A few weeks ago we helped a sweet dog named Rocco move from Puerto Rico to Indiana with his family. Since this is technically considered a domestic move, normally this wouldn't be too hard to pull off, but Rocco's tall stature and long legs made it a little bit tricky.
Tall dogs, even if they're not necessarily big when it comes to weight, require bigger travel crates and therefore take up more space on an airplane. It's not always a simple process to get them from Point A to Point B, but Rocco did it!
Here's what Rocco's owner had to say about the move:
I moved to Indiana to find a job, which I did, but always having in mind that it was a goal for both of us to move (Rocco and I). I have had him since he was born 5 years ago and our place is 'together.'
I had never moved a pet by air before and thought it had to be pretty easy to do... Oh, I was SO wrong!! Rocco is a big boy and can only travel by cargo, so, it requires some overwhelming logistics!
My concerns were basically if he was going to be treated well, be well fed, not be alone, well... even if he could make it in a safe way! What surprised me when I contacted PetRelocation was their experience and patience. They answered every single question I had and advised me regarding all the concerns that were worrying me.
I understand the biggest challenge of moving a big dog are the logistics involved. It cannot be any aircraft, it is not done in one day, and there's a significant number of people who will be involved to make such a project a successful one!
Even when it took Rocco a whole week to get to Indianapolis, he arrived happy with lots of energy and a good appetite. He even had his first play date that very same evening!! Right now, he continues to do great -- I took him to the vet for a general check up, and he's in great shape and health!
The United States offers a wonderful number of amenities for pets and the attitude towards them is amazing. They are family, period!
For those who are planning on moving their pets, please consult with professionals that are able to answer all kind of questions, which was the fact that made me choose PetRelocation!
Thanks to Rocco's owner for sharing their story! Read about more pet move incredible experiences, and please contact us if you have questions about how to move your pet safely.
Name: Yifat Number of Pets: 1 Pet Type: Dog Pet Breed: Mix From: Israel To: The Netherlands
Your website is very useful, thanks!
I have a 10-year-old dog that I will have to fly during January (as cargo). I would like to know how dangerous it can it be for a relatively old dog (this flight will be about 5 hours long), and also how much time the dog is left in the cold between the time the airplane lands and the time we get her?
I am really worried about this so hopefully your answer can help me.
Thanks for reading our site, and thanks for your question!
The most important thing for you to do to ensure a safe flight for your dog is to choose a pet friendly airline. If a carrier has solid procedures that put a high priority on pet health, temperature shouldn't be a big issue (airlines like KLM, United and Lufthansa do not allow animals to be exposed to the elements for any significant amount of time, for example).
Pets should ideally be the last to be loaded onto the plane, the first to be removed upon landing, and they should be transported across the runway in a temperature controlled vehicle. The cargo area is temperature and pressure controlled, also, and if you've helped your dog to become acclimated to the travel crate, the experience will be made even more manageable.
Additionally, here are a few tips for traveling with an older pet. Essentially we recommend talking to your vet before making a decision, and then if you go forward take extra care with hydration and the above-mentioned safety tips.
If you think you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door services, please give us a call or fill out our free quote form. If you'd like to search for agents on your own, we recommend checking the directory available on IPATA.org.
Good luck with everything, and please let us know if we can be of service!
What's it like to be a professional pet shipper, and who are the hard-working team members making all these incredible experiences happen? Following the lead of Joe and Sarah S., PetRelocation Specialists who have previously shared their stories, we'd like to introduce Penney!
She's one of our newer employees and has already proven to have the integrity, dedication and love for pets required to do this job well. Here's what Penney had to say about her PetRelocation experiences so far.
How did you end up at PetRelocation? Did you ever think you’d have a job that involved pet shipping?
I didn't even realize there were jobs involving pet shipping! When leaving my job with an art company that I loved (back in California), I had a hard time figuring out what direction to take. Luckily, I found PetRelocation which, similarly, is a small company doing really big things. I felt like finding a place where I could help solve problems for people (by helping their pets) was a golden opportunity for me. PetRelocation is a unique place that I feel lucky to be a part of.
What were your biggest surprises during the first few days and weeks on the job?
I was blown away by the amount of tiny details that must be considered with everything! For example, to book a flight for a pet, we must consider the species and breed of the pet; temperature, holidays, and breed bans of origin and destination; time of year; size of the pet; layover time; cargo office hours for departure and arrival; and even more things that I can't think of right now! There are so many considerations that client care specialists must keep in mind, and it really shows the level of expertise required to do what they do.
