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Help Me Move My Pet

Pet Travel: Say 'No' to Sedation and 'Yes' to Crate-Training and Hydration

Thursday, October 30, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Linda
Number of Pets: 3
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: Long-haired Tabby and short-haired Cats
From: North Miami Beach, FL, USA
To: Cupramontana, Italy

 

Hi PetRelocation,

What are the requirements and the time frames in which to produce the required documents? Is there a passport form to download for the vet to complete?

Is sedation required, as it is 10 hours and it would likely be stressful for them? Is it very cold in the area that they will be transported?

Thanks in Advance,

Linda
 

Hi Linda,

Thanks for submitting your questions to us, we're happy to help.

First, here are the pet import requirements for Italy. Your cats will need to be microchipped, have updated rabies vaccines, and they need an EU Health Certificate. Your vet should be USDA-certified and you should allow at least 30 days to prepare for the trip.

Regarding sedation, the answer is a firm "no." Sedation is dangerous because it interferes with a pet's normal coping systems and may disrupt regular breathing, etc. Most airlines will not accept pets that have been sedated. Instead, try working on crate-training in the months before you move so that your cats see the travel crate as a normal and safe place to be -- here are a few cat crate-training tips.

We also recommend talking to your vet about any health-related questions you may have and working to make sure your cats are as fit and hydrated as possible before the journey.

The cargo area of the plane is pressure and temperature-controlled, and when you choose a pet-friendly airline (we often use KLM, United and Lufthansa), they will be handled by trained professionals dedicated to safe pet travel. This is an important part of helping your cats' journey run smoothly.

If you have any further questions or think you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door services, please fill out our free quote form.

Thanks again for reaching out, and have a safe trip!

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!


 

Waiting until a Kitten Is Old Enough to Travel

Thursday, October 23, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Julie
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Mixed
From: Philippines
To: Thailand

Hi PetRelocation,

Recently I rescued a baby kitten and would like to raise it. The problem is that I found her in the Philippines the day before returning home to Thailand. A friend is looking after her for now, but it's quite a burden, and I would like to relieve her of the task.

I am not sure how realistic my dream is of having the kitten, but my main question is in regards to the quarantine regulations. The kitten is too young to be vaccinated, according to what I've researched. So, can I bring her in under the surety that she will be vaccinated when she comes of age, or does she need to wait until she's 12 weeks to be vaccinated, and then wait the additional 21 days before I can move her?

Thanks,

Julie

 

Hi Julie,

Thanks for your inquiry. Unless you contact the Thailand government and they tell you otherwise, you will need to wait until your cat is old enough to receive all vaccines and fulfill all import requirements properly. The process will likely take a few weeks. Note that, for safety reasons, we recommend waiting until a pet is at least 16 weeks old before they travel.

Here is a US export-geared overview of the Thailand pet import requirements to help offer an idea of what to expect; please give us a call or fill out our free quote form if you'd like to learn more about our door-to-door services. You're also welcome to search for a local agent via IPATA.org if you'd like to hire help and explore your other options.

Hope this helps! Please take a look at our blog for useful pet travel tips and other pet travel information. Good luck with everything -- we hope you can be reunited with your cat!
 

Breed Restriction Update from Alaska Air Cargo

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

pet streakWe often receive questions about breed restrictions for various airlines, so we thought we'd pass this update along about Alaska Air Cargo's PetStreak program.

According to their website, Alaska Air Cargo has restricted future bookings of snub-nosed dogs and cats while they conduct a safety review of possible acceptance policies.

For now, the following breeds cannot fly via Alaska Air Cargo:

Cats: Burmese, Exotic, Himalayan, Persian

Dogs: American Pit Bull, American Staffordshire, Boston Terrier, Brussels Griffin, Bull Mastiff, Bull Terrier, Chow Chow, Dutch Pug, English Bulldog, English Toy Spaniel, French Bulldog, Japanese Boxer, Japanese Spaniel, Pekinese Pug, Shih Tzu, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Terrier, Bulldog, Pug, Boxer

Note that this airline also has a few holiday flight restrictions for pet cargo travel (as will many cargo operations, so double check everything before you plan a flight near Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's). Different rules apply to pets traveling in the cabin -- go here to find out more.

