Help Me Move My Pet

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

Shipping Pets: Airlines Keep Pet Travelers On Their Toes

Thursday, July 5, 2012 by Caitlin Moore


Summer is a busy time for pet shipping and heat embargoes can make things even more complicated, but it seems like things have been especially busy lately for those of us trying to keep up with the world of pet travel.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Delta has recently begun restricting its pet flights. As of last month, it's been reported that Delta will no longer carry pets as checked baggage or cargo on Boeing 767s due to space limitations on international flights. Previously Delta also stopped flying in-cabin pets in business class on international flights, and due to safety concerns, no longer flies snub-nosed breeds of dogs and cats as checked baggage.

Another bit of news: last week the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed new rules requiring an expansion when it comes to airlines reporting pet transportation rates as well as all incidents and mishaps. Currently only the 15 top airlines are required to report these numbers, but under the new rules about 36 airlines would be held accountable. IPATA and the Humane Society view the proposal as a positive step that will make flying pets a safer endeavor.

What does it all mean? In some ways pet travel seems to be getting easier and in some ways it's becoming more complicated. Hopefully there's a common theme underlying all these recent changes, though -- pet safety. If we all keep our pets best interests in mind, we'll be heading in the right direction no matter what news the headlines bring.

As always, it's a good idea to start researching your pet's travel details well in advance, talk to your vet about what you can do to help make everything go smoothly, and contact PetRelocation.com with any questions about shipping your pets. Stay tuned for more pet news updates. We're doing our best to keep up!


Pet Travel Question: Transporting Cats to Cyprus

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Lilia
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Kitties
Pet Breed: Scottish Ford
From: Ukraine
To: Cyprus



I would like to bring my beautiful kitties to Cyprus, but I can't find any information about papers, costs, etc. What is the safest and cheapest way to do this?

Thank you in advance,


Hi Lilia,

Thanks for your question. Pet travel can definitely be complicated, and it's often tough to track down the correct information. Here's a link outlining the pet import requirements for Cyprus. Hopefully you'll find this useful, and if you're interested in speaking to a relocation specialist about your move, you're welcome to contact us at your convenience.

Thanks again, and good luck with everything!

Pet Shipping 101: Meet the PetRelocation.com Summer Interns

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 by Caitlin Moore


We recently hired a few interns to help us out during the busy pet shipping season, and it's been fun to introduce these fresh young talents to a whole new world (pet transportation isn't exactly standard curriculum at our nation's colleges). Here they are, our summer interns:


Elli is originally from the Austin area and currently attends Purdue University in Indiana. She likes to read, she works a lot (Elli has about three jobs at any given time), and she also plays the clarinet and likes music, food, and video games. This summer she’s helping the pet shipping team by sending information out to clients and agents, and she's also helping to book flights and talk to airlines and veterinarians. Ellie has a miniature dachshund named Lily in addition to her mom's five dogs.


Here are a few words from Elli: So far it seems like I’ve learned so much about what goes in to actually moving animals (or really anything) around the globe, and I know it’s only the surface.  I just hope to learn more about how all of this works and glean a little bit of information about how each part of the world relates to every other part. Outside of that, this is a wonderful experience and learning opportunity for how things out in the real world work! I’m really enjoying everything here and can’t wait to see what else I can do and learn!


Yang attends Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and he’s originally from Shaanxi, China. Yang is here for the summer as a Data Analyst Intern, so he’s busy learning to crunch the numbers and stats associated with our pet moves. Yang’s parents have been taking care of his cat Misha for the past few years, and he hopes to have a pet of his own soon.


Ethan is from Katy, Texas and he’s a Senior Marketing major at Texas State University. Ethan likes to play with his dog (Kona) at the river, and also enjoys mountain biking, backpacking and cooking spaghetti. Here at PetRelocation.com, Ethan is creating pricing spreadsheets, collecting info on vet offices, talking to vets, airlines and clients, and is also learning to find routes to countries all over the world (even the “crazy” ones).

