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Help Me Move My Pet

Summer Pet Travel: It's Not Too Early to Start Planning

Thursday, November 13, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Linda
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Beagle and a English Cocker Spaniel
From: London, UK
To: Scottsdale, Arizona

 

Dear PetRelocation,

We may be relocating around June or July in 2015. Will my dogs be able to fly to Arizona during those months?

Thanks,

Linda

 

Hi Linda,

Thanks for your question! Summer pet travel is definitely an important topic, and it's crucial to educate yourself about the conditions and caveats well in advance.

Since this trip is still several months away and most airlines adjust their summer pet policies at least a little bit from year to year, it's too early to give you a definitive answer. That being said, we can point you in the right direction and tell you where to find the information you need.

Here are some details about summer airline embargoes from last summer, which will give you an idea of what to expect. Since your dogs are not snub-nosed breeds you probably won't face quite as many restrictions, however in the past British Airways (the airline you might be leaning towards using) has implemented flight restrictions for PHX during the summer. Many pet owners end up sending their pets earlier or later than originally planned in order to avoid embargoes like this and keep their pets safe. It may not fit your schedule ideally, but it's an option you may need to consider.

United is another one of our preferred airline carriers for pets all year round because they have solid pet-friendly policies. Even if it's hot, temperature shouldn't be a huge factor because pets are transported to the plane in an air-conditioned vehicle, given plenty of water, etc. Since pet safety is a priority, though, occasional embargoes are enacted.

We recommend checking in with the airlines directly to find out if they have any tips or predictions for you about this summer, and you can always keep an eye on pet travel blogs (like ours!) as your departure draws nearer so that you receive any updates that may be available.

Finally here, are a few safety tips for pets traveling in the summer as well as a link to our consultation page, which you can fill out if you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door services.

Good luck with everything!

Bird Travel: How to Transport a Cockatoo

Thursday, November 13, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Pearl
Number of Pets: One
Pet Type: Bird
Pet Breed: Cockatoo
From: Minneapolis, MN
To: Los Angeles, CA

 

Hi PetRelocation,

Do you transport Cockatoos?

Thanks,

Pearl

 

Hi Pearl,

Yes, we do! We move several birds each year and have helped Cockatoos move safely to places all around the world. In fact, here's a recent picture of one named Andy who is going from Miami to Peru.

For your information, here are a few tips and facts about how to move a bird. It can be a little more complicated than moving a cat or a dog so we recommend starting the process early. Bird relocations within the United States aren't as complex as international moves, but there are definitely a few key details to attend to, including arranging air travel and acquiring a safe and airline-approved travel container for your Cockatoo.

One of our domestic bird specialists would be happy to discuss your options with you if you'd like to find out more about our services. Feel free to call our office at 1-877-PET-MOVE or fill out our online consultation form at your convenience.

Thanks for reaching out, and we hope to hear from you soon!
 

Video: What is Pet-Friendly Air Travel?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

If you know anything about PetRelocation, you know that we take safety very seriously and only work with pet-friendly airlines when arranging our clients' trips.

What exactly does "pet-friendly" mean, though? Essentially, it means they have a staff trained to handle pets, they use climate-controlled vehicles, and they operate with a smooth set of procedures that keep a pet's health and safety in mind at all times.

For an example, take a look at the video below. This will show you how British Airways (an airline we work with often) handles their cargo pet travel arrangements.

Have questions about pet-friendly travel or PetRelocation's door-to-door transportation services? Please contact us.

Questions about Cat Air Travel to the United States

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Barbara
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Maine Coon
From: Brazil
To: USA

Do you help pets travel from Brazil to the USA? Does the pet travel with a person or in the cargo area?

Thanks,

Barbara

 

Hi Barbara,

Thanks for your question! Yes, we have helped pets move from Brazil to the United States, and we do so by arranging their cargo flight on a pet-friendly airline. The pet owner does not need to fly with the pet (most go ahead of time so they can get the house ready, etc.).

