Help Me Move My Pet

Pet Travel Question: Shipping a Dog to Puerto Rico

Monday, July 29, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Rafelina
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Mini Pinscher
From: Albany, NY
To: Vega Baja, Puerto Rico


What pet requirements are needed to send my puppy to Puerto Rico and how much will it cost?




Hi Rafelina,

Take a look at the pet import requirements for Puerto Rico. As you can see, because Puerto Rico is a US commonwealth, pet shipping from the continental United States is not considered international and you will only need domestic health certificates and proof of current vaccinations. Be aware that we recommend waiting until a dog is at least 12 weeks old before traveling.

The cost of your dog's move will depend on a number of factors. The bulk of your costs will be related to pet air travel, as you will need to book a plane ticket for your puppy on a pet-friendly airline and you will need to purchase an airline-approved travel crate if you do not already own one. Additionally, depending on your travel arrangements, you might need to hire a ground transportation service to take your puppy to the airport in New York and pick him up in Puerto Rico.

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

Pet Travel Question: International Dog Travel

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: P.
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Xoloitzcuintle
From: Seattle
To: Oslo

Please tell me what airlines carry dogs to Oslo from Seattle, I'd like to ship my dog as cargo.

Thank you,


Thanks for the question! It's definitely important to choose a pet-friendly airline for your trip. We often fly with Lufthansa, KLM and Continental, as they're dedicated to making pet safety a priority.

Please contact us if you'd like more advice or if you need a free quote for our services. We'd be happy to help you plan your move!

Pet-Friendly Airline Update: The Continental and United Airline Merger

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

continental logoIt's the nature of the travel world: nothing stays the same for too long. You may have recently heard about the planned merger between Continental and United Airlines, and we wanted to update you about what this will mean for pet travel.

Due to their excellent safety record and PetSafe program, Continental is one of our top choices when it comes to shipping pets. We're therefore happy to hear them report that the current practices will be transferred over in a few months. All of Continental's embargoes, restrictions and amenities will soon apply to United's flights, including year-round shipping and the use of dedicated PetSafe vans. Additional enhancements are in in the works, as well.

It will still take a few months until the two airlines are brought into complete harmony, but we'll keep you updated regarding anything pet-related. For now, talk to your Pet Relocation Specialist about any questions you may have, and travel safely, everyone!

Pet Travel Question: Shipping Cats, Keeping Calm

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Fernanda
Number of Pets: Two
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: Maine Coon
From: Las Vegas
To: Brazil

My flight to Brazil from Las Vegas is 13 hours, I have another flight that lasts about one hour, then it's about a three-hour drive to my final destination. Will my cats be ok? One is four years old and the other one is seven years old. what about food and water?


Hi Fernanda,

Thank you for submitting a question to us! Your concerns are certainly understandable, as international travel can definitely be taxing. It's important to go about it carefully to ensure that your cats have the safest experience possible.

We have flown many pets on long journeys like this with much success, and our pet travel tips include the following:

-Be sure to choose a pet-friendly airline that will take good care of your pet before they board and after the plane has landed. We often use KLM, Continental and Lufthansa.

-Your pets should be accustomed to their travel crates, and the kennels should be affixed with water dishes (you can freeze water in them overnight to make sure your cats have something to drink later on).

-Place something absorbent in the bottom of the crate (an old towel or some shredded newspaper) to take care of any possible messes.

-Stay calm! Your pets pick up on your vibes, so if you're cool and collected your cats will be more likely to avoid feeling too much anxiety themselves.

Please contact us if you have any more questions or if you'd like some help with your move. Good luck with everything!

Pet Travel News Briefs: Volcanic Ash and Summer Policies Could Affect Pet Flights

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

It's not quite summer yet, but we can certainly see that things are heating up in the land of pet travel! We recently heard about a few changes and thought we'd pass them along to you...

Volcanic Ash Disruptions
Due to residual ash from the eruptions of two different volcanoes, there have been some schedule disruptions in various cities.

