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Moving pets into a new home

If you read my blog on a regular basis you might recall that we have our condo on the market. We’re trying to sell it so that we can buy a house upstate to be closer to family and friends. We’ve also seriously outgrown our condo. Not only do my teenagers need their own space, but also our pets. We have five cats, a dog and a tank with fish and snails.

My husband and I have been looking forward to moving into a house for many years, but we never put our place on the market. Now that it’s on the market it makes the thought of moving more “real”. We’ve already discussed what furniture and “stuff” we’ll try to sell or giveaway and what things we’ll move with us. Moving furniture and stuff is not much of a concern to me as long as we can afford to hire movers (the idea of carrying our sofa bed and massive coffee table down six flights of steps doesn’t sound like fun). What concerns me is moving with six pets and a fish tank and how well our pets will adjust to a new home, especially since this is the only home they know.

I worry about my eldest cat. He’s practically afraid of his own shadow, let alone a new environment. I think he’s the one that is going to have the most difficult time adjusting. Our youngest cat should handle it fine.

In the past I have worked with the Apartment Guide on pet related topics. I’m working with them once again to discuss moving into a new home with pets. Thankfully Apartment Guide offers site visitors great tips for helping pets adjust to a new home, as well as bringing a new pet into your apartment after you move.

My husband and I have already concluded that we need 4-5 cat carriers. It would be difficult to stuff more than one cat in a carrier. We do have a huge carrier that I might be able to put both my boys (male cats) in. I think that might help my oldest cat (a boy) feel a bit better traveling in the car if he has a companion. I have to pair my boys up because the girls fight with each other. How I’m going to stuff 4-5 cat carriers AND the dog AND a fish tank into my car I’ll never know.

If we are fortunate to move from here I plan on getting things set up in the new home before introducing my pet to it. I think if I have their pet beds, toys, cat tree/perch and litter box set up for them it might help them feel better. Ideally I would love to toss them out (except the cat tree) so that I don’t have to worry about moving them and so they can start fresh in a new home just like us. But they don’t understand stuff like that. They will NEED to have things they are familiar with so that they can understand that this is their home and this is where they are supposed to be.

Ideally I would like all our furniture moved in and have everything in place before introducing our pets to a new home too. Moving things around and having strangers come in and out (movers) would only make things more stressful for them. I think it would be better off for them to be able to move into a new home with little to no distractions or disruptions.

Apartment Guide has some great articles on their site to help families move their pets into a new home, whether it’s across town or across the country. Two fo my favorite articles are;

How to Keep Your Pets Comfortable During a Move

What to Do Before and After You Bring Your New Pet Home

If you are like my family and you are ready for a whole new space, Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you search for the perfect pet-friendly apartment community. Knowing what apartment complexes allow pets will help make your search for a new place much easier.

Once you know where you are going to move to be sure to check back with Apartment Guide for more tips on moving to and exploring a new neighborhood with your pet. Apartment Guide will help point you in the right direction.

Now that I have a “game plan” as far as what I am going to do with my pets when we are finally able to move it will alleviate one area of stress. Just trying to sell a home in this economy is stressful enough, let alone having to worry about moving everyone.

If you are planning on moving don’t forget to check out the articles at Apartment Guide. They have plenty of great non-pet related moving tips, ideas and suggestions too.

Don’t forget to “Like” Apartment Guide on Facebook. You can also find them on Twitter (@AptGuide) as well as Google+. They are even on  Pinterest.

Do you have any moving tips you would like to share with me? Feel free to leave me a comment. I always enjoy hearing from my readers. 🙂

Kimberly

*Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partner with bloggers such as me to participate in blogger programs.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any products and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Easter is NOT for Bunnies!

My family supports our local animal shelter as often as we can. We’ve adopted several animals from the shelter over the years (five out of six of our cats, a dog and even a hamster). Whenever possible we donate food, blankets, cleaning supplies and money. We make a point of visiting the shelter often (usually 1-2 times a month) just to talk with the animals, pet them and to shower them with the love and attention that they deserve. We do all of this because we want the animals to know that someone DOES love and care about them.

Our shelter is currently gearing up for “Kitten Month” (May) when there will be a massive onslaught of kittens. The “Cat House” (where the cats are housed at the shelter) is already at maximum capacity.

