Though every pet move is different, most share a few familiar elements. This month's Pet Move of the Month illustrates a perfect example of what the typical pet owner experiences each step of the way: initial nervousness followed by a growing confidence that everything will be fine, and finally the happiness that comes with seeing your pet delivered safely to you.
Mandy is as dedicated a pet owner as can be, and her dog Napoleon (Napoe) is one lucky pup. Their recent move from the United States to Hong Kong was a smooth adventure, and we congratulate them for being stellar travelers.
Read more about Napoe's experience, including some valuable information about pet life in Hong Kong (people love him there!). Thanks to Mandy and Napoe, and good luck in your new home!
Is this the first time you’ve ever moved a pet?
Yes. This is the first time we've ever moved our little guy. Napoe has lived in Arkansas for all 7 1/2 years of his doggy life. He is like our child.
We've had never boarded him, never crated him, never left him with anyone other than family and close friends. The thought of him flying alone as cargo was mortifying to me. When I learned that the Hong Kong government wouldn't allow him to fly with us in the cabin, I literally had a panic attack.
A friend who had moved from our area to Hong Kong and used PetRelocation.com to help them move their dog Roger recommended you to us. From the first phone call (and I got through the call ALMOST without crying) I felt very comfortable with the care, knowledge and professionalism that every person I spoke to had. Each person seemed to genuinely want Napoleon to make a safe and successful move to Hong Kong.
What were some of your concerns going into the move?
I wanted to know everything about every leg of Napoe's travel. What would he see, hear, and smell? Would there be any chance that someone might mistreat him? Would he be scared? Would he panic? Should I look into sedating him? What would happen if he needed to go to the bathroom, etc etc. I was also concerned with the fact that he is only 3.5lbs and his bladder is tiny. Could he manage a 16 hour flight without having to potty?
Each of my questions was listened to and addressed with care and compassion. I learned that dogs are den animals, and that while Napoe might initially be nervous, he would likely burrow into a blanket and fall asleep to the hum of the plane motor. I worried that he would be cold, but was assured that the place he would ride was temperature and pressure controlled.
Reading about Hong Kong
Did anything surprise you about the international pet moving process?
Yes. The knowledge of the staff, the follow up, and the ease with which we were able to bring him over to Asia. I was thoroughly and completely impressed with how simple things were, for me and for Napoe. After my first call to PetRelocation.com, things went smooth as silk.
How is Napoe adjusting to life in Hong Kong?
When Napoe arrived and was let out of his crate, for about 30 seconds his ears were back and he was a little uncertain. Then, after he realized that it was me, his mom, he was so happy!! He wiggled his tail and he was happy, playful and thrilled to see me. Napoe explored our apartment and went right to his blanket and found his favorite toy.
He is still getting used to the fact that most of the places where he is allowed to potty are concrete. But., there are also plenty of places where he can explore. Where we are in Stanley, he is welcome at restaurants, shops and he comes with us just about everywhere we go on the South side of the Island.
Because he's out with us SO much, he sleeps almost all night and when he does wake, he goes to the balcony for a quick pee and then hops right back into bed with us. He misses his large yard at home, but he's adjusting very well to life in Hong Kong. Lots of doggy friends for him here.
Mandy and Napoe. Napoe loves exploring Stanley in his travel bag.
What is life like in Hong Kong? Is it a pet-friendly place to be?
In the city, it's much like it would be in New York, London, etc., however we chose to live in Stanley, which is on the Southern peninsula of the Island. Dogaroo in Stanley Plaza is great for "dog products" like leashes and bowls and poop baggies. There's also a shop in Horizon Plaza in Ap Lei Chai which sells all things dog!
There is a vet in Stanley that's next to a groomer shop, and both are very reputable. I don't recall the name of the groomers but I believe the vet is simply Stanley Vet Center.
I've not found a dog-friendly beach in Stanley, but I'm told that they exist. Napoe is welcome in the Taxis, and legally drivers can charge an additional $5HKD for him (less than .80 cents US). Sometimes they do, but most times they just think he's an adorable passenger and don't charge for him.
What advice do you have for people who might be planning a move?
Relax. Take things one day at a time. It's very likely that someone else has shared the same experience that you are facing. ASK QUESTIONS. Being independent and attempting to figure it all out might be "your style," but allow people to help you. Research and verify what you're told, but learn from the experiences that others have already had. Patience and a sense of humor are two key items!
Find out more about moving pets around the world by contacting PetRelocation.com.