Ethan hopes to learn more about how the sales staff interacts with customers, and is also interested in finding out "how a private company can maintain a positive competitive advantage."


Lauren was born and raised in Dallas, TX (the actual city, not a suburb). A huge part of her life while growing up was playing the violin—she attended an arts magnet high school to focus in music and orchestra until she moved to Austin for college at UT in 2008. She is currently completing a dual major in math and psychology (two majors that have little to do with music or with each other), and she is a huge pet lover. This summer, Lauren is working on data-mining and marketing with PetRelocation.com (to continue the pattern of pursuing fields that actually interest her), and she is looking forward to learning a lot during her internship.


Pet Travel Question: Dog Travel to Costa Rica

Thursday, July 12, 2012 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Richard
Number of Pets: Two
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: One Shih Tzu/Poodle mix, one Yorkie
From: New Jersey, USA
To: San Jose, Costa Rica



I am relocating to San Jose, Costa Rica. I have two medium-sized dogs (a Shih tzu/Poodle mix and a Yorkie). This will be our first trip and I have no idea as to the requirements for transporting them.Can you help me??



Hi Richard,

Thanks for your question. Here are the pet import requirements for Costa Rica (also another site that may help), and we recommend starting the process as soon as you can in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Feel free to peruse our website for more information about pet travel, and if you have any more questions you're welcome to contact us.

Good luck with your travels!

"How Much to Ship a Bird?" Are Puppy Scams Being Replaced by Bird Scams?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by Caitlin Moore


Puppy scams are cruel, frustrating, and unbelievably common. We frequently take calls from pet lovers who have been scammed, and we've discussed how to avoid being the victim of a puppy scam numerous times on our blog.

Often puppy scams consist of people offering to give away (usually extremely cute) puppies at no cost, asking instead for a "relocation fee." They typically stipulate that money be transferred via Western Union to a faraway place (that's a huge red flag -- never wire money to an unknown source), and then they often continue to request more payments when problems arise surrounding the transfer of the "dog," which most likely doesn't even exist in the first place. 

Recently we've seen a new twist to all of this -- we're starting to hear from people who have fallen prey to bird scams, too. They seem to work in much the same way, with the arrangements involving a "relocation fee," wired money, and routing to Cameroon. We recently received an email from an animal lover who was contacted about receiving an African Grey Parrot "free of charge except for transportation" for the dubiously low cost of $280. Exotic birds, such as African Greys and also Macaws, seem to be the focus of these new scams. (Note that the realistic costs for shipping such a bird will probably be over $1,000.)

We offer the same advice to people looking for birds as we do to people looking for puppies: do not send money to people you don't know, check out credentials and web sites to uncover anything fishy, and if you're truly looking for a new pet, it's best to deal locally.

If you are taken in by a bird or puppy scammer, what can you do? Unfortunately the people committing the fraud are difficult to report because they tend to disappear easily and quickly, but you can try reporting them by faxing a letter to the Cameroon Embassy (if the scammer worked out of Cameroon) or you can post the information on Fraudwatchers.org.

Please contact PetRelocation.com if you have any questions about bird or puppy scams. Unfortunately there are some dishonest people out there, so be smart and deal locally!


Pet Move Customer Story: A Cat Move from Germany to Washington

Monday, June 18, 2012 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Mitzi
Pets' Names: Lars and Max
From: Munich, Germany
To: Bellevue, Washington


To be honest I was nervous about my pets traveling without us so I asked many questions. There was always an answer to every question and I knew from the moment the driver picked up our pets in Munich that they would be well-taken care of.

Max and Lars arrived six hours before our plane landed in the US and were taken to a local kennel. They arrived at our home a few hours after we landed and were in great spirits!

Max and Lars have adjusted nicely to life in the US. I think they have done so well because their travel experience was not stressful, due to care they received from the pet providers. If another relocation is in our future I would not hesitate to use PetRelocation.com again to transport Max and Lars. They took great care of our pets!