Read all about Alaska Air Cargo pet travel polices here, and feel free to contact PetRelocation with your pet travel questions.

Safe travels, everyone!

 

Air Travel with a Persian Cat

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Jennifer
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Persian Cat Mix
From: Singapore
To: Houston, TX, USA

Hi there,

I am planning to move to the States in a couple of months. I am thinking of taking my cat with me. What are the necessary steps to take? I understand that an International Health Certificate is needed, along with Vaccination Certificate.

Also, I am a bit worried about my cat flying such a long way. Is it safe and comfortable? I would appreciate your feedback soon. Thank you.

Regards,
Jennifer

 

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for your inquiry. Moving pets to the United States requires fewer steps than going to some countries (Australia has a quarantine, for example, and the US does not). Here are the pet import requirements for the United States.

In addition to working with your vet to gather the required documents (as listed in the above link), you'll also need an airline-approved travel crate. Because your cat is a snub-nosed mix, you may want to choose a slightly larger crate than you think you need in order to allow for more air circulation and a more comfortable trip for your cat overall. It's also very important to choose a pet-friendly airline. Here is a little more information about traveling with a snub-nosed pet.

If you're interested in finding out more about our door-to-door services, feel free to contact us. If you'd like to handle the move on your own, we hope our blog and website can serve as helpful resources for you. Hopefully the stories you'll find on our blog will help to put your mind at ease regarding the safety of pet travel, and if you still have questions, we'd be happy to talk.

Good luck with everything, and thanks again for your question!
 

Tips and Advice for Relocating Fish

Monday, October 13, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

fish on deskRelocating fish requires different steps than moving a dog or a cat, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. We've helped several pet fish make their way from one place to another and have received a few inquiries about the process, so we thought we'd provide a quick overview of what's involved.

Thinking of moving your fish? Here are a few points to consider:

To Stay or to Go -- Fish are valued and important pets to many people, but sometimes you have to start by asking a hard question like, "Is it actually reasonable and safe to move my fish with me?" The costs can be steep (we'll talk more about that below) and going long distances brings an inherent risk to the fish's well-being (especially types of fish more susceptible to stress and who require a very specific environment), so before you start planning the logistics, think about whether that beta fish (cute as he is) might not be better off staying with a friend.

The Details -- To relocate safely, fish will need to be carefully packed in plastic bags of water (water that is properly oxygenated and balanced with chemical levels the fish are used to), and these bags are then placed in a Styrofoam box or other secure container of some kind (see below for an example). An aquarium will not be provided or moved by PetRelocation (and probably not by whoever is helping you move, if you've hired assistance), so you'll need to arrange to have one ready on the destination side along with all the accoutrements the fish need.

 

fish

A safe fish travel set-up

The Costs -- Airlines charge based on the weight and amount of space the fish container takes up, so it isn't necessarily cheaper than moving a cat or small dog (it could even be more expensive, in fact). Again, this is where measuring sentimental value comes in -- it sounds a little business-like, but you may find it's simply not worth it to move certain fish once you know costs could amount to $1200 or more.

The Timing -- It can take a little longer to price and plan a fish move due to the fact that fish shipping experts are harder to find. Making sure your fish are in safe hands means locating an agent who is qualified and available to assist in whatever city you need them, and it's safe to say that fish shippers aren't as plentiful as traditional agents used to transporting dogs and cats to the airport. Essentially, don't expect a fish move to come together overnight.

Here's more detailed information about how to relocate fish safely, and here's a fun story from our blog about some Koi we moved from Texas to Tennessee.

