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Help Me Move My Pet

Bengal Cat Travel to Costa Rica

Friday, March 27, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Icelle
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Bengal
From: MA, USA
To: Costa Rica

 

Hi PetRelocation,

Does Costa Rica have any travel restrictions when it comes to domestic Bengal cats? My cat is an F-6 Bengal cat. She has some "wild blood" in her ancestry, but it's very far removed and she is a domesticated pet (like regular house cat).

I know, for example, in Hawaii Bengal cats are not allowed to enter the state at all. Also, is there a quarantine period?

Thanks!

Icelle

 

Hi Icelle,

Thanks for contacting us, we'd be happy to direct you to a few pet travel resources. First, please review the pet import requirements for Costa Rica via the USDA.

As you'll see, there is no quarantine for pets entering the country provided they meet these rules as outlined, and there is no mention of breed restrictions regarding Bengal cats. You're welcome to double check the most up-to-date information by contacting the Costa Rica Ministry of Agriculture, but because your cat is so far removed from her original ancestry, it's very doubtful this will be an issue.

As for general pet travel advice, we recommend looking over these frequently asked pet travel questions and these cat crate training tips (along with choosing a pet-friendly airline, pet crate training is a very important part of pet travel). To enter Costa Rica, cats need proof of an updated rabies vaccine and an International Health Certificate (as you'll see when you follow the USDA link above).

Please let us know if you think you'd like some assistance with your move, and good luck with your relocation to Costa Rica!
 

ISO Compliant Microchips for Pet Travel to Sweden

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Sofia
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Havanese
From: USA
To: Sweden

Dear PetRelocation,

Our dog has just been microchipped with a HomeAgain chip that is 15 digits. Is this chip ISO compatible? Will customs in Sweden be able to scan his chip?

Best,

Sofia
 

Hi Sofia,

Thank you for your inquiry. Yes, HomeAgain chips are ISO compatible so you'll be in accordance with this requirement upon entry to Sweden.

For your information, here are the pet import requirements for Sweden as well as a little more information about microchips and pet travel. Now that you have the microchip, you can have your dog vaccinated against rabies (this must happen after the microchip is implanted to be valid). Tapeworm treatment is also required for dogs entering Sweden and we recommend basic vaccinations, as well (you'll see this all outlined in the above link).

If you have any general questions about pet-friendly airlines, crate training, etc., please take a look at these frequently asked questions about pet travel.

Hopefully this helps! Please let us know if you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door pet travel services, and just for fun, here are a few pet travel stories from clients of ours who have moved to Europe.

Happy travels!

How to Plan International Rabbit Travel

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Susan
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Rabbit
Pet Breed: Lop Eared
From: London, UK
To: New Canaan, CT, USA

 

Hi PetRelocation,

I'm just wondering what I need to do documentation-wise to ensure Willie gets to move to the US from London as we corporate relocate back home. Also, I'm clueless about how to physically move him. Does he go under the seat, in a luggage/pet area or what?

Thanks! Look forward to talking with you. Have a good day!

Susan

 

Hi Susan,

Thanks for your question! Per the USDA, the United States does not impose restrictions on rabbits entering the country, so you'll simply need to follow the guidelines of the airline you choose. Typically a vet health certificate is required to show the airline the pet is healthy and fit to fly.

We often use British Airways to transport pets from London to the United States -- find out more about the procedure here. Pets are not allowed in the cabin on this route; rather, they are transported in the cargo area, which is pressure and temperature controlled.

You'll also need an airline-approved travel crate. Often rabbit owners buy a small pet crate and modify it slightly in order to ensure safety... Please see the picture below for an example.

 

modified rabbit crate

Just let us know if you'd like some help arranging Willie's move, Susan. Thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you again!
 

Client Care Specialists Handle Pet Travel's Many Surprises

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 by Core Values

LindaAlong with essential questions like "How do I move my pet from Point A to Point B?" and "How much will this cost?", we're often asked something else: "Why would I need to hire help with my pet's move -- can't I do it myself?"

The number one answer to this question involves the possibility of surprise developments in a move plan. When unexpected situations arise (and they often do), it's better to have an expert in charge who can keep your pet safe and on track for a happy reunion even in the midst of complications.

Weather delays, airline strikes, and simple bad luck can push an already stressful move into very uncertain territory, and if it's your first time handling such an event you probably won't know the best way to turn things around on your own.

We recently asked Linda, one of our experienced Client Care Specialists, to share a few specific instances in which she found herself dealing with the unexpected on behalf of one of her clients. Here's how she gracefully saves the day when moves became extra complicated due to outside forces.

How common is it for something (large or small) to affect an original move plan and require an adjustment?

