responsible pet owner. Especially if you have a larger dog, make sure your dog is trained and that you have certification of his or her behavior by a reputable dog trainer, pet care provider, dog walker or other person to vouch for your pets positive behavior management skills.
Ø Written proof that your adult dog has completed a training class, or that your puppy is enrolled in one.
Ø A letter from your veterinarian stating that you have been diligent in your pet's medical care. Most veterinarians routinely fulfill such requests for their clients. Provide proof of neuter/spay, as well as vaccines.
Ø Ensure that their dogs or cats are licensed and outfitted with visible identification at all times and provide proof to the landlord.
Ø Inform your prospective landlord that you practice pet preparedness. Maintain a pet emergency kit that includes an emergency plan and supplies in the event the home must be quickly evacuated because of a disaster.
Ø Show that you practice responsible flea control. Maintain an active flea-and-tick control program so these pests won't spread to neighboring units, the common areas of a building, or public parks. A good way is to include a flea control schedule that you abide by in with your portfolio to include dates and what method was used in the past year.
Ø Spay or neuter their dog, cat, rabbit, or ferret to improve the health and behavior of the animal and to prevent their animal from adding to the problem of pet overpopulation. This also shows to a landlord that you understand issues pertaining to pet behavior, accidents, marking and pet maintenance issues as well as respecting any spay/neuter requirements of the landlord.
Ø Obey local animal nuisance laws (which generally define "excessive noise" by any animal as continuous or incessant for a period of ten minutes, or intermittently for one-half hour, to the disturbance of any person at any time of the day or night). Gaining proof of references from past neighbors and landlords stating how you obeyed those laws and had a peaceful pet also shows respect for those issues.
Ø And, be the perfect tenant in every other respect. Don’t expect a landlord to give you special treatment when you’ve been evicted in the past, have spotty credit and or have limited job history. Show them that you’re responsible in all other ways.
4. BE PREPARED TO PAY AND OFFER TO PAY FOR PET DEPOSITS AND EXTRA PET RENT - You may be required to pay a pet deposit, some or all of which may be nonrefundable. Be sure to discuss deposits and monthly pet-related fees in advance. And have these fees put into writing, too. Request a copy of any house rules pertaining to pets. Let the landlord know that you will abide by the rules set for the broader community and respect the concerns of residents who do not own pets. Be willing to pay a little extra. Tell your prospective landlord or resident manager that you are willing to pay an extra security deposit to cover any damages your pet might make to the property.
5. OFFER TO SCHEDULE A MEET AND GREET WITH YOUR PET - Offer to bring your pet to meet the landlord. If they see your dog is friendly, well-treated and healthy, how well groomed and clean they are, they may be more likely to agree to accept it. Keep their dogs on leashes at all times when outside the home. Clean up after their pets and dispose of the waste in a sanitary manner This will show well you respond to your dog and shows how responsible as a pet owner as well.
6. PROMOTE YOURSELF AND YOUR PET - Responsible pet owners make excellent residents. That's why people looking for an apartment, house, or condominium to rent must be able to sell themselves as responsible pet owners, who are committed to providing responsible pet care and being responsible neighbors. Because they must search harder for a place to live, pet caregivers are more likely to stay put. Lower vacancy rates mean lower costs and fewer headaches for landlords and real estate agents. Let prospective landlords and managers know that you understand that living with a companion animal is a privilege, not a right. Let the landlord know that you are also concerned about cleanliness: emphasize that your pet is housetrained, and that you pick up all of the waste outside. Offer to bring your pet to meet the owner or property manager, or invite the landlord to visit you and your pet in your current home. A freshly groomed, well-behaved pet will speak volumes. Emphasize that the same pride you take in caring for your pet extends to taking care of your home. Many landlords are concerned about fleas, so be sure to let your prospective landlord know that you maintain an active flea-control program for your pet and home. Provide written proof that your pet is spayed or neutered and is, therefore, healthier, calmer, and less likely to be a nuisance. Make it clear to the landlord, manager, or condominium board that you keep your cat inside and your dog under control at all times and that you understand the health and safety benefits of doing so. Recognize that it may be futile to try to sell yourself and your pet to a large rental community with a no-pets policy. You're more likely to be successful if you focus on places that allow most pets, allow certain pets (for example, cats or dogs weighing less than 20 pounds), or that don't say, "Sorry, no pets." Individual home and condominium owners may be easiest to persuade. Ideally, look for a community with appropriate pet-keeping guidelines that specify resident obligations. That's the kind of place that's ideal for pet owners because you'll know that other pet caregivers there also are committed to being responsible residents.
