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Help Me Move My Pet

Pet Travel Question: Exporting Rats from Japan

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: K.
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Rat
Pet Breed: Dumbo Rat
From: Japan
To: Maryland (though Washington, Dulles airport)

I am leaving Japan in the summer (expecting to leave in the last week of July) and want to take my two fancy rats home to the US with me. I have contacted the CDC in both countries and they have said there are no specific regulations for pet rats, however I am having a difficult time just getting a list together of everything that I am going to need at the airport. As time starts to run out I am getting very stressed that there will be some sort of last minute thing that I forget!

Also, as I have never shipped a pet before, I am a little confused about how the whole process works. Do I just walk in the airport with the carrier and hand them over when I check my bags? I worry that with the stigma most people have of rats that they won't be treated as well as a larger companion animal would, but I haven't been able to find any airline that will let me take them as carry on (I'd even be willing to buy a second seat!).

I guess what I am asking is just for some idea of what to expect and what forms/ vet information I will need to have for them. Using a service such as your own also isn't out of the question. More than cost, I am just concerned about my (clearly very spoiled) rats getting home safely.

Thank you so much for your informative site. Any information that you can give me will be most appreciated.

Thanks,
K



Hello,

Thanks for your question about traveling with your rats; your concerns are certainly understandable! First of all, you're right that it's important to start the process early in order to avoid being surprised about anything.

Here is some information from our site about obtaining customized rodent crates as well as how to travel with an exotic pet, and we also recommend contacting your airline directly in order to find out about their most up-to-date regulations. The good news is that the United States allows rats to be imported without much fanfare (here's a document from the Official U.S. Customs and Border Protection site that may be helpful).

Hopefully this information is helpful to you, and please let us know if you have any more questions or if you'd like a free quote for our services. Good luck with the move!


Pet Travel Question: Moving a Great Dane

Thursday, December 1, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: David
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Great Dane
From: Florida
To: Either England or Japan

I may be assigned overseas and wanted to see how to go about getting my Great Dane overseas with me. He is a year old and weighs 150 Lbs.

Thanks,
David



Hi David,

Thanks for contacting us with your question. First, here is some general information about moving large dogs. You'll probably need to acquire a custom crate for your Great Dane, and it's important to check with your airline ahead of time to make sure the crate will be able to fit onto the airplane.

Here are the pet import requirements for Japan and the pet import requirements for the UK (which are scheduled to change Jan. 1, 2012, by the way). Let us know if you have any questions about these regulations, and please visit our site if you'd like a free quote for our services.

Good luck with your travels!

Pet Travel Question: Can Rats Move to Japan?

Thursday, November 17, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Sarah
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Rats
Pet Breed: Fancy Rats
From: United States
To: Japan

Is it possible to move my rats with me to Japan? If so, what sort of documentation do I need? How long will the process take for me to get them ready to move?

Thanks,
Sarah



Hi Sarah,


Thank you for contacting us with your question! Japan has specific pet import requirements applicable to a variety of situations, and your best bet is to take a look the official website.

Here's a link to the Japan Animal Quarantine Service, where the rules for importing rats are discussed.

Good luck with your trip, and please let us know if you have more questions or would like a free quote!

Pet News Update: Changes to Korea's Pet Import Requirements

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

UPDATE: These rules were originally scheduled to change this month, but will now take effect next year. Also, it was originally stated that the titer test should be done between 90 days and 24 months before the date of departure, but the time frame has now been specified to be between 30 days and 24 months.

Nothing stays the same for too long in the world of pet travel. For example, beginning December 1, 2012, a titer test will now be required when bringing pets to Korea. This is important information to keep in mind if you're planning a trip, as the test must be done at least a month before the time of departure.

Here is what else you should know:


New Korea Import Rules

The new rules apply to all countries other than the following rabies-free countries:

Japan, Taiwan, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Iceland, Guam, Hawaii, Samoa, Cayman Islands, French Polynesia, Martinique, Department of Reunion, Wallis and Futuna, Albania, Dominica Republic, Macedonia, Lichtenstein, Malaysia, Switzerland

It's also necessary to have:

-An ISO compatible Microchip.

-A Rabies vaccine that is valid at the time of import and older than 30 days.