What are some of the most common misconceptions people initially have about relocating their pets?
I think many people assume you simply have to buy the pet a plane ticket, just like humans do for a trip. If there's a seat, then you purchase it, the end! They don't realize the rules and regulations in place for pet safety that vary from airline to airline and country to country. Also, I think many people relocating assume their pet will be escorted to their destination on a flight with one of us in the cabin of an airplane. In reality, pets travel safely but also very differently than us -- the cargo area is actually a climate that is naturally more den-like and comforting to them in that type of unknown situation.
What has been your most memorable moment so far?
I'd have to say seeing pets at work every day. Nothing makes you feel better than petting a sweet dog, and we get that opportunity nearly every day at PetRelocation. When there's not a dog in the office, Robert the hamster on Tobi's desk is there to help us get our fuzzy fix.
The overall vibe of what I've felt in the short time that I've worked for PetRelocation is caring and consideration. Everyone here treats each move as if they were moving their own pets, and everyone treats every team member with tons of encouragement and support. We make a great team, and we have fun every day. I love it here!
Name: Casandra Number of Pets: 1 Pet Type: Dog Pet Breed: Great Dane From: Alaska, USA To: Pennsylvania, USA
I teach and live in Alaska for most of the year, but during the summer, when school is out, I travel back home to Pennsylvania. Samson is a new addition to my life. He is a Great Dane and only 8 weeks old right now. Traveling across the country with him at the moment is fairly simple and hassle-free because he is still small. However, next summer, he won't be so tiny anymore and flights may deny travel due to his size.
Is there a way I can prepare to travel with him across the country when he is full-grown?
Thanks, that's a good question. Traveling with larger dogs definitely presents particular challenges, and doing early research is a smart move.
First, it will be important to have the right airline-approved travel crate for Samson that's also large enough for him when he's fully grown. Keeping him acclimated to his crate even when you're not traveling for a while is a good idea, as it will make the travel process less stressful for him.
Be aware that the cost of airline travel is dependent on the size of the crate -- the more space Samson requires, the more expensive it will be. Also, not all airplanes are equipped to handle oversize crates, so when it's time to buy the ticket you'll need to call the airline ahead of time to find out which routes will be able to accommodate Samson. In short, it will probably be possible to travel with him, but you need to prepare yourself for a few extra steps and fees.
In addition to these size considerations, you'll also just need to keep Samson up-to-date on his rabies vaccine and, whether you're traveling or not, keep him at a healthy weight, be sure he gets plenty of exercise and stimulation, and check with your vet if you ever have any questions or concerns. Here are a few general pet travel tips that may help you clear up any remaining questions you might have.
We have found that many pet owners ultimately decide that taking their pets on shorter vacations isn't ideal. The cost and stress involved can outweigh the benefits, and in reality leaving pets with a trusted friend or sitter is often better for the pet. It's up to you, of course, and we'd be happy to discuss this with you further if you'd like.
Please contact us if you think you'd like some assistance, and good luck with your future travels!
Name: Catherine Number of Pets: 1 Pet Type: Dog Pet Breed: Mix, Terrier/Hound From: United States To: Ireland
My dog is about 35lbs, roughly 32" long and 24" tall. She's really not a very large dog but I'd rather get her a crate that is too big than too small. Should I get the large size crate or would that be too big? Is it bad to have too big of a crate?
Thanks so much! Catherine
That's a great question that touches on some important pet travel issues. The answer is, it's better to err on the side of caution and go with the larger crate. The more airflow and space your dog has, the safer and more comfortable the trip will likely be.
In terms of your dog's safety you can't really have a crate that's "too big," but please note that cargo rates are based on weight (this is the primary reason it costs more for large dogs to travel), and also not all airplanes are equipped to handle the largest crates. Be sure to check with the airline you'll be using to find out everything you need to know before you book your flight.
Here's a little more information about pet travel crates, including measuring tips. Please let us know if you have any more questions or if you think you'd like some help with your move, and good luck with everything!
Answering the wishes of many pet owners who dream of more travel options for their four-legged companions, Amtrak will initiate a trial program next week that allows pets to travel in the cabins of select trains.
The program, which includes the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg trains between Chicago and Quincy, Ill., will run for six months beginning on May 5. If the test run is successful, pet travel options may be expanded nationwide.
Passengers will pay $25 for each pet brought on board, and only dogs and cats are allowed.
Pets must be secured in travel carriers and stored under the seat (just like in the cabin of an airplane).
Pets and carriers should together weigh no more than 20 lbs.
Pets must be at least 8 weeks old and have proof of updated vaccines.
