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Help Me Move My Pet

Air Travel with a Puppy

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Alicia
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Puppy
Pet Breed: Weimaraner-hound mix
From: Oregon, USA
To: Texas, USA

 

Hi!

I have a weird question and I'm wondering if you would be able to answer it for me. I'm hoping to get a puppy in the next few months (I live in Austin), and my sister's dog happens to be pregnant (in Oregon) and she wants to give me one of her puppies.

In your professional opinion, is there any way to transport an 8-week-old puppy from Oregon to Texas? And is there a way to do it that won't cost a crazy amount of money? I'm trying to decide if it would be worth it to try and transport the puppy out here, or if it's not worth the hassle and try to find a puppy locally instead. Thanks for your help!

Thanks,

Alicia

 

Hi Alicia,

Not a weird question at all! Congratulations on deciding to bring a puppy into your life.

In terms of the general travel logistics, securing an airline-approved crate, booking a pet flight with the airline, and securing the vet health certificate most airlines require will likely amount to a few hundred dollars. Here are some guidelines for domestic pet travel if you'd like to take a look. 

Because this is such a young pet, we'd definitely advise consulting with a vet about health and safety issues as well as with the airline about their requirements -- typically proof of a rabies vaccination is required, but an exception might be made for young animals depending on the carrier.

As a company policy, PetRelocation does not transport dogs under the age of 16 weeks. This allows time for pets to grow strong enough to handle the travel experience safely and also makes them old enough to receive their vaccinations. Not everyone adheres to this guideline and of course the decision is yours to make, but we would probably recommend waiting until the puppy was older before traveling such a long distance (at which point we'd be happy to help you arrange the trip!)

Feel free to contact us if you'd like to speak to a Specialist. Thanks for reaching out, and good luck with everything!

 

Temperature Restrictions and Pet-Friendly Airlines

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Audra
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: West Highland Terrier
From: Chicago
To: Phoenix 

 

Hi,

I have a question about the airlines having a temperature restriction because it is too cold to take the pet. I am flying into Chicago from Ireland, then going to Phoenix from there. I have the dog on the first leg of the flight but the second seems to be a potential problem.

How can you keep the dog in a warm environment and the airline can't? Can I get you to keep the dog from the time we drop him off before the flight so that we don't have to worry about not being able to fly? How much would it cost? I just want to know we can fly and not worry about having to rebook or lose our money. The flight I want is on American Airlines at 12:05 on Dec.23rd. Thank you for your help.

Sincerely,
Audra
 

Hi Audra,

Thanks for reaching out! We'd be happy to discuss your move options with you -- please give us a call at 1-877-PET-MOVE to speak to a Specialist or fill out our online consultation form at your convenience. 

Generally speaking, we highly recommend choosing a pet-friendly airline with established pet policies. Carriers like United do not allow pets to sit on the tarmac or remain outdoors for any significant amount of time, for example, so temperature isn't as much of a factor in this case as it might be for other airlines.

Another thing to keep in mind: holiday pet travel can be hectic and filled with extra hurdles, so please proceed mindfully. Again, please contact us if you think you'd like to hire some assistance with this move.

Hope to hear from you soon!

The Multiple Solutions for Pet Travel

Monday, November 24, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Shani
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Miniature Pinscher Mix
From: United States
To: UAE - Dubai or Abu Dhabi

 

Dear PetRelocation,

We may be moving our dog from the US to the UAE - either Abu Dhabi or Dubai. I have read that the only way dogs can enter the UAE is by cargo. I am REALLY nervous about transporting our little guy this way all the way from the US.

Is it possible to fly to Germany or some other mid-point with him in cabin and then do the last leg of the flight as cargo? If so, would it be worth having a few day layover in Germany for him to recover before shipping him as cargo? Thanks so much for your help.

Thanks,

Shani

 

Hi Shani,

Thanks for reaching out with your question. When it comes to planning pet travel there are usually many possible solutions, and we'd be happy to go over a few options with you to help you find the right one!

First, please know that pet cargo travel is safe when planned with a few guiding parameters; these include choosing a pet-friendly airline, talking to your vet about any pet health questions you have, and helping your dog to be acclimated to the travel crate. Read more about pet travel basics here

We typically use KLM when flying pets from the US to the UAE. This pet-friendly airline has trained staff and solid pet-safe procedures that help make even a long trip as comfortable as possible for furry family members (they even have a pet hotel).

