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Help Me Move My Pet

Seeking Safety in the Skies: How to Minimize the Risks of Pet Air Travel

Monday, October 1, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

You may have come across a couple of unsettling news items recently regarding pet travel. Two dogs -- both reportedly young and healthy, both United passengers -- died during their respective cross-country U.S. flights. As their owners search for answers, other pet owners have found themselves with plenty of questions about pet air travel safety, as well.

Given the current lack of clear information available about these particular incidents, it can help those who need to travel by air with their pets to focus on what we know about reducing the risks of pet travel by air. While many pet owners’ first instincts might be to react strongly against pet air travel in general, the impact of no longer having the option to travel by air could mean that pets would be left behind in shelters when their owners relocate for work or military reasons.

As this industry continues to evolve, it's always a good time to discuss the do's and don'ts of pet travel. The fact is that some pets shouldn't fly, and the ones that are cleared for takeoff require dedication and care from everyone involved in the process. While it's true that there's always an element of risk involved in pet travel, there are ways to effectively reduce those risks.

Here's what you can do to be smart about pet travel by air:

Plan early and plan well. Think of pet travel as a major life event similar to undergoing back surgery or buying a car. Just as you wouldn't choose a random doctor out of the phone book to perform a serious operation or throw down thousands of dollars on a vehicle without reading customer reviews, you can't rush into pet travel without planning carefully. Talk to pet travel professionals and pet owners who have done this before, consider all viable options, and allow plenty of time to map out the best path for your pet.

Talk to your vet about whether or not your pet is safe to fly. Just because you can't bear the idea of leaving your pet behind doesn't mean traveling is always the right choice, and an honest conversation with a trusted veterinarian is definitely in order before booking your flight. Age, weight, medical history, and even temperament all play a role in deciding if your pet is up for the traveling experience. Overweight and elderly pets are clearly at a higher risk, as are anxiety-prone animals or those with separation issues. Consider investing in a full vital organ screening at your veterinarian’s office to identify potential underlying conditions that could flare up during an air travel experience.

Take extra caution with snub-nosed breeds. Pugs, Bulldogs, Boxers, Mastiffs, Persian cats, and other brachycephalic breeds are more susceptible to breathing problems and heat stroke in stressful situations such as air travel, and many vets would advise that you avoid flying these pets. If you do decide to move a snub-nosed pet, it's important to, among other things, choose a large travel crate that offers good ventilation, choose a pet-friendly airline, and work to make sure the pet is well-hydrated before, during, and after the flight.

Choose a large, well-ventilated travel crate. It's actually important for all pets to be transported in a travel crate that is not only airline-approved, but roomy and well-ventilated. Good air flow is key in terms of your pet's comfort level and overall safety, as is proper hydration and working to make sure your pet is comfortable and familiar with the crate well before the day of departure.

As the airlines work to perfect their pet travel processes and as the Department of Transportation continues to examine and alter its pet air travel incident reporting policies, it's up to you to keep your furry family member's best interests in mind and to plan all travel details with care. Please contact our team of Pet Relocation Consultants with any questions you have about how to plan the safest pet move possible.

 

 

Pet Travel Update: When Do Summer Airline Embargoes End, Anyway?

Thursday, September 27, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

Summer is technically over, but the weather can remain unpredictably warm in many regions through fall. If you're planning to fly in the next few weeks, it's important to continue to make careful travel choices when moving your pet and to be aware of airline regulations.

Many airlines altered their pet flight procedures over the summer to ensure safety, and some will continue to observe modified rules and schedules for a few more weeks. In particular, Delta says it will continue to operate the summer pet program until Oct. 14, 2012 at all participating facilities except Atlanta, which will lift the rules on Oct. 1. Other airlines operate with their own procedures, so it's important to check with your carrier before you fly in order to avoid any surprises or delays.

Once again, here's the Master Station List from Delta listing effective dates for the summer pet program:

 

Delta Cargo 2012 Summer Live Animal Program

 

As always, please contact PetRelocation with your questions about moving pets.

Pet Move of the Month: Izzy's Move to Indonesia

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 by PetRelocation.com Customer

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.  
 