Flights to and from Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires may continue to be affected depending on the developing conditions. If you're flying between Melbourne and Sydney you may have previously been delayed, but things should be back to normal today.

Flights between Sydney and the U.S. are operating normally now, as are flights in the Middle East (due to ash from the eruption of the Nabro volcano in Eritrea), however it's always a good idea to double check with the airline before you leave home.

No Continental Flights to Bermuda

Effective immediately, Continental and United Airlines (who have recently merged) will not operate their PetSafe program to or from Bermuda. Rescheduling in the future should be possible, but they have not announced a specific date yet.

Air Canada Strike

If you've heard the words "strike" and "Air Canada" spoken together recently, don't be alarmed. Some call center and customer service agents have taken strike action, but the airline's cargo operations are running as usual and they're working to ensure that passengers are affected minimally, if at all.

Delta Summer Travel

You may recall that Delta has a summer program for pets that limits when they fly. We've been advised that Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) has pulled out of the program, and they will not ship any pets if temperatures exceed 85 degrees. Other airports may be following suit, so again, double check before you fly.

We recommend flying with Continental anyway, but keep in mind that, with limited pet flights during the summer, it's more important than ever to plan your travels carefully and well in advance of your desired departure date.

Have you encountered any unexpected issues while traveling? Let us know about them here or on Facebook, and check out these Five Tips for Dealing with Pet Travel Predicaments. Good luck and stay safe, everyone!

IAD airport

Pet Travel Question: Summer Dog Travel to Venezuela

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Leo
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Irish Terrier
From: Indianapolis, IN
To: Valencia, Venezuela

1) I am running into the airline "85 degrees and above no ship rule." I understand the safety concern, but is there an airline that provides special handling for a price?
2) What are the best pet-friendly airlines that go to Venezuela?
3) I have a friend who can babysit him and bring him to me when it is cool, but I am not sure of my job situation down there. What suggestions do you have, if any?


Hi Leo,

The summer heat definitely makes pet travel more difficult, but you're right, these restrictions are put into place for good reason. Double check with various airlines (Continental is our top choice) regarding your options, though. Most of the time these rules specifically apply to snub-nosed breeds, so, though many travelers choose to wait until temperatures are cooler, you may be able to fly after all. It's important to choose a carrier that will handle your pet carefully (take a look at our Pet Friendly Airline series for more information), and be sure to review the pet import requirements for Venezuela.

If you have any more questions, please contact us. Good luck with your travels, Leo!

Pet Travel Question: Pet-Friendly Airline Choices

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Cristina
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dog ; Cat
Pet Breed: Lab mix dog, 58 pounds; small black and white cat
From: near Roanoke, VA
To: San Francisco

We need to move at the beginning of July. I'd really appreciate if you help me decide between those two options:
1) Drive 4 and 1/2 hrs to Dulles Airport in DC and fly non-stop with United Airlines to San Francisco at 9:30 pm; the dog will come to the check in as extra baggage and then fly in cargo.
2) Drive 6 and 1/2 hrs to Cleveland, OH, spend the night in a hotel, and fly at 9:00 am with Continental non-stop to San Francisco. The dog will go in cargo.

The first option seems easier but I read that Continental has a better program for pets: Is that true? Is it worth the extra hours, money and stress?


Hi Cristina,

Thank you for contacting us with your question! Continental is our preferred domestic carrier when it comes to shipping pets, as they make safety a high priority (check out our Pet Friendly Airline Spotlight for more info). That being said, sometimes it's more convenient to choose another airline, so it's up to you to ask questions, weigh your options, and consider what's most important to you. Keep in mind also that breaking up a trip into shorter legs isn't necessarily worse for the pet; sometimes having more breaks for stretching and resting - even if it makes the whole trip longer - can make the experience less taxing.

Please contact us if you have more questions; one of our Specialists would be happy to speak with you at greater length, and consider using our FaceBook page as a resource, as well. Good luck with everything!

