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Help Me Move My Pet

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.

 

 

 

Figuring Out Air Travel With Birds

Monday, September 16, 2013 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Laureen
From: Beijing, PRC China
To: Unknown at this time
Pets: Fester -- a little green male parakeet, approximately 2 years old
 
 
Dear PetRelocation,
 
My husband and I are anticipating being transferred to a new assignment from our current one in Beijing, China. It can possibly be most anywhere in the world including returning to our home in Denver, Colorado. Two years ago I purchased a parakeet and of course we have grown quite fond of him. What proper documentation do I need to acquire so that I can bring him with us on our move? I really don't want to leave him behind, please help me figure out how to bring Fester with us!
 
All advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Cheers,
Laureen
 
 
Hi Laureen,
 
Thanks for your question. Bird travel is indeed more tricky than moving a dog or a cat in most cases, but the good news is that we've moved many birds and would be happy to offer some guidance.
 
Here's some information about how to ship a bird. Since you're not sure where you're going yet it will be hard to prepare exactly, but it's still a smart idea to research a few things and look into securing the right travel crate for Fester.
 
If you have questions about determining your bird's CITES status and are interested in our transportation services, please contact us for a free quote. Finally, take a look at some of the birds we've moved in the past. Here is Cocoa, who moved to Italy, and here are Washington and Jefferson, who moved to France.
 
Thanks again for contacting us, and good luck with everything!
 
 
 
 
Bird travel can be tricky.
 

 
 

 

"How do I Bring my Pet Boxers Overseas?"

Monday, August 26, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Romel
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Boxer
From: New York, USA, North America
To: Ecuador, South America

Hello,

How can I transport my pet Boxers overseas?

Thanks,

Romel

 

Hi Romel,

Check out the pet import requirements for Ecuador. You'll see there that your dogs will need microchips, full vaccinations, and International Health Certificates, all issued by a USDA-accredited veterinarian. The microchip implantation record, vaccine certificates, and International Health Certificate will need to be sent to your local USDA office for approval.

Additionally, each of your dogs will need an airline-approved travel crate. Because Boxers are snub-nosed (brachycephalic) dogs, they need crates that are one size larger than normally required by their size. Use our guide to picking the right size crate to determine what size your dogs would normally require, then purchase crates which are one size larger.

Finally, to ensure the safest possible pet air travel, be sure to book your flight to the US with a pet-friendly airline (we often recommend United). Pet-friendly airlines have policies in place which are specifically aimed at keeping pets safe and comfortable during travel.

If you think you might like assistance moving your dogs, fill out our free quote form to be in contact with one of our pet shipping specialists. And if you have any more questions about pet transport, feel free to contact us. Thanks for your question and good luck with your move!
 

"Can Big Dogs Travel by Air?"

Friday, August 23, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Kevin
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Chow Chow
From: El Salvador
To: USA, Washington, D.C.

Hi,

Would I be able to fly my dog from El Salvador to the USA even if it's a bit big? If so, how??

Thank you,

Kevin

 

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for your questions. You can indeed fly your dog to the USA, as long as you meet the United States pet import requirements. In addition to the required International Health Certificate and proof of current Rabies vaccination, we recommend that all pets be microchipped before traveling.

Large dogs require large crates, and you will want to make sure that you buy the correct size airline-approved travel crate for your Chow in order to ensure his comfort and safety during travel. Check out our guide to picking the right size crate to help you make your selection.

If your pet requires a very large crate (model #700 or larger), not all aircraft may be able to carry your dog. To confirm if an airline is capable of shipping your dog, contact your chosen airline directly and ask if they have aircraft that are equipped to transport extra large travel crates. You may have to book with an airline that uses larger planes in order to get your dog to the US.

If you have any more questions about pet transport, feel free to contact us. Thanks again for your questions and good luck with your move!
 

Pet Travel Question: Should I Sedate My Cat for Travel?

Monday, August 19, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Anke
Number of Pets: Three
Pet Type: Dogs, Cat
Pet Breed: Mastiff, Bloodhound, Siamese mix
From: Austin, TX
To: Denver, CO

Hello,

I'm taking my cat on the plane but am super concerned about having to take him out at security. He can be aggressive when anxious. My vet prescribed 10mg Acepromazine for my 15.5Ibs cat but I feel reluctant giving it. What are your suggestions? Sedative or not?