Considering moving your fish and have more questions? Feel free to contact us to speak to a Specialist.

 

paradise fish

 Daniella Vereeken/Flickr

Pet News Round-Up: Pet Health & Pet Travel

Friday, October 10, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

On thinking of your pets as children.

Health tips for dog owners.

How to tell if your cat is overweight.

Changes to the EU Pet Travel Scheme will go into effect Dec. 29, 2014.

Should dogs be vegetarians?

Cute video alert: Watch a French Bulldog frolic with a deer.

 

 

alex

Have a great weekend, pet lovers!

Pet Move of the Month: Benson's Relocation to Hong Kong

Thursday, October 2, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

bensonOnce again, it's time to focus the spotlight on one of our recent pet moves! We help move many cats to countries all around the world and Hong Kong is a frequently-chosen destination, so we decided that Benson would be a great choice to feature and learn from. (He's also really cute, so we've included plenty of pictures, too.)

Benson moved from Georgia to Hong Kong and his owners were nice enough to answer our questions and shed some light on the process of how this international journey became not only an incredible experience, but also our Pet Move of the Month.

Read all about Benson's move, and join us in wishing him and his family the best of luck in their new home!

What brought about your move?

My husband's company asked him to take a position in Hong Kong.

Have you ever moved a pet by air before this?

No, this was our first experience.

What were some of your initial concerns, and what surprised you about the pet travel process?

Benson being lost or injured during the move, or worse, getting quarantined for a long period once he arrived. We were really surprised at how much paperwork and coordination with the veterinarian it took to make all this happen.

How has Benson handled the transition so far?

Benson has been adjusting very well. He is growing to love his new home with all the different rooms and places to take naps.

benson

How does Hong Kong compare to the United States when it comes to pet-friendly attitudes, amenities, etc.?

Where we live in Discovery Bay is awesome. There are lots of families with pets here. Interestingly enough, Hong Kong as a whole is okay but most hotels here don't accept any pets at all. It's considered a sanitary concern, which would present an issue for anyone wanting to travel here with pets on a temporary basis. We were fortunate that we were already moved into our house when Benson arrived.

benson

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

Definitely use a relocation company, particularly PetRelocation. There's no way to guarantee that you'd get everything right and have your pet not be put in quarantine if you tried to plan it on your own.

For Hong Kong, most of the permits you would need have to be obtained in person. Using a company like PetRelocation, who has a great relationship with the government agencies who deal with pets being imported to the country, makes sure everything is seamless.

benson

What made you decide to hire professionals to assist you?

PetRelocation was suggested by our company. We looked at other ways to relocate Benson, but your company from the very first introduction made us feel at ease and comfortable. Definitely the best in the business, hands down. 

--

Thanks again to Benson's family for choosing us to help and for answering our questions!

Moving a pet to Hong Kong (or somewhere else)? Please contact us to speak to a specialist about your relocation options.

Pet Shipping to Colorado

Thursday, September 25, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Nathan
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: 2 cats
Pet Breed: Mix
From: Poland
To: CO, USA

 

Hi PetRelocation,

Could you please tell me if there are any vaccinations required for my cats' trip to the United States? I understand that they need a healthy pet certificate 10 days prior to the fight, but what else might happen in this case? Also, would they have to be put in any kind of kennel for observation upon arrival?

I would greatly appreciate any and all information you could give me on this!

Thanks,

Nathan
 

Hi Nathan,

Thanks for your inquiry!

Here are the pet import requirements for the United States. There is no quarantine upon arrival, and you're right, you do need to have an International Health Certificate issued by your vet showing the airline your cats are healthy and fit to fly. We also recommend that they be up to date on their rabies vaccine.

If your cats aren't used to traveling, we suggest reading over these cat crate-training tips as well as these frequently asked pet travel questions. You'll also want to contact a vet as you get settled in your new home to make sure you're following Colorado cat regulations correctly regarding vaccines, etc.