After more research you may decide to choose this carrier for your dog's flight, or you may want to stick to your original idea and break up the flight. Note that if you change airlines or leave the airport, you'll most likely need to provide additional paperwork.

It often helps to read the pet travel stories of other pet owners. Take a look at a few of our recent customer stories for an idea of what the process entails and how it feels once the move is over. Additionally, you can look over the pet import requirements for the UAE, as well. 

We'd be happy to provide additional information and let you know more about our door-to-door services if you're interested. Please contact us if you'd like to speak to a Specialist to go over these options in more detail, and either way, good luck with your trip!

How to Help Pets Stay Calm during a Flight

Friday, November 21, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Spencer
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Miniature Pinscher
From: RI
To: FL

Hi PetRelocation,

When flying, what's the best way to keep my dog comfortable? She hates her carrier, and I'm not sure how to best sedate her for the flight. She's 11 lbs and 10 months old.

Thanks,

Spencer

 

Hi Spencer,

Thanks for your question! First of all, we do not recommend sedation. Instead, we have a few tips that can help a dog cope with a flight with as little drama and stress as possible.

  • Work on crate training. If your dog is used to spending time in the crate and even likes it, this will drastically reduce her anxiety level when you're flying. Start early and use these tips to help your dog acclimate to her crate.
  • Exercise! In the hours before the flight, take your dog on lots of walks and let her run around as much as possible. A tired dog handles a flight much more easily, as she'll hopefully be tempted to curl up and take a nap. Bonus: generally fit pets make better travelers.
  • Don't feed your dog too close to a flight, as this could cause an upset stomach. Feed her about three hours before departure to avoid problems, but be sure to give her plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after the flight.
  • Talk to your vet if you have any additional questions or need some advice about preparing for pet travel.

 

Finally, we'd be happy to further discuss your move with you and give you a hand with the arrangements. Please fill out our consultation form if you're interested in hearing more about our services.

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your flight!
 

Cat Travel to the UK from an Unlisted Country

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Evren
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Long-haired House Cat
From: Turkey / Istanbul
To: UK / London

Hi,

I have read many things but the pet travel process is still confusing. Hope you can help me.

I will be moving to London to live long term. My cat is 7 years old. I am not an EU citizen or resident of the UK yet. Am I allowed to bring my cat anyway, and will there be any quarantine for my cat as I am coming from Turkey?

How long will the transport take in total? My cat is about 7 kg; how much will this cost? Also, he is not so friendly to strangers. Is this a problem?

Thank you so much.

Regards,

Evren
 

Hi Evren,

Thanks for contacting us with your question. Moving pets to the UK certainly requires careful preparation, so it's a good idea to research carefully and start the process early.

You'll find all the official information about import requirements on the gov.uk site. Turkey is an "unlisted country" so the rules are a bit different -- your cat will need a microchip, rabies vaccination, blood test, official veterinary certificate and you must use an authorized carrier and an approved route. Three months must pass from the day the blood sample is taken to the day of departure.

Good news: if you meet all of these requirements, your cat will not need to undergo a quarantine.

The length of the trip will depend on a few factors (namely the route and airline you choose). Note that we highly recommend choosing a pet-friendly airline -- we often use Lufthasa, KLM and British Airways. These airlines have pet-oriented policies in place and will have trained staff members used to dealing with all kinds of pets with all kinds of temperaments. To promote as smooth a trip as possible, you can attach a note to your cat's travel crate stating he is wary of strangers in order to give the handlers some warning during a comfort stop.

If you have any questions about this process and think you'd like to hire some help, please fill out our consultation form online. Our costs for moving a small pet internationally generally start at up to $3500 USD, but your expenses will vary based on a few different variables.

Hopefully this helps, Evren. Let us know if we can be of further service, and good luck with your trip!

Make Sure Your Pet Travel Crate is Airline-Approved

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Rachel
Number of Pets: 3
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: DSH
 

Hi PetRelocation,

Can you folks recommend a US airline-approved cat carrier? I am flying on United from New Jersey to DC, but they have requirements for the crates that I cannot find here in Israel.

One cat is going to be in the cabin with me and my other two monsters will be in cargo. I see many kinds of carriers and crates online, but their pictures do not show how the two pieces are bolted together. I would appreciate any guidance!