It's not uncommon for an original plan to change, and many factors can affect a move date. For example:

  • Weather is probably the #1 factor that can change a move plan. Depending on the season and port it can be a large possibility -- for example going out of ORD (Chicago) during winter months is likely to require some juggling.
  • New country requirements are less likely to be a factor, but when they are they can dramatically disrupt your whole plan.

  • Because the airline reserves the right to bump a pet for certain reasons, this can be a factor, too. This is for safety reasons; if another piece of cargo is boarded that would make the environment unsafe (dry ice or human remains, for example), the airline makes an adjustment that can affect the pet's flight status.

  • Lastly (and this has affected a number of my clients), people don’t realize their own plans can change. Your own move can be pushed up or back for various reasons, and having a team behind you that can rework your pet's plan to align with your own is beneficial.

pierre suitcase

What are a few examples of times you’ve had to rework a pet move?

Recently I had a move to China that was departing from Boston. We had to move it out one month due to weather issues and Chinese New Year. We weren’t able to make it to the vet for the final vet visit and the weather was not in our favor, so we made the decision to wait until after Chinese New Year.

Another example: The UAE changed their requirements effective immediately and we had to rush and do a titer test for a move I was handling. We were actually going to meet the new target date until the owners' job asked them to stay stateside for another three weeks due to an issue with a work project.

Here's one more: In January I had a move to Italy, and due to a storm we had to delay the pet's trip. The bigger issue was that the pet now had to travel outside of the "Five Day Rule." I had to rework the plan entirely and had our agent do the final vet visit the day before, board for a night, and do a check-in the next day with a commercial health certificate as a work around for the five day rule. The trip was only delayed by a week, and because of our agents and experience we were able to rework everything to get back on track the day the flight was cancelled.

What are a few solutions you’ve come up with or needed to create when the unexpected happens?

For my Italy move, it was helpful to do a commercial health certificate and lean more on my local agent to assist.

For my Boston situation, I suggested to the client that the pet stay with a caretaker and then didn't begin tackling a new plan until we saw the weather was letting up. I wanted to avoid having them waste their time and money by going in for a vet visit just in case the flight wouldn’t even depart.

For many moves where the pet owner didn’t have friends or family in the area, I helped them come up with a plan to depart from their vet or a local boarding facility. Having an agent lined up to possibly board the pet is another trick Client Care Specialists often have up our sleeves.

What’s your advice to pet owners who are dealing with an unexpected situation?

Be proactive and think of contingency plans, and if you are going to be away from email/phone make sure to provide a backup contact we can work with.  I always try to find out if the pet owners have friends or family in the area in case the pet's flight gets delayed. Also, make sure to be a good partner with your vet office because they may be your saving grace if we have to do new health documents.

Overall, I always allow for the possibility that something could change and need to be reworked -- this keeps me on my toes and ready for anything.

kitties

Thanks to Linda for discussing her work! As you can see, Client Care Specialists are skilled at handling unexpected situations and quick on their feet when changes need to be made. It's all about the pet's safety, and second to that our team aims to make each move as streamlined and low-stress as possible.

If you're interested in having an experienced professional oversee your pet's relocation (and all the possible surprises it may entail), feel free to contact PetRelocation to discuss your move options.

Cargo Pet Travel to Canada (With an Older Dog)

Friday, March 20, 2015 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Sheeba
From: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
To: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Pet: Jenny (Fox Terrier and Lhasa Apso Cross breed, 9 yrs, 8 kg)

Hi PetRelocation,
 
Can my dog travel with me in cabin? If so, please do recommend an airline for me to travel along with my dog from Chennai, TN, India to Toronto, ON, Canada.
 
Also provide me with the list of requirements according to Canadian Food Inspection Agency. I haven't maintained the vaccination card though my dog has had regular vaccinations. Can I provide the No Objection Certificate alone? I also don't feel comfortable with my dog travelling in cargo since she is already 9 years old.

Thanks,
Sheeba
 
 
Hi Sheeba,
 
Thanks for contacting us with your question! You'll find the best and most comprehensive information about moving pets to Canada on the official Canada government website. The instructions for bringing your dog from India are outlined here; as you'll see, you need to have proof of an up-to-date rabies vaccine in the form of a Rabies Vaccination Certificate. There is currently no quarantine.
 
If you fly on a commercial airline your dog will need to travel via cargo, as she is too large to go in the cabin (even if she was small enough, many airlines don't allow in-cabin pet travel for international routes). We certainly understand that you feel fearful about pet cargo travel, but under the right circumstances this is a very safe undertaking. Please read over this pet travel advice to find out more.
 
Also, we'd like to direct you to this information about how to fly an older pet safely. There are a few extra considerations you can attend to in order to help your 9-year-old pup handle the trip as well as possible.
 