If you think you'd like to hire some assistance for your move, please contact us for a free quote. We provide door-to-door services around the world and would be happy to discuss your move options with you.

Hope this helps, and good luck with your travels!

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!


 

Pet Move of the Month: The Travels of Gordon the Horse

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

gordonWhen Gordon's owner needed to move across the country from California to North Carolina, she decided to enlist our horse-relocating help.

Horse moves do require special arrangements: While dogs and cats need airline-approved travel crates and tickets on a pet-friendly airline (among other things), horses most likely need to be moved via ground transportation and have special paperwork requirements.

Here's an overview of how this Pet Move of the Month worked:

-Gordon traveled in an 8x9 box stall that featured a water bucket and hay on the ground. This size allowed him room to reach his head down and move around to find a comfortable travel position.

-The vehicle was stopped every four hours so that Gordon could be checked on and his water topped off.

-About halfway there, Gordon was given a comfort stop where he had the chance to move around in a private paddock and he was given more fresh hay, grain and water.

-As far as travel documents, Gordon needed a health certificate and a Coggins Results Form (here's more about horse travel requirements if you're interested).

A few days after the move was successfully completed, Gordon's trainer was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his journey:

 Was this Gordon's first move?

Gordon has been moved within the area of Northern California, but never cross country. 

What were some of your initial concerns?

My primary concerns for Gordon were his older age, and his attachment to my horse who he wasn't shipped with. Gordon is more anxious than most horses and I was worried he would have a hard time relaxing. 

 

gordon frolicking

(He doesn't look very anxious here...)

 

What surprised you about the travel process, if anything?

Mostly I was surprised at how well PetRelocation and the equine shippers stayed in contact with me. They let me know daily that he was doing well.

How has Gordon handled the transition so far?

Gordon took about four days to fully settle in to his new barn, but is now back to his usual spunky self. 

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

Try to put weight on your horse before the move, they will lose some during transport. As well, I would recommend ulcer guard for any high anxiety type of performance horses. 

 

gordon

Home!

 

--

Great job, Gordon! Read about other horse moves we've arranged, and please contact us if you're looking for assistance with a pet move of your own.

 

Exploring The Heathrow Animal Reception Centre

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by Pet Friendly Airports

heathrowIn order to meet the import rules of the United Kingdom, all pets entering or re-entering the country must pass through one place: the Heathrow Animal Reception Center (HARC). It can be hard to know what to expect from facilities like this, but luckily there is quite a bit of information out there if you know where to look.

To save you some time, we've compiled several details about the HARC so that families going to the UK with pets will know what to expect. Hope this helps!

First, here's the process: upon arrival at Heathrow, pets are transferred to the HARC for their vet check and customs clearance -- a process that usually takes about 2-3 hours. After the check is finished, pets are released into the care of the designated pet owner or agent, who shows a photo ID.

The Centre is open every day (even holidays), but note that at busy travel times (around the winter holidays, for example), it can take longer to clear customs.

Here are a few fun facts about the HARC:

  • Around 13,000 dogs and cats pass through the Centre ever year.
  • About 2,500 birds (mostly pets) also visit.
  • 40 dogs can be held here at once.
  • The HARC employs about 30 full-time employees.
  • The Centre can also hold large animals (like horses) and exotic species (think lions and large reptiles).
  • A waiting room with sofas, TVs and vending machines is available for families waiting for their pets.

 

Here is where the HARC is located in relation to the airport (click on the map for a better look):

 

heathrow map

 

Want to know more? Take a look at a couple of videos touring the HARC:

 

 

 

For additional information, here's a list of frequently asked questions and tips relating to the HARC, and if you like cute pet reunion pictures (who doesn't?), follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Please contact us if you have more questions about moving pets to the UK (or anywhere else), and happy traveling!