Thanks,

Anke

 

Hi Anke,

This is an important question. Owners sometimes wrongly assume that their pet's travel will be less stressful if they are sedated. However, sedating a pet when flying is dangerous and is one of the worst things you can do for the safety of your pet.

Sedatives can interfere with regular breathing and other bodily responses, and pets may react differently and unexpectedly to medications when they are in the air. In fact, most airlines will not fly a sedated pet, as over-sedation is a frequent cause of animal death during air transport. Check out a couple of posts where we address the dangers of sedating pets during air travel, such as No Sedation when Flying Pets! and Anxieties About Pet Travel: Don't Sedate - Get a Pet Travel Crate!.

The best thing you can do to ease your cat's anxiety is to make sure that he is properly crate-trained. Check out our tips for crate-training cats. The more comfortable your cat is with his crate, the less anxious he will be during travel, and the less likely that he will show aggression at the airport.

Should you have any more pet transport queries, feel free to contact us. Thanks for your question and good luck with your move!
 

Pet Move of the Month: Milo and Joe Dirt's Move to Dublin

Thursday, August 15, 2013 by PetRelocation.com Customer

When it comes to planning a safe and successful pet move, nothing is better than working with a client who helpfully communicates with us throughout the process and even shares details about the pet-friendliness of their new city. We recently helped two great rescue cats, Joe Dirt and Milo, move with their family from California to Dublin, and their owner Charlene was kind enough to share plenty of excellent tips and observations with us about the process and about living in Dublin with cats. If you have questions about air travel with cats, read the interview below because you will surely learn something.

Thanks to Charlene for sharing her cats' adventure with us, and join us in wishing Milo and Joe Dirt good luck in Dublin and congrats for being our Pet Move of the Month!

Have you ever moved a pet internationally before?

We had the opportunity to move from San Francisco to Dublin, Ireland for a year, as the tech company where my boyfriend works is currently undergoing a European expansion. We had never moved a pet internationally before and we were really worried about how our gentle, sensitive kitties Milo and Joe Dirt would handle the move. I started researching all of the requirements for moving the cats from the States to Ireland and kept reading that it might be a good idea to hire a pet relocation company to deal with all of the logistics involved, such as health certificates, the travel component itself, and customs clearance upon arrival. PetRelocation kept coming up as a recommended company and I visited the website and was impressed with what I saw. There were several articles from well-known news organizations about the success of the company as a small business growing larger and many glowing client reviews. It was very comforting to read all of the happy move stories of past clients and see the care that was put into each move.

 

Crate training isn't so bad

 

What were some of your concerns going into the move?

We had heard a lot of negative things about the way airlines treat animal passengers and were really nervous about our cats being transported in the cargo hold of an airplane. When I spoke with Matt Kincaid and Keith Boone, they were both very helpful in walking us through the entire process and they alleviated a lot of our concerns. It was really reassuring to hear that PetRelocation.com had helped to develop the PetSafe program at United and that our babies would be traveling with an airline that had established safety procedures in place  for pets. We were very happy to hear that the cats would have a layover in one of the airports where United has a pet kennel, and that they would get to spend some time out of their crates.

Both Matt and Keith were so responsive and were great about answering my multitude of questions. I was very lucky to have Keith on standby while we were at the vet, as some issues came up where I needed expert pet relocation advice. After four years of successful microchip scanning, Milo's microchip suddenly wouldn't scan at his vaccine appointment and he had to get a new one implanted before his rabies vaccine. I was so glad to have Keith on the phone to reassure me that the timing would still work and ensure that our vet understood the whole process. Our vet was also unsure whether Joe Dirt's microchip would work with international standards, and having Keith there to verify that it would was a life saver.