Pet Friendly Airline Spotlight: Virgin Atlantic

Thursday, May 26, 2011 by Pet Friendly Airlines

We're wrapping up the last week of our Pet Friendly Airline Series by spotlighting a few airlines we've yet to cover. So far we've looked at Lufthansa, Continental, JetBlue, Delta and KLM, but we thought you'd like to know about Virgin Atlantic, as well.

Virgin Atlantic is a British airline headquartered near London Gatwick Airport, and last year they carried about 5.3 million passengers. They aren't as comprehensive a pet carrier as a few other airlines, but they've come in handy for a number of four-legged flyers and, you never know, might be the best choice for you someday.

Here are a few facts about Virgin America: 

-Virgin Atlantic flies pets to about 16 major cities, including Boston, Dubai and San Francisco.

-Because exceptions do apply, VA recommends that you call them first to discuss your pet travel plans before you book your own flight.

-If you're flying with Virgin Atlantic it's likely you're flying in or out of the UK, so start familiarizing yourself with their specific import rules, including the Pet Travel Scheme, well in advance of your trip.

-While we're on the topic, here's an interesting Virgin Atlantic anecdote: Though not one of our customers, we loved following the adventures of Sparrow, an African Grey Parrot who managed to gain permission to fly with Virgin Atlantic even though they normally only ship dogs and cats. It ended up being a successful move, and it's a story worth reading if you're planning to fly with a bird anytime in the future.

Have you ever flown with Virgin Atlantic? Let us know if you have any helpful tips or fun stories to share!

virgin atlantic logo

PetRelo Airline SpotlightPetRelocation.com's Pet Friendly Airline Spotlight Series will feature one airline each week during the month of May.  Check back each Monday through Thursday this month for more information about the various pet programs and tips for booking pet-friendly flights, and use #PetReloAS on Twitter to follow and join the conversation!


Pet Friendly Airline Series: A Look at Delta

Monday, May 23, 2011 by Pet Friendly Airlines

delta cargo logoSo far in our Pet Friendly Airline Series we've spotlighted Lufthansa, JetBlue and Continental. For the final week in the series, we're going to mix things up a little by focusing on a few other high-profile airlines. They just released an announcement regarding summer pet travel, so today we're taking a quick look at Delta Airlines.

Though PetRelocation.com doesn't use Delta and they don't exactly have a clean track record regarding transportation, it's still worth knowing about their services. Delta Cargo recently announced the launch of its Summer Live Animal Program, which will be in effect from May 15 through October 15, 2011. This program is dedicated to safely shipping animals in select cities during the hottest months of the year.

Specifically, this  means that extra attention will be paid to pets flying this summer. Climate-controlled vans operated by specially-trained employees will pick up and deliver all warm-blooded animals when they're traveling to and from the aircraft, the animal holding areas and the cargo facilities. Exceptions to this pet program apply to snub-nosed dogs and cats, which will not be accepted when temperatures exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Travelers interested in flying their pets with Delta Cargo this summer should pre-book their pets with the Delta Cargo Call Center, who can be reached at 1.888.736.3738 or 1.800.352.2746.

Find out more about flying pets with Delta, and be sure to post your questions in the comments section!

Summer Pet Travel: Questions about Travel Restrictions and Dates to Remember

Thursday, April 28, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

Pet travel always requires plenty of planning and attention to detail, but as summer approaches it's important to make pet safety an especially high priority. Everyone involved in the pet travel process (pet owners, airline employees, pet taxi drivers, etc ) must be vigilant and well-informed.

If you're planning a trip anytime soon, here are a few questions you may have as well as a few important deadlines to keep in mind.

Why can pet travel be more complicated in the summer?

The demands of travel combined with the hot weather that summer brings makes it hard to keep your pet in a constant state of temperature-controlled comfort. Airlines adapt to these challenges by imposing restrictions on pet travel during the summer months, so it's important to check the rules well in advance if you're planning a trip.