Planning International Pet Travel: Tips for Traveling With Pets Over The Holidays

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

At first it sounds like a great idea: take advantage of a long holiday weekend and get your relocation out of the way. Christmas and New Year's Day each fall on a Tuesday this year, so many people will be enjoying two four-day weekends and possibly a nice long break from work and school. Families often choose times like this to schedule a long-distance relocation, but unfortunately travelers doing so with pets in tow may encounter unexpected delays.

Hoping to move your pet internationally during the holidays? Here are some ways to ensure that your move goes smoothly:

 

1. Be aware of the tight pre-export timeline. Many international pet moves require that you go to the vet within ten days of departure (or sometimes sooner), secure health documents, and have those documents endorsed by the USDA. Usually the USDA needs about 48 hours to return the pet paperwork, and considering that the offices will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, will have limited hours on Dec. 24 and 31, and will probably be experiencing backlogs and generally running slower than normal during the entire week, the window of opportunity to get everything in order becomes uncomfortably small. Even the most organized travelers could find their plans suspended if their documents aren't returned in time. Your best bet is to arrange your pet’s flights so that the USDA endorsements can be issued well before or well after the holiday rush.

2. Consider departing from a port city. If your plans depend on your pet being able to travel during Christmas or New Year’s week, your best bet may be to depart from a USDA port city. Many larger airports have port vets, so if you're traveling from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami or Atlanta you may be able to have your USDA paperwork taken care of on site at the time of departure. Again, these offices may be experiencing backlogs and closures and advance appointments are often required at port USDA offices, so it’s best to discuss this possibility with a pet relocation specialist before moving forward.

3. Expect the unexpected. While not all relocations will face the holiday-related logistical roadblocks (for example, moves within the United States, US imports, and US exports to Mexico and Canada do not require USDA endorsements), it's worth remembering that things tend to be more chaotic during the holidays. Packed planes and weather delays are not uncommon at this time of year, and animals flying below the passenger area of the plane are often the first to be rerouted or rescheduled to keep them safe. The best attitude toward traveling with pets during the holidays is to expect the unexpected, or to arrange your pet’s relocation well in advance of this holiday week.

Looking for advice on the best time to move your pet this fall? Our Pet Relocation Consultants are happy to help put together a timeline that will work for everyone – and have your pet home in time to enjoy the holidays. Contact us today to get started.

 

Photo by uggboy via Flickr

 

Pet Travel News: Edinburgh Airport Can Receive Pets Directly

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

A new policy is about to make life easier for a number of travelers by allowing pet owners to fly their pets directly into Scotland. Previously, animals going to the UK could only be received through London or Manchester, but now dogs, cats, and ferrets flying under the EU Pet Travel Scheme can land in in Edinburgh directly.

Extrordinair, a freight forwarding company, is the group behind this expansion. Here's what the managing director had to say:

"Our new facility at Edinburgh Airport means that animals flying into Scotland can be reunited with their owners within hours of touchdown, provided that they have a valid Pet Passport or EU third country Health Certificate and comply with DEFRA regulations."

We recently discussed how Scotland is a pretty pet-friendly place, and this change should come as excellent news to all the pet travelers who will be returning to Scotland with a pet or checking this destination out for the first time.

Read more about this convenient new addition to the services at the Edinburgh airport, and please contact PetRelocation.com with any questions about pet travel -- Scottish or otherwise.

 

 

Pet Travel Question: "Will My Dog Fly Safely?"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Patricia
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Spitz Pomeranian
From: India
To: Mexico

Hello, I'm traveling with my dog from New Delhi, India to New York, he will go as checked baggage in the Lufthansa flight that I will take. From India there's a stopover in Germany for three hours, and then we continue to New York. In total the travel is 20 hours on the plane plus the three hour stopover.

I chose Lufthansa because of its good reputation taking care of animals, but this is the first time I'm taking a pet with me and it worries me that he goes as checked baggage. Is it completely safe? is it really completely controlled in terms of the temperature and pressure? I would appreciate some insight on how this works. I have tried looking for pictures and for a proper description of the place where they put the pets in the plane, but I don't find much.