 

Joe Dirt loves a lazy day


Matt and Keith were also very understanding of the fact that moving internationally is very stressful and that we needed the flexibility to make last minute decisions. We ended up having them schedule O'Brien Pet Transportation to deliver the cats to SFO instead of having one of our friends do it, and this was a great decision. Their contact knew how to package the cats together at check in to ensure they would next to each other on the flight. She also knew the man who would load them on the plane and told me that he loved animals.

We also received updates on the cats' flight information so we knew where they were at all times. Keith emailed me when they departed SFO, landed in Dulles, departed Dulles and landed in Dublin. It was great to be so informed the whole time. We decided to have the cats delivered to our residence in Dublin upon their arrival. Keith arranged this and it was a really good decision. We were exhausted upon our arrival and it was perfect to have a day to prepare for them (buy food, litter box supplies, etc.) and then have them delivered to our doorstep. A very kind Irish gentleman named Garrett rang my bell and said, "I  have two beautiful cats for delivery." I could tell he really loved animals and that our kitties had been in good hands. Joe Dirt was wide-eyed and sitting up and Milo was totally hidden under his bedding -- he had buried himself kind of like an ostrich. I signed for them and took their crates inside. They were both so happy to see us and began eating and drinking immediately.

 

Dinner time

 

Did anything surprise you about the international pet moving process?

We were really surprised at how unscathed our kitties were by the ordeal of moving, being confined to a crate, being in a loud plane, etc. We thought they would be more traumatized upon their arrival. But instead they were ready to eat and drink and be loved by us. That night when they curled up with us and purred was the best night ever. We could tell they were so happy to be with us and just wanted love.

How are your cats adjusting to the new location?

They are both doing really well. It was a little hard for them to get used to their temporary home where we stayed for two weeks, only to move again to our home where we signed a year lease. They've been a little skittish after the second move, but are still really loving and sweet. We can tell they're settling in and getting used to their new home. Soon we will be able to let them explore our back garden, a secure area where they can get a breath of fresh air!

What is life like in Dublin so far? Do you think it’s a pet friendly place to be?

Life in Dublin has been great so far. When we were still in the States, people had told us that the Irish weren't that fond of cats, which we have found to not be true. We've seen many happy, friendly kitties here and happy pets in general. It's somewhat problematic to be in the city centre without a car and to need pet supplies. We've been told that most of the large pet stores are located in the outlying suburbs. But our small neighborhood pet store has been very helpful, they're ordering the cat litter we like especially for us!

 

Hangin' around

 

What advice do you have for people who might be planning a pet move?

We didn't quite realize how stressed we would be in the final weeks before our move. We thought we'd have everything under control. Then every little thing you need to do becomes five more little things and before you know it, you're totally overwhelmed. It was just so great to be able to rely on PetRelocation's expertise during this time. It meant that we didn't have to worry about one very major component of our move, relocating the cats. And knowing that our babies were in caring hands was absolutely priceless! Milo and Joe Dirt are by far the most precious things that we moved and knowing that we made their move as safe and comfortable as possible was the most important thing in the world to us!

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Thanks again to Charlene for sharing Milo and Joe Dirt's move story with us. Please contact PetRelocation if you have questions about your upcoming pet move, and happy traveling, everyone!

Pet Travel Question: Should I Take My Cats With Me to the UK?

Thursday, August 15, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Megan
Number of Pets: 5
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: Mixed Breed/ American Shorthair and European Shorthair
From: Chicago, USA
To: London, UK

Hi,

I am moving for an initial period of six months to London and want to bring my cats with me. I have found housing for us all (my boyfriend too) but have been confronted by many people telling me about how expensive everything is and how moving is very bad for the cats. These cats have been with us since they were young and I believe they would do better moving with us than to an entirely new place with strangers for a short term.

I'm writing to ask you for your help? Is moving the cats endangering their lives? Am I being selfish in wanting them to be with us?

Thanks,

Megan

 

Hi Megan,

These are common concerns of caring pet owners who find themselves facing a long-distance relocation. Though it may seem scary, pet air travel is quite safe, especially when using a pet-friendly airline such as United, KLM, or Lufthansa. However, whether or not your cats are capable of safely traveling to England depends on their overall health and must be determined by your vet. Unless your cats are especially sick or elderly, they should be able to fly safely. We have moved many cats to places all over the world, including the UK!