PetRelocation does not fly with the pet either, but we do check pets in, clear them through customs upon arrival, and provide door-to-door delivery and help with the pre-travel paperwork and vet visits. For your reference, here are the pet import requirements for the United States as well as a quick summary of our services.

If this is the kind of transportation service you're looking for, please fill out our free quote form or give our office a call to speak to a Specialist. With a few more details we'll be able to give you a quote.

Finally, here's a story from a client of ours who moved with two dogs from Brazil to the United States: as you'll see, Zap and Guida did pretty well on this journey!

Hopefully this has been helpful, Barbara. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. Either way, good luck with your pet travels!


 

Addressing Common Concerns about Pet Air Travel

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Belinda
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Shih-Poo, Mini Poodle
From: Florida, USA
To: California, USA

 

Hi PetRelocation,

I've heard way too many horror stories about pets being transported in the cargo area of the plane. I would like to explore non-plane options to get my pet to California.

Does your organization have those type of options?

Thanks,

Belinda

 

Hi Belinda,

We understand your concerns and have helped to arrange ground transportation for pets in the past, however we do urge you to review a few facts and tips before making the decision to avoid air travel altogether. When the right choices are made, it can be a very safe process.

Here's an overview discussing some of the issues that may be worrying you. Essentially, sad news stories tend to gain more attention than the routine pet flights that happen every day -- this isn't meant to diminish the emotions involved when things do go wrong, but when looking at the numbers you'll see that, by far, most pets fly without incident.

Here are a few tips for minimizing the risks of air travel. When you start with a health screening and a conversation with your vet, choose a pet-friendly airline, and help pets to feel comfortable in their crates, you're on your way to planning a successful trip.

You may weigh all of this information and decide that air travel still isn't right for your dogs. That's fine, of course! In this case you'll want to search for a driver who can safely transport your pets for you. Note that, due to the details and hours involved, driving often ends up being more expensive than flying.

Please contact us if you have further questions, or check out IPATA.org to locate a driver who may be able to help you. There are multiple solutions available when it comes to pet moves, and we'd love to help you find the right one!

Good luck with whatever you decide, and thanks for contacting us with your question.
 

Planning Safe Cat Air Travel

Thursday, September 18, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Maureen
Number of Pets: 5
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: Domestic
From: Bourne, MA
To: Seattle, WA

 

Hi PetRelocation,

I am planning to move to Bainbridge Island, WA. I am trying to find a safe way to relocate my five cats. When you relocate cats, are they transported in a cargo area of a plane? I would also like to find our how this process works and an estimate of the price. Are there any veterinary people that travel with the pets? One of my cats has asthma.

Thank you,
Maureen
 

Hi Maureen,

Thanks for your question, we'd be happy to share some tips and advice with you. To start, take a look at the domestic pet travel requirements for the United States.

Typically, when moving a long distance with this many cats, we would book a flight in the cargo area on a pet-friendly airline such as United. Though cargo travel initially sounds scary to many pet owners, when handled by an experienced and dedicated airline it is a safe choice. Pets are the last to be loaded onto the aircraft and the first to be removed, and during flight they are in a pressure and temperature-controlled area.

In terms of costs, airline rates are calculated based on the weight and amount of space your cats and their crates take up, and vet fees should also be factored in for the visits/paperwork referenced above. If you decide to hire help with transportation to the airport, etc., the overall cost will increase.

You can help your cats prepare for the flight by working to crate-train them in the weeks before you move, and it's always a good idea to discuss any health-related questions you have with your vet. We have helped pets with various health issues move before -- it may require special planning and care, and we'd be happy to discuss your options with you.

If you would like to hear from one of our Specialists about our door-to-door services, please fill out our free quote form. Hope this helps to get you started, and please let us know if we can be of further assistance. Good luck!