-A rabies antibody titer test completed at an internationally approved laboratory, and the test must be older than three months but less than two years. The result must be 0.5 IU/ml or greater.

-The above information must be written on a health certificate, and the validity is determined by the country of export and/or airline.

(This information comes from the National Veterinary Research & Quarantine Service (NVRQS).)


Other Travel Considerations

Although not required, PetRelocation.com strongly recommends the following vaccines:

-For dogs: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Bordetella vaccines

-For cats: Feline Cat Flu-Feline Calicivirus, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Feline Enteritis- Feline Panleukopaenia/Feline Parvovirus



Contact PetRelocation.com with any questions about moving pets to Korea (or anywhere else, for that matter). Happy traveling, everyone!

Friday Pet News: Snakes on Trains, Monkeys with Cameras and Joyful Pet Reunions

Friday, July 8, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

It's Friday! Check out the pet news of the week as you prepare for what'll hopefully be a fun, safe and happy weekend.

-If you have a pet you know how it is -- they have a magical way of absorbing the stress in a room and they bring laughter to life without even trying. A Doctor in psychology further explores this phenomenon and also asks, is your pet the emotional "third" in your relationship?

-Sometimes pet travel isn't as structured as it should be. Find out what happened when a snake ended up taking a solo train ride in Japan.

-This story began as a heartbreaker but seems to have a happy ending - a kitten was tossed out a car window on a NYC bridge this week but managed to remain unharmed when an animal control officer spotted the cat and picked him up. The kitty is now doing well in foster care.

-In more strange NYC news, a West Village pet store recently placed restrictions on who is allowed to take pets home after a few incidents involving drunk puppy buying.

-Many people are surprised to find out how much it costs to ship a pet. Here's a breakdown of what's involved with moving a pet safely.

-In case you missed it, here's the story of an Indonesian monkey who snatched a wildlife photographer's camera and proceeded to take a series of self-portraits. Sure, it's not really "pet news," but nothing says Happy Friday like a smiling monkey face!

-Finally, we announced our Pet Move of the Month this week; Kratos the English Bulldog moved from California to Italy in order to join his loving owner Shaun, a member of the US Navy. The picture of their reunion (below) illustrates one of our favorite parts about moving pets!


kratos and shaun

Pet Travel Question: Moving Dogs to the Philippines

Monday, June 13, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Edna
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Long-Haired Daschund
From: Tokyo, Japan (Itabashi-ku)
To: Noveleta, Philippines

How can I ship my pet in the most economical, safe, fast and convenient way?

Thank you,
Edna


Hi Edna,

Your question certainly touches on all the most important elements of a great pet move, and we'd love to help you achieve these goals. First, here are the pet import requirements for the Philippines. You'll need to obtain a few vaccines and a microchip, and to streamline the process we suggest getting started well in advance of your move. As always, we always recommend choosing a pet-friendly airline, as well.

Give us a call if you have any particular questions or if you'd like some help. It's less expensive to handle everything yourself (check our site for information about how to do this), but we're happy to take over the door-to-door details of your move if you find that you'd rather not tackle it yourself. Good luck!

Moving Pets to Japan: Minnie's Pet Move

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Rosa
Pets Name: Minnie
From: Massachusetts
To: Tokyo


I flew ahead to Tokyo in January to get settled and arranged for my 13lb Miniature Pinscher - Minnie - to join me in April.

Although I did most of the paper work ahead of time, PetRelocation.com was immensely helpful in tying up all the loose ends. Japan is very strict about proper and accurate paper work!

Minnie arrived at Narita Airport as scheduled, with staff from Tokyo calling me a few days earlier to make sure I was ready to pick up my girl.

She's been in Tokyo for nearly a month now and is adjusting very well. She will be flying with PetRelocation.com again should my work require me to move again :)




Top Pet Travel News: Mascots, Argentina and More

Friday, April 1, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

As usual, this was a busy week in the world of pet news. Catch up with the headlines, and have a wonderful Friday, everyone!

-Here's an update on pets in Japan -- including what life is like three weeks after the earthquake and how recovery efforts are taking pets into account.

-Have you ever consulted an animal behaviorist to deal with your pet's bad habits and anxiety? Many people have found this to be an expensive -- but helpful -- thing to do.

