Help Me Move My Pet

Pet News Round-Up: Science Stuff, Summer Tips and Kidpreneurs

Friday, August 5, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

Happy Friday, everyone! Before you head off into the weekend, catch up with the top pet news stories of the past week.

-A 7-year-old with epilepsy has written a book in order to raise money for a service dog that will help him manage his recurring seizures.

-A new study performed by the National Canine Research Council has found that banned breeds are no more aggressive than any other.

-This is hurricane season, y'all. What are your storm planning pet tips?

-Crazy photos of dogs shaking their heads. Seriously, they're crazy.

-No one is paying us to say it, but this is actually a cool product that'll help keep your dog hydrated during the hot summer (or anytime).

-Scientists have created a genetically modified Beagle that glows. They say this technology can hopefully be applied to humans and disease tracking.

-Managing pet travel and dog diabetes -- a blog post from Will My Dog Hate Me?

-Sometimes pet moves throw us curve balls. Read about Blue the cat and Sparta the Staffie.

Sunday and One Drop
Sunday and One Drop, a couple of kitties we recently moved to Oregon

Pet Travel Question: Can Cats Move to Sri Lanka?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Vivien
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: Siamese mix
From: UK
To: Sri Lanka

We are moving to Sri Lanka in two to three months (about July 2011) and want to take our two 14-year-old cats with us. I have been told that Sri Lanka is not accepting cats from BSE infected countries at the moment. Does anyone know when or if this will change? Or is there a way we can get around this? They are both house cats and will remain so and have been with us since birth as their mother was mine too. Any help will be gratefully received.

Thank you,

Hi Vivien,

Thank you for your question; we understand that this is a tough situation. We've previously discussed the issue of moving cats to Sri Lanka and found that it might not be possible. 

In case it helps, here are the pet import requirements for Sri Lanka as well as another link that you may find helpful. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, we'd suggest you contact the relevant authorities:

Director General, Department of Animal Production & Health P.O. Box 13 P, readeniya 20400 , Sri Lanka Tel. 00-94-91-2388195, Fax. 00-94-81-2388619

Good luck figuring out your situation, Vivien, and please contact us if you need anything else.

Ten Ways to Be an Earth-Friendly Pet Owner

Thursday, April 21, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

Earth Day is not only an excuse to celebrate springtime, it's an opportunity to think about how we can do better. There's always room for improvement when it comes to recycling, reusing and reducing, and pet owners have specific ways they can lighten the load on Mother Earth.

This Earth Day, here are a few ways that pet owners can make a difference:

1. Spay and neuter your pets. This is the most important way you can avoid overpopulation and help preserve the earth's limited resources in the long run.

2. Choose toys and accessories made from organic, natural and biodegradable materials rather than chemical-laden plastics that take years longer to break down.

3. Reuse plastic bags from the grocery store as litter box liners and doggie clean-up bags.

4. When buying the pet products you need, try your best to support green companies (those with sustainable business practices, those that rely on natural ingredients, etc...).

5. Check the labels of shampoos and flea and tick treatments to avoid possibly dangerous chemicals (to humans and to the environment). This guide from the Natural Resources Defense Council will help you choose the smartest and safest products.

6. Visit your local farmer's market and support local entrepreneurs, who often use more earth-friendly methods due to their smaller-scaled operations.

7. For cleaning up messes, try to use basic cleaning ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar rather than hard-core cleaning liquids that may do harm to the environment when they re-enter the water supply.

8. If you're planning to travel with your pets, keep your car well-maintained in order to get the best gas mileage possible, and if you're planning to buy a dog-friendly car in the future, do your best to avoid a gas guzzler.

9. Go as paperless as possible. If your vet sends postcard reminders, ask her to email you instead. Unsubscribe from paper newsletters, and try to be removed from all junk mail lists.

10. Turn off the TV, ignore the car keys, and go for a walk. Exercise helps keep dogs healthy and happy, and it doesn't put a strain on the environment.

What are your earth-friendly pet tips? Share them here or on our Facebook wall!

What We're Reading: Five Fun Pet Blogs

Thursday, April 14, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

A few months ago we featured several great pet bloggers in honor of the BlogPaws Conference, and since we love keeping up with all the latest pet trends and travel news, we thought it was time to do a more current round up of a few top pet blogs! Some you'll recognize and some you won't, but each of these sites has something important -- and often fun -- to add to the conversation.

Dog Jauntfido friendly logo
Thanks to plenty of timely and topical pet travel information, this remains one of our favorite pet travel blogs to read. Few other online pet enthusiasts provide as much "dog on the street" information as Mary-Alice Pomputius and her Cavalier King Spaniel, Chloe, and we always learn something when we check in with them.

Fido Friendly Cover
FIDO Friendly

It's a print and digital magazine that covers all the bases of being a dog owner, and they have a pretty fun blog to boot. Enjoy the latest product reviews, celebrity news and travel information, and celebrate all the fun parts of being a pet owner.

Pete Wedderburn
This former veterinarian lives in Ireland and now devotes much of his time to answering pet health questions and covering animal issues through various media. Combining expert knowledge with smart commentary on current events, this blog's tone is both newsy and engaging.

The BarkBark Magazine cover
This one's a newer discovery for us, but its frequent pet news updates and real person, real time discussions (they recently launched an open thread called Off Leash) clearly make it an informative place to spend some time. Like FIDO Friendly, this is the companion blog to a magazine.