There will be no comfort breaks for pets on this four-and-a-half hour route.
Pets must be "odorless and harmless, not disruptive, and require no attention during travel."
Currently service animals are allowed to travel in Amtrak cabins, but this is the first time pets have been permitted to do so. Citizens and legislators around the country have been lobbying for Amtrak to allow pets on board for months, and now travelers will have a chance to prove that a program like this can be successful.
If Amtrak allowed pets on all trains, would you take advantage of that option? Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more Amtrak pet updates as they develop.
Name: Alyson Number of Pets: 1 Pet Type: Dog Pet Breed: Cocker Spaniel From: New Zealand To: England
We are planning to go to England for four months and wondered if it was possible to take our dog with us. We're leaving in June and returning to New Zealand in September.
Thanks for contacting us, we'd be happy to discuss your options with you. First, be aware that when crossing international borders with pets, you need to research and meet the stated requirements for each country. Going to England would mean meeting UK pet import rules and then following New Zealand import rules when you come back.
Both countries have very specific requirements, and New Zealand in particular (because it is a rabies-free country) asks that pet owners complete a series of strict steps. Pets moving to New Zealand generally start preparing about six months ahead of their planned arrival date (here's the checklist from the official New Zealand government site), so theoretically you would need to have started already if you were planning to enter New Zealand in September. Coming from the UK, your dog will need to spend 10 days in New Zealand quarantine upon arrival, as well.
As you can see you're facing quite a bit of paperwork and several vet visits for a four month vacation, and reconciling the UK and NZ steps would take very detail-oriented planning (not to mention a substantial amount of money to cover flights, health documents, etc.). You'll also want to think about how your dog will fare undertaking two long airplane trips and then completing the quarantine stay upon your return.
Considering all this, you'll probably decide that it's a better idea for your dog to stay with a trusted pet sitter during your trip. Domestic travel or travel within the EU is realistic for many vacationing people and their pets, but crossing back and forth over international borders like New Zealand is much more complicated and may not be a feasible option.
It's always advisable to talk to your vet when making big travel decisions, and if you'd like to speak to one of our relocation specialists, you're welcome to give our office a call at 1-877-PET-MOVE or fill out our quote form. We understand the desire to keep your pet with you all summer, but in reality it's important to think about what's possible, and most importantly, what's best for your dog.
Good luck with everything, and let us know if we can be of further assistance!
Name: Terri From: Frankfurt, Germany To: San Francisco, California Pets: 3 beagles ages 4, 7, 11
Last year I moved from California to Germany with my 3 beagles. I had all necessary documentation, microchips, etc. I am now returning to California. Since moving to Germany, I got a pet passports for my beagles. What do I need in order to take them back to California without any problems? They will travel in the cargo area of the airplane.
Thank you for your question. Importing dogs to the United States is relatively straightforward -- you'll need proof that they are up to date on the rabies vaccine and also a health certificate is required stating they are healthy and fit to fly. You can find an overview of the requirements here.
Since you've traveled before you're probably pretty informed, but please let us know if you have any questions about travel crates, airline procedures, or anything else.
Name: Felipe Number of Pets: 1 Pet Type: Dog Pet Breed: Pug From: Stockholm, Sweden To: San Francisco, CA, USA
I'm considering the possibility of relocating to San Francisco, CA in 2014, but one of my main concerns right now is that I have a pug and I would never leave him behind.
From my previous research I found out that it can be really problematic to take dogs with flat noses in airplanes, specially in such a long journey.
Have you guys ever done such a thing? Is it possible to do it with no risk? How can it be done?
Thank you very much!
Thanks for your questions! Traveling with snub-nosed pets isn't necessarily impossible, but it does require extra care and attention to detail. We've helped many pugs and other brachycephalic breeds relocate and would be happy to offer some advice.
It's very important to choose a pet friendly airline, and you'll also need to have a travel crate that's large enough to allow plenty of good airflow. Of course, it helps to talk about all of this with your vet, as well.
We would be happy to further discuss your options with you, Felipe. Please feel free to fill out our quote form or give our office a call to learn more about how to move your pug safely. You're also welcome to peruse our blog for stories about snub-nosed breeds who have traveled all over the world (you can start with Coco, Simba and Virgo's story.)
Relocating a healthy pet can take quite a bit of time and effort, so imagine the stress the caretaker of a special needs pet might feel at the beginning of a move.
We've helped to relocate older pets and have assisted a few with minor health concerns, but until recently PetRelocation had never had the chance to meet a dog like Scooter. Born with only two legs, Scooter was blessed to find his way to a loving home as a puppy and last month moved with his family to Malaysia.
