From: Murrieta, CA
To: San Rafael, CA
Pet: Cali (cat, calico, 7 years old, probably 6 or 7 lbs.)
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.
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
From: United Kingdom
To: United States
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.
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!
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: English Working Cocker Spaniel
To: Charlotte, NC, United States
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,
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!
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: DSH
To: Arizona, United States
I am totally up the creek without a paddle with no clue of what is needed to relocate my cats. Do they need vaccinations, and if yes, what sort? Would there be a very simple way of relocating them other than using very expensive companies that specialize in this?
Any information you could send my way would be appreciated.
Have a great day :)
We're happy to help shed some light on your creek-sans-paddle situation. Unless you've moved a pet before, there's no reason you would even know where to begin (which is completely understandable).
To start, please take a look at the pet import requirements for the United States. Your cats will need a vet health certificate (for the airline) stating they are healthy and fit to fly. A rabies vaccine is technically not required, but since you might want or need to have your cats vaccinated once you're settled in Arizona, it wouldn't hurt to take care of this before you travel and have that documentation handy, also.
Furthermore, here are a few basic pet travel tips that we suggest looking over. It's important to choose a pet-friendly airline and to help your cats become as acclimated to their travel crates as possible in order to help ensure a smooth trip.
It's not necessary to hire professionals to handle this trip and many people choose to book the flight, take care of the vet visits and paperwork, etc. on their own. If you do decide to enlist support, however, we'd be happy to tell you more about our door-to-door services.
Hope this helps! Just let us know if we can be of further assistance, and good luck with everything.
This month's featured pet move shines the spotlight on two very cool cats: Fred and Wilma. This charming duo has moved with us before (their mom is a busy world traveler), so they're becoming pros when it comes to relocating internationally.
Their latest trip took them from Germany to Japan, and now that they're settling in we thought we'd catch up and find out how things are going. Read on to find out more about Fred and Wilma!
Due to my job, I move every 2 to 3 years. I got the cats in Australia in 2007 and since then I moved them to the States, then to Germany and now Japan.
Both of the moves were the easiest, smoothest I ever had with the cats.
No matter where you are headed, the paperwork can be extremely confusing and overwhelming. I was worried that since I was overseas, it would be hard to get everything done on time.
The best advice I can give is to plan early. Lots of countries have strict rules about the importation of animals. In my case, I was taking my cats from Germany to Japan and had to have a 6 month “at home” quarantine. Also, lots of airlines have restrictions on the time of year the pet can travel based on the temperature.
My fur babies are known for being “fraidy cats,” but as soon as they got to me here in Tokyo and out of their crates, they have just taken over the apartment. They found their box, their food and my couch for a nice nap. I just cannot get over how easily they have adapted.
Both Germany and Japan are known for their love/obsession with their pets. The Germans LOVE their dogs and the Japanese LOVE their cats (see Hello Kitty). In Germany, I was lucky enough to have a vet that made house calls! I get my pet supplies online or from a military base, as my cats are used to American products. I know I could get anything I need here in Japan if I had to.
As I say, plan early. Pets are part of your family and SO important to you, so I know the process can be stressful because you just want them to be comfortable and happy. It can be done (and be done smoothly) if you plan ahead.
I did my research, believe me. I went with PetRelocation because they were super responsive and totally understood how important my cats are to me. I was encouraged by the testimonials of other clients. Also, I immediately felt at ease with my PetRelocation consultants.
My situation was hard, as I was moving from Germany to Japan with a stop in the States in between. Turned out I had to leave the cats with my brother in the States for 6 months due to a Japanese regulation for an “at home quarantine.” My consultants treated my brother with as much respect as they gave me and constantly kept us both informed.
They walked us through all the paperwork and worked out a great timeline. I also LOVED that they offered a point to point delivery. They picked up the cats at my brother’s so that he would not have to tackle the nightmare of the airport processing, and they delivered the cats to me at my place in Tokyo. I have done this by myself and trust me, this was priceless!!!
Another highlight was that they tracked the cats the whole way from beginning to end so I had peace of mind the whole time. I honestly cannot recommend them enough. From beginning to end they made this process as easy and as stress free as possible. I will be using them again for sure!!!
Congrats to Fred, Wilma and their loving owner on another successful move! Thinking about relocating with your own pets? Feel free to contact us to speak to a Specialist about your options.
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Pit Bull
To: Florida, USA
I have a 60 pound Pit Bull and I need it to bring it here to United States. I would like to know if this is possible (and can your company do the moving)?
Thanks for your question! The United States does not have any particular breed restrictions when it comes to importing pets, and it's actually one of the easier countries in terms of rules and regulations. Please take a look at the US pet import requirements for an overview of what to expect.
