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Help Me Move My Pet

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!

 

Addressing Common Concerns about Pet Air Travel

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

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

 

Hi PetRelocation,

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

Does your organization have those type of options?

Thanks,

Belinda

 

Hi Belinda,

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Travel with Older Pets

Monday, October 6, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Yifat
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Mix
From: Israel
To: The Netherlands

 

Hello,

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.

Thank you,

Y

 

Hi Y,

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!


 

Transporting Pets to Australia

Monday, September 29, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Gurpreet
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Labrador
From: India
To: Australia

 

Dear PetRelocation,

Can you please explain whole process and expected amount. I know India is non approved country and process is little bit hard, but still we are willing to move our dog.

Thanks,

Gurpreet

 

Hi Gurpreet,

Thanks for your inquiry! Moving your dog to Australia will require several steps and will not be cheap, but that doesn't mean it's impossible.

To start, you'll want to research an approved country that makes sense for you to move to, as your dog will need to go there as an intermediate step. The best source for you to rely on is the Australia Government Department of Agriculture website, which provides an overview of the approved countries as well as the timeline and vaccinations required. Here is where the site specifically discusses how to move to Australia from a non-approved country.

Essentially, you don't need to remain in the Category 3 (intermediary) country for the whole pre-export process, but you do need to have all vaccinations, exams and tests done there and your dog must be exported directly from there.

It depends on where you end up going, but generally speaking international moves cost at least $2,500 USD and maybe significantly more (your dog's weight/size is also a factor, as this affects the airline cargo fee). Note that, due to an increase in quarantine costs, moving pets to Australia has become significantly more expensive recently. You can find out more about the quarantine costs, etc., here.

We'd be happy to discuss our door-to-door services with you if you're interested in hearing about them, and if you'd like to find an agent on your own who may be able to help, we recommend searching through IPATA.org.

Hopefully this helps to shed some light on the steps required! Please let us know if you have more questions or if you think we can help in any way.

Good luck!

Traveling Internationally with Service Dogs

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

We recently received a question via email asking how to bring a service dog to Australia, and thought it would be a good opportunity to go over a few basic rules and best practices for traveling internationally with an assistance animal.

  • Traveling with service dogs means following different airline procedures for the most part, as airlines often allow pets in the cabin in these instances. Here are the instructions for traveling with a service animal via United and via Lufthansa, for example.
  • Here is an overview of the rules for service dogs for Australia; owners must fill out an application to be approved before they can complete the import steps. Usually pets entering Australia must undergo a 10-day quarantine in an approved quarantine facility, but service dogs can fulfill the quarantine at home with their owners.
  • Be prepared to show official paperwork proving your support animal is legitimate (this will likely be a letter from your medical doctor or mental health professional).
  • Typically service animals need to fit on the floor in front of the passenger chair (and can't sit on the seat), and they travel free of charge.
  • Space can be limited in the cabin, so contact the airline well in advance to tell them you'll be traveling with a service animal.
  • Even though airlines probably won't require that service animals adhere to usual animal rules (traveling in the cargo area, etc.), countries still will. Find out what vaccinations and paperwork will be required for import and allow a few weeks to prepare.
  • Note that carriage can be denied if an animal is loud or acting in a way that disturbs other passengers -- properly trained service animals shouldn't be a problem, but people who bring a noisy Chihuahua along as an emotional support animal may not be accepted to fly.
  • In addition to verifying country import rules, whenever you're planning to travel by air with a service animal it's a good idea to contact the airline directly to find out about the procedures (information isn't always available online and it can sometimes change).

service dog

Photo Credit: www.servicedogproducts.com

 

Need some help? Please contact us to speak to a Specialist!

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!


 

Get to Know a PetRelocation Specialist: Meet Penney!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 by Core Values

penneyWhat'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!

Read more about the PetRelocation team, and please contact us if you have questions about an upcoming pet move.

U.S. Department of Transportation Expands Airline Reporting Requirements

Thursday, July 17, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

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

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

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

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

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

 

pet in cargo

Cargo pet travel. (Photo Credit: Sandy Robins)

 

 

How to Choose the Right Pet Travel Crate

Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Catherine
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Mix, Terrier/Hound
From: United States
To: Ireland

Hi PetRelocation,

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
 

Hi 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!

 

Measure carefully to choose the right travel crate!

Pet Move of the Month: Holly & Geoff's Trip to the UK

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

You may recognize Holly and Geoff from our Facebook page... These globetrotters clearly have cuteness and charm to spare, and we wanted to introduce you as soon as we started working with them on their move from New Jersey to the UK (via Frankfurt, but more about that later).

