Help Me Move My Pet

Hurricane Sandy Update: Pet Travel Restrictions Continue

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

As the East coast continues to deal with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which include massive power outages, flooding and public transportation closures, we're continuing to monitor airline activities in order to keep our customers up-to-date.

The gravity of the storm makes it no surprise that thousands of flights have been canceled, and we've received an update from United Cargo Operations showing the most recent information. Read on to find out which airports have implemented restrictions and for how long, and keep in touch for more updates.

From the United Cargo Customer Announcement regarding PetSafe and other cargo shipments:

Restrictions are effective for flights scheduled to depart or arrive through 7:00 p.m. EDT Tuesday, October 30 in the following locations:

-Washington, D.C. Metro Area (BWI, DCA, IAD)
-All locations served by United and United Express in the following states: Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia

These restrictions are effective for flights scheduled to depart or arrive through 6:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday, October 31 in the following locations:

-Boston Metro Area (BOS, MHT, PVD)
-New York Metro Area (EWR, JFK, LGA)
-All locations served by United and United Express in the following states:
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont


photo by viZZZual.com via Flickr


Please don't hesitate to contact your pet relocation specialist if you have any questions about your upcoming pet flight, and as we deal with delays, remember that the first priority is to keep yourselves and your pets safe.


Hurricane Sandy Update: Pet Travel Restrictions in Place

Monday, October 29, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

As you've certainly heard, Hurricane Sandy is expected to impact the upper and mid East coast of the United States within the next few hours. Forecasters expect heavy rain and damaging winds, thus many flights going to and from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions have been canceled.

How will this affect pet travel? Clearly if you're scheduled to fly this week, your flight may be canceled so it's important to double check all arrangements before you head to the airport. Additionally, United Cargo has issued an official list of adjustments, and the following airports/regions will be restricting operations:


Washington, DC Metro Area (IAD, DCA, BWI)

New York Metro Area (EWR, JFK, LGA)

Boston Metro Area (PVD, BOS, MHT)

All locations served by United and United Express in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia


Currently many flights are being rescheduled beginning Nov. 1, but talk to your pet relocation specialist for the most up-to-date information. Check back here to find out more, as we will continue to update you with information about Hurricane Sandy and how it will affect pet transportation.

Stay safe, everyone!


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 Behind The Scenes: How United Airlines Transports Cats

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 by Caitlin Moore


Last week we helped a pet owner move her two cats from the United States to Oslo, Norway. She happened to be on the same plane as her felines (usually this isn't the case since we're handling the logistics -- human travelers can schedule their flights whenever they please), and as they departed from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), the owner actually caught a few pictures as United PetSafe attendants put the cats onto the plane.

As you can see from these photos, the cats were unloaded directly from the pet van to the plane (no waiting around on the tarmac), and it even looks like the attendant takes a moment to stop and talk to one of the kitties.

This is the level of care and attention we expect when we choose to fly with a pet-friendly airline, and we are happy to see that the PetSafe program was operating as it should be for our Oslo-bound customers.


"Hi there, kitty cat"


An orderly process -- straight from the van to the plane.


Please contact us if you have any questions about moving pets or choosing a pet-friendly airline; we'd be happy to answer your questions or help to arrange your upcoming move.


UPDATE: Here are a couple of pictures of the cats now that they've made it safely to Oslo. Looks like they're settling in nicely!







Pet Travel News: JFK Will Add A New $32 Million Animal Facility

Monday, September 24, 2012 by Caitlin Moore


When it comes to transporting animals, it seems that improvements and developments are always on the horizon. For example, John F. Kennedy International Airport will add a new $32 million animal facility offering kenneling and grooming services, quarantine areas for horses, veterinary facilities, an aviary, and lawn space. The plans were approved last Thursday by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and signal a continued dedication to the growth of the pet travel industry.

Not only will this addition make life easier for pet travelers, it will create new jobs and provide a revenue growth opportunity for the Port Authority, who expects to earn over $108 million in rent over the initial 20 year lease period. The facilities will expand upon the services already offered by the existing Vetport.

Once complete, the JFK animal travel facilities will be larger than the current ones found at Miami and Los Angeles airports. The new facilities will be located in Building 78 at JFK, which is currently empty.