Relocating Pets: Moving Cats to the United States

Thursday, September 4, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Iain
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Maine Coon
From: Australia
To: Michigan, USA

 

Hi,

We will be moving to Michigan for 3 years and I would like to confirm the requirements for moving our cat. If I read the info correctly we will not need a rabies vaccination prior to moving as we are a rabies free country but may need one upon arrival, please could you confirm as it is hard to find state requirements and anything else we will require?

Thanks,
Iain
 

Hi Iain,

Thanks for the question! The pet import requirements for the United States are less strict than those for many other countries, and you'll also need to meet the airline requirements (usually that means a vet health certificate stating your cat is healthy and fit to fly).

If you'd like to be thorough (which is always a good idea when it comes to pet travel), we recommend contacting a licensed veterinarian in Michigan to find out what the state laws are, as states vary from one to the other regarding rabies laws for cats.

When you return to Australia, your cat will need updated rabies vaccines and must meet a few other requirements (even though you started out there). There is also a 10-day quarantine on arrival. Here is an official link describing the pet import requirements for Australia.

If your cat is new to traveling, it may be helpful to read over these crate-training tips for cats. If you're interested in hiring some assistance for this move, you can fill out our free quote form to find out more about our services.

Thanks again for reaching out, and good luck with your move!

Pet News Round-Up: Pizza Cats and Sheep Dogs

Friday, August 29, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Okay, then: this fake Pizza Hut is run by cats (in Japan).

You're on holiday. Can you/should you rescue that stray cat?

The mystery of how dogs herd sheep.

Crazy products you can buy to spoil your pet.

How to relocate your pets to a new country. How to relocate yourself to a new country.

Meet Mac and Bubba, two frequent pet travelers with lots of great tips to share.

 

 

amal

Have a good weekend!

Mac and Bubba's Adventures: Tips from a Pet Travel Pro

Thursday, August 28, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

macMany of our clients end up hiring us more than once for help with moving their pets. Due to a particular job or just a love for adventure, they find themselves needing to relocate every few years and, of course, need to bring their pets along with them.

Mac and Bubba are getting ready to move for the second time with us (they've lived in Michigan, Mexico, and now they're off to Japan), and their owners have been amazing about passing along fun and informative pet travel details. We couldn't let such great info go unshared, so we asked them to divulge a few particularly helpful tips and stories to the rest of the pet travel community.

There is some truly top-notch advice here about how to settle in with pets in a new country and how to prep your pets for a relocation. Read on to hear all about Mac and Bubba's globetrotting adventures!

What are your tips for helping your pets prepare for and recover from a big move?

At this point, both Mac and Bub are pretty seasoned travelers. 

I've had Bubba (an 8-year-old tabby cat) with me long enough now that when boxes arrive at the house, he knows what's up. I can't say he's a fan of the whole process, but I can say he's all the better about it because I calmly keep him in the loop.

What I'm saying here is that I talk to my pets. Don't pretend you don't do this too. If you care enough about them to look into a pet relocation service, you almost certainly have assigned a voice to them in your head with which they respond back in your conversations. Bubba has always sounded a bit pompous and pious; so entitled about his automatic litter box that you almost want to pinch his cheeks at how adorably wrong he is.  

Point being, your pets know your voice: it's common and familiar to them. This proved crucial on our way to Mexico, particularly as there were a few things I was unprepared for in taking Bubs as my carry on.

I had to take him out of his carrier and carry him through TSA, and they asked me to take his collar off as well.  He had no identification on his neck for a few minutes.  I tried not to act scared as I clutched him like a bear-trap. As we traveled through the Detroit airport, we passed through the "Whale-Song" tunnel. If you're not familiar, it's an art installation between two gates that features a light show and whale-song recording. This, for a cat, is TERRIFYING. When we landed, the quick pressure change resulted in Bub's immediately emptying his entire bowel... from both ends*... I had to rinse him out in the airport bathroom sink before we went through customs, because of the stink.