Here are some of the specific restrictions you'll face:

United Airlines - From June 1 to Sept. 30, "snub-nosed" breeds will still be accepted for cabin travel but will not be admitted as cargo or checked baggage. From May 1 to Sept. 30, no pets can fly in the baggage section to or from Bahrain or Kuwait

Continental Airlines - From May 15 to Sept. 15, no Boston Terriers, Bulldogs or Pugs will be accepted, and during the rest of the year they will be flown only if the temperature is below 85 degrees. Last year they ended up restricting snub-nosed breeds through the month of September.
(UPDATE: As of December 2011, Continental no longer accepts English Bulldogs older than six months of age or who weigh more than 20 lbs. Please check with the airline or with PetRelocation.com if you have any questions about flying snub-nosed breeds.)

American Airlines - Though they don't list specific dates, pets will not be flown when the temperature is expected to top 85 degrees. Brachycephalic dog and cat breeds are not accepted at any time as checked baggage.

Delta Airlines - From May 15 through Sept. 15, pets will not be accepted as checked baggage but they can be shipped as cargo. Year-round restrictions regarding snub-nosed breeds apply, as well (for example, Delta does not accept Bulldogs at any time).

So some pets are more susceptible to heat-related problems? What exactly is a "snub-nosed" breed?

Also known as brachycephalic breeds, these kinds of dogs (and some cats) have a physical difference in the structure of their face and nose that makes it harder for them to breathe in any circumstance and even more likely to have problems when they're traveling, especially when they're nervous, excited or dealing with high altitudes. Pugs, Bulldogs and Boston Terriers fall into this category.

Are other kinds of pets at risk?

Regardless of what kind of pet you have, it's important to choose a pet-friendly airline. Even the healthiest animals can become stressed when they're away from their normal surroundings, and airlines like Continental ensure that pets are not exposed to high temperatures, are not left waiting on the tarmac, and are given plenty of water and attention.

So how do I really know if it's okay to fly my pet?

It's important to talk to your vet about your pet's health status, and once you've determined that your furry friend is up for the journey, do everything you can to make the trip a success by choosing a pet-friendly airline and attending to all other important details. Here are a few tips for safe summer pet travel.

May 15 is fast approaching, so if you could possibly be affected by any of the above restrictions then you'll want to make sure you plan appropriately. If you have a move ahead of you, book your snub-nosed dogs' flights before the deadline, consider pushing your move back until temperatures have dropped to a safe level again, or if you can, make it a road trip instead.

Do you have any summer pet travel advice or stories to share? Let us know here or on Facebook!

Pug with Leash

Pet Travel Question: Summer Air Travel with Dogs

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Amanda
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: dog
Pet Breed: Corgis (21 lbs, 26 lbs)
From: Dallas, TX
To: Alaska

I am having trouble finding what kind of travel bag to get to transport my fur kids in the cabin with me. It will be too hot in Dallas for the Airline to allow us to ship the pets in cargo, meaning that they will have to go in the cabin with me. Do you have suggestions on what type of bag to get and where? Also, what should I do to prepare them? Is there anything we can do to help calm them down too? Our youngest one likes to bark a lot. I am afraid they will remove him because of barking. Suggestions? Anything you can help with would be appreciated.


Hi Amanda!

Thank you for your question. First, it's important to check with the airline you'll be using to find out about their particular requirements for in-cabin pet transport. Unfortunately you'll be encountering weight limits (JetBlue, for example, doesn't allow the dog and carrier to exceed 20 pounds), so review each possible airline to find out if this trip can be carried out as you imagine it.

As for purchasing a pet travel carrier, again, check with the airline to see what they allow. Continental permits both hard-cased and soft kennels that can be placed under the seat in front of you, and they allow one pet per passenger. Many airlines sell the travel carriers at the ticket desk and JetBlue sells them online. If you end up flying your dogs in cargo, you'll also need to meet specific travel crate requirements.