Thank you for your time,

Rachel

 

Hi Rachel,

Thanks for your question! Please take a look at our website for some information about airline-approved cat crates. We typically use Petmate Sky Kennels and recommend them to our clients who need to order their travel carriers online.

Ideally you can have your pet "try on" a crate before buying it to make sure it's the right size, but when that's not possible you can measure carefully to make the right choice. 

Find out more about pet carriers and pet travel through our Petmate portal and our blog, and please feel free to contact us if you have any more questions about your upcoming trip.

Good luck to you and your little monsters!

Air Travel with a Medical Alert Dog

Monday, November 17, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Kathy
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Yorkie
From: Minnesota, USA
To: Prague, Czech Republic

 

Dear PetRelocation,

My husband and I will be relocating to Prague in early December. My husband has a Medical Alert Dog (an 11 lb Yorkie) who travels with him. What are the required forms to enter the Czech Republic?

Thank you,
Kathy
 

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for submitting a question to us, we'd be happy to help with some information.

Please take a look at the pet import requirements for the Czech Republic. Regardless of your pet's status as an assistance dog, you'll need to follow the country's import rules.

We'd also like to draw your attention to these basic pet travel tips and this overview of air travel with a service dog (this post is primarily devoted to designated service animals rather than support animals, but it may have some helpful info for you, too). 

You'll definitely want to contact the airline you're flying with to find out what their specific procedures are when it comes to in-cabin assistance dogs. Different carriers have different rules, and you don't want to encounter any surprises that could cause delays on the day of departure. Lufthansa allows Guide Dogs, Emotional Support and Psychiatric Service dogs to fly free in the cabin, for example, but their website doesn't mention Medical Alert animals (so you'll need to check with them to see if it will be possible to bring your dog in the cabin).

Please contact us if you'd like a consultation with one of our PetRelocation Specialists, and feel free to explore our blog to learn about other pet travel topics of interest.

Hope this helps to get you started, Kathy. Thanks again for reaching out, and good luck with everything!

Summer Pet Travel: It's Not Too Early to Start Planning

Thursday, November 13, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Linda
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Beagle and a English Cocker Spaniel
From: London, UK
To: Scottsdale, Arizona

 

Dear PetRelocation,

We may be relocating around June or July in 2015. Will my dogs be able to fly to Arizona during those months?

Thanks,

Linda

 

Hi Linda,

Thanks for your question! Summer pet travel is definitely an important topic, and it's crucial to educate yourself about the conditions and caveats well in advance.

Since this trip is still several months away and most airlines adjust their summer pet policies at least a little bit from year to year, it's too early to give you a definitive answer. That being said, we can point you in the right direction and tell you where to find the information you need.

Here are some details about summer airline embargoes from last summer, which will give you an idea of what to expect. Since your dogs are not snub-nosed breeds you probably won't face quite as many restrictions, however in the past British Airways (the airline you might be leaning towards using) has implemented flight restrictions for PHX during the summer. Many pet owners end up sending their pets earlier or later than originally planned in order to avoid embargoes like this and keep their pets safe. It may not fit your schedule ideally, but it's an option you may need to consider.

United is another one of our preferred airline carriers for pets all year round because they have solid pet-friendly policies. Even if it's hot, temperature shouldn't be a huge factor because pets are transported to the plane in an air-conditioned vehicle, given plenty of water, etc. Since pet safety is a priority, though, occasional embargoes are enacted.

We recommend checking in with the airlines directly to find out if they have any tips or predictions for you about this summer, and you can always keep an eye on pet travel blogs (like ours!) as your departure draws nearer so that you receive any updates that may be available.

Finally here, are a few safety tips for pets traveling in the summer as well as a link to our consultation page, which you can fill out if you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door services.

Good luck with everything!

"Should We Bring Our Dog on Vacation Abroad?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Denise
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Lakeland Terrier
From: (Traveling internationally in general)
To: (Traveling internationally in general)

 

Hi PetRelocation,

My husband and I would like to travel abroad on vacation for two weeks to four months with our Lakeland Terrier and wonder the best source of information on how to travel with your dog. Can we take him on the plane with us under certain weight restrictions for an international flight? Do animals get passports?