-Men's NCAA fans and four talented teams are getting ready to enjoy the season's final showdown, and most participants won't receive the same star treatment as Butler's mascot, a bulldog named Blue 2. This pup will fly to the game in a private jet, stay at a four-star hotel, and will even have his own security detail upon arrival.

-Southern California has a reputation for being pet-friendly, and San Diego resident Maggie Espinosa and her dog Marcel recently went about checking things out. Find out what this pet owner turned author learned during her pet travels.

-Before you know much about it, pet travel can seem overwhelming. Once you break it down into its individual parts, however, you'll see that it's possible to tackle it without losing your sanity. Here's a helpful article that takes a closer look at exactly what it takes to move a pet to Argentina.

-With more and more pets taking to the skies these days, it's good to know that airports are lifting their game as far as pet travel is concerned. Here's a closer look at how Boston Logan International Airport handles pets safely.

-Meet Travelin' Jack, a Bulldog with a blog and a love for adventure. He also has a new book on the shelves, whose proceeds will go to help a no-kill shelter in Jack's native New Mexico.

-We covered the topic of pet-friendly airports a few months ago and it continues to be a topic on our radar, so we were interested to run across Dog Jaunt's coverage of the Dallas airport pet areas. It's a must-read if you'll be traveling through here with a pet anytime soon.





From Japan to Guam: Recovery and Relocation

Monday, March 21, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

As Japan continues to deal with the effects of the recent earthquake and tsunami, many people have made the tough decision to leave. This choice is certainly stressful and relocating with pets can make things all the more complicated, so if you've decided to make a move it's important to educate yourself regarding up-to-date import requirements and travel tips.

Like Japan, Guam is rabies-free. This might make it a natural choice for Japanese citizens who want to return home at some point, as going to another rabies-free country will streamline the import process (Taiwan is also free of rabies). There are a few things to know before you go, however, so make sure you do your research.

Moving to Guam will require the following:
  • An entry permit
  • A microchip,
  • Proof of vaccinations
  • A health certificate 
It's important to have copies of all the necessary documents, and you'll need to make arrangements with a quarantine facility on the island in order to be cleared for entry. From the United States and many other countries the entry rules are very strict, but pets coming from Japan will most likely be eligible for a shorter quarantine.

Take a look at the complete pet import requirements for moving to Guam, and please contact PetRelocation.com if you'd like to speak to a Specialist in greater detail about this or any other pet travel issue.

Are you a citizen of Japan who has decided to relocate? Feel free to share your story with  us, and don't hesitate to let us know if you need a helping hand! Also, if you live in another part of the world and want to be a helping hand, there are plenty of ways to help the pets of Japan.

What You Can Do to Help Pets in Japan

Thursday, March 17, 2011 by Rachel Farris

If you're a pet lover who's been following the devastation in Japan, you've probably found yourself wondering how you can help.  This heart-wrenching video of a Spaniel refusing to leave another injured dog's side during the aftermath of the tsunamis hit at the bone of the issue that many pet lovers feel: our pets' loyalty is enduring and we can only attempt to be as loyal as they are to us.  If you haven't seen the video, you can watch it below, but be prepared: it's pretty hard to watch.



Everyone at PetRelocation.com is a pet lover, so we found ourselves wondering how we could get involved to help the pets of Japan.  We've been providing assistance to pet owners in Japan all week by helping them sort out paperwork issues to get their pets to safety.  Bu we still wanted to find a way to help the pets who need it the most:  the ones who were stranded and separated from their owners in the aftermath.

Help pets in Japan after earthquakesThat's why we're joining forces with Be the Change for Pets to benefit World Vets, an organization that has mobilized to be on the ground in Japan with much-needed veterinary supplies to help render aid to the pets of Japan. 

A little bit about World Vets:  

World Vets is a non-government organization (NGO) providing veterinary aid around the globe and is actively helping pets affected by Japan earthquakes and tsunamis.  World Vets teams are already assembled in Niigata, Japan right now with a shipment of veterinary supplies and World Vets veterinarian Dr. Koji Fukumura will be arriving in Tokyo on Friday.  Dr. Fukumura will be staying long-term as an in-country coordinator and to provide direct assistance to animals in need.   In the meantime, World Vets is in dire need of donations to keep sending veterinary supplies and teams of veterinarians overseas.

