Moving with Your Guinea Pig
"We're moving and we can't find a landlord who will let us have pets" . . . Many landlords don't allow children either but you'd never give up one of your kids if you couldn't find the right apartment. Affordable rental homes that allow pets are out there if you work to find them. Many people give up too easily. And even if they say they don't accept pets, there are many things you can do to work it out.
There are three aspects about moving which cause some people to think they must rehome their pets.
The Move Itself
When moving across the state or across the country, some people think they cannot take their animals with them on the trip.
No Pets Allowed
Finding housing that accommodates pets can be a challenge. Luckily, with guinea pigs, it is possible to be much more creative. Most landlords are concerned with cats and dogs. If you only have guinea pigs, you stand a much greater chance of overcoming any concerns at all about pets. But, even if you have other pets, this page has links to a lot of great information.
The challenge of moving with pets when the new home is significantly smaller than the current home.
|The Move Itself|
How to Move Your Pet Safely by the Humane Society of the US (HSUS). This page includes links to other sites to help you find hotels and motels that accept animals. There is also a link to airline information.
Traveling with your Guinea Pig. It is important for them to be in a familiar environment for the travel, even better if they can stay in their own cage, but hopefully your cage may be too big for that.
When you stop for yourself, give the pig some food and water or a healthy snack.
Make sure the cage is secure in the vehicle. Belted in is a good idea. The traveling cage or carrier should be as bounce-proof as possible. Make sure there is no risk of your pig escaping over the top of the cage or carrier. The last thing you need is an escaped pig in the car or truck. Add towels for comfort.
Take the water bottle out or it will just drip. Provide watery veggies (cucumbers, lettuce, etc.) instead and water breaks. Keep hay in the carrier as well.
You can run the air conditioner to maintain a nice steady temperature. Just don't allow a direct blast on the guinea pigs. Also make sure they are shaded from any long periods of direct sunlight.
Keep stress to a minimum. Avoid typical high-anxiety style driving. Take it easy.
Do not put the pig in a canvas bag with a treat for a trip into a restaurant! They might eat through the bag. Some restaurants may let you bring them into the restaurant in a carrier, but try to either have them in the hotel or go through the drive through. Do not leave them in the car, especially a hot car. Guinea pigs are more susceptible to heat stroke than dogs, cats, and kids.
Many motels or hotels will allow a pet in a carrier or small cage. Do not leave your pet in the car overnight.
Practice with the carrier before the move--"carrier practice".
Purchase a carrier well in advance of the trip.
For several days, leave the carrier out and open with the guinea pig when he is out of his cage for exercise. Allow him to explore and go in and out at will.
Start putting some treats (veggies) in the carrier as well as some of their bedding, and close them in the carriers for short periods to get them used to being in them.
Graduate to short trips in the carriers to get them used to traveling.
By the time you make the trip, the guinea pigs will think nothing of being confined in the carriers.
|No Pets Allowed|
Renting with Pets (HSUS) The online resource for rental managers and pet owners. Includes: Finding housing, Responsible pet ownership, moving your pet, helping your pet settle, resources, Sample Pet Resume, Sample Reference Letter!
The Tenant's Guide to Keeping Your Pet & A Guide for Property Owners. (Just say Yes to Pets!) Surrendering your Pet, the Last Resort.
Be a responsible pet owner. Suggestions from the Rental Housing Online:
"Most landlords are reasonable people, and perhaps you just need to overcome their objections. Start by sharing the information that pets are good for business, since about a third of all tenants either have them, or will get them anyway. Landlords know that. Many tenants tell them that they do not have a pet, then after they move in, one will show up. Explaining that you will always be up front about everything will certainly get their attention and should allow you to make your case. Then sell yourself and your pet. The following suggestions, based on those offered by a pet owners group in British Columbia, Canada may offer some help.
|Show that you are a responsible pet owner by having proof of licensing, neutering, necessary vaccinations, obedience school or anything else that helps make your case.|
|Have references the from previous landlords that specifically mention your pet.|
|Offer to pay an additional pet deposit or small monthly charge.|
|Offer to have the landlord meet your pet.|
|Show a willingness to have the landlord visit your home so that they can be satisfied the property is well cared for.|
|Agree to sign a pet agreement that covers any damages caused by your pet.|
|When you go to meet a potential landlord for the first time, wash your car and dress as if you were going to a job interview. How well you take care of yourself and your property indicates how well you are likely to care for your pet."|
Pets Can be Valuable
"Pets are good for business, especially in single family rentals. According to The Humane Society of the United States, some 49.4 percent of U.S. renters have pets. Since half of all tenants are looking for landlords who accept pets, renting to pet owners may double the marketability of your vacancies. Tenants with pets tend to stay longer to avoid the hassle of finding another "pet-friendly" place."
Find out more here and here. Help your landlord 'see the light' on good business.
So You Want to Keep a Pet, but Your Lease has a NO PET Clause or "How tenants keep a pet when a lease says "No Pets."
So you're new home is significantly smaller than the old one? You no longer have room? It's usually a question of creative room arrangements and willingness to compromise. Cages for guinea pigs are amazingly versatile and can even be mounted on a wall as shelving!
See Guinea Pig Cages for creative ideas on housing for your guinea pig. If you really want to keep your guinea pigs, where there's a will there's a way to make it work. Feel free to contact us for individual, personalized suggestions.
|Links to Pets & Housing Information|
|Renting with Pets|
From the Humane Society of the US:
"Moving" and "landlord won't allow" are among the top reasons given by pet owners when relinquishing their dogs or cats to animal shelters. If more rental housing permitted pets, millions of dogs and cats could be placed in homes—and stay in their homes—when their caregivers move.
Those reasons are why The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) helps rental managers, property owners, and pet caregivers solve the challenges of keeping pets in rental properties. It's all part of our Pets for Life™ campaign, designed to keep pets with their families, where they belong, for life. In addition to helping people keep their pets when they move, we also help people solve other problems that threaten human-pet relationships, such as behavior issues and allergies to pets. For more information about the Pets for Life campaign, visit www.petsforlife.org.
If you're a pet owner committed to caring for your pet responsibly, there are several steps you can take to find pet-friendly rental housing. Go to Pet Owners Info to learn more about how to make your search successful and to view a list of pet-friendly rentals.