For behavior, it's important to be sure that your dogs are comfortable being in a carrier, so work on getting them used to it during the weeks before you go. We do not recommend sedating pets during air travel (sedatives may interfere with regular breathing).

One of our Pet Relocation Specialists would be happy to speak with you if you have further questions, Amanda, so contact us if you need anything! Good luck with everything and keep in touch!

Learning about the Pet Shipping Business: My First Week at PetRelocation.com!

Thursday, April 7, 2011 by Sarah R. Smith

Sarah and BaileyMarch 15th marked a new beginning for me when I started my job as a PetRelocation Specialist here at PetRelocation.  Upon first hearing of my new gig, people typically had a few different reactions.

“What will you be doing?”

“I have a cat I want to get rid of. Can you find him a new home for me?”

“What is PetRelocation.com?”

It turns out I will be relocating pets all around the world. I will not be able to “get rid” of your cat for you. And what is PetRelocation? It’s a company with amazing owners, amazing employees, and a big heart. 

We relocate pets across the United States and across the world. If you’re moving and you think your cats will scratch and claw in the car all the way from San Diego to Miami, send them via air, shipped specially by PetRelocation.com!  If your company tells you you’re moving to China, Germany or South Africa, we can make sure your pets make it there safely, as well. 

When asked why I wanted to work at PetRelocation.com, I had a few things to say.  I have a passion for animals, and since I would never leave my dog in the hands of strangers, I wanted to find out more about this niche in the market. I wanted to find out how this company shipped pets. Were they just tossing them in with the luggage? Do they get left in a warehouse? What in the world does ‘quarantine’ mean?

After working here for a week, I found my answers:

How does the company ship pets?

It’s literally a door-to-door service. Our agent picks up your pet from your home and takes him to the airport. He flies to your new home and another agent picks him up and hand delivers him to your door. The day of the move, the pet owner literally doesn’t have to lift a finger. 

Were they just tossing the pets in with the luggage?

No way! PetRelocation.com works with pet-friendly airlines, such as Continental, KLM and Lufthansa. These airlines have policies and procedures in place to ensure your pet is the last to board the airplane and first to be taken off. They are not left on the tarmac while staff rearranges luggage. They are never “tossed” anywhere. They all travel with name tags, water and blankets. Airline personnel can say hi personally to “Buddy” or “Elvis.” Imagine if your dog left you, was unsure of what was happening, and then as he was getting on the plane a stranger called him by his name and gave him some water.  The last thing he hears is something we all love to hear: our own name! It’s those little personal touches that make the difference.

Do they leave pets in a warehouse?

Not a chance! PetRelocation.com works with agents and airlines who treat your pets as they would their own. They are never left on a tarmac or in a warehouse unattended. In fact, some airports are set up to let pets out of their crate during a layover to stretch their legs and run around a bit!

What does ‘quarantine’ mean?

Quarantine sounds like a scary word. Webster has many definitions, including "a state of enforced isolation." So my dog has to be locked up? Like solitary confinement? Not exactly! Everyone here reassured me that quarantine just means making sure an animal isn’t going to transport rabies or another disease from one country to another. Sometimes it means they have to enter a facility (kennel), but most times the quarantine period can be completed at the owner’s home. Nothing changes except they get their rabies shot and they can’t leave the country for a short period. They can still go to the park, the lake, the vet, etc…

So now I’ve worked here at PetRelocation for a little while. In our office, as I type this, we have a Labradoodle named Aussie, a Golden Retriever named Charlie, and an Airedale/lab mix named Draper. It’s obvious we are a bunch of animal lovers, and just about everyone who works here has a pet of their own. That’s why we’re so good at what we do. We treat your pets as if they were our own, we’re friendly, we thrive on our great customer service, and there is no move too big or small.

We have pictures all over the office of pets that have been to Spain, Italy, India, China, the Caribbean and more! At the end of a move, there’s a little sense of joy when you get that phone call saying the pet owner and pet have been reunited in their new home, and you know you made it happen. It almost gives you goose bumps.