Scooter's owner Kim was kind enough to share the story of moving Scooter and their other dog Harley from Texas to Malaysia, and she offers some excellent info about crate training, quarantine, and dealing with the stress of a move. It's a great read for anyone planning to travel with a pet!
Tell us a little bit about Scooter.
He was born from a litter of three puppies, and two out of the three were born with no front legs. My Aunt Sharon, a breeder, informed me about Scooter and his special needs and I told her that I would take him. She agreed to let me have him knowing I would give him the best care. So we took him in and he joined our family with our other hairless, Harley.
The first few months were difficult. Scooter was so tiny and could not move. His back legs were like rubber. In time, after working with him and using popcorn to entice him, he began moving. Soon he would be hopping like a bunny rabbit and walking on his back legs. He grew into a wonderfully happy and healthy guy. Now he is loved everywhere we go and he gets lots of attention.
What were your initial concerns about moving Scooter?
My husband took a job overseas in Malaysia. We were here before a few years back and left the dogs at home. It was heartbreaking for me and I missed them terribly, so this time around I refused to go without my babies. I began to do some research and found PetRelocation online. After speaking with Cara and Tyler I decided I would go for it.
I had a lot of reservations and anxiety, as Malaysia is not a very dog friendly country. As time got closer I became more and more apprehensive about the whole thing. I had fears about the long flight, and wondered if Scooter would be okay. I guess my biggest fear was that since Scooter was special needs they would think he was sick and take him away. Tyler reassured me this was not the case. I have to admit that in the back of my mind It was still a big concern for me.
What would you say to someone who was getting ready to move a special needs pet?
If you have a special needs pet, do not let that stop you from taking them with you. They are part of the family and you shouldn't leave them behind because of this. Start making the preparations for them early on. PetRelocation will definitely help in making sure you have what you need for your babies.
Tyler called the quarantine ahead of time and let them know about Scooter, so they were expecting him. I highly recommend taking your pet in cabin if you can. There are about three airlines that allow you to take your pet in cabin internationally if they are small. I also started early with using the kennels for the dogs. I went out and bought the kennel that I would be using for them to travel in. At first it wasn't an easy process -- I started putting them in for a couple of minutes and worked my way up to a few hours. I left the kennels open, and before long the dogs would go in there on their own to sleep during the day.
I HIGHLY recommend starting this process early. Take pee pads and pet snacks on the flight. Put pee pads in the kennel in case of an accident. We did have one so it was good we were prepared.
What was the biggest surprise you encountered during this process?
I guess the biggest surprise for me was how well the dogs did on the trip. I worried myself sick about how they would do on the long flight. The actual flying time was about 24 hours and three different flights, so including the 12 hour layover in Frankfurt and Thailand it ended up being about 40 hours of travel time.
They did really well, though. On the flight they whined very little. When they would get a little loud I would take the kennel to the bathroom and take them out and hold them and offer them a pee pad. I am very proud of them and I was truly surprised at how great they did. No one even knew they were there under the seat. They traveled like they had done it 100 times before, not like this was their very first time to ever be on an airplane.
I have to give a shout out to Lufthansa airlines. When I checked in at the airport with the dogs they were very nice and friendly. The agent had me take the dogs out so she could see them and hold them. They all went nuts over the dogs. I told her I was terrified to fly with them and it was their first time. She reassured me that I should never be afraid to fly with a pet on their airlines. I told her I was afraid they would bark and whine. She said if they do no one will hear them because of the sound of the engine. She was right!
Can you tell us about the arrival and quarantine processes?
Well when we finally arrived in Malaysia 40 hours later, we were all exhausted. I had to go check the dogs into immigration at the baggage claim. The lady at the pet immigration desk was not very friendly. I gave her all my paper work and signed them off. It was VERY difficult to walk away from my babies and leave them in the hands of a stranger.
As I went to my house that night I cried all the way. I could not sleep that night worrying about them. First thing the next morning, I took the one hour ride to quarantine to see my babies. Do not forget to take your passport! I checked in and they told me where the dogs were located. I took the long walk to where they were and was truly relieved when there were my two babies looking out their screen door at me. My heart was overjoyed that they were there and alive and well, and they were just as happy to see me.
The quarantine room they stayed in was big. I went to see them every day except one day. It was very hard walking away from them and leaving them there. The whines and barks always tugged at my heart. The truth is that a week is not bad at all. The quarantine place was pretty good; their room was always clean when I went to see them and they always had a full dish of clean fresh water and food. They took care of their basic needs.