Two days after arriving in New York, I'm taking an American Airlines flight to Cancun, Mexico, which is the final destination. American Airlines has a temperature policy -- if the temperature exceeds a limit they will not take my pet that day, does that mean that the baggage area is not completely controlled in the temperature? Don't they have AC down there?

I would really appreciate your insight into this area of the planes. Thank you very much!

Thanks,

Patricia
 

Hi Patricia,

Your questions are completely  understandable -- pet travel can definitely seem less than transparent at times. We often hear concerns about flights and safety, and our best advice is to choose a pet-friendly airline with established pet policies (we often go with United, KLM and Lufthansa).

We have discussed Lufthansa on our blog in the past: here's an interview with a Lufthansa expert as well as look at a few important things to know about them.

During the summer many airlines employ embargoes in order to minimize the time that pets are exposed to hot weather, particularly on the tarmac as they're taken on and off the plane. Airlines like United actually transport the pets in air-conditioned vehicles to and from the plane and make sure they're never left to sit in extreme temperatures -- a primary reason why we choose such airlines to begin with (here's a video that sheds light on the process).

If an airline has a temperature policy it means they might not have temperature-controlled vehicles that transport the pets, so you will probably want to double check with them to find out exactly how they do things.

If you have any questions about any of this, please contact us. We'd be happy to help you arrange your move or simply offer more advice. Good luck with everything, Patricia!

Pet Travel News: Current Summer Airline Embargoes

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

 

Summer is still going strong, and many airlines continue to alter their normal procedures to make sure that pets are kept safe when they fly. If you have plans to fly with a pet in the next few weeks, be sure to call your airline to double check everything before you go, and for reference we've also included a quick overview below.

Let us know if you have any more questions about summer pet travel safety or summer embargoes. Stay cool, everyone!


British Airways

PHX:  No pets from 3/22 – 10/22 

DFW, IAH, & DEN:  No pets from 6/1 – 9/15 
         

Continental/United 

PHX:  No pets between 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. during the summer months
All Airports:  No Pugs, Boston Terriers, Pugs, French or American Bulldogs unless under 6 months old from 5/15 – 9/15 
         

KLM 

All Airports: No English bulldog, French Bulldog, Boston Terriers, or Pugs indefinitely
         

Lufthansa 

DTW:  No pets when it's > 80 degrees  and Two pets per flight when it's <80 degrees 
IAH  No pet imports, but exports okay during the summer months

 

Finally, here's more information about Delta Cargo's 2012 Summer Live Animal Program.

Pet Airline Travel News: Can Pigs (And Monkeys and Horses) Fly?

Thursday, July 12, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

 

If you follow pet travel news you may have come across a few provocative headlines lately (Will you really have to sit next to a pig on a plane?) regarding "emotional support" animals and airline travel.

What's the story? The US Department of Transportation has proposed a few new guidelines aimed at helping disabled people have a better travel experience, and the rules would allow service animals such as potbellied pigs and miniature horses to ride alongside the passengers they are assisting.

Certain restrictions are attached to these scenarios of course -- overly large or disruptive animals won't be allowed to board, and the animals must have "relief areas" available them. Transportation officers will also run through a checklist to determine if the animal truly qualifies as an emotional or psychological support.

Ultimately, in each situation the airline still has final say over whether or not the support animals can fly so it's unlikely that planes are going to start resembling farmyards anytime soon, but don't be too surprised if you see a more diverse array of critters making their way through airport security in the future.

Read more about the proposed emotional support animal airline procedures, and contact PetRelocation.com with any questions you have flying with pets or service animals.

 

photo by stevendepolo via Flickr

Pet Move Customer Story: Couscous's Move to China

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Alex
Pet's Name: Couscous
From: Seattle, WA, USA
To: Beijing, China
 

My wife got a job in Beijing this summer and we had to find a safe and comfortable way to move our cat, Couscous with us. I didn't find any pet relocation companies that had a completely clean track record and I spent a good deal of time researching online. I would have been okay with Couscous staying in the US if we could find a good home for her, but she is by no means a normal cat. She pretty much hates everyone else on the planet besides my wife and I, unfortunately.