Do you know what type of animal shelters across the country see A LOT of in April and May, aside from kittens? You guessed it – Bunnies!

The reason why animals shelters across the country see a tremendous amount of rabbits brought into their care is because of Easter. Well meaning parents buy cute, fuzzy little bunnies for their children as Easter gifts without REALLY taking into consideration that bunnies are living, breathing creatures that require daily care and a long term commitment. A well cared for rabbit can live up to 15 years, about the same as a dog or cat.

If you are considering giving a child a bunny as an Easter gift, or know someone who is, PLEASE consider it carefully. If you really do want to commit to giving a bunny a loving, caring home then PLEASE ADOPT. There are bunnies waiting to be adopted at a shelter near you. Sadly there will be more available after the Easter holiday.

Did you know that there are “Bunny Mills” just like there are Puppy Mills? There are people out there who breed rabbits by the hundreds just in time for Easter. Many of these mills are not fit for any living creature. Most mills keep animals in small, unkempt cages, depriving them of proper nutrition, clean water and exercise. Often they are left to die when they become sick or too old to reproduce.

Some bunny mills ship out under aged bunnies before they are fully weaned. About 20% – 30% of these bunnies die on their way to the retailer and another 20% die before they are purchased. Almost 100% of the bunnies you see being offered for sale at Easter in pet shops are supplied by commercial operations that care more about profit than the health and well being of the animals.

Rabbits are the third most frequently surrendered animal at shelters, right after cats and dogs. Another sad statistic is that a staggering 95% of all bunnies purchased at Easter are dumped within their first year as pets and most of these adorable “Easter gifts” end up, if not homeless…DEAD! Rabbits are not easy to properly care for, contrary to what pet shops may tell impulse buyers. They are entirely unsuitable as companions for young children. It’s a sad fact that many of the rabbits purchased on a whim during Easter time die within months, victims of unintentional neglect and cruelty. Others are abandoned, forced to live in tiny outdoor hutches and subjected to extreme weather, dumped off at overburdened shelters, or abandoned outdoors, where they are unable to fend for themselves and starve or are killed by predators. Rabbits that are sold in stores are domesticated and there for not fit to survive out in the “wild”.

Each year, PETA receives scores of calls of concern about the use of live animals—mainly rabbits, but sometimes ducklings and chicks—as props in Easter photo sessions. Unsuspecting parents and kids might not realize it, but the animals used in these photo sessions are generally terrified and miserable.

Rabbits are sensitive animals who are easily stressed by unfamiliar surroundings. As “prey” animals, they often panic when handled; a frightened rabbit can bite and scratch, inflicting deep lacerations and puncture wounds. Rabbits are also delicately structured animals whose spines can snap just from being held improperly.

Using live rabbits in Easter promotions can sometimes encourage impressionable children to beg their parents to get rabbits as Easter gifts too.   

 

Instead of live animals, a great option for kids is stuffed toy animals. They’re more cost-effective for the studio, and unlike with live rabbits, homes don’t need to be found for them after the Easter season. Using stuffed toys also eliminates the need for businesses to acquire a federal exhibitor’s license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture—a requirement that PETA finds is mostly ignored by businesses that use rabbits for Easter photo shoots. Fortunately, several large companies—including Lifetouch, JCPenney, and Sears—have policies against the use of live animals as props.

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) association, the largest nonprofit association of its kind in the world, has taken a stand against the use of live rabbits for photo shoots. Instead, PPA recommends the “Make Mine Chocolate!” campaign, which offers studios a full range of support for using large chocolate Easter bunnies wrapped in colorful foil and publicizing the promotion. PPA notes that studios can garner additional publicity by holding a post-Easter drawing for the chocolate bunny.

If you are considering giving a rabbit as an Easter gift PLEASE think long and hard about the commitment to the living, breathing creature. If you honestly cannot give it many years of love and care then please consider other options (like a plush animal instead). If you do decide to give a bunny as a gift PLEASE visit your local animal shelter before you purchase from the pet store. Or you can visit www.PetFinder.org to find rabbits waiting for adoption at a shelter near you.


Kimberly

*I was not asked to post this information. I posted this because I love animals and because it breaks my heart to see so many animals in the animal shelters. Any opinions expressed are my own.



Budget friendly, DIY Pet Projects (#BudgetLiving)

 

I have partnered with Apartment Guide to serve as an Official Apartment Guide Pet Blogger. As an official blogger, I will be sharing articles filled with tips for living on a budget.