 

buddy

 

The notable and important part of all of that was that talking to Bubba through all of it not only kept him calm(er) because I'm familiar and he trusts me, but it helped me keep my head on straight, too. And in a few of those instances, he relied on my soothing, cooing voice to calm him enough so as not to dig his tiny dagger-like cat claws into my shoulders and leave permanent nerve damage, thus forever ruining my killer tennis game.** 

*While I felt bad for the people who were seated near us because... holy smell, Batman -- I can say it made going through customs REALLY easy because... holy smell, Batman. They didn't want to deal with him so I got buzzed through pretty quickly.

**I'm really bad at tennis, but you get the point.

Obviously, talking to your dog is a great idea too (Mac, the 5-year-old Dober-mutt, has an inner monologue that sounds quite a bit like Dug from Up). Dogs love the attention, and they want constant reassurance that they get to come along for the ride. I've never seen Mac happier than when PetRelocation brought him to our front door in Mexico, he saw my face and realized HE GOT TO COME ALONG!  

What I recommend most about dogs in particular is teaching your dog some cues in the native language. Here's the thing; Mac is a ridiculously silly, snuggly dog. But he's also rather gigantic, and his Doberman genes are pretty visible in those waggly eyebrows of his. A large portion of our Mexican friends were legitimately frightened of our dog and his breed's stereotypes. But it was really fun to see that melt away as soon as we'd say "Mac, Dame Cinco!" Showing your new Spanish-speaking amigos how they can ask your dog for a high-five in a way they understand. Now he's learning Japanese for the same reason. (In case you were curious- high five: "O-Te", or "hand, please.")

 

mac

 

Above and beyond all of that, the number one thing I recommend before your move, is to learn about the culture you're going to and what that means for your pets. Find a RELIABLE SOURCE for this information -- I can't tell you how many Americans very confidently informed me that my dog was going to be abducted and turned into tacos... and now how many tell me Bubs will become sushi. Which... I mean come on, it's not only ignorant, it's just plain offensive (I will also confidently report that you absolutely CAN drink the water in Mexico).

Mexican and Japanese people keep pets, and those pets are well loved, just in a different cultural understanding. Within the industrial city of Mexico where we stayed, if you keep a dog, it is almost certainly purebred. It usually lives outside, and it's fairly uncommon to teach them any tricks or take them for walks. Cats are pets that no one really go out to purposely adopt, but happen in a more "a stray cat had kittens in my yard. Now I have cats." Again, this doesn't mean they're unloved. I've seen Mexican friends frantically drive to a market to find kitten-milk in the middle of the night because the kittens in their garage needed it.

 

bubba

 

Anytime I walked Mac somewhere, someone would enthusiastically show me a cellphone selfie of them and their dog. Bubba ended up with his own celebrity status among the housekeeping staff at a hotel we stayed in because he looked like Garfield and he's friendly. More than once I'd come back to the room after working out to find six or seven housekeepers cooing over him or playing with the feather wand.  

Point being, once I knew where our friend's thoughts on pets and expectations started, it was a lot easier for me to assuage misconceptions and let them know just how Mac and Bub were a little bit different.

What are the biggest misconceptions about relocating with a pet?

The biggest misconception is relocating with a pet is not doable. It TOTALLY IS doable, and it's totally worth it. Help is recommended: PetRelocation (specifically the ever-lovely Sarah) has helped me with 1.5 moves now (next move in January is already underway with preparations), and she was kind enough not only to help me get the boys from point A to point B, but also helped with finding pet care resources like veterinarians, where to buy the right brand of dog/cat food, and there have even been a few times where she's helped me translate the names of vaccines or flea-preventatives. I probably could have stumbled through some of that with my limited Spanish skills, but there's something to be said about the extra confidence boost a level of expertise will give you as you pave your way in a new country.

 

mac

 

Your pets are so beyond happy for the opportunity to stay with you, because you're who they know and love, you're who adopted them and took on the responsibility of taking care of them, and you're what give your pets a sense of home. Critters are remarkably adaptive to environment, but they are loyal to their people.  And let's be honest, I wouldn't be able to call anywhere home without them.