Hopefully airports and airlines will continue to step up to assist pet travelers on their various journeys, because when it comes to pet travel, safety is paramount and convenience is key. We look forward to working with more and more power players as they continue to realize that relocating pets is a trend on the rise.


photo by DearEdward via Flickr

Friday Pet News Links: Best Pet Names, Stowaway Cats and Dogs on the Metro

Friday, September 21, 2012 by Caitlin Moore


Happy Friday, pet lovers!


This cat sneaked into a suitcase and took a little airplane trip (don't worry, it all turned out okay).

Tips for safe pet transportation via car.

How tabby cats get their stripes.

Dogs in Moscow ride the metro.

Cuteness time. Giant Panda gives birth at Washington's National Zoo.

Ron Burgundy, huh? Cool and unusual pet names.




Pet Travel Question: Can A Diabetic Cat Be Imported to the US?

Monday, September 17, 2012 by Pet Travel Questions

Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: 1 cat, 1 dog
Pet Breed: Cat - DSH, Dog - Staffy
From: Footscray, Australia
To: New Orleans

I'm preparing for a relocation to the US, perhaps in January, depending on the confirmation of employment. My cat has just been diagnosed with diabetes and I wanted to make sure this was not a barrier for transport or importation.





Thanks for your question, we'd be happy to help. Here are the pet import requirements for the United States to get you started, and yes, we have moved diabetic cats before. It requires a little more care but it should be possible -- we'd be happy to talk to you about it and offer you an estimate for our services. Feel free to give us a call or fill out our quote form and we'll get back to you soon.

Thanks, we look forward to hearing from you!

Pet Move Customer Story: Coco's Move to Hong Kong

Friday, August 31, 2012 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Victoria and Greg
Pet's Name: Coco
From: Chiang Mai, Thailand
To: Hong Kong

After a relentless search on how to transport our cat and get her into Hong Kong without difficulty, Greg came across PetRelocation.com and hurray!!!!!!!

We could not have done it without them. From the very first phone call until the delivery of Coco straight to us at our hotel, the service was amazing. Our agent was fantastic during the journey, he stayed in touch all throughout with photos and constant messages about her well being. She was nervous upon arrival only because of a lack of sleep and her new environment. Otherwise, she was taken to a vet even before he brought her to us.

We will recommend PetRelocation.com every day of our lives. Thank you for being there!!!

Pet Travel Question: Moving a Large Dog to the Bahamas from Canada

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Carly
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Great Dane
From: Toronto, Canada
To: Nassau, Bahamas

My parents are relocating from Toronto, Canada to Nassau, Bahamas and need some advice on how to transport their Great Dane. They have contacted a number airlines but haven't had much luck as he is over 150 lbs and too tall for most crates, even large ones. They would be willing to take a ferry from Florida if that were possible.

Any recommendations you might have for us would be greatly appreciated.




Hi Carly,

Thanks for contacting us with your question. Relocating large dogs does add some complexity to the process, but don't worry, it can be done. Here are a few tips for moving large dogs, and in terms of the crate you'll probably need to special order a custom one or add crate extensions to an existing one.

Here are the pet import requirements for the Bahamas to let you know about the other rules and restrictions. Hopefully this is helpful, Carly! Please contact us if you have any more questions, and good luck with the trip.

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!



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 Links: Pets & Shopping, "Dog Callers" and Travel Tips

Friday, August 24, 2012 by Caitlin Moore


Enjoy these pet news links from the last few days, and have a great weekend!


Here's why it takes at least a month to properly plan a pet move.

Guess who's on a diet? Bo Obama, the First Dog.

For those early autumn days when it's still a little warm outside: this dog collar texts you when the temperature is too high for your pup's comfort.

Video: how United Airlines transports pets.

Well-done photos make all the difference when it comes to helping dogs find forever homes.

IKEA stores in Germany offer "dog parking" so your pup can chill while you shop.

Meet Ivan the storage dog, who "manages" a self-storage company in the Raleigh-Durham area.



Pet Move Customer Story: Relocating Three Dogs to California

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Shernaz
Pets' Names: Lilly, Max, Scooby
From: Houston, TX
To: Danville, CA

We were really nervous about transporting our three dogs to California, but PetRelocation.com did the job for us fantastically well!

Our agents were kind and courteous and kept us informed every step of the way, and the dogs arrived at our doorstep right on time and in great shape.

I wouldn't hesitate to use PetRelocation.com again and would highly recommend them to friends and family.