I was checking searching the Internet for instructions to make a window shelf for my cats when I happened upon a really cool idea to make a cat “condo” using some cardboard tubes purchased at the local hardware store.

I can tell you from experience that cat condos are expensive. I have looked into them for my own cats but they are way out of our budget. We have a small one now, but it’s a hand-me-down from another cat owner.

 

I really LOVE this idea! I’m going to have to try to make one when the weather is better and I can do the work on the balcony (I rather not do this inside). It can be made for under $40 too.

On the Lowe’s site it’s referred to has a “Kitty Corner Cat House”. For step-by-step instructions please visit http://www.lowescreativeideas.com/idea-library/projects/WAGI_Kitty_Corner_Cat_House_0211.aspx.

Here is a brief video that shows you how to make the Kitty Corner Cat House too.

Another thing I love about the above project is that it’s light weight and can be moved if needed.

I did continue to look for directions to make a window seat for my cats. One of the best ideas I stumble across was one that required little to no crafting skills to make. All you need is a large serving tray, a pillow or small blanket, shelf brakets and screws.

All you need to do is measure and mark where you can the brackets to go. Pre-drill the holes to make it easier. Attach the brackets to the tray and the others side to the wall. One attached place a pillow or small blanket in the tray to make it soft and comfy for your feline friend. You can even attach string and dangly toys from it for you pet to play with too. 

I found the instructions to make the shelf out of an old tray here, http://www.shelterness.com/amazing-diy-cat-window-perch. The photo is from the site too. The article was written by Kate.

I think this is a great project because it only requires a few very inexpensive supplies and you are recycling an old tray.

Both of these products are very budget-friendly and ideal for pet owners like me who live in a small space. We live in a tiny condo which is basically an apartment that we own.

For other great how-to tips for making the most of a space for you and your pet on a budget Apartment Guide blog, www.ApartmentGuide.com/Blog as well as www.MovingToday.com.  

You can also “like” Apartment Guide on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/ApartmentGuide as well as follow them on Twitter, www.Twitter.com/AptGuide for real-time tips and updates on making the most of your space and living on a budget.

Apartment Guide is also on Google+.

Apartment Guide offers visitors plenty of photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect pet-friendly apartment community.

Kimberly

* Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. have partnered with bloggers like me as Official Apartment Guide Bloggers. As part of this program, I have received compensation. They have not told me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Orijen Cat Food from Mr. Chewy

 

We have a problem with our youngest cat, Bella. She’s spoiled rotten! We refer to her as Princess Bella because she doesn’t like to eat from the same cat food dish as my four other cats. She needs to have her own dishes and her own food. That’s right – she won’t even eat the same food as them! She’s very picky and only seems to like the $$$ cat foods. 🙂

We keep a bowl of dry food out that all the cats nibble from throughout the day. We have to keep it on top of the litter box lid to keep our dog from eating it. Whenever one of the cats is hungry they just hop up on the lid and eat until they are full.

Every now and then we give them canned food. When we do that two have to share a big bowl, two have to share a two sided bowl and two get their own dishes.

We’ve been trying to encourage Bella to eat from the other cats dry food dish. The only thing I can think of is that she doesn’t like the food we serve them (Bella eats a dry food made especially for kittens). I had hoped that if we gave the other cats a different kind of food that Bella would finally start eating from that dish and we wouldn’t have to keep feeding her separately and her own food.

My cats received a bag of Orijen dry cat food from Mr. Chewy to review.

Orijen pet food is grain free and rich in protein. It also has limited carbohydrates. That is great news for chubby cats (my cats tend to be on the chubby side).

Orijen foods have more fresh meat than any other dry dog or cat food brands. What pet wouldn’t want more fresh meat?

Orijen foods include a diversity of  fresh meats including free range chicken and turkey, whole eggs, saltwater and freshwater fish, and free range red meats. It’s a nourishing diet the way nature intended. Orijen foods are not made highly processed “fake” ingredients.

I honestly cannot tell you how the food tastes, ha ha, but I can tell you that my cats love it – INCLUDING Princess Bella. We actually saw her on top of the litter box eating out of the “community” dry food dish. 🙂 And we didn’t have to encourage her or bribe her to do it either. In fact we caught her doing it a few times.