7. BE HONEST – From the start honesty is always the best policy. Negating information on your pet from the time you apply, through to moving in, only to bypass any landlord concerns will only contribute to the general inclination of landlords not to allow pets. Don't try to sneak your pet in. Keeping an animal in violation of a no-pets rule contributes to the general inclination of landlords not to allow pets. You also may be subject to possible eviction or other legal action. Chances are, the other tenants know about the no pets policy and will only be too happy to tell. You’ll be breaking a contract and will likely have only a short time to find it another home or move out.
8. ENCOUNTERING NO PETS POLICIES - No Pets means it. If an apartment community has a no-pets policy, there's a reason for it. Why bother arguing? Concentrate on places that welcome pets. If you are having no luck with finding pet friendly places you could also try other options for convincing landlords you, as a pet owner, are a better choice as a tenant and offer solutions to combat their concerns about renting to pet owners. If you encounter a no-pets policy, ask if it is the result of a negative experience with a previous resident. Addressing your landlord's prior experience may show you how to present your own request most effectively. Don’t just call up and say “I have two big German shepherds and I’d like to rent your apartment.” The landlord who doesn’t normally accept pets will say, “Sorry and goodbye.” Instead, say “I have two loving family dogs who mean the world to me. I am prepared to provide you with an additional pet fee of $500 (or whatever you agree to) to offset any damages, inconvenience or additional costs they might cause you. I will agree in writing that if they are a nuisance to other tenants or neighbors, I will give you 30 days notice (again, what’s reasonable to you and the landlord) and will vacate the property, and will pay for additional advertising and application costs you may incur in re-renting the apartment. (Even offer to find a replacement tenant.) Prior to signing the lease, I will provide you with copies of their certificates of training, recommendations by their trainer as well as a recommendation by their veterinarian of however many years.” Point out that because it's so difficult to find a place that accepts pets, you're more likely to be a stable, long term renter. You may even want to consider offering a promise that your dog(s) attend day care or hire a pet care provider to stop by a few times a week which will seriously cut down on any behavior problems you are likely to have. An active dog is very often a happy dog. Let the landlord, manager, or condominium board know that you share any concerns about cleanliness. Point out that your pet is housetrained or litter-box trained. Emphasize that you always clean up after your dog outdoors and that you always properly dispose of your pet's waste. Make your request to the individual or group with the ultimate authority to grant your request. Usually this will be the owner of the house or apartment. The owner may, however, delegate the decision to a property manager or resident manager. Check to see if, in addition to obtaining the landlord's approval, you must also submit a written request to the building's board of directors (or association, in the case of a condominium community).
9. PUT YOURSELF IN THE LANDLORD’S SHOES - Understand why many housing communities reject pets. Put yourself in the shoes of a landlord, housing manager, property owner, or condominium association board member for a moment: They may have had bad experiences with irresponsible pet owners who didn't safely confine their animals or pick up their feces, sneaked pets in, or left ruined carpets and drapes when they moved out. They may be worried about complaints from neighbors about barking dogs and wonder how they are going to deal effectively with pet owners if problems arise. All these concerns are legitimate. You may want to learn more about the housing laws with regards to pets and why a landlord may be hesistant to rent to pets.
10. GET IT IN WRITING - Once you have been given permission by a landlord, manager, or condominium committee to have a pet, be sure to get it in writing. Sign a pet addendum to your rental agreement. Comprehensive agreements protect people, property, and the pets themselves. If your lease has a no-pets clause, verbal approval won't be enough. The no-pets clause should be removed from the lease (or crossed out and initialed) before you sign it. Be sure it has been removed from or crossed out on your landlord's copy, too. Sign a pet addendum to your rental agreement. Note any pet security deposit, which may or may not be refundable. Request a copy of any house rules pertaining to pets. And after all this – abide by the terms of your contract.