Pet Move Customer Story: Moving a Therapy Cat to Puerto Rico

Thursday, August 23, 2012 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Nilda
Pet's Name: Yuka
From: New York
To: Puerto Rico

The thought of helping to relocate my disabled service-connected brother to Puerto Rico (PR) was extremely stressful; added to that stress was making sure the family (therapy) cat, Yuka, would arrive safe and sound.

What could I say but that from the moment I connected with Lee Maaz I felt that I had selected the right company for the job. Their online website was informative and the best part for me was that I was able to communicate through both mediums -- phone and online. Lee had a calming and reassuring manner and placed me with Pet Relocation Specialist Joe Fraser to follow through with Yuka’s relocation. After expressing my concerns, Joe was patient, kept me informed throughout the whole process, and sent me whatever information I requested. Both Lee and Joe were very professional, knowledgeable and great to work with.

PetRelocation.com’s field agents, Anthony who picked up Yuka in NY to transport to the airport, and Ester & James who picked up and housed Yuka in PR for three days were top of the line and great people. In speaking with them, you could tell they cared about the animals under their supervision. Ester had the “right touch” because Yuka arrived safe and sound, clean and fed. He was calm, alert to his surroundings, and accepting of his situation. (This for a cat that was accustomed to roaming a two-bedroom apartment.)

I would not hesitate to use PetRelocation.com again and would highly recommend you to family and friends. Thank you for the great care you gave Yuka!

Video: How United Airlines Transports Pets

Monday, August 20, 2012 by Caitlin Moore


It's natural to feel nervous about putting your pet on an airplane, especially when they're going in the cargo hold. Even one of our own Pet Relocation Specialists was a little anxious about it, but in the end travelers tend to find that they were worried for nothing.

United Airlines is one of our preferred pet-friendly airlines, and the video below depicts how pets are safely unloaded from the plane and into PetSafe vans. Take a look to see how things work -- it's nice to have real-life images to replace all the questions you have in your mind about pet travel, don't you think?


PetRelocation.com Recognized by Inc. 500 for the Fourth Year in a Row

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 by Caitlin Moore


For the fourth year in a row, PetRelocation.com has made the Inc. 500|5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. This year we ranked #2224 overall, #47 in the Transportation and Logistics category, and #51 in the Austin metro area.

In addition to staying in tune with the thriving pet relocation industry, moving to downtown Austin last year has helped PetRelocation.com become a more visible part of the business community. We've hired several new employees over the last few months and continue to grow, and we make it a goal to provide the highest quality customer service while meeting the needs of as many pet owners as we can (read some of their stories here!).

We're excited and honored to once again be included along with such a stellar group of business, and we'd like to thank our great customers and business partners for helping us achieve this accomplishment.



Inc.500|5000 revenue verification request

Pet Travel News: Summer Heat Wave Affects Pet Flights

Monday, August 13, 2012 by Caitlin Moore

We've told you about summer airline embargoes that could affect pet travel during these warmer months, but it's always a good idea to double check with your airline before you fly because last minute adjustments are often made for a variety of reasons.

For example, Last week we heard that Lufthansa will be suspending all pet flights from Spain to Frankfurt until August 21 due to the extreme heat that's expected to affect these regions. Heat waves may affect other airlines and regions (summer isn't quite over yet), so remember that it's always a smart idea to plan carefully and talk to airline representatives about possible changes.

Note also that some airlines and destinations impose restrictions when it comes to transporting certain breeds, particularly in the heat. Currently Boxers, Boston Terriers, Pugs an several other snub-nosed pets are not able to fly into Indonesia with Lufthansa when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit -- another thing to keep in mind when planning international relocations.

Read more about summer pet travel, and please contact PetRelocation.com if you have any questions.


Pet Move Customer Story: Cindy's Move to San Diego

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Nathan
Pet's Name: Cindy
From: Boston
To: San Diego

We spent more time worrying about how to move our painfully shy, skittish 9-year-old cat across the country than about any other aspect of the move. We knew the carry-on option would not work - the procedures at TSA screening would have been the end of her (and us). So we chose PetRelocation.com to handle the transport.

PetRelocation.com let us know what arrangements we needed to make with the boarding facility, and once we were in the house in San Diego they picked her up and put her on the pet-friendly direct flight they had chosen.

When we went to the airport, we expected to find a hopelessly traumatized, quaking creature trying to hide under the pee pad. Instead, we found her in high dudgeon - yelling at us and more than ready to escape the crate. She was obviously handled very well, arrived in great shape, and is handling the relocation much better than we expected.

The move went very well - thanks!