What PetRelocation.com is Doing to Help Pets in Japan:
In participation with Be the Change for Pets and Paws for Japan Day, we will donate 10% of proceeds for every new customer who signs up with PetRelocation.com today.  Through the help of our customers, we'll be donating up to $5000 toward helping World Vets and their noble mission in Japan.

What You Can Do to Help Pets in Japan:
Even if you're not moving your pet with us, you can still make a donation to World Vets using the widget below.  All donations provided through the form below go directly to World Vets.  Even $5 or $10 can make a difference to a suffering pet who needs a bandage or painkiller.  Update: So many people have been donating to this event that ChipIn.com, the company processing the donations, is sometimes taking too long to respond. Please try reloading.
You can also help spread the word by sharing this post on Facebook or tweeting it using the buttons below.


Pet Travel Question: Dogs to Dubai

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Lana
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Toy Poodle
From: Japan
To: Dubai


Good day. I need to move my dog from Japan to Dubai. Problem - I need to have my dog in the kennels/dog sitter from June (as my visa in Japan expires) and can only leave for Dubai around the middle August (when my new visa in Dubai begins). In that time my dog will need injections done, blood tests and all the papers to get her out of Japan and to Dubai. Could you please give me any advice? I cannot take her with me to South Africa as it has rabies. Please please help. Yours sincerely, -Lana


Hi Lana,

Thanks for submitting a question to us! To start, here are the pet import requirements for the United Arab Emirates. Once you know about these necessary steps, you can plan a schedule for your vet visits and vaccinations.

If you won't be with your dog during the weeks leading up to your trip and you don't have a friend or family member to assist you, you will need to enlist some hired help. Check with IPATA for more information, check your local listings for vet assistance, etc..., or contact us for more detailed advice. One of our Pet Relocation Specialists would be happy to help you plan your move.

Good luck with everything, Lana, and keep in touch!


Pet Travel Question: Dogs to Ecuador

Monday, February 14, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Johanna
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Toy Poodle/Shih Tzu Mix
From: Narita, Japan
To: Quito, Ecuador


Could you please advise me about whether or not I need an export permit to take my pet out of Japan (she was born here), and about how I go about importing her to Quito, Ecuador? Your time is much appreciated. Yours sincerely, Johanna.

Hi Johanna,

Thanks for the question! Start by taking a look at the Pet Import Requirements for Ecuador. Here at PetRelocation, we also encourage you to choose a pet-friendly airline and begin the crate-training process (if your dog isn't comfortable in a crate already) as soon as possible.

Please contact us if you'd like some help planning your move. One of our Pet Relocation Specialists would be happy to assist you or answer any questions you may have!

Good luck!

Pet Travel Question: A Japan Layover

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Emily
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Basenji Mix
From: Washington D.C.
To: Bangkok, Thailand

We're relocating from the Washington D.C. area to Bangkok, Thailand with a 3 to 4 hour layover in Tokyo's Narita airport. Will there be any quarantine required for her in Tokyo? Thanks, -Emily


Hi Emily,

Thanks for the question! It's generally not necessary to meet the import requirements of a country if you're only spending a layover there (as long as you're not switching airlines), but it would be a good idea to contact the Narita airport officials for the most up-to-date, relevant details.

Check out the Pet Import Requirements for Thailand to prepare for your move, and please contact us if you have any questions. Our Pet Relocation Specialists would be happy to assist you!

Pet Travel Question: Figuring out the PETS Scheme for a Military move

Monday, January 31, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Stephanie
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Australian Shepard/Lab and Chihuahua/Dachshund
From: Japan
To: England


We are moving with the US Air Force and are currently stationed in Japan. We will be moving to England but they require us to fly back over the states and then over to England. Will it be possible to get the dogs on these flights following the DEFRA PETS Scheme? I know that they have to fly on specific airlines so I'm a little confused if they can start out on one and then transfer to a different air line in the different country and still manage to avoid the quarantine. Thanks for any help you can offer me. -Stephanie

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks for your question! Both Japan and the US are qualifying countries under the PETS Scheme, so you should be able to complete your travels without undergoing a quarantine as long as youfollow the prescribed rules and regulations. Find out more about the PETS Scheme and review the Pet Import Requirements for the UK on our site.

Good luck in your travels and please let us know if you need anything else, Stephanie! PetRelocation does offer a military discount, so please contact a Pet Relocation Specialist if you'd like to find out more about the door-to-door pet travel services that we offer.