During the past few years, I personally went out and surveyed pet owners, rental agencies that specialized in pet friendly rentals locally in San Diego, landlords that may or may not accept pets, and professionals such as Animal Behaviorists, Animal Communicators, Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, Pet Sitters, Dog Walkers, Pet Boarders, Dog Trainers and other professionals in the field of services to animals. I had received a great deal of additional tips and suggestions that would shed some light on all sides of the stories in hopes to better inform pet owners looking for rentals. Here are some additional tips by the professionals in the business of pet care or in the business of renting to pet owners that you may find some information about.

Landlords and professionals often had the same answers. First and foremost, landlords and pet professionals all agree with the tips given by animal welfare agencies and rental agencies listed above 100%. Planning ahead, being honest, portfolios, resumes, meet and greets, etc are things landlords look for with prospective tenants and are things that are in the best interest of the pets. Take those tips seriously, your landlords certainly do. Additionally when preparing to find new house they all made the following suggestions:
Ø Make sure you find somewhere that has adequate space for your pets. Don't put a big dog in a small unit with no yard. Know what type of rental to look for and consider your pets needs on this. Show you have done your research on this to prospective landlords.
Ø Adequately train your pets long before moving. Take the time to positively reinforce crating behaviors. Many animals, including dogs, cats and birds should be crated when traveling long distances, whether by car or airplane. The less stress created by traveling, the more likely the animal will be calmer upon arrival. Also, when arriving in a new area, the crate can act as a 'den' - a calm, safe place where they don't have to worry about the new environment. Teach your pet how to be confined in a crate, ride in a car, walk on a leash, eat and drink in strange places. Expose your pet to new positive environments and noises to help reinforce this training. Landlords need to know that the pet owners know what kind of schedule their pets are going to have. Dog especially get bored and aggressive if they are not given enough attention. This could lead to the dog causing damage to an apartment.
Ø Don't take in animals unless you are in your forever home. Take into account your animal companion. If the new place doesn't allow animals, keep looking. Do not give up on your pet, make sure they stay part of your family. Moving is not an excuse to abandon or re-home your pets.
Ø Do your homework! If moving to a new apartment research the pet rules on the property. Make sure people in the neighborhood are going to be comfortable and accepting of the types of pets you have.
Landlords also strongly suggested:
Ø Don't be overly picky. Every pet owner thinks their pet is the best pet in the world. Believe me, we have heard that before over and over again. Get used to lowering standards if they are too high for what is available in the marketplace.
Ø Don't get discouraged, if you are a good person you will find a good home.
Ø Pet owners need to check community regulations and city laws regarding housing of pets. Some cities or states only allow specific species or may have quantity restrictions or may require you to possess a permit to own specific pets. Educate yourself on what the laws are pertaining to pet ownership in rentals, how the courts rule on issues pertaining to pet owning tenants and landlords and what restrictions are placed on landlords in order to rent to pet owners.
Pet professionals also added:
Ø Often overlapping rental periods even by a couple of weeks will aid in preparing for a move and will ultimately give your pets time to grieve the loss of losing a home, If you are unable to do this, please consider planning to find a temporary place where your pets can be boarded or fostered while you are in transition from being homeless to finding a pet friendly rental.
Ø Create or save funds, a budget or at least a savings account months in advance specifically for moving expenses. In San Diego this could mean anywhere from $2000-$7500 depending on how much your rental move in costs are. Assume three times the rent just to move in without pets. Then tack on a month worth for pet deposits and first and last pet rent. Then tack on the costs associated with moving such as loss in income, movers, moving trucks, packing help, moving supplies and so forth.
Ø Opt for lease rentals as opposed to month to month. Leases will allow a guaranteed amount of time to rent and it can be renewed. Month to month means that a landlord can opt to give 30 days notice to vacate anytime. This means a shorter move out notice. Pet owners need more time to move out, to find housing and to be prepared for a move. Plan on 3-6 months before the move out date to start planning. Leases will at least give you that time, where as landlords may or may not give that kind of notice on a month to month agreement. You can also request in writing that should a landlord want you out that you need a certain amount of time to find equivalent housing because you have pets.
Ø Keep options open. Once you find a place don’t rely that it will pan out. Have back ups by continuously looking. This may be even the best policy even once you have moved into your new place. Just keep looking, just in case.
Ø Look for a pet friendly area or where nearby dog parks in your search, often times pet friendly landlords exist in communities that are pet friendly. Find the pet friendly communities and you would be more likely to find pet friendly landlords!
Ø If the Dog is a CGC (AKC Certified Canine Good Citizen), they may be allowed in places they wouldn't normally be allowed.

When you have found that pet friendly place landlords and pet professionals strongly suggested to also:
Ø Make sure to ask the landlords the following things about the property that would benefit your pets such as pet rules and regulations, appropriate heating and lighting for habitat creatures, making sure there are no areas where pets can escape, if the property can be pet proofed or child proofed, making sure the property has adequately screened windows, adequately securing door, what the restrictions are on walking in common areas with pets, what flooring the rental has, what outdoor areas there are, where the nearby parks are, check for safety hazards, ask what types of pets the neighbors have and if there were any problems with them, where the appropriate places to relieve the pets, and how much wear and tear is normal to the landlord.
Ø Make a list of resources for your landlord. Owners moving should maybe get information on good local vets and vaccination centers. Provide a list of contacts for your pet care providers to include but not limited to your dog groomers, dog trainers, your pet’s communicator, therapist or behaviorist, dog walker, pet sitter, pet boarding, and emergency contacts of where your pets should go should something happen to you.
Ø Make sure you and your landlord are 100% clear on what they lay of the law is with regards to the pet policy. Landlords need to play their part by being absolutely clear as to their policy on pets right from the beginning. After the move in is not the time to lay down the law. Pet owners should always ask their landlord to sign a document stating that he or she has approved of the pet(s).
Ø Most landlords require all pets to be spayed and neutered. If for some reason you cannot do this, you should provide a verifiable reason as to why the pets are not neutered. If altering the pet is hazardous to their health, make sure to include references from past landlords that there were no issues pertaining to the not spaying and neutering the pet and a letter by your veterinarian verifying the medical complication. The same can be done for any other reason that is verifiable such as a letter from a breed organization stating that the animal served towards the efforts of the breed organization, was a show dog, or something to that effect. If the reason is religious, may a letter from your religious leader may be a good verifiable reference.