Pet transport can get pretty expensive, especially when traveling with such a large number of cats. Costs will include vet visits, airline tickets, and travel crates for your cats, among other expenses. However, many owners feel that keeping their pet family intact is well worth the price of pet travel.

Ultimately, it is up to you and your vet to decide whether or not is is in your cats' best interests to move to London. It may be helpful to take a look at the pet import requirements for the UK. This will give you an idea of what pet travel to England will involve. Additionally, if you would like a free price estimate for your move, fill out our quote form to be in contact with a pet move specialist. And if you have any more questions, feel free to contact us. Thanks for your questions and good luck with everything!

Pet Travel Question: Bringing a Dog to Canada

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Hayley
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Jack Russell Terrier
From: UK
To: Canada

Hello,

We are looking to move out to Canada next month permanently and want to take our dog but have not got a clue where to start. I have asked vets and they can't even help. Does he need any injections, does he need a passport? Please help.

Many thanks,

Hayley

 

Hi Hayley,

Traveling with pets can be confusing, but it becomes a lot easier once you know what's required. Check out the pet import requirements for Canada. There, you'll find all of the health requirements and documentation your dog will need in order to enter Canada. You'll notice that most of the requirements consist of documentation, and that the only required vaccine is for Rabies. You can find more information about importing dogs on the government of Canada's website.

In addition to these requirements, pet air travel requires an airline-approved travel crate. Also, if you haven't already purchased plane tickets, you should try to book with a pet-friendly airline (we often use KLM, Lufthansa, and United). These airlines have established pet policies which ensure the safety of your dog—an especially important concern when flying during the hot summer months.

If you are interested in learning about our door-to-door pet moving services, please fill out our free quote form. Additionally, if you have any more questions about pet transport, feel free to contact us. Thanks for your question and good luck with your move!

Pet Travel Question: Flying a Boxer Across the US

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Lauren
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Boxer
From: Boston
To: Los Angeles

Hi,

I have a 6-year-old Boxer and we are looking to fly him across country but will be returning in three months. Last time we did this we drove, but really are hoping not to! Do you have an airline you recommend using? Would you be concerned about a Boxer flying between November and February?

Thank you!

Lauren

 

Hi Lauren,

Pet air travel can seem daunting, but when properly planned, flying can actually prove simpler than a cross-country road trip. For domestic US flights, we usually recommend United Airlines. United has a program called PetSafe which employs specially-trained pet-handling professionals and policies which have been specifically designed to ensure the safety of pets flying as cargo.

Flying between November and February shouldn't be a problem, but your dog's breed makes air travel a bit more complicated. Because Boxers are a brachycephalic (short-snouted) breed, they are prone to respiratory problems and extra precautions should be taken to ensure their safety. For example, your dog will need a crate that is one size larger than what would normally be required by his size. Check out United's pet restrictions page for their policies, or for more general guidelines on pet travel safety, check out this post on how to minimize the risks of pet air travel.

If you'd like to learn about our door-to-door pet shipping services, fill our quote form for a free price estimate. Additionally, if you have any more questions about pet transport, feel free to contact us. Thanks for your questions and good luck with your trip!

Pet Travel Question: How do You Move a Dog to Alaska?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Kristin
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Dapple Dachshund
From: North Carolina
To: Alaska

Hello,

What are the recommended shots that my dog will need to get before moving to Alaska?

Thanks,

Kristin

 

Hi Kristin,

Luckily, pet transport within the United States is relatively simple. Check out the requirements for traveling with a pet within the United States. You'll notice that the only required vaccination is for Rabies, and that your dog will need to get that shot at least 30 days before traveling. You will also need a health certificate from your vet stating that your dog is healthy enough to fly and issued within 10 days of departure. We also recommend microchipping your pet before travel, though it's not required.

Now that you know what health requirements your dog will need to meet, all that's left is the logistics of getting your dog to Alaska. If you have any questions about pet shipping or pet air travel feel free to contact us. Additionally, if you're interested in learning about our door-to-door pet shipping services, fill out our quote form for a free price estimate. Thanks for your question and good luck with your move!