Pet Travel Update: More Severe Weather Means More Delays on the East Coast

Thursday, January 27, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

Severe winter weather just won't leave the East Coast alone. Another set of storms has rolled through, causing possible worries and delays for pet travelers.

Both Continental and United have canceled flights scheduled yesterday and today, which has impacted passengers and cargo shipments, as well. Here's an airport-by-airport summary:

-Newark Airport was closed this morning, but will resume shipping on-hand cargo at 5 p.m. Thursday evening (EST). Other scheduled shipments will begin departing on Friday morning.

-Washington Dulles was impacted by severe weather Thursday morning as well, but conditions are presently improving and the facility is open for freight customers.

-In Boston and New York (both LGA and JFK), some delays may be expected, but in general recovery is going well and cargo operations are functioning as normally as possible.

Be sure to check airport schedules before you head out. Hopefully that's the last snowstorm we'll see this year, and in the meantime, remember to keep your pets safe for the rest of the winter. Here's wishing safe travels to everyone!

This Week in Pet Travel News

Friday, January 21, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

There's always something going on in the wild and wonderful world of pet travel. Here are a few of the most intriguing news items of the week:

-AOL Travel recently published a round-up of pet shipping info and tips. Find out what A Day in the Life of a Pet in Airline Cargo is like, and for more information about pet-friendly Continental Airlines, take a behind-the-scenes look at their cargo operations.

-Planning a pet move to Switzerland anytime soon? Be aware that the Swiss Import Regulations have changed a bit. Another reason to always do plenty of careful research or hire a pet relocation service if you're moving internationally.

-As 2011 gets underway, Orbitz has released their Travel Predictions for the year. Among other things, they're guessing that travelers will see an expansion in pet-friendly amenities, particularly from resorts. Makes sense to us, as pet travel trends suggest that more people are bringing their dogs and cats along with them when they leave home.

-This one isn't exactly travel-related, but it's pet news worth sharing. A South Carolina border collie has demonstrated her knowledge of over 1,000 words after being trained by her owner, a psychologist interested in exploring the capabilities of a dog's mind. Read the full New York Times article about this amazing pup.

Happy Friday, everyone! And don't forget to visit our Facebook page to keep up with all the latest stories and pictures from your fellow pet lovers!

Pet Travel Question: Flying with Great Danes

Monday, January 3, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Sarah
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Great Dane and Mini Dachshund
From: Atlanta, GA
To: Honolulu, HI

I already have all of the paperwork and blood tests taken care of for my dogs but I am having a problem finding an airline that will ship a dog as big as my Great Dane. He is around 130 lbs and 37 inches at the shoulders. Can you help me find an airline that will ship my puppy? - Sarah

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your pet travel question! Great Danes can add a little extra work to the whole moving process, but with the use of custom crates and some advance preparation the trip can be handled smoothly.

Here at Pet Relocation, we often use Continental Airlines, so we'd recommend calling their Live Animal Desk at 1.800.575.3335 or 281.553.5052 to find out if they'll accept your large crate. Also be sure to review the Pet Import Requirements for Hawaii, and please contact one of our Pet Relocation Specialists if you have any more questions about pet travel.

Good luck and keep in touch!

Breaking Pet Travel News: New TSA Directive Restricts Live Cargo Imports to US

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 by Pet Travel Questions

Effective yesterday (Nov. 8, 2010), a new directive issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been put into place that will affect cargo shipments -including live animals - coming from other countries into the US.

Preceded by little notice, the information issued thus far has been somewhat limited. In brief, however, this security directive places an embargo on the import of live animal cargo unless it can be documented that an "established business relationship" has existed for more than 30 calendar days between the passenger and the airline or shipping agent.

So what does this all mean? Individuals hoping to ship their pets to the US via cargo must be able to show that they've been working with an agent or with the airline for at least a month before flying. The TSA has yet to specifically define what qualifies as an "established business relationship" and how this relationship might be illustrated.