Information compiled from HSUS, Rentnet, Pet Friendly Rentals San Diego and private survey questions asked of by Pet Professionals, Rental Agencies, Real Estate Agents and Property Owners with Rental Income Property

Are there really landlords out there that will accept pets or is this a myth?
Surprisingly, among the landlords asked about renting to pet owners many of them said they liked most pets and their owners. Many themselves are pet owners and can sympathize with the responsibilities of pet ownership and respect those that are responsible pet owners. Many landlords stated that they conduct their renting process on a case by case but have to take into a lot of factors ranging from how responsible the tenant will be with their property, to the added costs of maintenance, repairs and legal responsibilities of the properties through to maintaining peaceful and habitable environments for all their tenants. Of those landlords 66% of them said they would give an above passing grade on how responsible they thought past pet owning tenants were. Only 26% thought that their past tenants were decent (not the best) in terms of how responsible they were. It is clear that landlords are hesistant to rent to tenants without knowing for sure they will be responsible with their properties. Likewise the amount of trust landlords reported on with regards to tenants with no pets was much higher because there was much less damage, maintenance and repairs to worry about. However on the plus, landlords will accept most pets with certain restrictions. 46% of the landlords said they do rent to pet owners, and the remainder said that they would but that it varies on types of pets. Dogs under 25lbs are 57% likely to be accepted, where as dogs over 25lbs are 44% likely, puppies are 39% likely, and all breeds are 31% likely.

Why is it so difficult to rent pet friendly in San Diego County when San Diego County is a large pet owning county? Why are rents so high?
San Diego County has the lowest vacancy rating in years, less than 2%. That means 98% of available rental units are occupied. That means the demand (renters) is high and the supply (properties) are at an all time low. Landlords are also hesistant based on previous experience and lack of responsible pet owners out there to rent to pets. In addition the employment rate is high right now so many people have decided to move here. However, developers report they cannot get affordable insurance to build new homes and apartments so new ones are not being built which adds to our "housing crisis" Many pet rental agencies also commented that cats eliminate 75% of available properties and dogs eliminate 90-95%.

What are some limitations that landlords may have about renting to certain pets or pet owners in general.
Some limitations landlords that pet owner should be aware of and make sure to ask about should they have a particular pet or issue with a pet are listed as follows. Certain pet limitations may include:
Large birds, Dogs of any breed, size, or age restriction, Exotic pets, Livestock, Fowl, Aquariums Pets, Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects, Arachnids, Multiple pet households (i.e. only allows 1-2 cats, 1-2 dogs, etc), Non spayed or non neutered pets

What are some factors landlords consider before renting to a prospective tenant with regards to their properties? What are some of the concerns landlords have about renting to pet owners?
Some factors include:
How responsible the pet owner is as a tenant in lieu of what precautions they take to be accountable for themselves, How responsible the pet owner is as a pet owner in lieu of what precautions they take to be accountable for their pets, How responsible the pet is as a tenant in lieu of behavior, training, flea control, grooming and pet care needs, The condition and amenities the tenant makes on a first impression on how well groomed they or their pets are and how well maintained their vehicle is. , The condition and amenities of the rental, Rental market at the time, the more renters the less likely the pet owners would be considered, The match between the property and pet. Is the pet appropriate for the property size and amenities?, How receptive of pets the neighbor tenants might be, Honesty of the tenants, Pet age and maturity, New amenities such as carpets and flooring may make landlords hesistant, No yard, No references mentioning how well properties were maintained, Amount landscaping may turn pet owners away at the door, Blacklisted breed issues, Credit-worthiness, Ability to pay, How long tenants have lived in properties before them, Condition of former house – surprise visits, Providing pet care records, If the owner hires professional help to exercise or care for the pets indicates they can afford the rental, Temperament / aggression issues, Noise and disturbing other tenants, Liability, Damages, Getting sued by other tenants, Getting sued by the tenant because of the pet, Flea Infestations, Damage to other residents, Advice by the AOA or property management magazines

What conditions or contractual amendments would ease some of the landlord concerns about renting to pet owners?
Some things tenants should be prepared to cover are providing insurances, deposits, additional pet rents, information on their pets as well as themselves, signing contracts and agreements, credit checks, proof of income, references, pet care licenses and other documents or information as required by a landlord.