Luckily the dogs' owners agreed to answer a few questions for us when we asked if they'd like to be featured as the Pet Move of the Month, so read on to find out more about the adorable snubbies you've already caught a glimpse of. Thanks to the family for sharing their move with us!

What brought about your move to the UK?

After four years of working in New Jersey, it was time for us to return to family and friends in Manchester. Holly (a Boxer) and Geoff (a French Bulldog) are looking forward to the less extreme weather!

Have you ever moved a pet internationally before this?

Holly is returning home to the UK. She traveled with us to the US four years ago.

What were some of your initial concerns, and what surprised you about the process of traveling with snub-nosed breeds?

Initially we weren't too concerned -- with Holly being a veteran traveler we knew she would look after Geoff during his first experience of flying! However, our concerns became rather significant when we had contacted about eight airlines, only to be told that they would not carry Bulldogs!  We even looked into a cruise -- but that wasn't successful, as there was an 18 month wait list!  In came PetRelocation to the rescue....

 

 

Our minds were put at ease immediately when we were told that is was possible to get Geoff back the the UK -- but not without a hitch. We would need to fly them back within the next six weeks, before mid-May, as the only international airline which accepts Bulldogs -- Lufthansa -- will not carry them in the summer, when temperatures are above 80 degrees. 

When bringing Holly to the US we were able to fly directly from Manchester, but this time she would now be traveling in a crate too big for Manchester to handle. Holly and Geoff would have to be flown into London Heathrow, and then driven 3 1/2 hours to Manchester.

 

 

Our plans to relocate as a family at the beginning of July were turned upside down, but PetRelocation worked directly with our vet to help us every step of the way and ensured that Holly and Geoff and all their paperwork were ready in time. Holly and Geoff would have an adventure, as their route took them from Newark, New Jersey to Frankfurt, Germany -- where they would have some time for some rest and relaxation at the Pet Lounge -- then on to London Heathrow and finally arrive at their new home in Manchester 34 hours later. PetRelocation arranged the entire trip, door to door, and provided us updates throughout their journey. 

How did Holly and Geoff handle the transition?

Holly and Geoff seemed completely unphased by the whole experience! As soon as they arrived at their new home, they ate some food and stretched their legs and were ready for a long sleep. The following day, it was as if they had never been anywhere else! It was certainly a worrying time for us as parents (especially when the online cargo tracking stated "Cargo Missing" for 40 minutes!), but we were very happy with having them back with us.

Is Manchester a pet friendly place to be?

Soon after arriving, we took Holly and Geoff to their new vet for a checkup -- French Bulldogs seem to be a rare breed in Manchester, as heads turned and Geoff instantly became a talking point. He was even asked to pose for a couple of photos on his first outing! 

 

 

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

Moving pets is a stressful experience for the parents, and having the experienced people at PetRelocation certainly helped us feel confident that at least we wouldn't forget anything and would have all the right paperwork in place. We were initially going to arrange the move ourselves, until we realized that moving snub-nosed dogs is not easy.

We are so glad that we put our trust in PetRelocation to help us. We instantly knew that everyone there was focused on making the move as easy as possible and had Holly and Geoffs' welfare as their top priority.

--

Good luck to Holly, Geoff and the rest of the family in Manchester! Moving a pet soon? Contact us if you're interested in talking to an expert about your options.

Breaking Down (and Understanding) Pet Travel Costs

Thursday, April 3, 2014 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Robin
From: Melbourne, Australia
To: Vancouver, Canada
Pet: My baby is called Leo, he is a Spoodle and will be 6 years old in October
 
 
Dear PetRelocation,
 
I am very nervous, as I am not sure how my dog will cope with such a long flight. I am also getting very expensive quotes from companies in Australia, however my friends are paying a lot less for transporting their Spoodle from London to Vancouver.
 
Could you please tell me if you could assist? What will be the costs involved? I am already in Canada. Lastly, is it safe for him to travel, and are there any requirements that I need to be aware of for Canada?
 
My main concerns are that pricing seems to be high and I'm worried about Leo's well-being in the hold. Also, once I go back to Australia, will it be easier for him to go back? He is a very healthy and a bubbly dog -- all he wants is attention.
 
Thanks,
Robin
 
Hi Robin,
 
Thanks for contacting us with your questions -- hope we can help!
 