In conclusion; keep in mind that no one is going to abduct or eat your pets, in any form of regional culinary delicacy. Try the tacos and the sushi, the curry and the papusas, because none of them are made out of Fluffy or Fido, and it's going to be the most delicious thing you've ever put in your face.

--

Thanks to Mac and Bubba's owner for this insightful (and entertaining) information! No one said it was easy to be a devoted pet parent, but clearly it's a lifestyle that has its rewards.

One last thing: Here's a video of Mac -- it's the first in the "Mac Does Something Awesome" series (here is a link to the others). What a cool pet family!

 

 

Questions about Dog Travel to Indonesia

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Sam
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Labrador
From: Canada
To: Indonesia

 

Hello,

I am in need of help.... I need to understand the impact of a potential move. My dog is 7.5 years old. He is a British dog, with a British pet passport. He lived in UK, then came to Switzerland with us for 4 years, then to Canada for 2 years and now we have a potential move to Indonesia or back to the UK. He is key in our decision making. I worry about Indonesia, I worry about:

- The journey
- The quarantine
- The paperwork
- The cultural difference with regards to pets/dogs
- The return to the UK/EU in a couple of years

Please can you help me with any advice or information to aid our decision making process? This is a company move.

Thanking you so much,
Sam
 

Hi Sam,

Sure, we'd be happy to offer you some information and to help you make sense of your options. For your reference, here are the pet import requirements for Indonesia.

It sounds like travel isn't new to you, but here is some basic information about traveling with a pet -- choosing the right airline, knowing the country requirements, and helping your dog to be prepared (with exercise, crate-training and hydration) are all good ways to help plan a safe and smooth trip. We've helped move pets all over the world, and while the new country is often quite a change, we hear again and again that owners find their pets to be surprisingly resilient.

In terms of living with a dog in Indonesia, you can probably expect pet food to be more expensive and the brands available may be limited. Having pets isn't as common in Indonesia as it is in Canada or the EU, but as in much of the world, attitudes are becoming more welcoming.

Here is some advice we give to all future expats regarding pets: research housing/apartment options before you go in order to find something pet-friendly, check online forums and expat websites for current details and helpful tips, and be prepared to exercise respect and flexibility as you adapt to local customs and learn to follow the accepted pet etiquette in your new home.

For a firsthand account of moving a pet to Indonesia, please take a look at the story of Fattie the cat: we recently helped her relocate to Jakarta. We have moved several pets to Indonesia and would be happy to discuss the process with you in greater depth if you'd like. Note that, to return to the UK or another EU country, your dog will face more stringent requirements than if you were coming from a rabies-free country (but it is possible to do).

Hopefully this helps to get you started! Please contact us if you're interested in speaking to us further, and good luck with everything.

 

Cat Travel between Dubai and the United States

Thursday, August 21, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Arsalan
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Maine Coon mix
From: Dubai, UAE
To: San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Dear PetRelocation,

My wife and I are moving to San Francisco for a few months, and are trying to decide whether we should move our cat Zoe with us for the duration or whether we should keep her in Dubai.

I am sure you can imagine that we really don't want to leave her behind that long, and would love to have her with us at all times! (But are ready to do whatever is best for her.)

Your advice in this matter would be highly appreciated, as we have never been through something like this before.

Really appreciate your time and assistance.

Arsalan :)

 

Hi Arsalan,

Thank you for your question -- deciding whether or not to bring a pet on a non-permanent relocation is definitely a challenge and we certainly understand that you hate the idea of spending time away from Zoe!

First, you'll want to weigh the costs (financial and time-related) of meeting the travel requirements involved with this trip. Going to the United States means securing a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccine, and returning to Dubai will take a little more effort (your cat will need to be microchipped if not already, receive full vaccinations, and have all the required import documents). These things take time to complete and you'll end up spending several hundred dollars, as well.