How to Transport Dogs to New Zealand

Monday, September 15, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Suzie
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Thai dogs / Labrador mix Thai
From: Thailand
To: New Zealand

 

Dear PetRelocation,

I know New Zealand does not allow a direct import from Thailand to New Zealand, so my questions are:

1. Which country near New Zealand would they go to first?

2. Do my dogs get their microchip and vaccinations in Thailand before leaving?

3. What are the exact steps I need to take in order to get my dogs to New Zealand?

4. The cost of air fares, quarantine, freight, and anything else I need to know.

I'm a bit lost as to were to start, any help is much appreciated.

Thanks,

Suzie

 

Hi Suzie,

Thanks for reaching out -- we'd be happy to offer some information about pet travel to New Zealand.

First, take a look at the countries from which it's possible to bring your pets --  here is the official guidance document to assist you. It's most likely you'll move your dogs from Thailand to a Category 3 country (whichever one makes the most sense for you), and then from there eventually to New Zealand. Your dogs will have a minimum 10-day quarantine upon arrival (please review the full timeline and list of requirements).

To find out what the import requirements will be for the stopover country, you can search online for the Ministry of Agriculture website for the relevant country or take a look here for a general idea (these rules are geared towards pets coming from the United States but they'll give you an idea of what to expect).

The costs will depend on several factors, Suzie, but this process will not be cheap. You can start to form an estimate by looking at quarantine facility costs, researching cargo costs through airline websites, or, if you're interested in our services, by filling out our free online quote form or by giving our office a call. With a few more details a Specialist will be able to tell you more about your move options and the associated costs.

Moving pets can be overwhelming, but we'd be happy to help! For a little more about what it's like to move a pet to New Zealand, here's the story of Wednesday the cat, who moved there from the United States. As you'll see, the process took several weeks, but she made it safely and the family was happily reunited.

Thanks again for your question, and we look forward to hearing from you!


 

U.S. Department of Transportation Expands Airline Reporting Requirements

Thursday, July 17, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, more airlines will be required to report incidents involving the loss, injury or death of an animal during transport. This expansion of the current rule is meant to "provide consumers with a fuller picture of an airline's safety record," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Currently just 14 airlines have to adhere to reporting rules, but the expansion will mean that 27 carriers will now be responsible for filing annual reports detailing specific incidents as well as the number of animals carried. The definition of "animal" includes dogs and cats and also covers commercial shipments.

So what are the implications of this? As we told nbcnews.com, greater transparency is a good thing, and hopefully this will inspire every airline to do better when it comes to transporting pets. There are a handful of pet-friendly options out there now (we feel confident flying with a select few carriers, suck as KLM, Lufthansa and United), but it would be heartening and better for everyone to see greater attention paid to pet safety across the board.

Remember, pet travel is actually pretty safe overall, but there is certainly room for improvement. The pet travel industry continues to grow, and it's well past time for airlines offering pet travel options to truly commit to making their services as safe as possible. Greater accountability will help with this, and this new DOT rule is a step in the right direction.

If you'd like to know more, the Department of Transportation issues a monthly Air Travel Consumer Report and makes it publicly available on its website. If you're thinking about moving with a pet and have questions about it, please contact us.

 

pet in cargo

Cargo pet travel. (Photo Credit: Sandy Robins)

 

 

Moving Your Pet: Air Travel or Ground Transportation?

Monday, May 12, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: DeAnne
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Part wire haired terrier, part dachshund
From: Albuquerque, NM
To: St. Louis, MO

 

Hi PetRelocation,

What is the estimated cost of a move like this? It seems that your service emphasizes air travel. Do you transport by car or van? Do you transport one pet at a time or a few?

Thanks,

DeAnne

 

Hi DeAnne,

Thanks for the question. Ground transportation is a possibility and there are various pet transporters out there who drive single or multiple pets where they need to go, but it's a good idea to weigh all the pros and cons before making a decision.