I highly recommend going to see your pets as much as possible if you are able to. Everyone knew who Scooter was. I ran into one of the workers one day, and she told me that when Scooter first came she laid him on a towel and put the food and water right by him. When she came back later to check on him he was in a different spot. She was shocked to know he could move! I thought that was pretty funny. Scooter has no problem getting around for sure :). Although a little scary for us, I want to reassure you that the quarantine will care for your pet. Not like we would, but they will meet their basic needs.
I was ecstatic the day the boys came home. They are now doing well here in Malaysia and they have adjusted very well to life in a condo. The condo we live in is mostly Japanese; they love dogs and there are lots of dogs here in our condo. I have made many friends here because of the dogs.
Scooter is still the talk of the town. Poor Harley gets left in the cold, LOL. I miss the days of putting the dogs in the car and going here and there -- things are different here for sure. There are some nice doggie hotels to leave them when we travel, though.
Overall I have to say our experience was mostly a positive one. I am thrilled to have my boys here with me and I would do it all over again. Thank you PetRelocation, and I want to give a shout out to Tyler and Cara for making this all possible and making it a pretty smooth transition. I'm happy to have my WHOLE family here together at last.
Name: Leticia Number of Pets: 1 Pet Type: Dog Pet Breed: English Bulldog From: Ohio To: California
I received an email stating that my puppy was being transported by airplane from Ohio to California. I was never told that I needed to purchase puppy insurance, and I was told that in order for my puppy to make it to me that I had to pay a refundable insurance payment of $875. Do you think I've been scammed, or is there really pet insurance that needs to be paid?
Thank you for your help,
This definitely sounds like a scam. If you don't know the party you're dealing with, you're buying a pet sight unseen, and they ask you to wire money or add extra transportation and insurance fees, it's a scam. We can say with near certainty that there is no dog -- just a picture of one that the scammers have found on the internet and are using to mislead people like you.
Please read more about puppy scams here to avoid being a victim. Our advice is to only deal locally when looking to add a pet to your family, and better yet, visit your local shelter to adopt a pet who truly needs a home.
Good luck with everything, and stay savvy out there, pet lovers!
Name: Jennifer Number of Pets: 1 Pet Type: Dog Pet Breed: Soft coated Wheaton/Golden retriever mix From: US To: Japan-Tokyo
Desperately trying to find a way my dog can ride in the cabin of a plane to relocate to Japan. She is 40 pounds so "too large" by all standards I can find but hoping someone can give me an alternative (service dog, therapy dog, specific airline?). We are too scared for her to fly under the plane in cargo.
This is a common question as many pet owners are not aware of the conditions within airplane cargo holds and are afraid of shipping their pets that way. A 40-pound dog is indeed too large to travel in-cabin on most (if not all) airlines and will have to ride as cargo.
Apart from very small pets, only trained and certified service or support dogs with legitimate documentation are sometimes allowed to accompany their owners in-cabin. If your dog is not a certified assistance dog and you are simply trying to find a way around following pet air travel regulations, you will not be allowed to fly your pet in-cabin. Falsely labeling a pet as a service animal is harmful to the validity of true service animals (and the reputation of owners) if the mislabeled dog misbehaves.
That being said, flying a pet as cargo is very safe and may in fact be more comfortable for your dog. Check out this post where we address questions about flying pets as cargo and another where we disprove myths about shipping pets as cargo. You'll learn that cargo holds are pressurized and climate-controlled, and aren't that different from the conditions in which human passengers fly in the cabin. Assuming you book with a pet-friendly airline (such as United) and that your dog's crate is airline-approved and appropriately-sized, your pet should ride safely and comfortably as cargo on his trip to Japan.
If you have any more questions about pet travel to Japan, be sure to contact us. Thanks for your question and good luck with your move!
Name: Doreen Number of Pets: 2 Pet Type: Dogs Pet Breed: Wire Fox Terrier From: Canada To: Australia
Is there any way I can travel with my dogs in the cabin of an airplane from Canada to Australia?
Thanks for your question. The general rule for pet air travel is that only pets who are small enough to fit into a carrier which can fit under the seat in front of you on a plane are able to fly in the cabin. Only tiny pets (toy dogs, kittens, etc.) meet this size requirement, and the majority of pets end up flying as cargo. Based on the average size of Wire Fox Terriers, it is pretty safe to assume that your dogs will need to ride as cargo, but you should contact your airline just to be certain.