Another thing that really worried me was that Beijing has a required quarantine for all animals coming in from out of the country. I read quite a few testimonials from people about the horrible conditions of the quarantine and that was just not an option. That's actually what immediately struck me about PetRelocation.com when I first called them. Before I even asked about it, I was told that to move my cat to China would cost more than most other destinations, because they refused to have an animal go through the quarantine. They would have to fly the cat in to Hong Kong, go through customs, and then schedule another flight to Beijing. That was an instant win for me. I will absolutely pay more money if it means that my cat will be safe and healthy, and I found it reassuring that they held this standard and didn't give me an alternative.

A few months before our move we were assigned a relocation manager to help navigate us through the blizzard of paperwork and other procedures that are required by Chinese customs to bring a pet into the country. Our relocation manager's name was Elaine, and she couldn't have been more helpful and available to us from start to finish. What would have been a incredibly arduous process was made relatively easy with Elaine's help and guidance. They even took multiple pictures of Couscous during her trip to assure us that she was doing well.

The attached picture is of Couscous within a few days of arriving in Beijing. As you can see, she's pretty dang comfy and content. I have a great deal of gratitude to Elaine, and PetRelocation.com for taking such good care of her and relieving us of a great deal of stress.

Alex

 





 

Pet Move of the Month: Napoe's Relocation to Hong Kong

Thursday, June 7, 2012 by PetRelocation.com Customer

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!

 

Adventure time

 

Find out more about moving pets around the world by contacting PetRelocation.com.

Pet Travel News Update: United Approved for Pet Flights to Edinburgh

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

 

Pet travelers going to Edinburgh, Scotland now have more airline options. Until now, Lufthansa has been the only airline authorized to ship pets directly to EDI under the Pet Passport Scheme, but the Edinburgh Animal Reception Centre has just announced that United is approved to do so as well.

This news further illustrates United's pet-friendliness as an airline; they also have a PetSafe program and recently reversed a decision that banned certain dog breeds from flying. It is expected that more airlines will soon be granted the same access, so stay in touch for updates.

Find out more about Edinburgh pet import regulations and the Pet Travel Scheme, and be sure to contact PetRelocation.com with any other questions.

 

Seeking Help With A Pet Move: Top Reasons to Choose Pet Transport Services

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

 

The beginning of a pet move can be pretty confusing and there are many things to consider, including your pet's safety, the legwork (and paperwork) involved, and how much it's all going to cost.

Some people choose to handle their moves on their own (and we're happy to offer tips for how to keep pet moves affordable, etc.), but ultimately many pet owners realize they'd rather have someone else handle everything. Whether due to stress, time, or basic logistics, hiring professional pet transportation services will bring some relief to the situation.

Here are a few reasons that many pet owners, including our own PetRelocation.com customers, choose to seek assistance with their moves.

Conflicting Information

"We had no idea how to go about organizing the move ourselves, and for a dog we loved so much, we felt secure in paying someone to do things correctly." -Michelle, who moved her dog Chunk to Australia

Thanks to the internet this has become a very DIY world, but that doesn't mean it's easy to pull off something like a pet move. Unfortunately it's the case that many government websites don't keep up-to-date information regarding animal imports, and a lot of the advice you'll find out there is just plain wrong. When your pet's safety is at stake, it's better to trust the experts who do this every day.

Time

"The list of things to do before a move is a long one. Having assistance with Cole took a huge burden away from us and allowed us to spend more time on preparing ourselves and getting our travel arrangements in order." -Mike, who moved from California to Brazil

Whether moving for work or for pleasure, the effort of relocating all your belongings, organizing the details and trying to make a home in a new place can call for huge time demands. Adding another set of concerns just isn't possible for some travelers, so that's why they call pet relocation companies like us.



 

Special Conditions

"Large dogs present more difficult travel scenarios, so getting assistance was very important for us.The overall safety and well-being of our pet outweighed our ability to handle the move on our own." - Mike, Cole's owner

Flying with an older pet, an especially large one, a snub-nosed breed or an exotic animal can all present special challenges. Again, the rules can be confusing and the internet can be a jumble of misinformation, so passing the reins to a relocation specialist who knows how things work is often the best choice for many pet owners.