Because it takes longer to drive, pets spend more time in their travel crates when this method is chosen and, if you're paying someone to handle the move, it can be more expensive to cover the hourly wage of the driver, gas expenses, hotels fees, etc. than it is to fly.

Sometimes driving is preferable when transporting snub-nosed breeds, though, who tend to have health issues aggravated by air travel. In our experience, however, most people traveling with breeds that are not snub-nosed ultimately find flying preferable for long distance moves.

It's a good idea to talk to your vet about any concerns you have, and we invite you to read more about pet air travel on our blog. When handled carefully flying pets is a safe option, and the more information you can gather beforehand, the better you'll feel about whatever decision you make.

We'd be happy to discuss your upcoming move with you as well, of course. If you're interested in finding out more about our services, please call our office at 1-877-PET-MOVE or fill out our free quote form. Generally speaking, costs to move one small pet domestically begin at around $1200, but the actual number will depend on knowing a few other factors.

Hope this helps to get you started, DeAnne. Good luck, and thanks again for reaching out to us.

 

Pet Travel: Ground Transport vs. Flying

Thursday, April 17, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Chadd
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Small Dog
From: Houston, TX
To: Marshall, WI

 

Hi PetRelocation,

My friend doesn't want her dog to fly. Is there a service that provides car transport within the United States?

Thanks,

Chadd

 

Hi Chadd,

Thanks for the question. It's understandable to feel nervous about pet air travel, and ground transport options do exist. Doing a Google search or using IPATA.org to find a local pet transport agent who is willing and able to make long road trips is probably your friend's best bet if that's what she is interested in doing.

That being said, if your friend learns more about air travel she may be surprised to find how safe it really can be. Here are a few links that serve as good starting points for building an informed idea of how things work:

 

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have more questions and good luck in finding a good solution for your friend's dog move.

 

 



 

Planning Dog Travel from New Zealand to the United States

Thursday, March 27, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Ginger
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Fox Terrier
From: Auckland, New Zealand
To: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

 

Dear PetRelocation,

We are relocating to Wisconsin. We are very concerned about our pet traveling in the hold of an aircraft. We would love to be able to fly the shortest distance to a state of America, hence our questions. Is it possible to comply with the requirements for the 5 day or less option OR Airport Release, gather our dog once we land in Honolulu, Depart for a flight to Wisconsin say 2 days later, and being a domestic flight then he will be able to travel with us in the cabin on to Madison, WI?

A lot to digest I know, but we love our dog to bits and given he has to have a rabies shot anyway, if we comply with the Hawaiian Quarantine regulations and go to Hawaii  maybe we could clear quarantine the same day as we arrive, allow ourselves a day or two before departing on to the mainland OR could we leave the same day on a later flight even? Lots to think about but just wondering if this is a possibility at all?

We await your response eagerly.

Kind Regards & thanks,

Ginger ( a U.S. Citizen)

 

Hi Ginger,

Thanks for contacting us with your questions! We know that pet travel -- especially the beginning planning stages -- can be very stressful and filled with uncertainty.

Your plan might work, but it also might add unnecessary complications to your trip. Bringing pets into Hawaii and avoiding quarantine there requires a few more steps than going straight to the mainland United States, where all you need is proof of updated vaccines and a health certificate. You'd need to time it correctly so that your health certificate was valid for the entire trip and also arrange lodging, transportation, etc. for the time you were in Hawaii, which would add a considerable cost to the trip. Again, this could work out fine depending on your circumstances, but after further research you may decide to take a different route.

We have shipped pets between New Zealand and the United States several times, and typically we find that the direct flight from Auckland to San Francisco works well. Pets can then proceed from SFO to their next destination, if there is one.

If you're concerned about cargo travel in general, we invite you to take a look at our blog for an examination of the issue here and here. Though it sounds scary at first, when the right choices are made pet air travel via cargo is very safe. Thousands of pets fly this way each year without incident, and in many ways cargo travel is preferable to flying in the cabin.