Pet Travel in the Summer: Preparing for the Heat

Sunday, January 2, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Rebecca
Number of Pets: 3
Pet Type: dogs
Pet Breed: Miniature Poodle
From: Yokota AB, Japan (Tokyo)
To: United States

We are supposed to move sometime in September of this year. My concern is regarding the pet embargo that is imposed from around May through September. Due to high temperatures, pets aren't allowed to fly during some of this time. Is there another solution?



Hi Rebecca,

You're right that it's important to exercise caution when traveling with pets during the warm summer months, but it's not impossible to do it (and do it safely). Airlines with established protocol, such as Continental's PetSafe Program, have instituted policies to keep pets safe when the temperature rises.

Take a look at these summer pet travel safety tips and be sure to check in with the airline you'll be using to make sure they handle pets with care. Examine the Pet Import Requirements for the US as well, and contact our Pet Relocation Specialists if you have any more questions.

Good luck and thanks for the pet travel question!



Navigating Breed-Specific Legislation when Traveling with Pit Bulls

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 by Pet Travel Questions

If you pay much attention to news about dogs or pet travel, you may have heard the phrase "Breed-Specific Legislation," rules and regulations thatBruno place restrictions on pit bulls and other types of dogs from being imported into or living in a certain area of a country or city.

These laws are controversial to say the least, and they arose primarily due to oftentimes inaccurate beliefs about community safety as well as (some would say unbalanced) patterns of media coverage. Pit bulls carry the stigma of being tough and aggressive, but many pet owners have pit bulls and other so-called "aggressive" breeds who are as sweet and loving as any other dog.  

Here at PetRelocation.com, we love all breeds (our CEO even has a Staffordshire bull terrier - that's big Bruno giving one of our customers we relocated to Japan a ride!), but we often encounter hurdles when it comes to shipping certain kinds of dogs. Since we always try our best to stay on top of the latest rules and restrictions, feel free to contact us if you ever have any questions about a specific city or country's regulations when it comes to importing these breeds.  Here are some tips on how to plan ahead if you're going to be traveling with a breed that is frequently discriminated against:
  1. Many countries have outright bans on the import of Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers, Cane Corsos and other types of dogs they view as "agressive", so it's important to do your research before traveling or undertaking a pet move. For example, places like Montreal and Colombia do not allow pit bull-type breeds.   To research whether your destination has BSL, start with the country of import's agriculture and veterinary ministry page.  You can usually find this by searching for the name of the country and the word "agriculture" until you find the governing website for the country's ministry of agriculture (sometimes called a department of agriculture).  This is typically the department that oversees the import and export of live animals, including pets.  If the country has breed-specific legislation, they will state it on their pet import requirements page. Understand-a-Bull also has a great list they've put together of countries that have BSL.
     
  2. Look for ways to find exemptions to breed-specific legislation.  For example, Switzerland has a ban on dogs with cropped ears or tails, however will allow them to be imported if their owners can provide a signed letter stating they are moving there for work purposes.  Also, pit bulls are not actually a breed, but rather a type of dog often identified by a broad set of physical characteristics - which can lead to inconsistencies in treatment and rule enforcement.  Many countries that ban pit bulls will accept the dog if a DNA test is done in advance to show that the dog does not have a high percentage of pit bull terrier.
     
  3. In addition to country restrictions there are airline rules to consider, as well. These change fairly frequently and often depend on the time of year (due to temperature restrictions) so it's best to double check with your airline before you book your own flight or your pet's.
     
  4. Consider your pet's quality of life after the move.  Many times owners of pit bulls and other frequently banned breeds can also have trouble finding housing that will accept these types of dogs.  Also, several countries require breeds they view as being aggressive to wear muzzles when in public spaces. 
While BSL can be frustrating and unfair, the unfortunate fact is that many people wanting to move or travel with their dogs will have to comply by these rules and regulations.  In the meantime, educating others on alternatives is the best way to create progress in helping all our four-legged friends live equally.  The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes BSL, as do several other official institutions like Best Friends Animal Society.  Here's what the AVMA had to say in a recent op-ed:

"A dog of any breed can become dangerous when bred or trained to be aggressive," Dr. Jeffrey Sacks, epidemiologist for the CDC, said. "Fatal attacks represent only a very small proportion of dog bite injuries and shouldn't be the primary factor driving public policy regarding dangerous dogs." The AVMA's dog bite prevention campaign continues to inform the public about techniques for avoiding dog bites, and to promote responsible pet ownership. Breeds don't need to be banned, but dog owners' irresponsible behavior should be.
 