Thanks,

Denise

 

Hi Denise,

Sure, we'd be happy to help with some information. For general country requirement details, take a look at our resources page or check out the USDA website (assuming you're starting in the United States). To drill down further, it's typically a good idea to contact the Ministry of Agriculture of the country you're interested in for the most up-to-date info about pet import rules there.

Here are a few answers to frequently asked pet travel questions that may help shed light on the pet travel process, as well. In summary, we recommend choosing a pet-friendly airline, asking your vet to do a health check before you go, and teaching your dog to be as comfortable as possible in the travel crate through crate acclimation.

It sounds like your dog may be too large to fly in the cabin with you (typically only small dogs have this choice), so this trip may entail cargo travel. This is a safe option when you choose a pet-friendly carrier like KLM, Lufthansa or British Airways, but it can also be expensive and taxing for your dog to experience multiple times in a short period.

Along with the paperwork and vet visits, you may find that the logistics of bringing your dog with you as you travel to several different places may be more complicated than you first imagined. It definitely makes sense to bring pets along on a permanent move, but often people find that vacationing with a pet just doesn't make sense for them. It might be better to leave your dog with a trusted sitter, instead.

It's up to you, of course, and hopefully the suggestions and links above will help you find your way to the right decision for you and your dog. Let us know if you have more questions, and good luck!

Planning Ahead for Holiday Pet Travel

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Melisa
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Dachshund
From: USA (Chicago, IL)
To: Poland

 

Dear PetRelocation,

I am traveling to Poland for the Holidays with my Dachshund. We are going from Dec. 11 to Jan. 2 and I want to know what's needed for us to safely enter Europe (Poland) and return back to the US. When I go to the vet what do I need done -- shots, vaccinations, etc.

I don't want to have any issues.

Thank you!

Melisa

 

Hi Melisa,

Great questions, we'd be happy to help. First, take a look at the pet import requirements for Poland and, for your return trip, the pet import requirements for the United States. Your dog will need to have a microchip, up-to-date rabies vaccine, and a health certificate.

We definitely recommend choosing a pet-friendly airline  (we often go with Lufthansa, KLM and United) and double checking with the carrier you choose to find out about all crate requirements, etc. For your reference, here are a few pet travel best practices.

Also very important: we recently discussed on our blog that pet travel during the holidays can be particularly challenging and hectic due to possible delays and office closures. Please take a look at our additional tips for holiday travel to help educate yourself and hopefully avoid any issues.

If you have more questions or think you'd like some assistance, please contact us to discuss your move options. Hope you have a smooth trip and a happy holiday season!

 

Breed-Specific Legislation & Pit Bull Travel Questions

Thursday, October 30, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Nicole
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Pit Bull and American Eskimo
From: United States
To: Trying to figure that out

 

Dear PetRelocation,

My sister and I are wanting to move out of the United States, however we are having a hard time finding a place that will allow Pit Bulls to enter. My question is, what countries allow Pit Bulls to be brought in from another country?

Thanks,

Nicole

 

Hi Nicole,

Thanks for your question. Many countries do currently have breed-specific restrictions, and often airlines have particular rules in place, as well. We've come across a few online sources when researching this issue in the past -- here is a country-specific overview of different breed-specific legislation, for example.

If you tentatively decide on a country based on a list like this, from there we'd suggest contacting a vet in the city you want to live in to find out what they say about any breed laws or general cultural attitudes you may encounter. You can also double check with the Ministry of Agriculture of the desired country, as they should have the most up-to-date import rules.

As for flying, we recommend that all pet owners choose a pet-friendly airline. We typically work with United, KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways, as they all have established pet policies and dedicated staff members trained to handle pets safely. Again, once you've decided where you think you might want to move, research your airline options and contact the carrier directly to find out if your Pit Bulls can fly and if they'll need a custom reinforced crate (this would be the case for Lufthansa and United, for example).

We've encountered questions like this before, and last year assisted a Pit Bull named Stan when his owner was trying to figure out where to move -- he wanted to go to Denmark, but because there is a Pit ban there he ended up going to Amsterdam, instead.

Hopefully this helps to get you started, Nicole. Please contact us if you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door transportation services, and good luck with everything!
 

Incredible Experiences: Peach's Move to the UK

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Katy

Pet's Name: Peach

From: Boston, MA, USA

To: London, UK

We began planning Peach’s big trip about four months before our move from Boston to London. We were excited about the professional opportunities in London but very nervous about the potential risks for Peach! We needed to be sure we were taking every precaution before we committed to the move.