That being said, riding as cargo is quite safe and comfortable for pets, as cargo holds are generally pressurized and climate-controlled just like the cabin. Additionally, flying with a pet-friendly airline (we often use KLM, Lufthansa, and United) ensures that your pets will be handled by specialized professionals and will be loaded onto the plane last and taken off first. Check out our post where we answer questions about flying pets in cargo.
If you have any more questions about moving your dogs to Australia, feel free to contact us. And if you want to learn about our door-to-door pet transport services, be sure to fill out our free quote form. Thanks again for your question and good luck with your move!
Name: Catalina Number of Pets: 1 Pet Type: Dog Pet Breed: Terrier From: USA To: Colombia
Do I need to put a microchip in my dog if he is flying with me inside the airplane?
Thanks for contacting us. Yes, the pet import requirements for Colombia state that your dog will need a microchip to enter the country. You'll also need proof of an updated rabies vaccine as well as some paperwork (including a Vet Health Certificate), so be sure to allow plenty of time to arrange everything. Here's more information about pet microchips in case you have any concerns about the implantation process.
Hopefully this helps; please let us know if you have more questions or would like to find out more about our door-to-door services. Good luck!
This month, our featured pet move will introduce you to two very special, and very loved, Miniature Schnauzers named Kreuz and Legos. Though they encountered a few typical obstacles (moving to Taiwan isn't easy), they completed their journey from Seattle to Taipei safely and are now home with their owners where they belong.
If you've ever loved a pet, you'll identify as you read this month's featured move story, and you'll also surely join us in wishing these two pups all the best. Read on for the details, and thanks to Legos and Kreuz's owner Jerome for sharing such great and helpful information with all of us!
Have you ever moved a pet internationally?
No we haven't, it's not something I ever thought I would do, either.
What were some of your concerns going into the move?
First off, you need to understand that one of our dogs, the older one, Kreuzfidel a.k.a. "Kreuz" (pronounced Cruise, like Tom Cruise but not named after him), has some anxiety issues. We got him at the ripe ol' age of four months, and from the very beginning he has been easily frightened of strangers and loud noises, so you can see the challenges that go along with handing him over to the care of strangers (a moving company, airline personnel etc.), then not to mention the actual airplane ride itself.
Both of our dogs are our most valued... dare I say property? They are our substitutes for children. Nothing can or will take precedence over their well-being. While our dogs get regular check ups at the vets, we still had to re-vaccinate both of them with the rabies vaccine so that we could provide documentation of said vaccine and then a proverbial clock began from that point -- one of the hoops we had to jump through in order to bring the dogs into the rabies-free country of Taiwan.
We began getting the dogs ready for their big move a couple months before departure by getting them accustomed to the dog crates they would be flown over in. Now mind you, we had already moved ourselves, and the dogs were still at home with their Aunties Beth and Wendy and Hayden and their girlfriend Maggie, who is about two years old herself. From this point forward I will refer to the Aunties as "The Girls." The Girls trained and prepped the dogs very well, to the point that they loved their new beds inside the crates. Most of our concerns were alleviated by The Girls and the loving care they gave our dogs while we were separated.
Another concern was the routing planned for the dogs' flight. Seattle to Frankfurt (or somewhere in Germany) with about a 12-hour layover then Eastward to Taiwan. Being incredible team players at PetRelocation, Tyler (our assigned agent) worked with us on getting them on a direct flight from Seattle to Taiwan, which cut about 20+ hours off their trip.
Did anything surprise you about the international pet moving process?
Yes. How valuable Tyler and everyone at PetRelocation actually were. It's not cheap to move an animal internationally, but Tyler's response times to any question, no matter how neurotic in nature (being from a stressed owner) and her reassuring professional, personal, and supportive attitude were a very welcome and appreciated surprise, to say the least.
How are your dogs adjusting to the new location?
Our dogs are doing very well thanks to all the love The Girls poured over them, the wonderfully executed plans of Tyler and PetRelocation, and being back in the loving pack they know as their family. We have known a couple of people who came here for work from the States and moved their dogs, which is where we got the recommendation for PetRelocation. The dogs were undoubtedly very freaked out when they arrived, but we were able to see them very early in the morning before they passed through customs. We felt that once they could see us that they would know we were there and it would help to reassure them, which it did! They lit up like the skies at dawn. They knew we were there and that everything was going to be okay, and it was...
What is life like in Taipei so far? Do you think it's a pet friendly place to be?