Hopefully this helps, Sheeba! Please contact us for a consultation if you need further assistance, and good luck with everything.

Cat Travel to the United States from Brunei

Thursday, March 19, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Cathy
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
From: Brunei
To: USA

Hi,

I've seen quite a few examples of moving pets from the U.S. to international locations, but I was wondering if you assist with shipping from outside the U.S. back into the country?

We won't be moving for a few years, but I've been hearing nightmares about shipping pets -- most people end up giving them to new families!

Thanks,

Cathy
 

Hi Cathy,

Thanks for reaching out! We're definitely interested in helping people figure out their move options so that they don't have to leave a pet behind!

We often move pets into the United States from other countries (as well as between non-US countries), and we'd be happy to discuss your move with you. To start, you can take a look at this overview of the pet import requirements for the United States. This is a pretty straightforward country when it comes to importing pets; essentially you'll need a vet health certificate stating the cat is healthy and fit to fly.

You'll also need to find out what the additional airline requirements are, if any (we recommend choosing a pet-friendly airline and making sure your cat is as crate-trained as possible).

If you think you'd like some help arranging your cat's relocation, please contact us for a consultation. Finally, in order to assuage your fears a little bit regarding the safety of pet travel, please read over these frequently asked pet travel questions as well as our recent client pet travel experiences.

Hope this helps, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Pet Travel Barriers: Puerto Rico's Pit Bull Ban

Thursday, March 19, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Erika
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Pit Bull
From: Texas
To: Puerto Rico

 

Hi PetReloction,

My family has had our dog for 5 years and we will be moving to Puerto Rico soon. Can we take her with us?

Thanks,

Erika

 

Hi Erika,

Thanks for your inquiry -- unfortunately Pit Bulls are not allowed to be imported into Puerto Rico at this time.

Per the USDA website:

All breeds of Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, American Pit Bull terrier, and hybrids produced by crossbreeding with dogs of other breeds are prohibited to be introduced or imported to Puerto Rico.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Erika. Breed bans are certainly frustrating and can throw a wrench into international travel plans. Be aware as you continue to research Pit Bull travel that many airlines require reinforced crates when transporting this and other breeds, and there are a few other countries that practice breed-specific legislation, as well.

Please take a look at these resources for more information about breed-specific legislation and traveling with Pit Bulls. Please let us know if you have further questions and think we might be able to help.

Good luck!


 

Cat Travel to the United Kingdom

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Kate
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: N/A
From: Cambodia
To: UK

 

Hi PetRelocation,

I would like to find out how I can take my cats home when I move back to the UK - no date set yet but just finding out information now for the future. What are the requirements before leaving Cambodia and upon arrival in the UK?

Also, I've seen that some airlines allow pets in the cabin as long as their carriers can fit under the seat. How does that work in terms of them going to the toilet, on a 10+ hour flight?! Or is it better to put them in the hold, especially as there are two of them? Any advice gratefully received.

Thanks,

Kate

 

Hi Kate,

Thanks for your questions, we'd be happy to offer some information. It's usually best to review the official government website of the country to which you're traveling -- in this case the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Here you'll find information about the Pet Travel Scheme as well as how to import pets to the UK from "unlisted" countries -- which Cambodia happens to be.

Many international flights will only allow pets to travel via cargo. Though this sounds scary to many at first, it's actually a safe and even preferred method of traveling when cats are well crate-trained and when you choose a pet-friendly airline. Please find more information in this pet travel overview.

Ten or more hours seems like a long time for a pet to withstand, but as you can see from our client pet travel stories, pets travel safely all the time and tend to return to their normal schedule and temperament pretty easily. Again, crate-training is very important and we do recommend placing an absorbent material in the bottom of the crate to help keep it as comfortable as possible during the journey.

Please contact us if you have any questions and would like some assistance with this move. We'd be happy to help.

Either way, good luck with your cats' trip!


 

Flying With Pets: Cat Travel to France

Monday, March 16, 2015 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Karen
From: Bellingham, WA, USA
To: France
Pets: Pursia (Cat, American Shorthair, 16 yrs, 9 lbs); Kimba (Cat, American Shorthair, 3 yrs, 12 lbs); Zuri, (Cat, American Shorthair, 3 yrs, 13 lbs)
 
 
Hi PetRelocation,
 
We plan to move to the South of France (near Montpellier) this fall with our three cats. We'll probably fly out of Seattle or possibly San Francisco. Would it be better to fly direct to Paris, then drive to South, rather than taking two separate flights?
 
Pursia is getting old and a bit frail. We are worried that the trip will be to hard on her. Also, just juggling 2-3 cats plus all our other luggage will be a challenge as well as the fact that there are no direct flights from the US West coast to the South of France.
 