After consulting with several relocation agencies, we felt the most comfortable with PetRelocation. Evelyn and Linda kept us on track for every milestone (vet appointments, travel booking, crate training in the travel crate, etc.).

For travel to the U.K., there is a very tight timeline that must be followed to avoid quarantine. One part of this is a USDA form that can only be sent a few days before travel and must be certified before the trip. When Linda realized that Peach’s forms were caught in a backlog, she got in touch with the agency and made sure that we made the deadline.

Peach arrived safe and sound after her flights from Boston to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to London (the most direct route, since Lufthansa is the only carrier that will accept snub-nosed breeds for transatlantic flights). We couldn’t be happier that she is back with us!

Here she is relaxing by Regent’s Canal:

 

peach

International Travel with Older Pets

Monday, October 6, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Yifat
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Mix
From: Israel
To: The Netherlands

 

Hello,

Your website is very useful, thanks!

I have a 10-year-old dog that I will have to fly during January (as cargo). I would like to know how dangerous it can it be for a relatively old dog (this flight will be about 5 hours long), and also how much time the dog is left in the cold between the time the airplane lands and the time we get her?

I am really worried about this so hopefully your answer can help me.

Thank you,

Y

 

Hi Y,

Thanks for reading our site, and thanks for your question!

The most important thing for you to do to ensure a safe flight for your dog is to choose a pet friendly airline. If a carrier has solid procedures that put a high priority on pet health, temperature shouldn't be a big issue (airlines like KLM, United and Lufthansa do not allow animals to be exposed to the elements for any significant amount of time, for example).

Pets should ideally be the last to be loaded onto the plane, the first to be removed upon landing, and they should be transported across the runway in a temperature controlled vehicle. The cargo area is temperature and pressure controlled, also, and if you've helped your dog to become acclimated to the travel crate, the experience will be made even more manageable.

Additionally, here are a few tips for traveling with an older pet. Essentially we recommend talking to your vet before making a decision, and then if you go forward take extra care with hydration and the above-mentioned safety tips.

If you think you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door services, please give us a call or fill out our free quote form. If you'd like to search for agents on your own, we recommend checking the directory available on IPATA.org.

Good luck with everything, and please let us know if we can be of service!


 

Mac and Bubba's Adventures: Tips from a Pet Travel Pro

Thursday, August 28, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

macMany of our clients end up hiring us more than once for help with moving their pets. Due to a particular job or just a love for adventure, they find themselves needing to relocate every few years and, of course, need to bring their pets along with them.

Mac and Bubba are getting ready to move for the second time with us (they've lived in Michigan, Mexico, and now they're off to Japan), and their owners have been amazing about passing along fun and informative pet travel details. We couldn't let such great info go unshared, so we asked them to divulge a few particularly helpful tips and stories to the rest of the pet travel community.

There is some truly top-notch advice here about how to settle in with pets in a new country and how to prep your pets for a relocation. Read on to hear all about Mac and Bubba's globetrotting adventures!

What are your tips for helping your pets prepare for and recover from a big move?

At this point, both Mac and Bub are pretty seasoned travelers. 

I've had Bubba (an 8-year-old tabby cat) with me long enough now that when boxes arrive at the house, he knows what's up. I can't say he's a fan of the whole process, but I can say he's all the better about it because I calmly keep him in the loop.

What I'm saying here is that I talk to my pets. Don't pretend you don't do this too. If you care enough about them to look into a pet relocation service, you almost certainly have assigned a voice to them in your head with which they respond back in your conversations. Bubba has always sounded a bit pompous and pious; so entitled about his automatic litter box that you almost want to pinch his cheeks at how adorably wrong he is.  

Point being, your pets know your voice: it's common and familiar to them. This proved crucial on our way to Mexico, particularly as there were a few things I was unprepared for in taking Bubs as my carry on.

I had to take him out of his carrier and carry him through TSA, and they asked me to take his collar off as well.  He had no identification on his neck for a few minutes.  I tried not to act scared as I clutched him like a bear-trap. As we traveled through the Detroit airport, we passed through the "Whale-Song" tunnel. If you're not familiar, it's an art installation between two gates that features a light show and whale-song recording. This, for a cat, is TERRIFYING. When we landed, the quick pressure change resulted in Bub's immediately emptying his entire bowel... from both ends*... I had to rinse him out in the airport bathroom sink before we went through customs, because of the stink.