Military Moves/PCS

"I had enough stress just trying to get me, my daughters and my house ready all while worrying about my husband, who was still gone (overseas in the military). Once I decided to hire Pet Relocation.com it was like a huge stress filled ball was lifted off me." -Tarnna, featured as our most recent Pet Move of the Month, moved from the US to the UK

Families serving our country who have to move frequently, often without as much notice or time as they'd like, can find themselves feeling particularly overwhelmed.

 

As you can see, there's nothing wrong with seeking some help! For more information about how to relocate your pets, check out  MyPetTravel, our blog, or take a look at our Facebook page to connect with other travelers who have done it all before.

You can also contact PetRelocation.com directly to speak to a Pet Relocation Specialist about what your options may be. No matter how you go about it, here's wishing everyone many safe travels!
 

 

 

 

Pet Move Customer Story: Dolce and Mollie's move to California

Friday, April 27, 2012 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Kathy
Pets' Names: Dolce' and Mollie
From: Rhode Island
To: California
 

Our family (pets included of course) was being relocated from Rhode Island to Southern California, a 3,000 mile trip to take place at the end of Aug. 2011. After checking several animal-friendly airlines (most of which only accept smaller animals that can be in the cabin under a seat.), we decided to fly Continental.

The animals had to be dropped off at a special holding area, and from there they are driven in a van to the plane. We were able to watch them being loaded into the air-regulated cargo area and a stewardess assured us they were on board. At the end of the flight our transportation was delayed. The people at the animal section made a call to our cell phone to let us know the animals arrived safely and were waiting to be picked up. After all the worry of having to have the animals on such a long flight, we picked up Dolce' and Mollie at the animal pick-up area.

They were well cared for throughout the whole process. We made it a point to put tags on their crates indicating live animals inside, along with their names on the crates in several places so that the handlers could call them by name. A big shout out for PetRelocation.com for getting our family from one side of the U.S. to the other!




Pet Travel Update: United Will Now Accept Pit Bulls and Other Previously-Banned Breeds for Transport

Thursday, April 26, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

 

Great news for pet travelers of a certain breed...

United Airlines has announced that they will now accept several dog breeds that have previously not been permitted, including American Staffordshire Terriers and Pit Bull Terriers. Effective immediately, dogs six months or older and weighing more than 20 pounds who meet the proper kennel requirements (kennels meeting Container Requirement #82) and show no signs of aggressiveness will be allowed to fly.

We previously reported that United's banned breed policy was being protested against by pet owners and various dog advocacy groups, and the IPATA Board of Directors also requested that United modify their policy. United is still in the process of updating their website to reflect this change, but you can take a look at the bulletin below to find out all the details.

As always, please contact PetRelocation.com with any pet travel questions.

 

 

United Airlines Acceptable Animal Breeds for Transport (Revised 4/2012)

A Few Fun Facts About The Serious (and Seriously Interesting) Business of Pet Shipping

Monday, April 16, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

 

Pet transportation services aren't just limited to moving a dog or cat across the country when work or military duty calls the family to a new place. Along with technological advances and emerging international developments, transporting animals is a service in demand, leaving airlines and freight companies in the position of stepping up to the challenge or being left behind.

This recently published Bloomberg article goes into greater detail about Lufthansa, KLM, and the other companies who deal with shipping animals. It's pretty fascinating to see how trends have been changing recently and how these businesses are learning to handle exotic moves.

Want to know more? Here are a few details from the article, and you can read the whole thing here.

 

-Last year Lufthansa's Frankfurt facility handled 110 animals of various kinds (including 80 million tropical fish and 300 tons of worms).

-Lufthansa usually transports around 14,000 dogs and cats and 2,000 horses in a year.

-Animal freight makes up about one to two percent of Lufthansa's total cargo revenue.

-One of the most unconventional cargo shipments on record was a plane filled with dogs and cats evacuated from Lebanon following a missile strike.

-Before they fly out of Frankfurt, animals are inspected by up to 24 different vets.

-Some freighters are equipped with up to four different temperature zones, meaning that one flight can safely and comfortably carry warm-blooded and cold-blooded animals (think horses and penguins, for example).

-Large fish, dolphins and poisonous reptiles are not accepted for shipment by Lufthansa due to safety concerns.