Thanks,
Karen
 
Hi Karen,
 
Thanks for your questions! First, please take a look at the pet import requirements for France if you've yet to do so. It may also be helpful to look over these basic pet travel tips, and, just in case your cats are not big fans of their travel crates, these cat crate-training tips.
 
We encourage you to research the airline rules regarding cat travel so that you're clear about what your options are -- for international flights it's often necessary that your cats fly in the cargo area (this makes your own trip easier, also). When our clients have very long flights, we often schedule a layover that allows time for pets to take a break and exit their crates, which allows for a less strenuous trip overall.
 
Truthfully there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to the scenarios you're proposing -- both can work out just fine when the right steps are taken to prepare (these steps include crate-training and choosing a pet-friendly airline). Please read over the links we've provided above, talk to your vet about any concerns you may have, and gain some further insight into the pet travel process by reading over some of our recent client pet travel stories.
 
If you think you'd like some help arranging this move, please fill out our online consultation form. We've helped many pets travel long distances safely and would be happy to help you, too.
 
Good luck with whatever you decide!
 

Cat Travel from Mexico to the United States

Thursday, March 12, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Merri
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
From: Mexico
To: Washington State, USA

 

Hi PetRelocation,

We are moving from Mexico to Washington State, USA. We want to bring our cat, but have never traveled with a pet. We are not sure about veterinarian documentation and if we can carry the cat inside the plane with us.

Thanks,

Merri

 

Hi Merri,

Thanks for reaching out! We'd be happy to offer a few pieces of advice.

First, please take a look at these frequently asked pet travel questions. When traveling with a cat to the United States, you'll need a vet health certificate, an airline-approved travel crate, and we recommend helping your cat to be as acclimated to the travel crate as possible (here are some cat crate training tips). An updated rabies vaccine is technically not required, but we do recommend that your cat is current.

The answer to your cabin question will depend on what airline you use. Typically international flights do not allow pets to travel in the cabin, so you'll need to do some research regarding possible exceptions. Here at PetRelocation, we book cargo flights for our clients' pets using pet-friendly airlines (United, KLM and Lufthansa are a few examples). When planned mindfully, cargo pet travel is a safe option.

For reference, here are the pet import requirements for the United States. If you think we can be of further assistance, please fill out our online consultation form. Finally, to learn more about the pet travel process from the pet owner's point of view, we invite you to read through some of our recent client stories.

Hope this helps to get you started! Again, let us know if we can help with your move, and good luck with your cat's relocation!
 

Employee Profile: Joe, PetRelocation Corporate Account Manager

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 by Core Values

joeBy Kelley Barnes, Director of HR

If you have a ‘Joe Fraser type’ in your company, then you know how lucky you are.

What do I mean by that – a ‘Joe Fraser type’? In this case, it means to have that outgoing, social personality who also has the uncanny ability to get things done. In the offices of PetRelocation, in addition to being the point of contact for a number of our corporate accounts, Joe is the driving force behind our well-attended, regular monthly outings to experience Austin culture and fun. (Of course it doesn’t hurt that our offices are one block over from Austin’s legendary Sixth Street Entertainment District).

Joe is someone we can always rely on to have a smile on his face and to generally rally the troops when a cheerleader is needed. It’s clear he draws on his skills in Improv and Comedy on a daily basis. It’s also no accident that he sits next to the office gong.

For Joe and the other members of our Corporate Accounts team, the end of February is the start of high season. More and more requests will come to us for clients who are being moved around the world by their companies during the start of summer as they plan ahead for the big life change.

Before things get hectic for Joe, he was able to take a few minutes to answer the profile questions below. I hope his answers will bring a smile to your face as they did to mine.

Why did you decide to apply to PetRelocation initially?

I applied for the Sales Consultant role right before I got married in 2011. At that time, I was managing a Segway tour company in downtown Austin. While it was one of the most fun jobs I had ever had, it didn’t provide me the means to provide my soon-to-be wife the life that she needed. So I was searching for a “cool job” that paid more than the Segway job and also had benefits. When I found PetRelocation, everything just fell into place. February 1, 2015 marked my 3-year anniversary with the company.

What’s your first memory of working at PetRelocation?

My first memory of PetRelocation in general is when I interviewed for the job and had to give the presentation. I was so nervous that I showed up for the interview 1.5 hours early, so I sat in my car and gave the presentation to my steering wheel for an hour. It ended up paying off because the presentation went very well. After I finished, the CEO told me that I basically got the job. So when I left the office, I did Kung Fu kicks all the way to my car. Little did I know, all of the windows on the building face the street that I kicked my way down…

 

joe's dogs

Joe's dogs Django & Gypsy

What’s your favorite client story?