I was right! If we had the right kind of food Bella would be interested enough to eat from the big dish. She still wants her own food from time to time but at least she’s making an effort to eat the Orijen from the other dish.

The only downside to the Orijen food is that is has a strong scent, and it’s not the most pleasant scent either. My husband kept compliaing about the scent but I didn’t really smell it. I’ve been a bit stuff lately (Cold? Allergies?). It wasn’t until the other day that I did start to smell it when I entered the kitchen.

Yeah, the smell is not that nice but then again most cat foods smell, most especially canned few. Ewww! Canned cat food is the worst!

Mr. Chewy carries different varieties of Orijen dry pet foods including Adult Dry Dog Food, 6 Fish Cat Dry Food, Cat and Kitten Dry Food, Puppy Dry Food and several other varieties.

If you would like to check them out please visit www.MrChew.com/s/Orijen

The bags range in size from 5.5 pounds to 27.9 pounds and range in price from $17.99 to $86.99 (that is for the HUGE dog food bag).

Mr. Chewy also carries other varieties of dog and cat foods. They also offer FREE 1-2 day shipping with orders of $49+. Under $49+ shipping is a flat rate of $4.95. Trust me, when you are thinking about the larger bags it’s nice to have the luxury of having it delivered right to your door.

Mr.Chewy also carries treats, litter and potty pads and flea & tick products.

Check out all Mr. Chewy has to offer at www.MrChewy.com. You can also follow them on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/MrChewyPets.

Kimberly

*We received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own.

What’s in a Name?

Picking the perfect name for your child is a huge decision. Your child is going to be strapped to their name for the rest of their lives, unless of course they go for a formal name change.

When it comes to choosing the perfect name for your pet, do you put the same thought and consideration into it as you do naming a child?

I always wonder how people come up with their pet names. Some names just seem like the owner didn’t put much heart into the decision, where as other names leave you scratching your head as to how in the world they came up with it.

Years ago I met a man who had a dog named “Cat” and a cat named “Dog”. I thought that was the funniest thing ever!

We have a dog. His name is Espn. We pronounce it “Es-Pin”. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times people get his name wrong. Either they spell it out, E-S-P-N, or they call him Aspen. LOL!

We didn’t come up with the name easily. Espn was a hairy, rolly-polly black and white dog. He looked like a fuzzy Panda. That is why my son chose him over his other litter mates. Our dog was  the only white one and the only one with long hair.

From the moment we adopted Espn I wanted to call him Obi. We have five cats, two of which are named after Star Wars characters (yeah, I’m a geek!) – Anakin and Padmé (pronounced Pad-May). I wanted to name our new puppy Obi Wan (Obi for short), after another Star Wars character.

My husband, who has a very odd sense of humor, wanted to call him NFL (pronounced Neff-El). My husband is a huge football fan. He thought naming our dog after the NFL (National Football League) would be fun. “Neff-El” didn’t sound like a cute dog name.

My husband likes to watch a lot of sports on TV. One of his favorite channels is ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network). My husband thought it would be fun to name our dog after the sports channel. As odd as it sounds the name grew on me. Not at first. I have to admit that I had  my heart set on Obi, but after a while Espn seemed to suit him.

He doesn’t look like an Espn. He’s a Rat Terrier/Maltese mix. He looks like he should have a cute foo-foo name.

His “nickname” is Rat Dog (because he’s part Rat Terrier) or Hairy Rat Dog because he has so much hair when he’s not shaved. I sometimes call him Wubbee too. I don’t know why.

It’s fun to tell to see people attempt to say his name, like when we go to the groomer or the vet. His regular vet knows his name but the other vets don’t. I’d have to say most of the time they just spell it out, E-S-P-N. 🙂

Do you have pets? How did you pick out their name? Was it something in their personality or how they look? I would love to hear your pet’s names and how you came up with them.

Kimberly

*I am sharing this tale about my canine companion as a part of the “What’s in a Name?” Campaign hosted by dog bark collar. A dog’s love is unconditional. I will be compensated for my time. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tips for moving with pets (#BudgetLiving)

 

I have partnered with Apartment Guide to serve as an Official Apartment Guide Pet Blogger. As an official blogger, I will be sharing articles filled with tips for living on a budget.  