 

buddy

 

The notable and important part of all of that was that talking to Bubba through all of it not only kept him calm(er) because I'm familiar and he trusts me, but it helped me keep my head on straight, too. And in a few of those instances, he relied on my soothing, cooing voice to calm him enough so as not to dig his tiny dagger-like cat claws into my shoulders and leave permanent nerve damage, thus forever ruining my killer tennis game.** 

*While I felt bad for the people who were seated near us because... holy smell, Batman -- I can say it made going through customs REALLY easy because... holy smell, Batman. They didn't want to deal with him so I got buzzed through pretty quickly.

**I'm really bad at tennis, but you get the point.

Obviously, talking to your dog is a great idea too (Mac, the 5-year-old Dober-mutt, has an inner monologue that sounds quite a bit like Dug from Up). Dogs love the attention, and they want constant reassurance that they get to come along for the ride. I've never seen Mac happier than when PetRelocation brought him to our front door in Mexico, he saw my face and realized HE GOT TO COME ALONG!  

What I recommend most about dogs in particular is teaching your dog some cues in the native language. Here's the thing; Mac is a ridiculously silly, snuggly dog. But he's also rather gigantic, and his Doberman genes are pretty visible in those waggly eyebrows of his. A large portion of our Mexican friends were legitimately frightened of our dog and his breed's stereotypes. But it was really fun to see that melt away as soon as we'd say "Mac, Dame Cinco!" Showing your new Spanish-speaking amigos how they can ask your dog for a high-five in a way they understand. Now he's learning Japanese for the same reason. (In case you were curious- high five: "O-Te", or "hand, please.")

 

mac

 

Above and beyond all of that, the number one thing I recommend before your move, is to learn about the culture you're going to and what that means for your pets. Find a RELIABLE SOURCE for this information -- I can't tell you how many Americans very confidently informed me that my dog was going to be abducted and turned into tacos... and now how many tell me Bubs will become sushi. Which... I mean come on, it's not only ignorant, it's just plain offensive (I will also confidently report that you absolutely CAN drink the water in Mexico).

Mexican and Japanese people keep pets, and those pets are well loved, just in a different cultural understanding. Within the industrial city of Mexico where we stayed, if you keep a dog, it is almost certainly purebred. It usually lives outside, and it's fairly uncommon to teach them any tricks or take them for walks. Cats are pets that no one really go out to purposely adopt, but happen in a more "a stray cat had kittens in my yard. Now I have cats." Again, this doesn't mean they're unloved. I've seen Mexican friends frantically drive to a market to find kitten-milk in the middle of the night because the kittens in their garage needed it.

 

bubba

 

Anytime I walked Mac somewhere, someone would enthusiastically show me a cellphone selfie of them and their dog. Bubba ended up with his own celebrity status among the housekeeping staff at a hotel we stayed in because he looked like Garfield and he's friendly. More than once I'd come back to the room after working out to find six or seven housekeepers cooing over him or playing with the feather wand.  

Point being, once I knew where our friend's thoughts on pets and expectations started, it was a lot easier for me to assuage misconceptions and let them know just how Mac and Bub were a little bit different.

What are the biggest misconceptions about relocating with a pet?

The biggest misconception is relocating with a pet is not doable. It TOTALLY IS doable, and it's totally worth it. Help is recommended: PetRelocation (specifically the ever-lovely Sarah) has helped me with 1.5 moves now (next move in January is already underway with preparations), and she was kind enough not only to help me get the boys from point A to point B, but also helped with finding pet care resources like veterinarians, where to buy the right brand of dog/cat food, and there have even been a few times where she's helped me translate the names of vaccines or flea-preventatives. I probably could have stumbled through some of that with my limited Spanish skills, but there's something to be said about the extra confidence boost a level of expertise will give you as you pave your way in a new country.

 

mac

 

Your pets are so beyond happy for the opportunity to stay with you, because you're who they know and love, you're who adopted them and took on the responsibility of taking care of them, and you're what give your pets a sense of home. Critters are remarkably adaptive to environment, but they are loyal to their people.  And let's be honest, I wouldn't be able to call anywhere home without them.