Airlines operating to the US, including Continental, are currently working on short-term solutions for dealing with these restrictions. The rules are currently set to expire in about a month, but it is expected that they will be extended. 

This specific directive applies to airlines entering the US. It does not apply to domestic flights within the US.

We will keep you updated as the TSA issues more information about this security directive. Feel free to post comments and ask us your questions, as we are doing our best to stay up to speed with this developing issue.

Harley's Pet Move to Australia: Day One

Friday, October 8, 2010 by Scotty Walkwitz

5:00 AM CST

A bright (well, okay, still pitch-black) start to head down to Houston to pick Harley up and get us both checked in on our Continental flight out to Los Angeles.  I've been helping Harley with her move to Australia and today is part one of her big trip!  You can read more about shipping pets to Australia on my first post about Harley here.

9:00 AM CST

I arrived at Harley’s family friend’s house to pick her up, since her owners had already moved down to Perth. A few minutes after I arrived at the house, Harley came around the corner with her fun furry friend named Forest! They had just finished up a 2 mile walk!  Walking your pet before a long flight is always a great way to help them relieve stress so they can relax while they're in the air -- just like people! Harley was very energetic and excited to meet me and you could tell she knew something was up.

We went inside for a few minutes to go over some paperwork and just double check that everything was set for Harley’s big trip. Once the paperwork checked out it was time to load Harley’s kennel into the van and secure it for the 45 minute ride to the airport. Harley was eager to hop on board and get settled in her kennel for the drive!  Her friend Forrest watched and wished her luck on her big trip.

Shipping pets to Australia

10:30 AM CST

We arrived at the Continental Pet Safe Desk at Houston Airport; the staff here couldn’t be nicer. Harley got weighed in, and the staff processed her paperwork and got her all set for the flight to Los Angeles.  Since it was just a domestic flight from Houston to Los Angeles, the check-in process only took about 20 minutes.  Now it was time for me to head over to the main terminal to get myself checked in on the flight.  I left Harley in the great hands of Continental and let her know I'd see her in Hollywood!Continental PetSafe

1:00 PM CST

Wheels Up and on the way to LAX!  The flight was very smooth but also very full--every seat was taken. What I wouldn’t have given to get to ride down below with Harley in the live animal section!  Not only are the live animal areas on PetSafe flights climate controlled and pressurized bt down there I could stretch out and not have my toes run over by a beverage cart!

2:30 PM PST

Wheels Down safe and sound in Los Angeles. I was picked up by Will, our driver in Los ANeles, and we headed right over to the Continental Cargo area to pick-up Harley. While I was waiting for Harley I saw the staff walking a couple of dogs who were on a layover and heading out later that day to Guam. It is great to see Continental's Pet Safe program in action. Harley was all tail wags and we went for a quick walk to stretch her legs.

Continental PetSafe pet arriving at Los Angeles Airport

Once we had her loaded up in to the new natural gas van, it was off we went in the carpool lane to see the vet for her final check out. We zipped in and out of Dr. Mike’s office where Harley received and internal and external parasite treatment and her final health forms signed off on by the vet. Dr. Mike was great with Harley, and she was really loving all this attention! The USDA would finalize all of these documents with their endorsement the following day.

4:30 PM PST

We arrived at the Pacific Pet Transportation offices in Redondo Beach to drop off Harley’s final vet records and we hung out for an hour or so catching up.  Harley got most of the attention--she deserved it! It was time to check Harley in at the Kennel Club LAX, an boarding kennel just down the street from the Los Angeles airport, and get her dinner.  It's funny -- pets are just like people, aren't they?  I had to check myself in to my hotel and figure out dinner plans as well!

Tomorrow is a big day!!