You clearly have your dog's best interests in mind, and in light of that we'd be happy to advise you about all your options before you make a decision. Feel free to give our office a call or fill out our free quote form. One of our relocation specialists will be able to offer you more specific advice and suggestions if you'd like -- just let us know.

Either way, hopefully by perusing our blog and website you can better acquaint yourself with the pet travel process and start to feel a little more comfortable about undertaking your journey. Reading a few of our customer experiences and catching up with some frequently asked pet travel questions could be a good start.

We hope to hear from you soon, and good luck with everything!
 

"We're Moving Soon. Should We Wait to Get a Dog?"

Monday, February 24, 2014 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Nirupa
From: Hong Kong
To: Toronto Ontario
Pet: TBD
 
Dear PetRelocation,
 
I currently reside in Hong Kong. I am considering adopting a puppy around 6 months in age. My husband and I will relocate to Canada next year and I want to know the best way to relocate the dog without causing any trauma.
 
The flight is direct, 16hrs with Air Canada. I know the have a pet policy and most likely the dog will be bigger which will entail going in cargo. How do I prepare, and is the length of trip advisable for relocation? (If you think I should just hold off and wait to adopt until after we've relocated due to length of trip, I will.)

Thanks,
Nirupa
 
 
Hi Nirupa,
 
Great question; it's very smart to think ahead when it comes to being a responsible pet owner. (Also congratulations on your future dog!)
 
When the right choices are made, it's possible to move pets very safely, so this is mostly a matter of how much time and money you're willing to spend on a possible relocation. For your reference, here are a few basic pet travel questions and answers that may help you understand the process a little better.
 
Here are a few more things to know: the pet import requirements for Canada state that you need to secure specific vaccines and paperwork. You also need to buy a crate that is airline approved and the correct size, and you would need to help your dog feel comfortable spending time in the crate (this cuts down on his/her stress level immensely).
 
It's important to choose a pet-friendly airline and, if you're not traveling on the same plane as your dog (which is common when it comes to pet cargo travel), you'll need to arrange transportation to/from the airport and customs clearance assistance.
 
If you're interested in speaking to one of our specialists, please contact us via phone or by filling out our free quote form. The price for us to handle a relocation like this would begin at around $2,500 USD, but we can give you a more accurate quote once we have a few more details. If you're interested in keeping costs lower, we recommend locating local agents through IPATA.org.
 
Hopefully this helps to get you started! As you can see, it would take a considerable amount of time and money to arrange a dog move from Hong Kong to Canada, so it's up to you to decide if you're willing to do that or if you'd rather wait. Again, when handled correctly the move can be very safe, but it's best to enlist the help of experts and/or allow yourself plenty of planning time.
 
Please let us know if you have more questions, and good luck with your decision!

 

How to Travel Safely with a Pug

Monday, February 17, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Clea
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Pug
From: Florida
To: Minnesota

Dear PetRelocation,

My elderly parents are moving back to Minnesota from Florida. They are too old to drive so have booked a one way airline ticket. Here's my question: the airlines have policies about shipping Pugs due to breathing issues. My mother has an elderly pug she is trying to get back to Minnesota. We are considering various options and your organization has come to mind.

Does PetRelocation offer non-airline means of travel? Have you encountered this issue before?

Thanks,
Clea

 

Hi Clea,

Yes, we've assisted with various snub-nosed breed moves and would be happy to talk to you and your mother about your options.

We do work with ground transport agents in the US who transport pets in safe, pet-friendly vehicles. We're also accustomed to arranging flights for pugs and keeping the conditions as safe as possible by choosing a pet-friendly airline, selecting a travel crate that allows plenty of good airflow, and working with clients to make sure their pets are as well-prepared as they can be for their flight.

We'd be happy to discuss the move further, so please contact us if you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door services. You can give our office a call or fill out our free quote form.