What does “no pets” really mean? I have heard landlords say this in the ads, but will accept other pets besides dogs and cats? Why is this?
“No pets” almost always means just that – no pets allowed. However some landlords may only refer to non-service animals, dogs or cats. Some landlords may not know the laws pertaining to service animals or may be referring to the most popular affiliations when someone says “pets”.

If a landlord says no pets and means all kinds of domestic pets, why is it this? Most caged and tank pets are the quietest, cleanest and low maintenance pets in the world, why are they discriminated against?
Believe it or not, pets can cause damage in a variety of ways. Just because you have a caged or tanked pet doesn’t mean it won’t cause less damage than a cat or dog. Landlords have reported that some birds will eat sheetrock, tenants have drilled damaging holes into their walls and ceiling to create places for their bird to sit and nest, birds can fly loose tearing up window treatments, knocking over household furnishings that may damage part of the structure, or poop on floors that cause stains and odors. Also some birds, such as parrots, can be a noise disturbance issues. Dogs and cats also can damage floors, window treatments and pose injury that the landlord could get sued for. Even some caged pets, reptiles and amphibians like hamsters, mice, rats, snakes and lizards and so forth may escape, breed with other pests and cause a pest control problem, get into walls, injury or bite another tenant or attract unwanted wild animals to the property. Aquariums can leak or break and cost hundreds of dollars in damage to the house, as well as the excess moisture can cause mold. Landlords read articles about water damage from tanks, which then leads to mold and other damage and then they think they will get sued. There could also be the worry of allergies amongst a tenant community. There are many reasons why no pets means no pets.

Does the “no pets” rule include service animals? If so why?
By California state law, it does not. The law protects the disabled or anyone who has a licensed service animal for human use to be discriminated against by any landlord. Although some landlords may charge deposits that are extra for having a pet owner rent that has service animals.

Why can't I find a place that will take my Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Doberman Pincher, German Shepard, Chow Chow, Akita, Husky?
There are a number of reasons. These breeds may be on an insurance policy blacklist that the property owner maintains. Although this is generally denied in the insurance industry it is thought that is part of the reason. In order to avoid a blacklisted policy, the property may opt to purchase more expensive insurance which eventually trickles down to the renter in higher rents. If you own this breed, expect to offer to compensate for the extra cost in that insurance somehow in addition to supplying the other two types of insurance. Another reason is that people prejudge certain species based on previous experiences or advice given by their peers. In fact 78% of the landlords surveyed said that breed restrictions due to blacklisted breeds such as pit bulls, Dobermans, German Shepards, Rottweilers, or any other blacklisted large/aggressive breeds are not going to be covered by a majority of the available liability insurances on properties and therefore would not accept it.

What is the deal with pet deposits? What are they for? Are they really necessary? Why do landlords want them?
Any pet owner looking for a rental n San Diego should offer to pay a pet deposit. Pet deposits are like move in deposits in that they are monies set aside to offset repairs, unpaid rents, damages or any other cost associated with any tenant that moves out and requires compensation for losses to the landlord. Most landlords are reasonable about how deposit to require on pets which can be as much as equivalent to first month rent. Deposits are calculated based the amenities of the property, what potential damages or fines could occur on behalf of a pet and so forth. Expect high deposits on properties with carpet or other flooring that is expensive to replace or clean, multiple tenants living in the same community, high landscaping maintenance, larger yards, properties with antique furnishing, what pets will stay there, what pets are more likely to cause the most damage and so forth. Most landlords agree that a deposit ranging from $300-$1000 would cover most damage that would be required of them to get the rental ready for the next tenant. Provided that the tenant was responsible for the property, most all landlords reported to have refunded deposits entirely minus any expenses related pet repairs. If the tenant damaged the property because of their pets to the point that all the deposit was used to finance the repairs or if there was unpaid rents, then tenants should not expect to see a refund of their deposit.