My favorite client story was when I moved a Ball Python named Jesus for a corporate client. I was nervous throughout the entire process because snakes are so sensitive. I was afraid that something would go wrong and I would be “the guy who lost Jesus.” Fortunately, the move went off without a hitch and Jesus was safely reunited with his family.

What was your most challenging move/client?

My most challenging move to date was for a 13-year old epileptic Yellow Lab from the US to the Dominican Republic. The dog was so large that she required a custom travel crate in order to meet international airline standards. The size of kennel required ended up being too large to fit on any standard commercial aircraft that serviced Santo Domingo. The result is that we had to drive the dog to Miami and take a cargo flight to Santo Domingo before driving 3 hours to the client’s home. Fortunately, all went well and Molly is now home safe with her family!

You started as a Sales Consultant and moved into Corporate Accounts. What is different about the two roles?

The difference between the consulting role and managing accounts really comes down to the types of clients you are dealing with. When working with clients on the web, anyone can “walk into our store” and request service. These clients come from all types of situations, backgrounds and locations, which always kept me guessing before each call. When managing the accounts, we are typically dealing with high-level corporate executives, HR professionals and 3rd party relocation companies. So in the corporate business, I must be accountable to two or more parties for each move and there are no set “regions” of the world that I work with. But I love that account management keeps me on my toes!

What do you think will change about pet travel in the next five years?

I think that the major changes in pet travel in the next five years will come from the airlines and government organizations of the world. The western attitude towards pets is rapidly spreading to countries all over the world and more people are moving pets internationally than ever. I believe this will spur more and more airlines to implement pet safe programs so as to cash in on this industry trend. I also believe that the governing bodies of the world will begin working to standardize import requirements across the world. This will allow pets to travel more freely by streamlining airline and country import requirements.

Emily & Joe

Joe and his wife Emily

What do you wish other people knew about the company?

I wish people knew what a small group that we are. From the outside looking in, we look like a multi-million dollar corporation that moves an unfathomable amount of pets around the world. In reality, we are 30 committed pet-shipping professionals changing peoples’ lives in a way that has never been done before.

What’s your best hidden talent?

My best hidden talent is my skill at singing R&B karaoke. I love getting up on stage, pretending to be nervous and watching people immediately assume that I am going to sing country music or be a poor performer. Then Brian McKnight kicks on and I blow their expectations out of the water. #KaraokeSwag

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

When I’m not working, I like to spend time with my wife and two little Chihuahuas. During the warmer months here in Texas, you can find us floating the river, diving into Central Texas’ many swimming holes and attending the endless number of festivals in the Austin area. From SXSW to The Texas Renaissance festival, from Carnaval Brasileiro to the X Games, we do it all and enjoy the Austin lifestyle to the fullest.

What was the last book you read for fun? What did you enjoy about it?

The last book I read was Clive Barker’s Coldheart Canyon. I am a lover of everything Horror (movies, books, etc.), so Clive Barker and I are old buddies. I love the imagery he uses to paint a picture in my mind of the hellish nightmares in his novels.

Hollywood wants to make a movie about your life. Who do they cast to play you?

Hugh Jackman... obviously. :)

 

Read more about Joe and the rest of the PetRelocation team here. Want to work at PetRelocation? Take a look at our current open positions.

Tips for Traveling Safely with Aggressive Dogs

Monday, March 9, 2015 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Judy
From: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
To: Sydney, Australia
Pet: Casper (Pekingese, male, 5 years old, 13kg)

Hi PetRelocation,
 
We have moved to Australia and are eager to now bring our pet Pekingese here. How safe will it be for him to travel in cargo for the entire flight of around 9 hours? Which airlines can we use, as Malaysian Airlines do not take snub-nosed dogs? Also, he is aggressive to strangers and other dogs -- will this be an issue?
 
We appreciate your kind assistance and thank you in advance.
 
Regards,
Judy

 
Hi Judy,
 
Thanks, these are all great questions! First, please review the pet import procedure for bringing pets to Australia -- the official government website offers a tool to help you build a timeline and learn about quarantine facilities, etc. Note that there is a minimum 10-day quarantine required for all pets entering Australia.
 
As far as airlines, we often use Qantas for pets traveling between Malaysia and Australia. You're welcome to contact us to speak to a Specialist if you'd like to discuss your options further and find out more about what constitutes a pet-friendly airline.
 
Though cargo pet travel does sound a little scary at first, with a little research you'll see that it's actually very safe when the right steps are taken to minimize risks. Crate-training your dog is extremely important, as is proper hydration, choosing a pet-friendly airline, and discussing any health concerns you have with a vet.
 
For dogs with aggression issues, we suggest labeling the travel crate with a note explaining that Casper is wary of strangers. During the travel process only trained professionals will be handling him so his personality quirks should not preclude him from completing a safe flight, but it helps to do as much as you can to notify everyone involved.
 