We also recommend reading over these basic pet travel questions and answers. Here you'll see that it's important to choose a pet-friendly airline and help your dog to be acclimated to the crate as well as possible. You'll also want to review the airline requirements very carefully, as Pit Bulls often face different rules. If you're flying with United, for example, your dog would need a reinforced travel crate.
If you're interested in hiring help with this move, please fill out our online consultation form. With a few more details we'll be able to tell you more about your move options.
Hope this helps, and we hope to hear from you soon!
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Puppy
Pet Breed: Chocolate Labrador
From: Quebec, Canada
To: Houston, Texas
My dog just had puppies and my uncle is living in the states and he wants one. We are just curious about some of the requirements needed to have the puppy transferred from Canada to the States. What are the fees involved?
If there is any special way of handling this? If you can give me the best information on this it would be very much appreciated.
Thank you for reaching out with a question! We'd be happy to offer some assistance. Please begin by looking over the pet import requirements for the United States. The dog will need to have a vet health certificate stating he/she is healthy and fit to fly (this is what the airline requires) as well as an up-to-date rabies vaccine. We recommend that dogs be at least 16 weeks old before they travel by air.
Please take a look at these essential pet travel tips for more information about the basic process. As you'll see, crate-training and choosing a pet-friendly airline are very important parts of planning a smooth relocation. You'll also need to make sure the travel crate is the correct size and airline-approved. If you have questions about flying an unaccompanied dog via cargo, please read more about it here.
If you think you'd like some assistance, please fill out our consultation form. We've organized thousands of safe pet moves and would be glad to help you, as well.
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Fluffy
From: Oklahoma City, OK
To: San Diego, CA
My fiancé and I are getting married and we'll be moving her and her cat to San Diego. I'm checking out the options and whether or not it would be easier to use a pet transport service or just fly back with her cat. How does your business handle the pet being transported?
Excellent question. Most of the time it's technically possible for pet owners to move pets on their own, but since the process can require a considerable amount of effort (and often stress), some people choose to hire the help of professionals so that they'll have more time to focus on other things (such as moving their own belongings, etc). Here are a few more reasons people choose to hire help.
A domestic cat move is not as complicated as moving a large dog internationally, for example, but you might still find that enlisting pet travel experts to handle the move could be a good solution. PetRelocation arranges door-to-door travel services and helps oversee the gathering of pre-export paperwork, the right travel crate and the plane ticket. We move our clients' pets via cargo on a pet-friendly airline, making it easier for the owners to plan and carry out their own trip.
You may ultimately decide to carry your cat in the cabin with you or plan the cargo trip on your own, but if you're seeking additional assistance you're welcome to contact us for a consultation.
Hope this helps! Congratulations on your upcoming marriage, and please let us know if we can answer any further questions.
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Shiba Inu
From: California, USA
To: Richland, WA, USA
My question isn't in regards to moving, but I've found a 4-year-old Shiba Inu in an animal shelter in California that I really want to adopt. The problem is that I can't get down there: is there any way I could have him shipped to me? Is this something that you guys do?
Please let me know how much this typically costs...
Thank you for your question! It is possible to have a dog shipped to you unaccompanied, but you will need to arrange for someone in California to gather the correct paperwork beforehand (usually just a vet health certificate and proof of an updated rabies vaccine -- take a look at the Washington requirements here).
You'll also need to buy the correct airline-approved travel crate and have someone take the dog to the airport and check him in for his flight, ideally on a pet-friendly airline.
Our company arranges door-to-door pet relocations for pets flying unaccompanied, and though usually the pet owner brings their dog to the vet, etc. in the days before the move, it's possible that we could have an agent handle this for you. Our costs for moving one small pet internationally typically start at around $1200, but your costs will differ depending on a few factors.
If this sounds like what you're looking for and you'd like to discuss your options with us, please give our office a call or fill out our online consultation form. Thanks for considering us, and good luck with everything!
From: LAX, California, USA
To: Seattle, Washington, USA
Pets: Congo African Grey, 23 years old; Yellow Nape Amazon, 24 years old
I'm out of my mind finding out the best airlines to fly my parrots to a sanctuary in Washington. Alaskan airlines needed a health certificate and was double the price of United. I do not care about price, I just want them to be okay in their travels. United had some very bad reviews -- they requested no health certificate and the cost was $150. All of this frightens me and I am trying really hard to do the best by them. Is it better to fly them or how else could I transport?
Thanks for your question -- it's completely understandable that you're feeling nervous about moving your birds. To start, please take a look at this overview of bird travel tips for information about securing the right travel crate, etc. Luckily, flying domestically is not as complicated a process as flying internationally, but as you know there is still a good amount of preparation involved.
For your information, we often use United to move pets and have used them for successful bird relocations, as well. If you'd like some help, please give our office a call or fill out our online consultation form.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance, and good luck with everything!
