It's something that many of us have come to believe wholeheartedly -- home is where your pet is. Whether you're moving across the country or across the world, including the family's animal companion makes all the difference when it comes to settling into a new place.
That's exactly what Izzy's owners recently discovered. They were initially anxious about bringing her all the way from Alaska to Indonesia, but it turned out to be well worth it and it sounds like Izzy has even helped them to learn a lot about Jakarta, their new home.
Read on to find some great tips about relocating a pet to Indonesia -- this family did a wonderful job and we were happy to help them keep everyone together!
Is this the first time you’ve ever moved a pet?
It is not the first time we have moved a pet overseas, however it is the first time I knew there was a company that could help me. Had I known this several years ago when we moved our yellow Labrador to Dubai, we would not have run into the problems we ran into and would have been able to bring her with us, rather then waiting several months to figure out how to send her and then worrying about her well-being all the way there.
What were some of your concerns going into the move?
I worried that maybe it would be too difficult to find an airline that would fly Izzy safely, and that it would be too far of a flight for her to travel, too hot, and that maybe she couldn't come with us. I would call various airlines, and I could not understand them, and they didn't' t seem to have the information I was looking for. In addition, there were so many import permits and so much legal paperwork to complete that it was just too overwhelming to figure out on my own. I would get different information every time I would call an airline or other pet relocation company. I was worried that if I couldn't get help moving her and I did it on my own, she would end up in a foreign country and I would never see her again.
Did anything surprise you about the international pet moving process?
I was just surprised how difficult it is for a regular person to figure it all out without any experience. PetRelocation.com was so knowledgeable about pet friendly airlines, import permits, vaccinations, and all the timing involved. I was surprised that they were so diligent in making sure Izzy's trip was the safest and best way to travel. They were just so knowledgeable about the best route for our Izzy to take. Even though it seemed like the longest, it was absolutely the safest way for her to go. They were not about getting her there quickly as much as getting her there safely and comfortably and maintaining her health all the way. I was overwhelmed with the knowledge they had about moving pets and the different country requirements. I could not have done it on my own -- I tried and spent several days and got absolutely nowhere.
How is Izzy adjusting to the new location?
Surprisingly, Izzy is doing remarkably! I thought that she would have some adjustments to make and would act differently for a while, however her personality is the same. She has developed the same silly habits here, such as finding corners in the house to put herself into and barking at me to go for a walk or to get an extra bite of something. She also surprisingly loves the weather in Jakarta. She constantly requests to go outside and will just lie down outside soaking up the sun with her Alaskan fur coat and everything. She loves the pool as well, but coming from Alaska she has not yet learned how to swim so she is taking swimming lessons! She loves to be outdoors.
Unfortunately we did have a bit of health scare, unrelated to the actual travel. Izzy arrived in Jakarta 10 days before I did and stayed with my husband and son, who had arrived a couple weeks earlier. She arrived in great health and was happy, only had to serve one day in quarantine, and the relocation company here delivered her straight to our doorstep. However, once I arrived in Jakarta and Izzy saw me, she became so excited she started running around the yard like a crazy lab. She started digging in the garden and ate something foreign. I wasn't able to get her to stop right away, and then the next day she became ill -- refusing to eat, throwing up, and acting very lethargic. I was extremely worried after everything we went through to get her here safely that she was not going to make it. I've never had a sick dog before.
Everything worked out for the best, though, and because of this unfortunate experience, I can say with confidence (which I did not know before and was worried about), that yes, Jakarta is a third world country but they are capable of taking excellent care of dogs and pets here. Izzy was in the hospital for five days with gastritis (labs love to eat everything), and the entire time the veterinarians would text me her treatment plan and tell me how she was doing. They also texted pictures of her X-rays and medications. You don't get that much feedback in the States. I was extremely happy with the knowledge they had, and they returned Izzy back to her healthy self. They even make house calls! Now I can truly say with confidence that they have great pet care here, as well.
What is life like in Indonesia? Is it a pet-friendly place to be?
Well, it was not like I expected it to be at all. The weather is not nearly as hot as living in Houston, Texas in the summer. There are lot of dogs here. In our complex I counted several golden retrievers, a bull dog, dachshunds, a poodle, and Jack Russell terrier, all taking a walk. Many people have the perception that Jakarta is not a dog friendly place, however I have run across several veterinarians here as well as holistic dog food stores. Groovy pets has a vetcare clinic for ill animals as well as a groomer and a store that carries most high quality brand dog food -- many I did not expect to find. I was able to keep Izzy on the same dog food. Although it is a Muslim country, many of the Muslims tolerate dogs, and when hiring "help" here such as maids and gardeners you just have to make sure they are okay with dogs. Surprisingly there are many Indonesians who own dogs as well.
Indonesia is a very busy place with traffic that cannot be described, and there are many things a dog can get into that can be dangerous (as we found out). Before bringing your dog, its best to make sure the house you will move into is cleaned up around the garden area and free of pesticides, poisons and fertilizers. All homes are secured with a fence or brick walls all around your home so your dog will be secured safely inside. All homes have a pool as well, and for dogs who love to swim it can be very therapeutic. In Jakarta the gardeners are usually hired as dog walkers and often will walk your dog to a park where many other dogs congregate and have a play date!!
What advice do you have for people who might be planning a move?
Do your research. Learn as much as you can about the area you are going to be moving to so you can make it safe for your pet. Find out if other people have moved their dog or pet to that country. Prepare your pet ahead of time by getting them used to traveling in a crate. Find out what pet food is available in your new location and try to switch them before they travel so they will not have tummy issues when they get there. Find a veterinarian before arriving in your country so that if any unforeseen circumstances arise, you are prepared the minute your pet arrives. Find out how you will get your pet to the vet if you are not able to drive in your host country.
PetRelocation.com is worth the peace of mind when moving your pet safely to another country, as it saves time and worry. It was so worth it to get our Izzy safely to Jakarta, and we will definitely call upon PetRelocation.com again when we move back.