In the meantime, feel free to look over a few things on our blog that may shed light on the travel process: Frequently asked pet travel questions and how to minimize the risks of pet air travel.

Thanks for your question, and we look forward to hearing from  you!

How to Help the Stray Dogs of Sochi

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

You've probably heard the sad stories coming out of Russia regarding the existence and treatment of stray dogs near the Olympic Village in Sochi.

After learning that dogs were being rounded up and killed by local authorities, many kind-hearted souls (some very wealthy) and rescue organizations have sprung into action. If you're wondering how you can help, here are a few options.

Donate to the Cause

Sometimes, due to distance and your own life situation, the best and most realistic thing to do is locate a worthy group and send them a donation. This can be a wonderful and very beneficial way to make a difference, so check out the Humane Society website for more information about the shelters that have been set up in and near Sochi and also find out how you can donate to help street dogs all over the world.

Adopt a Dog

Adopting a Sochi stray is probably most feasible for nearby Russian citizens who won't have to worry about air travel, but if you're curious about what the process would entail, read on to start educating yourself.

International travel generally requires bringing the pet to a vet in order to obtain rabies vaccines and the necessary paperwork, an airline-approved travel crate needs to be purchased, and a reservation needs to be made with an airline equipped and willing to transport pets from Point A to Point B. You'd also need to get the dog from Sochi to an international airport, so it's likely the whole relocation would involve a few people and cost several hundred dollars, at least.

This process can't be completed overnight and there are several considerations at play, including whether or not the dog is crate-trained. Again, this may not be a realistic choice for everyone, but if you have questions about anything, feel free to ask!

Good News Update: According to the Wall Street Journal, several Olympic athletes have decided to adopt dogs they met in Sochi. Read more about it here.

Have you made a donation to help the stray dogs of Sochi? Has this story inspired you to help homeless dogs in your own area? Tell us what you think.

 

Stray dogs wrestle outside the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

 

Pet News Round-Up: Pet Travel Questions, Answers & Trends

Friday, January 17, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

We address your safety questions about airlines and pets traveling in cargo.

Good news for ferry-riding pets in the UK.

A pet evacuation law (that would allow pets on public transportation during an emergency in New Jersey) is a little closer to passing.

Air Canada apologizes to a soldier and her service dog.

Tips for being a good dog traveler.

Zap and Guida are featured as our Pet Move of the Month!

Speaking of Zap and Guida, here is their happy reunion video.

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Pet Travel Facts: Addressing Air Travel Safety Concerns

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Though we have arranged thousands of safe pet moves over the years, we here at PetRelocation still understand that the process of relocating a pet can be very stressful. Trusting others to take good care of your pets isn't easy, and we often receive questions about airlines in particular.

One concerned pet owner recently wrote us an email that we thought was worth discussing. In essence, she worried about recent news stories telling of pet deaths on airlines, and she wondered how she could ever feel comfortable facing the possibility of international travel with her dog in the future. 

Specifically this pet owner asks, "How can people truly know that their dogs will be safe and comfortable during a flight?"

This is a great question. In the past we have discussed how to minimize the risks of pet travel and we continue to stand by a few basic bits of advice. It's important to plan well and plan early, talk to your vet about any health concerns you may have, take extra caution with snub-nosed breeds, choose a large, well-ventilated travel crate, and of course, consider enlisting expert help.

Even pet owners who take the process seriously and follow the above advice may still feel nervous, and we totally understand that. There are no guarantees in life, and the fact remains that there is some amount of risk involved in pet travel, human travel, and just about everything else we do.

We respect people who decide not to fly their pets, but if a permanent or long-term move exists on your horizon and you can't imagine leaving your furry family member behind, here are a few more things to remember.