 

 

Hannelore Foerster/Bloomberg

 

 

 

Guest Blog: Pet Air Travel Tips From CheapOair

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

We do our best to keep you informed regarding the best pet travel tips and the newest trends, but it never hurts to check in with others in the field to see what they have to say. Today we're featuring a guest post from our friends at CheapOair, an online travel company that keeps your budget in mind.

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Air travel with pets requires lots of research to make the trip hassle-free. If you’re traveling for the first time with your pet on a flight, you need to put some extra effort not only to make the reservation and get the documents completed, but also to train your pet physically and psychologically. Here are a few tips that might help you in making your pet travel unperturbed.

Air Travel Policies for Pets 

The first and the foremost thing when planning to travel with your pet is to check the airline policies. Pet air travel policies vary from one airline to the next depending upon in-flight and cargo space and other factors. Therefore, it’s important to check with the airline for the latest pet flight regulations regarding carrier sizes, health documents, and other things required for pet travel. For example, as per the latest travel updates, AirTran Airways no longer accepts birds for travel on any flight.

Cargo or Cabin

It is crucial to select what is the best mode of travel for your pet. No doubt, pets too large to fit in cabin carriers have no other option than to fly in the cargo area, but certain snub nosed breeds and pets with medical issues should not fly in cargo. That doesn't mean it's unsafe to fly in the cargo area, though. It's advised that you choose a pet-friendly airline with safe pet practices as you plan your trip, and also discuss your options with your vet and a pet travel specialist before you fly.

Say No to Sedatives

Sedating animals before flights is prohibited. Sedation may affect the pet’s abilities to regulate his/her body temperature, your pet may become confused or even aggressive once the tranquilizer begins to wear off, and most airlines do not allow pets to fly if they’ve been sedated.

Overall, the best way to make pet air travel cozy and comfortable is to enlist the help of a pet relocation service provider.  They take care of each and every aspect related to pet relocation, including completion of documentation, vaccinations, and flight arrangements.

Author Bio:
Rachna works for CheapOair, an online travel company that is committed to provide cheap airline tickets along with hotel reservations and car rental services.

 

What To Do and Where To Begin: Frequently Asked Pet Travel Questions

Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

Since moving pets can be pretty complicated and will most likely coincide with a busy, stressful time in life, we're not surprised that we receive a lot of questions from overwhelmed pet owners about the logistics, the details and the costs of pet travel.

We've been shipping pets for a while now and have pretty much heard it all... Here are a few of the most frequently asked pet travel questions (along with our basic answers). Remember, no one is alone in this!

 

How do I know what the requirements are for the country I'm moving to?

Making sure that a pet's journey runs smoothly begins with research. Many countries have detailed import instructions on their own official websites; stringent countries like Australia outline almost everything while other places may not be so forthcoming, so you may need to check another source -- like IATA  or the country pages on the PetRelocation.com -- to find out about health documents, vaccines, and possible quarantines.

Which airline should I fly with?

This is perhaps the most important decision you can make related to pet travel. It's key that you choose an airline that has established pet policies and solid safety measures in place to ensure that your pet is properly cared for, not left to sit on the tarmac, and respectfully transported overall. We have a short list of trusted airlines that include KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas and United, but check with us if you have any questions about this.

How do I know my pet will be safe?

This is probably the  most common question requiring the most nuanced answer. Again, safety primarily depends on selecting trustworthy airlines and transport agents, but you can also do your best to prepare your pet physically by keeping them in good shape, acclimating them to their travel crates and setting a good example for them by remaining calm and upbeat in the days before the trip.

Remember that sedatives are strongly discouraged (and generally not even permitted). With so many moving parts it's impossible to guarantee a journey 100% free of hiccups, but by following these basic guidelines you're putting your pet in the best position possible.

Why does it cost so much to ship a pet?

We've addressed the question of pet moving costs in greater depth in the past, but essentially it comes down to the details. By the time you add up import permits, health certificates, customs clearance, delivery fees, plane tickets and a few other considerations, it simply isn't going to be a cheap endeavor. Does it end up being worth it, though? Most pet owners would say "of course".

Should I move my pet at all?