What is the deal with additional pet rents? What are they for? Are they really necessary? Why do landlords want them? How often do these deposits get returned when a tenant moves out and with interest?
Assigning an additional monthly rent for having pets in the house may be required by a landlord for a number of reasons. Most of the time it is negotiable, a very small amount per pet or a larger amount for multiple pets. Pet rent could also be assigned as an additional percentage of the rent amount. These rents typically compensate the landlord for general maintanence and added property insurance on behalf of the pet staying there such as yard maintenance, liability insurance coverage, carpet cleaning and so forth. Pet rent is considered a separate amount aside from a pet deposit and should be used for added maintenance or property costs associated with pet tenants. Rent typically are not designed for compensation of damages or fines after a tenant moves and are more so designed as an added compensation tool for monthly expenses relating to property maintenance, cost and living conditions that require it. For the most part any animal that could soil floors regularly, stain yards or destroy landscaping with normal wear and tear or by nature increase liability insurance would encourage a landlord to increase rent to include a pet rent amount.

What are the two other types of insurance should I possess as a renter with pets?
Renter’s Liability Insurance and Pet Liability Insurance.

Would a landlord consider renting to a pet owner if they provided you with specific documents and references on behalf of their pets such as a training certificate, vet/vaccination records, prior landlord references?
Most landlords would consider renting to a pet owner for the most part if this was provided. There are some landlords who are adamant about their no pets policies, so make the offer and ask.

Would landlords consider renting to a pet owner if they signed an agreement stating they had to find alternate care to their pets while they were gone or other method of behavior control/prevention if the pets exhibited nuisance issues for other tenants?
Most landlords would consider renting to a pet owner for the most part if this was provided. There are some landlords who are adamant about their no pets policies, so make the offer and ask.

Where do I find Liability Insurance coverage for my pets or Renters Insurance?
Your landlord's insurance policy will not cover your losses due to theft or damage. Renters' insurance also covers you if you're sued by someone who claims to have been injured in your rental due to your carelessness. Renters' insurance typically costs $350 a year for a $50,000 policy that covers loss due to theft or damage caused by other people or natural disasters; if you don't need that much coverage, there are cheaper policies. Talk to your auto or rental insurance agent, they may have a policy. Research the Internet for policy makers.

When I go to a rental listing agent where would they get their listings from?
Usually straight from private owners, property managers and real estate agents of properties who prefer to utilize the service instead of or in addition to other methods of advertising. Many rental listing agents will actively seek out pet friendly landlords, complexes and agencies and will often receive leads before any other advertisement method is used. Sometimes landlords prefer to only use a service as they know the benefits of responsible tenants found through the site. Listings sites will also update the information on a weekly basis to maximize the available pet friendly rentals in an area.

Where can I learn my tenants right with regards to renting from landlords in San Diego?
The California Tenants Right Web Site-http://www.dca.ca.gov/legal/landlordbook/index.html
The Tenants Legal Center of San Diego 5252 Balboa Ave, Suite 408, San Diego, CA 92117, 858-571-7100, Attorney Mr. Steve Kellman, http://www.tenantslegalcenter.com/

How can I better understand what landlords face when deciding on whether or not to rent to a pet owner so that I can help to prove how responsible I am as a pet owner and ease some of their past concerns? What horror stories of renting to past pet owners might they have that I can learn from?
Landlords have reported a variety of reasons to not rent to pet owners almost all in part based on past experience. Costs associated with damage to a property, maintenance of yards, replacement of structural features, removing odors and stains, removal of an escaped animal in walls that may have passed away, chewed or other damaged property, fined paid due to noise ordinance issues, repairs to flooring, windows, window treatments and damages are the main reasons why landlords are hesistant to rent again to a pet owner. Providing proof how well you maintain a landlords property and addressing some of those concerns, including what you plan to do about those issues should they arise, may help make your case much better to a landlord. Often times it’s more about how a tenant will affect the cost of protecting the landlords assets than personal issues against pets.

Century 21 San Diego 55+ Senior Communities - http://55seniorcommunitysandiego.com
Fallbrook Homes for Sale and Real Estate Info, Susah Marsh - http://www.susanmarshrealtor.com
North County Times (free) – http://homes.nctimes.com/RealEstate/Rentals/SearchIndex.asp
Pet Friendly Apartment Directory (free) - http://www.peoplewithpets.com
PET FRIENDLY APARTMENT RENTALS (fee) - http://www.petrent.net
Pet Friendly Travel Directory - http://www.petvr.com
San Diego Downtown Real Estate, Condos - http://sandiego92101condos.com
San Diego RealEstateAuthority.com - http://www.sandiegorealestateauthority.com
Pet Friendly Apartment Search (fee)- http://petfriendlyrentalssandiego.com
San Diego Union Tribune online (free) - http://www.signonsandiego.com
Team Aguilar San Diego Real Estate - http://www.teamaguilar.com/
Westside Rentals (fee)- http://www.westsiderentals.com

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Is National Pet First-Aid Awareness Month

What if your pet was facing a health emergency, and his or her life depended on your quick decisions? Would you know what to do? Pet first-aid may be required for many unexpected injuries and conditions, including puncture wounds, poisoning, choking, heat stroke, breathing difficulties, electrical shock, and car accidents. Advance planning can make the difference between life and death for your pet. Here are some tips and resources that will help you provide better first aid for your pets.