 

  • In the year 2011, United flew more than 110,000 pets and reported two deaths (that's an incident rate of 0.00180 percent). Alaska Airlines flies more than 80,000 pets per year and in 2011 reported seven overall incidents and four pet deaths (incident rate = 0.00875 percent). This is not to diminish the heartbreaking events that do occur, but when considering pet travel it's important to remember that, by far, most pets fly safely. (Source: 'Few Pets Experience Trouble on Airlines' via Air Cargo World)

 

  • Pet deaths associated with United always make the news due to the PetSafe program’s policies, but these instances actually occur more often with other airlines. United is the only airline who has worked for years to develop safe pet practices, and many experienced pet owners and pet relocation companies choose to fly with them regularly for this reason.

 

  • We know through our communications with top PetSafe officials that situations that are a direct violation of United’s PetSafe protocols are thoroughly addressed. They, like us and like you, want pet travel to be as safe as possible.

 

  • The USDA investigates every commercial pet death on US soil to determine who is responsible. The USDA has the power to impose massive fines, as well as to prevent an airline from transporting pets should they decide it is warranted.

 

  • Pet relocation companies like ours are typically more demanding when it comes to safety and comfort, and our feedback can be important. We are sure to make our voices heard when it comes to setting standards for our pet moves, and hopefully this carries over to benefit all pet travelers. 

 

Hopefully these details make it easier to form a bigger and more accurate picture of pet cargo travel as a whole. While it may not be realistic to make a 100% guarantee when it comes to pet travel, there are certainly ways to plan every step as safely as possible using all the resources and expert knowledge available.

Please contact us if you'd like to discuss your pet move with an experienced PetRelocation consultant. We'd be happy to talk!

 

Photo: Flickr/Vox Efx

 

 

Feeling Nervous about International Cat Air Travel

Thursday, December 5, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Sarah
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: European Tabby
From: Barcelona, Spain
To: Charlotte, NC, USA

Dear PetRelocation,

I will be moving back to the States soon (I'm an American living in Spain) and need to transport my cats to the States. They were born in Spain and have never been to the US. Most airlines only allow one pet per passenger in the cabin on international flights and I need to transport both of them.

If I transport them in the cargo area, will they die? I've been reading some terrible stories! What are my best options for transporting them? If they travel with me, will I be able to get them through customs, or will I need to have a representative in the first US airport that we land in? We'll have at least one layover to reach our destination (most likely in the US).

I don't mind paying for a transport service if it's not too costly... I just want them to reach the US safely with the least amount of emotional trauma possible.

Thanks in advance!

-Sarah

 

Hi Sarah,

You have some great questions and we'd be happy to offer some advice. First, take a look at the pet import requirements for the United States. This is actually one of the easier countries to bring pets into, as you just need a vet health certificate and proof that the cats are up to date on their rabies vaccines. Some pet owners choose to handle customs clearance themselves while others hire an agent or a pet transport service to assist them.

Regarding pet travel in the cargo area, this is something our company frequently arranges and we've moved thousands of pets safely this way. Hearing about unfortunate incidents in the news regarding pet shipping is extremely disappointing, but it's important to remember that tragedies like this are nowhere near as common as ordinary, uneventful pet transports. These heartbreaking events are often preventable, and operating with expert knowledge is critical.

Not only does our team make use of vast experience and knowledge, we work with pet friendly airlines who have developed strong pet policies over the years. While there are no guarantees in life, we try to ensure that pet travel is undertaken in the safest way possible. Here's a post from our blog about minimizing the risks of pet travel that may help shed light on a few of your concerns.

You're welcome to give our office a call or fill out our free quote form if you're interested in further assistance. It's normal to feel nervous about moving your furry best friends, but remember that you do have choices and resources available to help plan the safest trip possible for them.

Hopefully this helps to get you started. We look forward to hearing from you, and wish you all the best!



 

Jamaica's Strict Pet Import Rules

Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Claudette
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Hamster
Pet Breed: Female Fancy Hamster
From: Seattle, Washington , USA
To: Montego Bay , Saint James , Jamaica

Dear PetRelocation,

Can I bring my hamster with me to Jamaica?