Do you disagree with breed specific legislation? Many organizations are working on fighting these laws. Read a state by state run-down of BSL and learn about what you can do to help overturn legislation in your area.

If you have a pit, a staffie or another breed that tends to be discriminated against and are planning an international pet move in the future, let us know if you need any assistance -- we're always happy to help in whatever way we can in order to keep these great dogs out of shelters and in their loving homes where they belong!

New Regulations for Pet Travel to Korea Beginning December 2011

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 by Pet Travel Questions

Beginning in a little over a year, travelers moving cats and dogs to Korea will face changes in import regulations. Here's the rundown of the guidelines that will be put into place December 1, 2011.

For pets coming from countries not considered "rabies-free":
 
-Microchips will be mandatory for all cats and dogs. The microchip number should be stated on the official health certificate.

-Rabies Antibody tests are required for cats and dogs over 90 days old, and the result should be greater than 0.5IU/ml. The test should be done between three months and two years before arrival. The original test result should accompany the pets.

-Rabies vaccinations should be completed more than 30 days before departure and within the last 1 or 3 years, depending on the type of vaccine administered.
 
For pets coming from "rabies-free" countries (Japan, Taiwan, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Iceland, Guam, Hawaii, Samoa, Cayman Islands, Polynesia, Martinique , Albania, Dominica, Malaysia, Switzerland):
 
-Microchips will be mandatory for all cats and dogs. The microchip number should be stated on the official health certificate.

-Rabies Antibody tests are NOT REQUIRED. 

-Rabies Vaccinations are NOT REQUIRED

-For the Official Health certificate, no validation date is required by the Korean government, and it depends on the export country’s regulation for the validation of the health certificate.
 
 If these regulations are not properly met, the pet will be quarantined.
 
 Required Documents:
 
-Original Rabies Vaccination certificate
-Official Health certificate, including microchip number
-Original Rabies Antibody test result
 
 Finally, Korea will allow four animals maximum per person/company to import.
 

That's all the information we have for now; we'll be sure to keep you informed of any further changes that may put into place over the next few months.

Coffee and kitties: a Japan cat cafe

Thursday, July 1, 2010 by Rachel Farris

Cat fanciers will enjoy this one:  there's a cat cafe in Osaka where for around $9 USD an hour, you can hang out in the coffee shop with some furry friends.  If you're planning a pet move to Japan, you might stop by here after you get there to see what it's like!

No word on whether they need us to help with any upcoming cat transport needs but we're guessing cats that end up at the kitty cafe never want to have to move away!



IS THE MANEKI NEKO BECKONING YOU?

Saturday, December 13, 2008 by Rachel Farris

Ni Hao brave traveller! Whether youre moving to China for work or to facilitate a change in lifestyle, you are sure to receive a culture shock even more earth shattering then the jet lag toll on arrival at Beijing airport.

Being one of the earliest centres of human civilization has led to China having one of the most beautiful and colourful cultures in the world. Being the first country in the world to issue paper money and one of the few to develop writing independently; China has good cause to be proud of its heritage.

With dynasties rising and falling like a street performers Diablo, the collection of walls known as the Great Wall of China is still the only man made structure viewable from space by the naked eye. For an edifice that entered construction in the 5th Centaury BC that is a quite an achievement.

We can be pretty sure that today there are no hide clad MongolҒs running around China inventing less creative uses for the wonderfully colorful fireworks of the Jin Dynasty; but it is important to get a grasp on the political situation in any country you intend to emigrate to.

Believe it or not, China is currently in the midst of a civil war. Following victory and the surrender of Japan, resulting from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear road tests, in 1947 the uncomfortably allied Nationalist and Communist parties split asunder. In a naming convention that will get a chortle from any Monty Python fan; the nationalist Republic of China was ushered off of the main land to Taiwan by the communist Peoples Republic of China, who took up claim as a successor state 1949. This war has never technically ceased and both parties still lay claim to the others territory.