In conclusion; keep in mind that no one is going to abduct or eat your pets, in any form of regional culinary delicacy. Try the tacos and the sushi, the curry and the papusas, because none of them are made out of Fluffy or Fido, and it's going to be the most delicious thing you've ever put in your face.

--

Thanks to Mac and Bubba's owner for this insightful (and entertaining) information! No one said it was easy to be a devoted pet parent, but clearly it's a lifestyle that has its rewards.

One last thing: Here's a video of Mac -- it's the first in the "Mac Does Something Awesome" series (here is a link to the others). What a cool pet family!

 

 

U.S. Department of Transportation Expands Airline Reporting Requirements

Thursday, July 17, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, more airlines will be required to report incidents involving the loss, injury or death of an animal during transport. This expansion of the current rule is meant to "provide consumers with a fuller picture of an airline's safety record," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Currently just 14 airlines have to adhere to reporting rules, but the expansion will mean that 27 carriers will now be responsible for filing annual reports detailing specific incidents as well as the number of animals carried. The definition of "animal" includes dogs and cats and also covers commercial shipments.

So what are the implications of this? As we told nbcnews.com, greater transparency is a good thing, and hopefully this will inspire every airline to do better when it comes to transporting pets. There are a handful of pet-friendly options out there now (we feel confident flying with a select few carriers, suck as KLM, Lufthansa and United), but it would be heartening and better for everyone to see greater attention paid to pet safety across the board.

Remember, pet travel is actually pretty safe overall, but there is certainly room for improvement. The pet travel industry continues to grow, and it's well past time for airlines offering pet travel options to truly commit to making their services as safe as possible. Greater accountability will help with this, and this new DOT rule is a step in the right direction.

If you'd like to know more, the Department of Transportation issues a monthly Air Travel Consumer Report and makes it publicly available on its website. If you're thinking about moving with a pet and have questions about it, please contact us.

 

pet in cargo

Cargo pet travel. (Photo Credit: Sandy Robins)

 

 

Dog Travel to Puerto Rico

Monday, July 14, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Pia
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Doberman
From: New York, USA
To: Puerto Rico

 

Dear PetRelocation,

I'm going to be staying in my new home in Puerto Rico for 2-3 months over the winter and need to take my dog because it's too long for me to be separated from her. She is a rescue dog and she has been through a lot of abuse before I took her into my home, so I don't want to put her through such a long separation. Besides, I'm going to be living there permanently sometime soon and I need her to get used to her new home.

After doing a lot of research on the Internet I'm finding out that it's a lot more difficult as I thought. What if any advice do you have for me??

I always fly JetBlue because that is one of the best and cheapest airlines to Aquadilla, PR but they are not very pet friendly when it comes to my size dogs!

I would appreciate any good advice and thank you for your time!

Regards,
Pia

 

Hi Pia,

Thanks for your question, we'd be happy to offer some information. Pet travel can definitely seem overwhelming at first glance, but after spending some time learning more about the process it's common to start feeling a little more at ease.

Here are a few links that will help to get you started:

 

In terms of airlines, it's very important to choose a pet-friendly carrier. We often use United, for example, because they have an established PetSafe program.

Please know that it can be demanding and expensive to travel long distances with pets, and many pet owners decide that, while a permanent relocation warrants bringing their furry family members along, shorter trips or vacations often don't. Often it's in the pet's best interest to leave them with a trusted sitter rather than put them through the travel process repeatedly, but that's something that's up to you, of course. Feel free to discuss the issue with your vet as you work towards making a decision.

Hopefully this information points you in the right direction, Pia. If you're interested in finding our more about the door-to-door services we offer, please fill out our free quote form.

Thanks again for reaching out, and good luck with everything!


 

Questions About Guinea Pig Travel

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Sandra
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Guinea Pig
From: Ireland
To: Cayman Islands

Hi,

I wanted to know if its possible to bring my guinea pig from Ireland to Cayman?

Thanks,
Sandra
 

Hi Sandra,

Based on the official pet import information offered by the Cayman Islands customs government website, it looks like you can bring your guinea pig with you when you move. To do so, you will need an import permit from the Veterinary Services of the Department of Agriculture.

Next on your checklist will be to find out about airline procedures and make sure you have a secure travel carrier for your guinea pig. Take a look at our blog for more information about air travel with a guinea pig.