Our lives are so much better now that we have our dogs with us! Life in Taipei was/is a BIG adjustment for us all. Taipei, Taiwan (or just Taiwan in general) is an incredible place to visit, live whatever! That being said, pets in Taiwan seem to be considered as accessories. If a movie comes out with a dog or a cat, suddenly everyone wants one! Then sadly, after the pet grows up or at least until the new owner figures out how much responsibility pet ownership is, they sometimes decide to release it. Of course this isn't what everyone does, but it's interesting to see all of the feral animals living in such a highly populated city. Across the street from us is a park (we picked this apartment just for the park because of our dogs) and there is a pack of feral dogs living there. Pets here are not taken to heart as much as they are back in the states. Again, that doesn't go for everyone here, but it's a much higher percentage than I have ever seen.
That being said, we have taken Kreuz to the vet here once for a benign cyst on his leg. The vets here seem as capable as any back home, but take away any comforting aspects, no private exam rooms, no comfortable waiting areas etc. Also, procedures are done on animals in plain view of everyone (with the exception of surgeries, as they do have proper surgical rooms for such treatments). They take a very no-nonsense approach to everything here, not just animal welfare. It is probably one of the most pet friendly places I have ever visited, though, as I have been to several restaurants where animals are not only allowed, but they are served alongside their owners! Pet stores are all over the place, although finding a good quality dog food can be a bit more difficult. After visiting no less than seven different stores I have finally found the three different stores I now use regularly.
There are a lot more environmental hazards to be wary of here; cars of course, but also scooters (they drive on the sidewalks here), bicycles, and other feral animals. The other big factor is the weather. It is very hot and humid and took some time to adjust. Some days the dogs cannot be outside any longer than what it takes for them to go pee. We now only go to the park to play early in the morning or in the late evening before and after the heat of the day.
Overall, life for pets and their owners here in Taiwan is very nice and accepting. There are very few locations that actually have leash laws; you see dogs walking off leash everywhere, and the best is seeing them riding on the scooters with their owners in the basket on the handle bars, in the foot well of the scooter, or even in those child harnesses, and of course in various strollers/backpacks or purses.
What advice do you have for people who might be planning a move?
First, call PetRelocation! Second, hire PetRelocation! Third, thank PetRelocation! While I do mean that, more practical advice would be this: don't over stress about the overall process, as it's going to be stressful enough without adding unnecessary anxiety to the pile. Research your destination and find out laws on immigration, quarantines etc. Don't overlook any aspect of the new life your pet will be adjusting to, including small things like humidity and its effects on your dog's skin, (or insect bites etc.), but above all, the more investigation you do beforehand, especially through word of mouth, the more you can reduce the stress you and your pets may feel before, during, and after your move.
Why did you decide to hire help with your move?
We decided to use your services because we wanted every single bit of help we could get to ensure our dogs' well being. We could have put our dogs on the plane and flown them here, but whether or not we would have had the correct information as to what paperwork was actually needed and been able to complete the proper steps in vaccinating and everything, that would have been a gamble that we were just not prepared to make.
We are all very grateful to everyone at PetRelocation who helped us relocate our family safely and efficiently. Thank you all!
Continuing our coverage of summer pet air travel embargoes and restrictions, today we have news that Delta Cargo has begun its Summer Live Animal Program. This means that during the summer months (specifically May 13 through Sept. 29, 2013) select stations will provide "additional care and protection" for pets and will fly certain breeds during warmer temperatures. Normally Delta will not fly pets if the temperature exceeds 85F/29C.
Please contact us to find out about the qualifying airports, and note that Delta Cargo will not accept any snub-nosed dog or cat if the temperature exceeds 75F/24C for any city. To qualify for these special summer allowances, all cities the pet is being routed through must qualify.
Delta may end up being the best choice for some people, but based on our experience, it's preferable to fly with an airline that operates with pet safe procedures all year (United Airlines drives pets out to the airplane in a temperature-controlled vehicle, for example, so the weather outside is not as big a factor). That being said, because English Bulldogs, Olde English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and mixed varieties of these breeds are especially susceptible to the stress of travel, United has released some breed-specific adjustments recently. See the full Bulldog update here.
Also regarding United, Boston Terrier puppies, American Bulldog puppies and Pug puppies may fly any time of the year without restriction, but adults of these breeds are completely embargoed from May 15 to Sept. 15. To provide extra safety, snub-nosed breeds should use travel kennels that are one size larger than normally required.
All these rules can certainly sound confusing and this is just a quick overview, so don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions about the specifics of these summer regulations for pet travel. It's our job to see pets transported safely, and our team of specialists is happy to discuss your options and concerns.
Please stay in touch for more summer pet travel news, and travel safely everyone!