This is a tough one, and for certain people it's a question that must be asked. Air travel is taxing for humans and for animals, and older pets or those in delicate health simply may not be up for it. Also, many people don't realize how much is involved with air travel and crossing borders, so if this is just a vacation (rather than a permanent move), it will probably be better to find a trusted pet sitter rather than jump through so many hoops unnecessarily.

Ultimately it is the safety of the pet that's the most important thing to consider, so often a conversation with your vet, your family, and your pet relocation specialist will help you figure this one out.

 

Bandit

 

Still have questions? We're happy to help! Give our office a call and be sure to check out our Facebook page to connect with other pet travelers who probably have the same questions as you. Happy traveling, everyone!

 

 

 

Pet Travel Question: Organizing an Australia Pet Move

Monday, February 20, 2012 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Lucy
From: Copenhagen, Denmark
To: Melbourne, Australia
Pets: Two young cats (6 months now), that are 'house cats' i.e. mixed breed (they're rescue cats). They're currently about 2.5 kilos so I'm thinking they'll be each about 4kgs in 6 months time.

Hi there, We are relocating from Sweden (closest international airport is Copenhagen) to Australia in about six months. We are bringing our two rescue cats with us. As we are on a budget, we would prefer to organise everything ourselves and book directly with a freight company. Do you have any recommendations on which airline is the best (and cheapest) at carrying small animals in cargo? There isn't too much information out there on how to do it yourself, as everyone appears to go with a pet relocation agent! Thank you in advance for your help.
 
 
 
Hi Lucy,
 
Thanks, your questions are definitely reasonable and understandable -- hope we can help! These are the pet import requirements for Australia, which do entail securing various vaccines and paperwork and making quarantine arrangements. For tips on how to plan the move yourself, take a look at MyPetTravel.com, and for general Australia info you can explore the PetRelocation.com blog. As far as airlines, we recommend Qantas or Air New Zealand for flying your pets.
 
Please take a look at this information and then let us know if you have any questions. Good luck with your travels!
 
 

 

Pet Travel Question: Feeling Comfortable Flying a Pet

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Maya
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: English Lab
From: Miami
To: Costa Rica

Is the flight on American Airlines as checked baggage safe? The flight alone is 2.5 hours. My research shows that a certificate is needed from Costa Rica and the dogs vaccination papers must be kept with us. Will cabin pressure and temperature be comfortable for our dog? Costa Rica's high temperature this time of year is around 85 degrees, will the dog be allowed to travel now?

Thanks,
Maya



Hi Maya,


First of all, in case you need them, here are the pet import requirements for Costa Rica. Let us know if you have any questions about these rules.

There are many misconceptions about pet travel -- one being that cargo travel is somehow inherently risky. The most important thing is to choose a pet-friendly airline (we often use Continental) who will diligently see to all the details. When handled correctly, the cargo area is pressure and temperature controlled, and pet crates are secured and kept apart from the luggage. Animals shuold not be left on the tarmac (thus weather doesn't play as big a role because your pet is not subjected to the outdoors for more than a few moments). Finding a pet-friendly airline who follows these conventions is vital.

The bottom line is to investigate the airline you plan to use to find out about their most up-to-date pet policies -- the last thing you need is to encounter surprises on travel day. Please contact us if you have any more questions, and good luck with everything!

Pet Travel Question: Flying a Dog from Hawaii to DC

Monday, January 23, 2012 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Sally
From: Kailua, Kona, HI
To: Washington, DC
Pet: Oreo, mixed breed, 50 lbs

Is it possible to fly our dog to DC from Hawaii? How are animals transported over long distances without stops to go to the bathroom? I would hate to leave our dog behind, but I can't imagine her being in a crate for 12+ hours. One time our flight was delayed and we were traveling for 24 hours. How do people do it?

Thanks,
Sally



Hi Sally,

Thanks for the question! We've moved many dogs in and out of Hawaii, and while it is a long trip, it's possible to carry out safely. (We find that pets are generally surprisingly resilient). Here is some information about the pet import requirements for the United States, and for long trips we do recommend putting something absorbent into the bottom of the crate (an old towel or bathmat, shredded newspaper, etc.). If you'd like an estimate for our door-to-door services, here is the link to our free quote form.

Good luck with your pet travels, and please let us know if you have any more questions!