Again, you're welcome to fill out our online consultation form if you'd like to discuss your move options with one of our Specialists. We've helped many pets (including ones with aggression issues) relocate safely internationally, and we'd be happy to help you, too.
 
Either way, good luck with everything and thanks again for reaching out!
 

Pet-Friendly Airlines & Dog Travel to Italy

Thursday, March 5, 2015 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Tom
From: Boston, MA USA
To: Florence, Italy
Pet: Spaniel (41 pounds, 5 years old)

Dear PetRelocation,
 
Is there a recommended airline or airlines for taking my dog from Boston, MA USA to Florence, Italy (one better than another)?

Thanks,
Tom
 
 
Hi Tom,
 
Great question! We do have a few select airlines that we choose to work with when moving our clients' pets -- some carriers simply devote more energy towards making sure pets have safe and uneventful moves.
 
Generally speaking, airlines we consider to be "pet-friendly" have knowledgeable employees who are dedicated to a pet's safety. Pets should be kept in temperature-controlled environments as much as possible and should be loaded last and removed first from the cargo area of the plane (which is also temperature and pressure controlled).
 
We typically use Lufthansa, KLM, United and British Airways for our pet flights, and going to Italy in particular we often use Lufthansa. Please read more about the basics of pet travel on our blog to find out additional tips and advice about relocating a pet internationally. Finally, here are the pet import requirements for Italy if you've yet to come across them.
 
Hopefully this information is helpful, Tom! You're welcome to fill out our online consultation form if you'd like to discuss your move options with us. Good luck!
 

Options for Safe and Cost-Effective Cat Travel

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Cherie
From: Murrieta, CA
To: San Rafael, CA
Pet: Cali (cat, calico, 7 years old, probably 6 or 7 lbs.)

Dear PetRelocation,
 
What would be the approximate price for a cat her size to travel from Murrieta, CA to San Rafael, CA? I am going to be out of town for about a month and my daughter is in college up there. I am moving when I get back and I don't want her to be with strangers in a boarding kennel.
 
She's very sweet and lovable. She has to be right next to me all the time. She loves my daughter, too, and I don't think she'd do well being kenneled.
 
Thanks,
Cherie
 
 
Hi Cherie,
 
Thanks for the question! It looks like you're wanting to move your cat a distance of about 470 miles. The two options we see are to transport her by car or to fly from San Diego to San Francisco and arrange transportation to and from the airport on either end.
 
Either way you end up choosing, we recommend helping Cali to become as acclimated to her crate as possible so that she won't feel overly anxious during the trip. Here are a few tips for crate training a cat. If you decide to drive her and can't do it yourself, we suggest using IPATA.org to possibly find a local agent who is available for pet ground transportation.
 
Alternatively, you can look into booking a flight and having Cali fly with you (or a friend) in the cabin or unaccompanied in the cargo area (this second option can be done with the help of a professional pet travel service, as well). Based on the geography, it looks like a fair amount of car travel will still be involved with this pet relocation, so you'll either need to devote time to this endeavor or money towards hiring someone else to assist. Note that cats need to have a vet health certificate when flying in order to assure the airline they are healthy and fit to fly. Find out more about domestic pet travel here.
 
Making the drive yourself would probably be the least expensive option, but we understand that it's not always possible to easily handle something like that. If you'd like to learn more about our door-to-door pet travel services, please fill out our consultation form. We'd need a few more details to arrive at an accurate price estimate, but generally speaking our costs to move a small pet domestically begin at around $1200.
 
Hopefully this gives you an idea of where to begin, Cherie. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance!

Incredible Experiences: Dudley's Move to Germany

Thursday, February 26, 2015 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Katrina
Pet's Name: Dudley
From: Texas
To: Germany
Social Media: https://instagram.com/life_of_dudley/

"Reliable & Trustworthy"

My husband and I moved to Germany, last minute, for his job. That being said, we had to leave many things behind because we didn't have the proper time to plan and pack!

Dudley, our loving St. Bernard, was one of those precious items we left back in Texas. After discussing our situation with PetRelocation, they were able to help us get Dudley to Germany as easy and stress free as possible.

Being the caring dog lovers that we are, we worried for Dudley traveling on his own because he's such a sensitive dog. PetRelocation made us feel so reassured and comfortable with their services, though. Dudley's flight was even delayed by the airline carrier by a whole day because of an airline strike, but PetRelocation stayed in contact and gave constant updates on the flight status and on Dudley.

We highly recommend using their services. The staff was very friendly and so caring!!!!