Pet Move Customer Story: Izzy & Chloe's Move to London

Monday, July 30, 2012 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Susan
Pets' Names: Izzy, Chloe
From: Boston
To: London

Our move from Boston to London required our English Bulldog, Izzy, to go on her first airline flight at the age of seven. I was very nervous, but after the thumbs up from her vet and a thorough plan detailed by PetRelocation.com, Izzy made the trip and is enjoying living in her homeland!

Due to airline restrictions on her breed, she was driven to JFK in New York, flown by KLM to Amsterdam, and then flown to Heathrow. It was a longer journey than a direct flight from Boston, but safer nonetheless.

Chloe the cat was an experienced flyer and made the trip safely as well. Every person I connected with through their journey, from the Pet Relocation specialists to the drivers who managed their transportation on the ground, were all excellent.

Guest Post From SelfStorageDeals.com: Finding the Right Storage Unit for Your Move

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 by Caitlin Moore


Today we're featuring a guest post from our friends over at SelfStorageDeals.com:


Planning a move can feel like a juggling act, with your family, your pets, and your possessions all up in the air at the same time. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could hold on to one of these while you take care of the others?

Without begging or borrowing space, you’re going to have to look to the storage specialists: self-storage facilities. For a fee, it’s possible to rent the necessary space to keep a portion of your possessions outside of the equation while you manage your complicated move. But while a cheap self-storage unit can add stability and a sense of security during this turbulent period of your life, finding the right unit comes with its own set of calculations. Storage units come in sizes from “junior high locker” to 10’ x 20’ units as large as a full garage — rent one that’s too small and you’ll run out of space; go with a unit too big and you’ll be overpaying. So how do you determine which size unit is right for you?

Take Inventory. Packing a storage unit is not the same as packing a moving truck. Moving trucks are used for single trips, transporting as much stuff as fits in the truck from one place to another and then unloading. Storage units are rented out for months at a time, and during that time it’s very likely that you might need to access some of your possessions. This means that there will be two organizing principles to how you arrange your storage unit: 1) fitting things together to maximize your use of space (as you would with a moving truck) and 2) making sure that items you might need to access are accessible. So take inventory and classify accordingly.

Visit the Facility. If you can find the time, head out to the facility and examine various sizes of units. The most important factor here is height: while the square footage of floorspace is generally standard (5x5, 5x10, 10x10, 10x15 and 10x20 being the standard sizes), height ranges between 8-12 feet for a storage unit, which can equal very different volumes. Visiting the facility will allow you to fully picture the unit’s size, but even if you’re unable to visit make sure to contact the facility to find out about ceiling height. Stay away from “storage lockers,” which are sometimes available in storage facilities in metropolitan areas. These lockers are substantially cheaper because they are only 4-6 feet high.

Set up a model. Find a space in your home—preferably near your door, as you’ll be moving these items out with you—and experiment with the formation you might want to use in your unit. Using a uniform box size can make planning easier. Items that can be tightly-packed should go into boxes, with the heaviest pieces at the bottom. Items you might need to access can also be boxed—just make sure they stay at the top, within your reach. Tightly pack the back corners of your simulated unit with items you won’t need to get to. Those you’ll want to access should go towards the front of the unit on top of each stack. If you have a large number of items that you know you’ll need to access, you might want to leave a walking path that divides the unit into two halves. In such a case it’s likely true that you won’t be able to stack items as high either, so in general the more items you’ll have to access the more space you’ll end up needing.

Awkwardly-shaped items should be placed on top of boxes and away from corners when possible, as squares are the most efficient use of space. Disassemble all furniture that can be and then stack the pieces vertically on their sides. Remember that refrigerators, drawers and cabinets can be filled as well.

Here’s a rough guide to storage unit sizes:

5x5: same as a small closet; good for chairs, boxes, cabinets and electronics.

5x10: size of a walk-in closet; good for the contents of a 1-bedroom apartment.

10x10: size of a large bedroom; good for the contents of a 2-bedroom apartment.

10x15: size of a 1-car garage; good for the contents of a 2-3 bedroom house.

10x20: size of a 2-car garage; good for the contents of a 4-bedroom home.

Once you set up a model that you’re satisfied with, take a picture so you remember what went where. Then it’s time to load up that truck and take your possessions to their new, temporary home.


Brian Shreckengast is a writer at SelfStorageDeals.com, the price-focused search engine for finding cheap self-storage units. Learn more about storing and how to do it for cheap at the Self Storage Blog.


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