Name: Courtney Number of Pets: 1 Pet Type: Dog Pet Breed: Weimaraner From: California To: Texas
What airlines allow dogs to fly in the cargo area? When looking online many only outline rules for pets traveling in the cabin, but my 100lb dog is obviously too big. How do I find out if/what airlines will fly a dog that size?
Thanks for your question, it's a great one -- deciding on the right airline is one of the most important parts of planning a safe journey for your pet.
Some airlines are definitely more pet-friendly than others, and we have a few that we regularly book flights with. United is who we typically choose when flying domestically (for international flights we often go with KLM and Lufthansa). United's PetSafe program entails certain procedures, such as making sure pets are the last to board the plane and the first to be removed. And, contrary to what many people assume, the cargo area is pressure and temperature controlled and pets are not simply "treated like luggage."
Because not all airplanes are equipped to hold large pet crates (which your dog will need), it's important to call the airline and check ahead of time to make sure you'll be accommodated. We have flown large dogs with United, but again, check with them before booking your flight because it all depends on the size of the plane they're using for your chosen route.
It's worth mentioning that you don't necessarily need to be on the same flight as your dog. Most of our customers end up flying separately from their pets, which just means you might need to enlist some help on one or both ends of your trip. (If you're interested in our services, here's a link to our free quote form.)
Please contact us if you have any questions about choosing a pet-friendly airline, crate-training your dog, or anything else related to pet travel. Good luck!
It's a busy day at the office today (we're hosting a Yappy Hour this afternoon, will you be there?), but we always have time to round up the top pet news of the week. Whether you're heading to SXSW or just taking it easy, have a great weekend!
Pet travel in China, where pets are becoming more commonplace but safety rules are still catching up.
A program called My Pets On Time helps pet owners keep track of their pets' busy schedules.
Name: Claire Pet's Name: Freddie From: Florida To: UK
I had looked into bringing my dog Freddie over from the US to the UK for months ever since I made the move myself. I researched both handling everything myself and a variety of companies that would handle the arrangements. After researching for over 10 months, PetRelocation was actually the last company I looked at and so I was quite surprised when I emailed them and they requested that I call. Every other company had just sent me an email, some with a brief introduction but most with just a cost estimate.
When I called PetRelocation, Cara spent about 45 minutes on the phone with me answering all my questions, giving me a ton of information and generally making me feel better about putting my precious cargo on an airplane across the Atlantic. (I had honestly contemplated leaving him happily in the States with my mom rather than risk any dangers of a flight.)
Cara made me feel comfortable with every part of the process, and I was impressed at how personal the phone call was, how much she clearly cared, and that the company basically required a real phone conversation and didn't just send out an emailed price quote. So, when their quote came in and was well in line with their competitors, it was no contest.
From then on the service from both Cara and then Bethany, who handled all of Freddie's logistics, was fantastic. They worked with both me in the UK and my mother, who was keeping Freddie in the US. They were always incredibly and immediately responsive to any and all questions and concerns (and we had a lot!) and never made us feel like we were a bother or being silly.
When the USDA called with a question and I received an overseas voicemail, I sent a panicked email to Bethany and she had called the USDA and cleared up the question in less than five minutes. When we worried that rural FedEx service would not be sufficient for the fast turnaround needed on some of the veterinary paperwork, Bethany made sure that the USDA and others got the paperwork out on time to arrive.
Last night, as Fred boarded his flight and made the red-eye trip to the UK, I was actually able to sleep as Cara and Bethany had made me feel confident that Freddie was going to be all right. I know that I would never have been as calm or assured if I had attempted the process myself, or if I had used another company.
My vet was so impressed with the quality of Bethany's assistance in filling out the medical paperwork, that he asked for the name of the company I was using to bring Freddie over - and he has worked with a lot of pet shippers over the years.
Upon arrival in the UK the Animal Reception Centre, folks said that our paperwork had been filled out perfectly and they were impressed because they so rarely saw paperwork without any errors.
Most importantly, Cara and Bethany and everyone at PetRelocation took an interest in Freddie as an important part of my family and took joy in helping us be reunited and in Freddie's safe arrival.
Although Freddie seemed a bit confused (where am I? Why is it snowing?) he was so excited to see me, wriggling and jumping and yipping. He was happy as a clam, and although a bit jet lagged, no worse for the trip. As I write this, Freddie is asleep at my feet, content on his new bed with a half gnawed bone by his side.
I couldn't recommend a company more and if we ever travel back across the Pond, I will look no further than PetRelocation to move us again!
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