 

dudley

Dudley in Germany

2014 DOT Data Reveals Positive Trends in Pet Air Travel

Thursday, February 26, 2015 by Pet Friendly Airlines

According to recent government data, pet air travel is growing safer.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has released its February 2015 Air Travel Consumer Report, which presents the DOT's overview of air travel data from last year and leads to an encouraging conclusion: of the approximately 2 million animals who traveled by air in 2014, there were 17 deaths and 26 injuries -- numbers that reflect a decrease from previous years.

As we've discussed in the past, though tragic pet travel stories seem to make the news every few weeks, overall the numbers of negative pet incidents are low, and statistically speaking, pet travel is quite safe.

Many of the incidents that do occur happen when pets injure themselves while trying to claw or bite their way out of the travel crate, illustrating the importance of crate acclimation. Other incidents are often due to natural causes or pre-existing issues, which is why it's also a good idea to talk to your vet before a trip in order to discuss concerns and schedule a health screening. Choosing a pet-friendly airline is also highly suggested.

No matter what, it's a good idea to spend plenty of time preparing for a pet move by researching requirements and helping your pets be as ready and as healthy as possible. There's always some amount of risk involved with pet travel (same goes for human travel), but with the right approach those risks can be minimized.

Read more about the pet travel data from 2014, and as always, please contact PetRelocation with any questions you have about traveling with your pet.

 

plane / enrique via flickr

enrique / flickr

Cat Air Travel to the United States: Surprisingly Straightforward

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Dee
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
From: United Kingdom
To: United States

 

Hi PetRelocation,

I am currently living in the UK. My cat moved here with me and my family about 3 years ago, in 2012. We moved here from the US. We will be moving back to the US this summer. I want to make sure that everything runs smoothly and I have done everything that needs to be done.

It appears that I only have to have a current rabies vaccine and a health certificate issued within 10 days of our arrival in the US. Are there any other requirements? Also, will my cat be able to travel in the cabin of the plane with me? Coming into the UK he had to travel as cargo.

Thanks,

Dee
 

Hi Dee,

Believe it or not, coming into the United States with a cat is a pretty clear-cut process. As you'll see outlined here, your cat will need a vet health certificate showing the airline he is fit to fly, and proof of an updated rabies vaccine is also recommended. As the Centers for Disease Control website states, though rabies vaccines for cats are not required for successful import, the state you live in may ultimately require one (and many people agree it's a good idea to vaccinate your cat against rabies either way).

Other than that, we suggest checking with the airline to find out about additional rules and regulations. We typically use British Airways or United for pets going between the United Kingdom and the United States, and these airlines both require pets on this route to fly via cargo. To prepare for this, we recommend making sure your cat is well-hydrated and as acclimated to the travel crate as possible.

You're in a great place since you've traveled before and generally know what to expect, but if you have any further questions or think you'd like some help carrying out the move, please contact us for a consultation.

Thanks for your question, good luck, and welcome back to the United States!

Dog Travel to Canada from the United Kingdom

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Ann
From: UK
To: Toronto, Canada
Pet: Mordecai: Pug/Shepherd mix (Approx, 37lbs, 3 1/2 years old)

Dear PetRelocation,
 
My daughter and her dog left Canada two years ago for Edinburgh, Scotland to go to the university there. Mordecai went through all the requirements for him to travel to the UK from Canada.
 
They now are moving back to Canada in June and I would like to know what the dog needs to come back into Canada. My daughter has a Canadian and a British passport. He is healthy.
 
Thanks,
Ann
 
Hi Ann,
 
We'd be happy to offer some guidance. For the most accurate information, please take a look at the pet import requirements for Canada via the official Canada government website. As you'll see, Mordecai will need a rabies vaccination certificate or a European Union pet passport outlining all the required information.
 
In addition to these key elements, we suggest choosing a pet-friendly airline (you can read more pet travel essentials on our blog for guidance). Since your daughter and Mordecai have traveled before and probably learned a lot from the experience, hopefully this will be a pretty smooth trip for them!
 
If you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door services, please fill out our online consultation form. Either way, good luck to them and thanks for reaching out!
 

Q&A: Exporting Pets from Singapore

Monday, February 23, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Angela
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: English Working Cocker Spaniel
From: Singapore
To: Charlotte, NC, United States

 

Dear PetRelocation,

How easy is it to move my dog from here in Singapore to Charlotte in the United States? How long does it take? What will he require in terms of paperwork, vet checks and vaccinations, etc.?

He was originally born in the UK and moved to the Netherlands after 18 months, had a pet passport and traveled via the car across the water. He then moved again after 12 months to here in Singapore and required a flight, more paperwork etc.

He is now 5 years old and also had a metal plate inserted into his knee about 8 months ago.

Thank you kindly,
Angela

 

Hi Angela,

Thank you for your question! Please take a look at the pet import requirements for the United States. We typically recommend starting to prepare at least 30 days in advance, as you'll need to gather a vet health certificate and proof of an updated rabies vaccine.