If you think you'd like some help arranging your relocation, just fill out our free quote form or give our office a call at your convenience. Thanks for reaching out with your question, and good luck with everything!

Questions About Moving Dogs to Spain

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Autumn
From: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
To: Madrid, Spain
Pets: Teacup Poodle (6 lbs, 6 years); Teacup Pomeranian (4 lbs, 1 year old)
 
Dear PetRelocation,
 
I want to take my Teacup Pom and Teacup Poodle overseas with me, and I need to know if they can be put in the same carrier. About how much will it cost?
 
I also plan to put them both on a sleeping medication because my poodle doesn't travel well, is this allowed? This is my first flight and I don't want to lose them or not be able to pay for them multiple times if I get laid over. Please help!
 
Thanks,
Autumn
 
 
Hi Autumn,
 
Thanks for your questions, we'd be happy to offer you some advice.
 
First, do not sedate your pets when you fly. It's not only dangerous, airlines will not let you fly if a pet has been sedated. Also, pets need to fly in their own airline-approved travel crates. If one or both of your dogs has anxiety about traveling, you'll want to help to get them adjusted as well as you can by crate-training them well in advance of the move.
 
If you are planning to hire a service to help with the move, you can probably plan to spend at least $4000 USD. Please fill out our free quote form if you're interested in finding out more about our door-to-door services and receiving a more precise price estimate.
 
It will be more affordable to handle the move yourself, but you'll need to make sure you follow the pet import requirements for Spain very carefully. We recommend using IPATA.org to find an agent if you find yourself looking for help with part of the move. We also always recommend choosing a pet friendly airline and asking your vet to do a pre-travel health check to address any concerns you may have.
 
Hope this helps to get you started. Please let us know if you have more questions, and good luck with everything!
 
 

Amtrak Introduces Pilot Program for In-Cabin Pet Travel

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Answering the wishes of many pet owners who dream of more travel options for their four-legged companions, Amtrak will initiate a trial program next week that allows pets to travel in the cabins of select trains.

The program, which includes the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg trains between Chicago and Quincy, Ill., will run for six months beginning on May 5. If the test run is successful, pet travel options may be expanded nationwide.

Here are a few highlights of the Amtrak carry-on pet pilot program:

  • Passengers will pay $25 for each pet brought on board, and only dogs and cats are allowed.
  • Pets must be secured in travel carriers and stored under the seat (just like in the cabin of an airplane).
  • Pets and carriers should together weigh no more than 20 lbs.
  • Pets must be at least 8 weeks old and have proof of updated vaccines.
  • There will be no comfort breaks for pets on this four-and-a-half hour route.
  • Pets must be "odorless and harmless, not disruptive, and require no attention during travel."

 

Currently service animals are allowed to travel in Amtrak cabins, but this is the first time pets have been permitted to do so. Citizens and legislators around the country have been lobbying for Amtrak to allow pets on board for months, and now travelers will have a chance to prove that a program like this can be successful.

If Amtrak allowed pets on all trains, would you take advantage of that option? Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more Amtrak pet updates as they develop.

 

International Travel with a Shih Tzu

Friday, April 11, 2014 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Lydia
From: Seattle, WA
To: Shanghai, China
Pet: Lucy
 
Dear PetRelocation,
 
My husband and I will be relocating to either Shanghai, China or Amsterdam, and I was wondering if I would be able to take my one-year-old Shih Tzu with me to fly overseas. Which airlines are most friendly to fly? Would they allow her to fly? She's healthy!
 
Thanks,
Lydia
 
 
Hi Lydia,
 
Thanks for submitting a question to us, we'd be happy to offer some advice.
 
Every country is different when it comes to import requirements for pets, so take a look at the specific rules for China and for the Netherlands. China may require a quarantine depending on your port of entry, and the Netherlands does not have a quarantine if you meet all the requirements.
 
As far as airlines, it's important to choose a pet friendly carrier (we often use United, KLM and Lufthansa, for example). It will also help to make sure that your dog is comfortable spending time in her travel crate, as this will make the trip less stressful for her (and for you).
 
If you have questions about any of this, please give our office a call or fill out our free quote form. We arrange door-to-door pet moves and would be happy to discuss costs and logistics if you're interested in hiring some assistance.
 
Either way, good luck with everything and travel safely!