Five Tips to Help Celebrate National Pet First Aid Awareness Month by RedCross

1. Know the signs of an emergency. Unusual whinning or crying, bleeding, irregular or difficulty breathing are among the things that should be checked out.

2. Learn how to treat common pet injuries. Contact your local Red Cross chapter or visit them online at www.redcross.org/services/hss/courses/pets.html

3. Assemble a pet first aid kit, and be sure it includes a manual, Find outt what to include by going to hsus.org- enter ‘first aid’ in the search box

4. Post a list of contact numbers near your phone: your vet, an emergency 24-hr vet clinic (including driving directions) and a poison control center; a visit to aspca.org/apcc now will pay dividends later.

5. Take steps to prevent emergencies from happening. For example, keep your pet indoors, in a fenced yard, or on a leash. Pet-proof your home and make sure medications and cleaners are out of reach and electrical cords are taped down. Keep your pet’s vaccinations current. Include pets in your fire
escape plans. Take your pet to the vet regularly, and in between visits, check them for health changes

PetSaver First Aid Class program - http://www.pettech.net/petsaver.html
PetSaver First Aid Training - http://www.pettech.net/schedule.html
OptiWell First Aid Classes - http://optiwell.nichirenscoffeehouse.net/pet-first-aid.com.html
American Red Croos First Aid Training Clasases - http://www.sdarc.org/TakeAClass/IndividualTraining/PetFirstAid/tabid/145/Default.aspx

Pet ID, Micro-Chipping an Tattooing info, tips and resources

April 18-24 is National Pet ID Week. To help you guys out since I have noticed a lot of people asking what they can do to ID their pets and noticed lots of lost pets posted each week, I found some great information for you. There are also local resources below where you can go to get micro-chipping, tattooing or other ID assistance.

Courtesy of Peteducation.com: Millions of companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of these, only two percent of cats and 15-20% of dogs are reunited with their owners. For this reason, the American Humane Association (AHA) has designated Saturday, April 5, 2003 as Tag Day. Responsible pet owners need to use one or more of the following pet identification methods to ensure the safe return of their pets should they become lost:

Collars and tags are a reliable way to identify your pet should they become lost. Make sure your dog or cat always wears a collar with a current identification tag. Pet supply catalogs and stores, veterinary offices, and animal shelters often have forms to order ID tags. The tag should include:
· Pet's name
· Owner's name and address
· Telephone numbers (day and evening)
· Medical problem requiring medication
· Veterinarian's name and number
· Current Rabies vaccination information
· Reward offer should pet become lost

Steps to take to ensure identification tags are functional:

1. A collar worn for purposes of identification should remain on the dog or cat as long as he is in a situation where he could become lost. Ferrets should wear identification if they are taken outside for any reason.
2. Do not use a chain choke collar as the identification collar. A broad buckle collar is best. The collar bearing the identification should be fastened snugly enough that it does not slip off over the dog's head when it is grasped by a person. Safety collars or harnesses are often used on cats; harnesses should be used for ferrets.
3. Common tags worn on the collar include:
a. Rabies tag
b. Dog or Cat license
c. Individualized identification tag
4. Check your pet's tags regularly. They can become lost, or they can become unreadable with wear.

In addition to identification tags, you can use an indelible pen to write a phone number on the collar itself. You can order broad buckle nylon collars with your phone number stitched into the collar. Put a temporary tag on your pet when you move residences that includes a relative's or friend's telephone number. Many animals are lost when owners move. Use masking tape over the current tag or consider purchasing an instant tag, available at most pet supply stores.

There are several national tag registries that can be contacted if you lose or find a pet. They include:
· 911-Pets Lost Pet Service Chicago: (312) 890-4911
· Petfinders New York: (800) 666-LOST or (800) 666-5678
· Pet Find Inc., Oregon: (800) AID-A-PET

Micro-chipping involves implanting a tiny capsule under the pet's skin, in mammals, usually between the shoulder blades. Microchips can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, and other companion pets. The tiny chip is about the size of a grain of rice. The owner then sends the information to a registering agency along with current contact and alternate contact information in the event the pet becomes lost. When a pet is found, any agency with a scanner, including many animal care and control agencies, veterinary clinics, and research labs, can quickly identify a code that links the animal to its owner through a national database. Microchip manufacturers and registries include:
· AVID chips in California: (714) 371-7505; nationwide (800) 336-AVID or (800) 434-2843.
· Destron Fearing: Destron chips are marketed by Schering-Plough Animal Health and the database is maintained by the American Kennel Club: (800) 252-7894.
· IdentIchip in Scottsdale, AZ: (800) 926-1313 (uses AVID and Destron chips). (National and International Registries provide programs for breeders, shelters, and vets.)
· InfoPet in Pennsylvania: (612) 890-2080 or (800) 463-6738 (uses Trovan chips) and is endorsed by American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
· Home Again, microchip registry in conjunction with the AKC (for both purebred and mixed breed dogs): (800) 252-7894 or info@akc.org