Pet flights to the UK: What airlines participate in the DEFRA Pet Travel Scheme

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Tracy J.
Number of Pets: 3
Pet Type: Cats
From: Kansas City, MO
To: England

I would like for our pets to fly on the same flight as us. Our tickets are booked with United (we cannot change our airline). However, I called United about shipping our pets and they stated they do not participate in the DEFRA Pet Scheme program and my pets would be quarantined for six months. Do I have to ship my pets on an airline that participates in the DEFRA Pet Scheme program to avoid quarantine? If I ship my pets with United will they be quarantined upon arrival in England even though I have done everything else (microchip, rabies, health cert, etc)? Thank you for your help! -Tracy

Hi Tracy,

Pet travel to the UK and avoiding quarantine requires that you follow a few specific guidelines, and unfortunately you're right about United's lack of participation in the PETS Scheme. Here's a rundown of what these rules are all about. If you fly with United, your cats will be subject to a quarantine.

Continental Airlines is the first US airline to be approved under the PETS Scheme and we often fly pets overseas with them. Find out more about Continental here. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are also airlines that offer pet flights to the UK and participate in the PETS Scheme.

Sorry you've encountered some difficulties... Please let us know if we can help you to arrange the details of your cats' journey overseas.

Good luck in your travels, and thanks for the inquiry, Tracy!

Pet air travel: should my dog be transported via cargo or checked baggage?

Thursday, August 12, 2010 by Pet Travel Questions

Which transportation method is better when shipping Kala - cargo or as checked baggage? I would fly either into Boston/Logan airport or Bradley/Hartford airport - my preference is Hartford as it's closer to our home and smaller, less crowded. However, I'm concerned about the layover and plane switch if I check her as baggage. If she's shipped cargo, it should be a direct flight correct? Thank you, Janet
Hi Janet,

Thanks for your questions/concerns about the safest method of travel for your dog! 
I'm sure many other pet owners have pondered the same questions you presented when deciding which airline/method to transport their pet.

Unequivocally, you pet should always have your pet travel via cargo opposed to checked baggage.

Here at PetRelocation.com we utilize preferred airlines for transporting our client's pets.  Our preferred domestic airline is Continental, which has an established  Pet Safe, Pet Friendly Program in place. 

However, one of the main objectives of Continental's Pet Safe Program is that your pet will never have to endure the elements (i.e. sitting on the tarmac) while waiting for a connecting flight. Additionally, the cargo area inside the plane is both pressurized and temperature controlled. 

Typically, Cargo is limited to only a handful of direct flights.  Usually, there is a connecting flight via one of the hubs (in Continental's case it is Houston, Tx or Newark, NJ).

Pets flying with Continental will always be transported into a temperature controlled environment inside the airport facility where they will wait safely in the live animal area for the next leg of their flight!

Moving Pets to Nigeria - New Nonstop Continental Pet Flight Service

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 by Rachel Farris

Warning:  If you have been contacted by someone wanting to ship you a puppy, kitten or bird from Nigeria and they are asking for you to send a Western Union, it is a scam - do NOT send any money.  Please see here and here on puppy scams for more information.

One pet friendly airline, Continental, will soon begin offering flights from Houston, TX to Lagos (LOS) Nigeria. IAH-LOS Beginning Nov. 10, 2011, subject to government approval, Continental will offer service of daily nonstop flights to Nigeria.  It will be the first daily scheduled service offered between Texas and Africa by any carrier.

From the release:

Lagos will be CO’s first destination in Africa and the 30th city in its trans-Atlantic route network. It is the second new international destination announced in the last month that will be served nonstop from IAH. CO currently serves 63 international destinations nonstop from IAH and recently announced plans to begin nonstop service between IAH and Auckland (AKL) beginning Nov. 16, 2011, subject to government approval. With the addition of flights to Africa, Houston will become one of just four cities in the world – and the only city in the Western Hemisphere – to have nonstop service to every inhabited continent on the globe. “We are excited to continue to expand our international route network from Houston by adding nonstop service to Lagos,” said Jeff. “This flight will link two energy capitals and fill the growing demand for nonstop service between the two cities – a route which is currently not served by any other airline.”