For a country that houses a quarter of the worlds population, healthcare should be a major concern for the dominant Peoples Republic. A large proportion of the countryҒs population (some 1.3 billion) live in the major cities such as Shanghi and Beijing. These large cities are well equipped to deal with most medical conditions however hospitals in the desperately poor rural areas of the country are not as frequent or equipped with the modern equipment you would expect. The advice for most western travellers would be to have your jabs and stay close to the major settlements.

There is plenty to see and do in China. If you survive your travels in the notorious Beijing taxis you will be able to sample the great Chinese delicacies in the renowned Beijing restaurants or maybe enjoy a glitzy night out on the Saniltun bar strip, a favourite for most expats. For those adventurous Saturdays, visits can be made to any of the old dynasty forts and Confucian monasteries (such as the Wenamio temple) that litter the country. You could even take an inspirational hike into the beautiful and mystical mountainous terrain that gave birth to Taoism.

As for your own personal Maneki Neko (lucky cat or beckoning cat said to bring good fortune or money) things look quite good in the home of sweet and sour. Once you have your residence permit you will need to provide quarantine officials with a vaccination certificate and a health certificate. Cat owners are expected to provide certificates for Feline Panleucopania and Feline Respiratory Disease after their cat travel. The cost to import a cat or small dog is around $70 with a moderate increase for larger animals. Following arriving in China your fuzzy trusty friend will need to be kept in quarantine for 30 days. Fortunately this can be done at your new home with regular visits from officials, so your travelling companion will also be able to use this time to get used to their new surroundings after their pet travel.

So with the Olympics rising up over the horizon you better get your bags packed and your plane booked. You are undoubtedly going to find you have more friends back home then you thought when 2008 comes screeching around the corner...

Every Dog Has Its Day In Tokyo!

Saturday, December 13, 2008 by Rachel Farris

If you are planning to relocate to Tokyo, or any of the other major cities of Japan, then you must be ready for the major culture shock that you might have to encounter as a westerner in the middle of the Orient. However, if your plan to take your pets with you too, then your might just end up getting shocks left right and center as far as pets and pet care are concerned. People in Japan were not known to be very fond of pets till about the end of the millennium, when almost all of a sudden, the country found itself in the middle of a pet boom.This boom, which started right in the midst of one of the countrys worst recessions ever, has been growing since then, with people spending loads and loads of their hard earned yens on costly pets and costlier pet accessories. Today, the country is home to more than 19 million pets Җwhich is higher than the number of Japanese children under 15. The pet care industry is estimated to be around $9bn (5bn), and showing a constantly growing trend. Japan was the first country in the world to have a five star hotel for pets. The Pet Inn Royal at Tokyo's Narita airport has 170 well-appointed rooms - not kennels Ö and accommodates up to 250 animals. Dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, and even ferrets are welcome at the Inn which provides veterinary and grooming services, an exercise field and full time staff to cater to the needs of their guests twenty four hours a day. Apart from this, the country is also home to a number of five star salons and shops that cater to pets, especially dogs. Styling salons for dogs, which are like fully equipped doggy beauty parlors and accessory and clothing stores are quite a common occurrence in Japan nowadays. Coming to clothing, you will be surprised to see quite a number of animals wearing clothes. Making dogs wear clothes is very common in Japan, and this is especially true of dogs belonging to the upwardly mobile population. In fact, almost twenty to thirty per cent dogs in Japan wear clothes, and this percentage goes on increasing as you move towards the more posh neighborhoods. Many Japanese dogs have considerably large wardrobes, containing clothing and accessories for different occasions. Catering to these dogs and their owners are Japanese pet clothing and accessory stores, which make sure that their clients get the latest and the best in the world for their pet poodles. It would not be wrong to call Tokyo the Paris or Milan of the pet world, once you see the pet fashions on the streets of this city. Your friendly but au naturel German Shepherd or Alsatian might feel definitely out of place amongstTokyos dressed up dandies. You might have to spend some money to bring him up to date with the world of doggie fashion. Avenues for expenditure are open even if you do not want your dog to have a fully kitted out wardrobe, with stores sellingdoggie toothbrushes, conditioners and designer toys waiting for you to lighten your purse.

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in pet travel help or pet airlines recommendations to Tokyo.