We also recommend helping your dog to become acclimated to the travel crate if he's not already. The fact that he has a metal plate in his knee should not cause a problem, but either way we highly suggest discussing any concerns you have with your vet.

Finally, choosing a pet-friendly airline is an important part of the process, as well. We often use KLM, United, British Airways and Lufthansa, for example, as these carriers have established pet procedures and place a high priority on safety and comfort.

Please let us know if you think you'd like some help organizing your move; one of our Specialists would be happy to discuss your relocation options with you.

Hope this helps, good luck!

PetRelocation Employee Spotlight: Tobi, Client Care Specialist

Monday, February 23, 2015 by Core Values

tobiBy Kelley Barnes, Director of HR

If creating an incredible experience for PetRelocation’s clients and their fuzzy family members is like painting a masterpiece, then Tobi is the Georges Seurat of Client Care Specialists. Every ‘t’ is crossed and every ‘i’ is dotted when it comes to her communications and plans.

When she interviewed with PetRelocation in April 2013, one quality about Tobi that was immediately evident to the team was her meticulous attention to detail. Nothing slips past her when it comes to the logistics coordination that is an essential part of every pet move Tobi supervises.

Tobi has built strong partnerships with a select group of PetRelocation’s team of agents that she likes to use regularly. They know what she expects in terms of pet love and handling, and in turn she always keeps them apprised of any unexpected changes or hiccups that may occur (like the recent snow storms and weather issues that caused pet flight cancellations in New York, Chicago and Boston and affected several pet trips).

During a move when there is a sleepless pet parent anxious for an update, Tobi has been known to take late-night phone calls and send prompt emails with pet photos after a pet arrives in a foreign destination.

One previous coworker wrote, “She is always there to help the team and accomplish any task that is needed, and she comes up with out-of-the box and creative solutions when there is no clear solution at hand.” Teamwork is one of the core values we uphold at PetRelocation, and Tobi doesn’t try to live it, it just comes to her naturally.

We asked Tobi to share some of her thoughts in a series of questions below. Hope you enjoy the read!

Why did you decide to apply to PetRelocation initially?

After college, I worked at a computer company for 13 years. I became unfulfilled because I could not see the direct impact of my work. My husband encouraged me to find a job where I could make a difference and helped me do some research – he found the Client Care posting online and I applied for it the very next day. 

 

tobi

Tobi, her husband Kris, and their Basset trio (Gus, Bluebonnet and Clementine)

What’s your favorite client story?

There are so many terrific reunion stories to choose from, but one that really stands out is a recent move of two English Bulldogs from California to Indonesia. The dogs (pictured below) started their journey on Sunday and reunited with their family on Friday. I shared every step of their trip with the entire office because every single person at PetRelocation cares about the journey of the pets we move. 

 

dozer & gumbo

Two of Tobi's most memorable clients

What’s it like to work at PetRelocation?

In a word – terrific. I feel like I am one of those lucky people who has a job they actually enjoy and works with people they like.

What has surprised you since working here?

I am most surprised by the remote locations that people move to for their work – places I had never heard of before working here such as Kuala Belait, Brunei and Ripailles, Mauritius.

What do you think will change about pet travel in the next five years?

My hope is that more airlines will establish actual pet travel programs, giving us more options to present to our clients. Pet travel is clearly becoming more common and airlines are bound to really start catering to animals as well as humans. 

client care pjs

A few PetRelocation team members on 'Pajama Day'

What advice do you have for people who want to join the company?

Do not be afraid to ask questions. What we do is very unique – until you worked with us as an employee or a pet owner, you’ve probably never met a “pet relocator.”  Between airport codes, animal import/export requirements, animal vaccines and countless other things there is an abundance of information to learn. This is not the kind of job where you can just assume you’ll figure something out later – questions are good!

What do you wish other people knew about the company?

We truly manage your pet's move from point A to point B and we specialize in problem solving. There are certain elements of travel that are unpredictable (weather delays, lost paperwork, etc.) – you can count on us to handle those unexpected events for you.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

So many things – that I am over 5 feet tall. That I am actually an android (Tobi spelled backward is iBot). Also, I am learning to play the mandolin. [Editor's Note: Tobi also has a hamster named Christmas, who is pictured below].

 

christmas the hamster

Christmas, Tobi's hamster

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I would like to be invisible so that I could sneak into music concerts and Disney World.

Hollywood wants to make a movie about your life. Who do they cast to play you?

I would have to insist on playing myself because I’m not sure anyone else could capture my strange and adorable accent that is half-Louisiana, half-Texas.

 

Thanks for all you do, Tobi! Find out more about the PetRelocation team in this "Meet the Office" video, and if you're interested in working with us, check out our Careers page.