First, take a look at the pet import requirements for Canada. There is no quarantine, but you'll need to make sure your dog's paperwork is in order. If you ever decide to bring him back to Australia, you'll need to meet a much stricter set of rules and there will be a 10-day quarantine (based on current requirements). You can find more information from Australia's official website.
 
Second, many people do feel nervous about flying their pet in the cargo area, but if you choose a pet friendly airline and learn about how things work, you'll hopefully become more comfortable with the idea. We fly pets in the cargo area of a few select airlines all the time. Again, with pet friendly airlines it's very safe (here's a more in-depth explanation of how it works).
 
It's also smart to talk to your vet about how diet and exercise are important to your pet travel preparations, and you'll need to work to help Leo get used to his travel crate (if he's not already). This cuts down on his overall stress level and will make the flight safer and smoother for him.
 
Choosing a door-to-door service provider to handle your move won't be cheap, but arranging all the moving parts does require quite a bit of time and expertise. If you'd like a quote from us to see how we compare to the other providers you've talked to, please fill out our free online quote form. Typically an international move for one small pet begins at around $2500 USD (but the actual cost will depend on a few more factors). Here's a post from our blog discussing the costs of pet travel
 
Hopefully this helps to get you started. If you have further questions just let us know, and either way, good luck with everything!
 
 

Choosing the Right Airline for Pet Travel

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Amy
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Spaniel/Lab/Aussie mix
From: Austin, TX
To: San Francisco, CA

 

Hello,

I'm getting married in San Francisco in October and want to take our dog with us. She's 25 pounds but too big to fit under the seat. Are there only certain airlines that will fly her, and at certain temperatures?

Thanks,

Amy

 

Hi Amy,

Thanks for your question, and congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

Choosing the right airline is definitely one of the most important parts of pet travel. We often fly with United due to their PetSafe program, which includes a set of procedures that places an emphasis on pet cargo safety.

Many airlines do operate with weather-adjusted schedules, but by October summer embargoes have usually been lifted. Also, United is less affected by temperature because they work to keep pets in temperature-controlled environments year-round. You'll want to double check everything before you go with the airline directly, but it's likely you won't need to worry about temperature (especially because you don't have a snub-nosed breed, who often do face special restrictions in warm weather).

Take a look at our blog if you have any general questions about pet travel, and be sure to look over the requirements for flying pets in the United States (you'll essentially just need proof of rabies vaccine and a vet health certificate).

If you have any further questions, please let us know. Either way, good luck with everything!
 

Beagle Travel to the United States

Monday, March 31, 2014 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Terri
From: Frankfurt, Germany
To: San Francisco, California
Pets: 3 beagles ages 4, 7, 11

Dear PetRelocation,
 
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.
 
Thanks,
Terri
 
Hi Terri,
 
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.
 
Thanks again, and good luck with everything!
 
 

Planning Dog Travel from New Zealand to the United States

Thursday, March 27, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

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

 

Dear PetRelocation,

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

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

We await your response eagerly.

Kind Regards & thanks,

Ginger ( a U.S. Citizen)

 

Hi Ginger,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, February 24, 2014 by Pet Travel Center Questions

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

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

 

Dog Travel from Italy to the United States

Monday, February 10, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Carole
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Cane Corso (110 lb.)
From: Sicily, Italy
To: Atlanta, GA

 

Dear PetRelocation,

I need cost estimate, where to buy a large pet kennel for the flight, any special paperwork that's required, etc. I already know about getting the Health Certificate from an authorized Italian vet, and the CDC said they don't require any special papers, but I don't know things like, if it's better to fly the pet via Delta, Alitalia, etc. or are there special pet transporters?

My son has been in Sicily for 11 years and is returning to the US. He asked me to find out how to transport his dog.

Thanks,

Carole

 

Hi Carole,

Thanks for contacting us with your question. To start, please take a look at the pet import requirements for the United States. The US requires that you have an international health certificate and proof that pets are up to date on the rabies vaccine.

You can review this information about choosing the correct travel crate, as well. Many people visit a pet store to "try on" the travel crate before they buy and then buy the crate there or, if no pet stores are available to your son, he can buy one online. It sounds like his dog may need a custom crate (we have information about custom crates that you'll find through the above mentioned link, and if you have questions we can tell you more).

The price of our door-to-door services depends on a several factors, but in general international moves begin at around $2,500-$3,000 USD. If you'd like to continue to research your options, another great resource for pet travel information and finding local pet agents yourself is IPATA.org.