There's also the matter of how well Zoe will handle two long airplane journeys. Pet travel is safe when planned correctly and we find that pets are pretty resilient, but since this isn't a permanent relocation, it's worth considering whether she might be happier staying in Dubai with a trusted friend, relative or boarding facility.

Lots of pet owners struggle over this kind of decision and there is no right answer, of course. All you can do is consider all factors, talk it over with your vet, and think about what is best for Zoe. Feel free to contact us if you'd like any further assistance.

Hope this helps... Good luck and travel safely!
 

Incredible Experiences: Fattie's Big Move to Jakarta!

Thursday, August 21, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Ashley
Pet's Name: Fattie
From: Washington, DC
To: Jakarta, Indonesia

When we learned that we were moving to Jakarta, one thing that was a top priority was bringing our cat, Fattie, along with us. We had a very short timeline (only two months) from accepting the job to our move, so we felt that we really needed help facilitating the move.

PetRelocation was great from start to finish. They were true to their word and really saw the entire move through. We mostly worked with Sarah and Tobi and they were both friendly and helpful and always promptly replied to our emails, which was a really big help considering our super short timeline.

I definitely can't say enough about the actual flight and relocation process. We felt like our cat was in good hands during her travels and the service was truly door-to-door, which is something that we really needed.

Fattie is doing great here at her new home in Jakarta and is loving all of the tropical plants and wildlife. Thank you again to Tobi, Sarah, and everyone at PetRelocation for making our (and Fattie's) transition to Jakarta that much smoother! You guys are the best!
 



PetRelocation Team Member Spotlight: Meet Whitney!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by Core Values

The Core Values here at PetRelocation -- Integrity, Teamwork, Wisdom, Commitment and Innovation -- drive the work that we do and are illustrated by the people we hire.

Recently we introduced you to Penney, one of our dedicated Client Care Specialists, and today we'd like you to meet Whitney, another of our hard-working team members doing her best to make every pet move and client interaction an incredible experience.

Want to know more about what it's like to work at PetRelocation? Here's what Whitney had to say about her life as a PetRelocation Consultant.

whitney & maggieMy Journey with PetRelocation (so Far)

Day to Day

Working here is not routine or predictable, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Discussing unusual moves – whether it is a unique pet or less familiar location – with our clients certainly keep us on our toes.

Rats, fish, birds, snakes -- they all have very different needs when it comes to transportation as well as differing import and export requirements! I often still answer calls that initially get me stuck – most recently about how to move a chicken to Vietnam (not easy)!

How I Got Here

When I stumbled upon a job listing for this company, I knew it was right for me. The position seamlessly connected my previous sales, customer service and animal experience. At this point I had no idea that there was such a huge market for this service (and my grandma will never understand: “It costs HOW MUCH to move a cat??” – love you Granny)!

Learning all of the rules, requirements and procedures involved has been quite challenging. We all gain and share knowledge every day. My co-workers have been so helpful and we all strive to provide the best experience possible to each client and their furry travelers!

The Best Parts

The most rewarding part of this job is the reunions – seeing happy owners and pets greet each other after the journey is over. I recently had the pleasure of delivering Bane, a beautiful husky, to his owners who just moved to Austin. Their excitement was contagious. I left with a huge grin and a feeling of accomplishment.

Of course, having pets in the office is a huge perk as well. There’s a dog running around daily, a resident hamster, and we even had a cat in for picture day! My pup Maggie really enjoys this.

Continuing the Journey

Change is inevitable here. This is a very unique industry with ever-changing rules and requirements, and there certainly isn’t a handbook explaining the ABCs of importing/exporting pets to every country in the world. I feel lucky to be a part PetRelocation -- a leader in our industry and a knowledgeable team that makes it all possible.

Meet the rest of the PetRelocation team, and please contact us if you have questions about your upcoming pet move.