Thanks,

Claudette

 

Hi Claudette,

Jamaica has very strict rules regarding importing pets. Dogs and cats may only enter from rabies-free countries and birds are not allowed at all. To find out the latest rules regarding hamsters, please contact the Jamaica Ministry of Agriculture (you can find more info here).

According to IATA, Air Jamaica will not transport pets in the cabin, so that's another thing you'll want to check out by calling the airline.

Hopefully it all works out for you, Claudette! Let us know if we can be of further service, and good luck with everything.

 


 

Weighing Cat Travel Options

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Amber
Number of Pets: 4
Pet Type: Cats
From: Montreal, QC
To: Red Deer, AB

Dear PetRelocation,

I'm trying to figure out the cheapest but safest way to transport my cats.Their ages range from 3-8 years. I'm worried that transporting them by plane will be too stressful and dangerous for them and I was told to maybe sedate them (but I read that's very dangerous).

I thought of maybe doing it by train, but how do I incorporate a litter box for them? Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks,

Amber

 

Hi Amber,

We'd be happy to offer some advice about your upcoming pet move (and  hopefully show you that you can find safe options).

We move pets via air every day, and though it sounds scary at first, once you do some research you'll find it doesn't have to be a big deal. Choosing a pet friendly airline is of the utmost importance, and if you do this and also help to get your cats used to their travel crates beforehand (here are a few cat travel crate tips) then you'll be setting your kitties up for a good trip. Please not that sedation is not recommended or even allowed by airlines. Sedating pets inhibits their normal coping mechanisms and possibly their breathing, so we advise that you don't consider this an option.

No matter how you move your cats you'll want them to be in a secure travel crate. We advise placing an absorbent material in the bottom to alleviate the effects of any accidents (newspaper, an old towel, etc.). If you're considering train travel you'll need to check with the train company to find out if they allow cats on board.

Flying is probably your most efficient option, but some people choose to try ground transportation in order to allow for breaks along the way. If you would like more specialized advice from us, please fill out our free quote form. Since you're flying domestically you won't need to worry about import requirements, but it's a good idea to have your cats up to date on all vaccines and check with the airline (if you end up flying) about their requirements. Most often it's necessary to have a vet health certificate.

Thanks for contacting us, good luck, and please let us know if you have more questions!

 

Will the US Government Shutdown Affect Pet Travel?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 by Caitlin Moore

The government shutdown underway in the United States since early Tuesday morning affects about 800,000 federal employees. As many government agencies are being forced to cease operations, you may be wondering if your upcoming pet flight will be canceled or delayed.

Based on what we've learned, most agencies dealing with freight transportation will not be impacted. In terms of travel in general, most employees of the Department of Homeland Security will report for regular duty and TSA cargo inspectors will continue to do their jobs.

Federal air traffic controllers and airport screeners are also considered essential and will fulfill their normal roles, however some airports are warning of possible delays. If you're traveling soon, be sure to allow extra time to pass through airport security.

Those familiar with pet travel procedures know that USDA APHIS offices plays a key role in many pet relocations. Here's a link explaining the USDA shutdown procedure; please note that employees in charge of import/export procedures are exempt from the shutdown because their compensation does not come from government appropriations (it's funded via user fees).

Here's the takeaway for pet travelers: APHIS offices are expected to stay open throughout the shutdown and APHIS employees will continue to oversee their duties, but delays are possible. If you have concerns, don't hesitate to talk them over with your PetRelocation specialist.

 

Hopefully a spending bill is passed soon and federal operations can return to normal (as normal as they're capable of being, anyway). Hang in there, everyone, and here's wishing you all safe and efficient travels.

UPDATE: It has come to our attention that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Offices are closed due to the shutdown, so CITES permits will not be issued until the shutdown ends and these offices can reopen. This closure may affect people planning to move internationally with certain exotic pets.