Finally, in terms of airlines, it's very important to choose a pet-friendly airline. We often use KLM, Lufthansa and United due to their established pet policies. Since you're flying a large dog, it will also be important to check with the airline ahead of time to make sure the cargo space in the plane will be able to accommodate the crate.

This is a lot of information, so please don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions about anything, including our comprehensive services. Thanks again, and we hope to hear from you soon.



 

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

Friday, January 17, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

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

Good news for ferry-riding pets in the UK.

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

Air Canada apologizes to a soldier and her service dog.

Tips for being a good dog traveler.

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

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

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Pet Travel Facts: Addressing Air Travel Safety Concerns

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Photo: Flickr/Vox Efx

 

 

How to Keep Pets Warm and Safe During Extreme Winter Weather

Monday, January 6, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Many of us are currently experiencing colder-than-cold temperatures (yes, it's below freezing even here in Austin, TX), so it's a good time to revisit a few cold weather pet tips. Here are some ideas to help keep your pets safe and happy all through the winter.

Adjust normal routines.

Do you usually go for an hour-long walk in the park each morning? Does your dog or cat hang out in the backyard all day while you're at work? Obviously snow and extreme temperatures may require that you change things up for a few days, so put your pet's best interests in mind and allow them/convince them to stay inside where it's warm.

Watch out for road hazards.

Antifreeze is tempting and dangerous to dogs, so steer clear of colorful puddles when you're outside. Also, de-icing salt is an irritant to footpads, so wipe off those little feet when you go inside and consider outfitting your pup with booties if you walk in a particularly salty/treated area of town.

Avoid fire mishaps.

While staying cozy inside, be sure that pets can't accidentally burn themselves on radiators, space heaters or fires in the fireplace.

Monitor food and water levels.

Pets may need a few more calories in the winter, and just because it's cold doesn't mean dehydration can't occur. Make sure they have access to all they need to stay healthy.

Combat stir-craziness.

Just because you're cooped up inside doesn't mean you have to be lazy. Engage your pets with playtime, offer puzzle toys, and shower them with plenty of affection during these snow days. (And the more they exert themselves, the less likely you'll have to deal with bad behavior like barking and chewing.)

Trim shaggy pets and examine paws regularly.

Snipping away any hair that might collect snow and ice will make your long-haired dog or cat much more comfortable. After time outside, take a look at sensitive foot pads to be sure no cuts or chapping are present.

Keep an eye on older pets.

According to Chicago veterinarian Dr. Tony Kremer, arthritis can often feel worse when the temperature is cold, so talk to your vet if you notice any symptoms of pain or decreased mobility in your pet. Your pet's doctor may choose to administer an anti-inflammatory to help alleviate any discomfort.

Reevaluate travel.

If you have a road trip coming up, think about safety (for yourself and your pet) and adjust your plans accordingly. If you're flying with a pet soon, check with your airline to see if they've altered their schedules in light of the cold weather -- especially regarding cargo travel.

Do you have any cold weather pet tips to share? Tell us how you make it through the most brutal winter days. Stay warm, everyone!

 

flickr/Miss Claeson

 

Year in Review: 2013 PetRelocation Pet Moves of the Month (Part 2)

Monday, December 23, 2013 by PetRelocation.com Customer

As December draws to a close, we're taking some time to look back on a few highlights from a fun and busy year of shipping pets and helping reunions happen.

Here are all the Pet Moves of the Month from the second half of 2013! (And here's Part 1 in case you missed it.)

 

Rufty, Pippin and Jesse (July)

After life threw a few ups and downs their way, these three kitties ended up home in New Zealand with their loving owners. Careful, this story is a tearjerker.

 

 

Milo and Joe Dirt (August)

These two (pretty cool) rescue cats went from California to Dublin with their owners, who entrusted us to help move their most precious cargo.

 

 

Bella (September)

This long-legged pup traveled from Texas to South Korea and handled the trip like a pro.

 

 

Liza and Val (October)

Liza the dog and Val the cat moved all the way from Sri Lanka to Nevada. Quite a journey!

 

 

12 Pets! (November)

This month's featured move involved 10 dogs and two cats. They went from Thailand to the US with their big-hearted and truly dedicated owner.

 

 

Zimbo (December)

We finished up the year with another pretty awesome pet move. Zimbo went from the US to Uganda, then from there on to South Sudan. A true globetrotter!

 

Thanks to all of our clients near and far for choosing us to help with their journeys. Here's to another great year!