To: St. Louis, MO
Pet: Alaskan Malamute puppy, around 25 pounds
I am thinking of buying a puppy that is in Denmark. I have no clue how much shipping will cost. Just a ball park figure is fine. I'm not even where in Denmark the pup is located... I just wanted to know about total cost before I even get serious and bothered the breeder. She'll be an 8 or 9-week-old puppy.
Thanks for your question. It typically costs a few hundred dollars to move a small pet internationally; our door-to-door services can amount to $3500 or more for a relocation like this. Your specific costs will depend on a few factors, such as the exact points of departure and arrival, whether the dog flies in the cabin or in the cargo area, etc.
You can start to calculate those costs by adding up the dog's airfare, travel crate, pre-export paperwork, and associated vet visits and transportation costs to and possibly from the airport. The more help you enlist and the less you do on your own, the more expensive it will be.
Now, we can't help but mention the fact that pet scams are very common these days. You may be dealing with a reputable breeder, but no matter what it's important to use caution when dealing with someone you don't really know. Please read more about puppy scams to educate yourself about the warning signs and ensure that you won't fall for any dishonest tactics.
Another thing to think about: PetRelocation does not move pets younger than the age of 16 weeks. At four months they can receive all vaccines and are more physically prepared to withstand the rigors of travel, and moving a puppy younger than this requires extra care and attention and includes some amount of risk.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions about these topics, and good luck with everything!
From: United Kingdom
Pets: Chihuahua Mixes (5)
How much would it cost to transport my five dogs to Tunisia? They typically sleep together in one crate -- would they be able to travel this way?
Thanks for submitting your pet travel question to us! When preparing to relocate with pets internationally, it's a good idea to check with the Ministry of Agriculture of the country to which you'll be moving to find out about the most up-to-date pet import rules (usually a health certificate and proof of updated rabies vaccine are required). You can also find out a little about Tunisia pet import rules here.
We'd also like to suggest taking a look at these essential pet travel tips and, when researching airline options, choose one with pet-friendly policies if possible. It's likely your dogs will each have to travel in their own airline-approved travel crate in the cargo area of the plane, so it's important to acclimate them to their crates in the weeks before you move (this makes it a less stressful and overall more smooth experience for all involved).
In terms of costs, our door-to-door services typically start at around $3500 to move one small pet internationally. You're welcome to contact us to discuss your options, or if you'd like to explore alternate and possibly less expensive solutions, we recommend searching for local agents through IPATA.org.
Hope this helps to get you started! Just let us know if you think we can be of further assistance, and good luck with everything.
Name: Ammar & Guy
Pets' Names: Lucy, Oscar, & Winston
From: Glendale, California, USA
To: Brussels, Belgium
We moved to Brussels, Belgium from Southern California in October of 2014. The most difficult aspect of the entire process was figuring out how to get our three animals safely transported. None of the animals were used to traveling, nor were they used to being in crates, but PetRelocation took all the craziness out of our hands.
They aided us in figuring out what papers to have ready and what medical tests to have done. They made sure that our three "babies" were picked up from our house in California and safely delivered to our door in Brussels. It may have taken 15 hours of travel time due to the distance, but all of our pets not only survived the ordeal, they are each thriving in our new locale. And while they may not have access to a personal backyard as we had back in SoCal, with several dog-friendly parks all with a half km of land at our new house, they don't seem to mind one bit!
We highly recommend PetRelocation to anyone needing help in transporting their animals cross-country or overseas.
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Pit Bull mix (though hasn't had DNA testing)
From: Chicago, USA
I've been researching individual airline guidelines for transporting dogs, and have found that the restricted breeds are often subtitled "brachycephalic or snub-nosed breeds," which I thought referred to dogs such as pugs and English Bulldogs. However, pure bred or any mixed breeds of Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers are listed in the restricted breeds, as well. Is this because they are considered brachycephalic/snub-nosed, or is it an additional/unrelated issue? I am considering a move to Europe and will not move without my dog, but also do not want to take any extra risks if it is a greater health hazard for his breed to fly.
Additionally, I was unclear whether dogs transported in the cargo compartment can be flown in the crates that are metal only, or are you supposed to use the carriers that are plastic enclosures with metal doors? My dog is well behaved in his normal metal crate where he can easily see out, but is often anxious and frightened inside of a plastic crate with the limited number of slits.
Thanks for your help!
Thanks for the question, we'd be happy to offer some guidance. Breeds such as Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Terriers are often listed as "restricted" because of historic breed bans rather than health issues. Though you'll find plenty of evidence to support the fact that these breeds are no more dangerous than any other (as we're sure you already know), their size, appearance and possible strength still dictates the policies of many countries and airlines.