Tattooing is a permanent ID system that involves marking a code on the skin of the pet. A tattoo is placed in the pet's ear, abdomen, or on the inside of the pet's thigh. The finder of the lost pet calls a national database that uses the code to obtain the owner's current address and phone number. Each registry has its own coding system. This is an invaluable form of identification should a pet be stolen for research, since laboratories will instantly know the animal is not abandoned but a beloved pet.

To look for a tattoo on the abdomen or thigh, lay the dog on her side. One person may stroke and calm the dog while the other gently lifts the dog's hind leg to examine the belly and thigh. Sometimes, the tattoo may be difficult to read, and it is often necessary to clip away the hair. If you have difficulty reading a tattoo, contact your veterinarian. There are several national organizations that register tattoos: (they generally also register microchips)
· National Dog Registry (NDR) New York: (800) 637-3647 / (800) NDR-DOGS. Usually, people register their social security number with the NDR. However, they will register any number.
· Tattoo-A-Pet is a National Registry: (800) 828-8667
· U.S. Found Maryland: (410) 557-7332
· The American Kennel Club (AKC) will help locate the owner if the dog is tattooed with the AKC number: (800) 252-7894. An AKC tattoo normally has two letters, then 6 digits and a two digit trailer, e.g., HM 010101-01 or HM 010101/01 or HM 01010101.
· ID Pet: (800) 243-9147 or (203) 327-3157. ID pet numbers normally begin with an "X"
· National Greyhound Association (NGA) is the registry for racing greyhounds: (913) 263-4660. Racing greyhounds are always identified by tattoos in both ears. The right ear tattoo is a two or three digit number followed by a letter. The month of birth is indicated by the first one or two digits, the year of birth within the decade by the last digit. The letter is the individual identification within the litter. The left ear tattoo is a five digit number which is the hound's litter number. For example, the right ear may read 123E, and the left ear may read 45678.
· Canadian Kennel Club (CKC): (416) 675-5511. Dogs bred in Canada and registered with the Canadian Kennel Club are generally tattooed in one ear or the flank. The tattoo is made up of three parts. First is a three character letter-number sequence which is the identification code of the breeder. This is followed by a number which is generated sequentially and refers to the number of dogs the breeder has registered that year, this is followed by a letter representing the year the dog was born. These letters are determined by CKC and some letters are not used. The most significant part is the initial, three character letter-number sequence. This identifies the breeder. An example of a CKC number: 7MR 1 C.

Other recommendations
· All cats and dogs need to wear collars with city or county licenses where required by law, and up-to-date rabies vaccination tags. Personal ID tags are essential backups.
· Keep your cats indoors and tagged. Many stray cats that end up at shelters are indoor cats that have slipped past an open door or slipped out of an open window.
· Keep an up-to-date file with a written description of your pet that includes their size, markings, weight, and unusual features. Keep a current photo on file to use for posters or to take to the animal shelter should your pet become lost.

Identification and Micro-Chipping resources:
SNAP (Spay Neuter Action Project) - www.snap-sandiego.org
Governor Animal Clinic - www.governoranimalclinic.com
Rolling Hills Pet Hospital - www.otayvet.net
Grand Animal Hospital - www.grandanimalhospital.com
VCA Peninsula Animal Hospital - www.vcapeninsula.com
San Diego Humane Society and SPCA - www.sdhumane.org
SD County Micro-chipping Clinic - www.sdcounty.ca.gov/Portal/News/053008animalclinic.html
Local MicroChips - www.LocalMicrochips.com/
VCA Angel Animal Hospital - 3537 30th Street San Diego , CA 92104, 619-489-2403
Rancho San Carlos Pet Clinic, Inc. - 7850 Golfcrest Dr. San Diego, CA 92119, Make an Appointment: 619-713-7114
Banfield The Pet Hospital® - San Diego - 3396 Murphy Canyon Road San Diego, CA 92123 858-947-6225
Bonita Pet Hospital and South County emergency Clinic - 3438 Bonita Rd Chula Vista, CA 91910 619-489-6626
Banfield The Pet Hospital® - El Cajon 865 Jackman Street El Cajon, CA 92020 619-489-6626