My family has been trying to find a house, or town home, to move into for many years. We have outgrown our tiny condo. Four people (two adults, two teens), five cats and a dog in a shoe box size condo (aka – an apartment we own, not rent) just doesn’t cut it anymore.

I cannot imagine having to move with our pets. I know our dog and at least two of our cats would be OK with moving to a new place (or at least I THINK they would be). Three of my cats, most especially our oldest one, Velcro, would probably die from fear. He’s afraid of his own shadow, let alone moving him to a new home.

When you are moving it’s important that you take your pets into consideration. Not all apartment complexes or communities are “pet friendly”, and if they are, they most likely have plenty of rules you’ll need to follow. Some places even have limits on the number of pets you own, including small critters.

Here are a few tips to consider when moving into a new place with pets.

–   Obtain a copy of your pet’s medical records. You will need this information for your pet’s new vet. Some apartment complexes might also require your pet’s medical records. Make sure you pet it up to date on all their vaccinations and your pet license if required.

–   Pack all of your pet’s belongings and supplies together and make sure to unpack them immediately when you get into your new home. It’s a good idea to set your pet up in their new home right away. Take the time to introduce your pet to where they will be sleeping, eating and if you have cats, where the litter box will be placed. The sooner you get your pet acclimated to their new home the better. Your pet will be curious so let them have some time to explore their new surroundings.

–   Your pet might experience a lot of anxiety with the new move. DO NOT SCOLD YOUR PET if they act out in any way such as have an accident in the home or chew up something that is not a toy or treat. If you reprimend your pet for doing something wrong it will only add to their anxiety. Instead you should be reassuring to your pet. Take some time to play with them and cuddle with them. Make them feel comfortable in their new home.

–   Make sure your pet has an ID. Being in a new home with new surroundings could be confusing for a pet. They might accidentally wander off and not be able to find their way back to their new home. This is why it’s vital that your pet have an up-to-date ID tag, including your new phone number and address. If your pet has a microchip embedded into them make sure you contact the service immediately and provide them with your current information at your new address.

It would also be beneficial to have a current photo of your pet, just in case they do get lost.

You should also jot down the number of the local pet shelters, area vets and animal control just in case your pet does wander off.

–   If you are moving far away, and your a traveling by car or truck with your pet, it’s a good idea to get to know some pet friendly hotels along your route. You can do a search for pet friendly hotels on the Internet or visit PetsWelcome.com. Make sure to know the hotel’s policy on pets up front or you might be in for a big surprise. Some places charge per pet, with a 1-2 pet minimum. There might also be weight restrictions. A hefty deposit might also be required, and some places do not refund the deposit.

It’s a good idea to call ahead and make reservations at places that are suitable to your needs. That way you are prepared to pay any extra fees involved.

I’m sure there plenty of more things you can do to make moving with your pet less stressful and more enjoyable. I would love to hear from my readers who have experienced moving with a pet (or pets). Feel free to comment and share your tips.

I found a few more articles I thought would be useful if you are moving with pets. Click on the article title to be taken to the full article.

Write your pet’s resume to help you rent an apartment

Renting with a pet – What to ask your apartment manager

How to help your pet adjust to a new home

What do you need to know when you rent an apartment with a pet?

How to de-pet your apartment

The Apartment Guide has more information and articles about moving and moving with pets. They also offer tips on how to make the most of your space, as well as having a pet on a budget.

For more articles you can check out www.ApartmentGuide.com/Blog and www.Movingtoday.com.

Also, if you’re ready for a whole new space or are looking to move, Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect pet-friendly apartment community.

For more tips on making the most of your space and budget, as well as other useful information, you can “like” the Apartment Guide on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ApartmentGuide) and follow them on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/AptGuide). They are even on Google+.

The Apartment Guide is also having a sweepstakes called the Apartment Guide’s Night In or Night Out Sweepstakes. You can enter for your chance to win your perfect evening.

To learn more visit the Apartment Guide Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/ApartmentGuide. There you can also submit your entry. 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes ends @ 9:00 PM ET on 2/14/12. Must be a US legal resident of the 50 US or DC and 18 years of age or older. Sweepstakes subject to full Official Rules available at www.Facebook.com/ApartmentGuide. Void where prohibited.

Kimberly

* Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. have partnered with bloggers like me as Official Apartment Guide Bloggers. As part of this program, I have received compensation. They have not told me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.