We often refer to breed-specific legislation resources online when helping our clients plan out international moves, as some countries do not allow certain breeds to be imported. For example, we helped a dog named Stan move to the Netherlands in 2013 when his owner found out that he wouldn't be able to go to Denmark, where Pit Bulls are banned. Advance planning and creative solutions might be necessary for your move, as well, so it's great that you're starting the process now.
As far as travel crates, this is up to the airline. United (an airline we often choose to fly with) requires that Pit Bulls and a few other breeds travel in reinforced crates meeting IATA Container Requirement #82. KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways are also airlines that we typically select, so we recommend researching the current rules and procedures of these carriers when planning your dog's move.
We also recommend contacting the Ministry of Agriculture in Bulgaria as well as any local authorities and vets who may be able to shed light on how Pit Bulls are regulated (if at all) there. Every country is different, and it's best to learn as much as you can about laws and cultural attitudes before you go.
Hopefully this helps! Just let us know if you think you'd like some help arranging this move (you can fill out our online consultation form), and good luck with everything.
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Monkey
Pet Breed: Capuchin
From: MN, USA
To: GA, USA
I am taking to someone about getting a monkey, and all she wants is a shipping fee that she says is $280. She said she would be using your services. I am just wanting to make sure this isn't a scam.
That is definitely a scam. Anytime someone you don't know is offering to give you a pet (especially a high-demand breed or exotic species) and only wants to charge you transportation fees, you can assume the animal doesn't exist and they are just trying to take advantage of you.
Read more about how to avoid pet scams and know that these tactics apply to dogs, cats, birds, and yes, monkeys. We strongly advise against dealing with unknown parties online when looking to add a pet to your family, and remember that anytime you're asked to wire money for "transportation fees," you're in danger of falling for a well-worn scam.
For reference, moving a small pet domestically typically starts at around $1200 (this covers airfare, health documents, vet visits, travel crate, etc), so this suggested fee of just $280 serves as another red flag. Monkey travel also requires a little more planning than dog and cat travel, so if something sounds too easy to be true, it probably is.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Magan (and hopefully you haven't sent any money yet). Please let us know if you have further questions, and good luck out there!
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Corgi
To: California/Nevada (United States)
What do we have to do to ensure our dog can come live with us in the United States (we'll probably be landing in California). Your information would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the question, we'd be happy to help. First, read over these basic pet travel tips in order to become acquainted with the essential logistical details, and then take a look at the pet import requirements for the United States.
To summarize, you'll need proof of an updated rabies vaccine and a health certificate, an airline-approved travel crate, and before you fly we recommend acclimating your dog to the crate as well as possible. We also suggest making an effort to choose a pet-friendly airline (we often use United, KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways).
Many people choose to hire professional assistance with an international pet move; if you're looking to explore this option, feel free to fill out our online consultation form.
Hopefully this helps to get you started! Just let us know if we can be of further assistance, and feel free to peruse our blog for pet travel stories and additional advice. Good luck and travel safely!
Last year was a busy one for pet travel! Here at PetRelocation we moved nearly 2,000 pets in 2014 and brought about over 900 reunions (we compiled a few of the move stories if you'd like to learn more about some of these Incredible Experiences).
Before we get too carried away with another year of helping cute globetrotters relocate with their families, here's a fun look at the PetRelocation pet moves of 2014 with info about airlines, breeds, travel crates and top destinations. Enjoy!
Have questions about moving your pet? Please contact us for a consultation, and happy travels in 2015, pet lovers!
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Hedgehog
Pet Breed: African Pygmy Hedgehog
From: Taipei, Taiwan
To: Louisiana, USA
I'm currently an exchange student from the States in Taiwan right now, and for Christmas my host family got me a hedgehog -- kinda weird, but they don't celebrate Christmas here so I guess they didn't know a hedgehog is that out of the norm for a gift, haha!
Anyway, my mom back in America freaked out because she's convinced I won't be able to take Murphy (hedgehog's name) back home, that there's some regulation that's going to stop me.
Well I did some research, and as far as I can tell I should be OK as long as a fill out some form or contact the airport -- it was all pretty unclear.
So my question is: Could you guys lay out the exact steps I need to take and explain them a bit? I really love my hedgehog and definitely wanna take him home (in about 5 months)!!!
Thanks for the question! The United States is a pretty straightforward country when it comes to importing pets, and there are no particular restrictions for hedgehogs (no import permit is required, for example).
You will need to check with the airline, however, to find out what their requirements are (usually this consists of a health certificate from your vet stating the pet is healthy and fit to fly, and it should be issued within 10 days of travel). You'll also need an airline-approved travel crate. We also advise talking to a vet for travel tips, however in general we can say that hydration is extremely important.
Please contact us for a consultation if you're interested in hiring some help with this move, and either way, good luck!
We know you have many questions about moving your pet. Please complete the fields below to receive your complimentary consultation with one of our PetRelocation specialists, as well as to obtain an estimate for your pet(s) relocation.