Will My Dog Hate Me?
The author of the light-hearted yet educational book of the same name also has a blog that's, you guessed it, light-hearted and educational. Follow the adventures of Frankie, a cute mixed breed pup who has inspired  his owner to cover topics like animal welfare, pet behavior and more.

What are your favorite go-to pet blogs? Share them with us here or on our Facebook page!

Pets influence holiday travel plans, survey shows

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 by Rachel Farris


Pets influence holiday travel plans, survey shows

International pet travel survey finds travelers pick holiday lodging, destination with pets in mind

AUSTIN, Texas - November 9, 2010:  PetRelocation.com released today the results of its first annual Holiday Pet Travel Survey of more than 7000 pet owners worldwide, finding that sixty-three percent of pet owners say they travel at least 50 mi. (80 km.) with their pets during the holidays.

Staying Stateside

Of pet owners who travel with pets, a majority of them (71 percent) choose to travel within their state of residence during the holidays.  Twenty-eight percent travel out of the state, and eighty-five percent of those who travel with pets for the holidays said that their pets influence the distance of how far they'll travel for a holiday vacation.

Short and Sweet

Pet owners keep their holiday travel short and sweet.  Most pet owners surveyed (45 percent) typically spend between $50-$100 on pet-related products and services during the holiday season.  Eighty-five percent of those who travel with pets take holiday trips which last seven days or less, with the remainder of pet owners indicating their trips can last up to two weeks.  A majority of pet owners (57 percent) said their pets do not influence the length of their holiday travel.

Friends and Family

While a third of respondents said they stay at pet-friendly hotels during their holiday travel, 66 percent said they stay at the home of friends or family during the holidays.  This may have something to do with the availability of pet-friendly lodging during the holiday season-a majority of pet owners (85 percent) said that their pets influence where they choose to stay during the holidays.

Pets are Family, Too

Of those who travel with pets during the holidays, nearly all of them indicated they only travel with dogs.  When asked why they choose to travel with their pets, a majority of pet owners (71 percent) said it was "because pets are part of the family and should be with the rest of the family during holiday occasions."

Holiday Challenges

When traveling with pets during the holidays, 42 percent of pet owners listed making sure their pets don't become stressed as their biggest challenge.  Finding pet-friendly transportation or airlines was the second biggest challenge according to 28 percent of travelers with pets during the holiday season.  This is a similar sentiment to the 2010 Summer Pet Travel Survey (http://www.petrelocation.com/summer-pet-travel-survey) results in which pet owners indicated airline fees and airline selection as the most difficult road blocks in their pet travel plans.

About PetRelocation.com

PetRelocation.com, the pet travel and transportation industry's leading service provider, offers full-service arrangements using pet friendly airlines for domestic and international pet travel services.  Founded in 2004 in Austin, Texas, PetRelocation.com places a strong emphasis on assisting companies with relocating employees who own pets. For more information, please visit http://www.PetRelocation.com.

Media Contact: Rachel Farris, Rachel@PetRelocation.com / +1-512-264-9800 x124




Five Dog Books Worth Checking Out

Thursday, August 26, 2010 by Caitlin and Rachel on BlogPaws

The perfect antidote to the noise and chaos of daily life is making the time to dive headlong into a good book. For those of us with dogs in our lives (and especially those who might be moving with their dogs!) , these peaceful moments are perfect for learning more about what makes our pups tick; for as much as we love our dogs, they often tend to be confusing bundles of instincts, emotions, nerves and personality quirks.

Ranging from light-hearted to a little more serious, these dog-themed books will hold your attention, provide a break from reality and maybe, just maybe, shed some light on the complex creatures we've made our companions.

Am I Boring My Dog? by Edie Jarolim

It’s fun to have a dog, but it’s not always easy. Follow the journey of a first-time dog owner (who also runs the pet travel blog Will my dog hate me?) as she encounters the joys and challenges of bringing a pup into her life. Filled with useful information and delivered in a tone that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this guide is both entertaining and informative.

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know
by Alexandra Horowitz

Written by a psychology professor and dog lover, this thoughtful book explores the interior life of dogs by viewing the world from their unique perspective. The things that drive dogs’ behavior – their incredible senses of smell, their endless tendencies to watch their human companions – are discussed using careful research and reveal a point of view different from the average dog guide. For example, Horowitz steers clear of anthropomorphism and disagrees with the oft-touted “pack approach” to dog training.

One Nation Under Dog by Michael Schaffer

Over the past few years, much of society has elevated the status of dogs from tolerated to celebrated, a fact that has created countless profitable pet-related industries and shaped the landscape of public spheres and private lives. In his investigation of America’s dog culture – the products, the pampering and the humans behind it all – author Michael Schaffer finds that we are indeed a nation obsessed with our “fur babies.”

The Difficulty of Being a Dog
by Roger Grenier, translated by Alice Kaplan

Comprised of forty three literary essays translated from French, this isn’t your average dog book. It’s certainly worth picking up, though; lovers of literature should appreciate the poetic writing style and will enjoy learning about the connections that have been forged between various authors and their dogs. This essay collection looks at dogs with a sense of wonder and affection, something we bet many of you will appreciate.

Cat travel restrictions from USA to Sri Lanka

Monday, August 9, 2010 by Pet Travel Questions

We have plans to move to Sri Lanka. We have a rude awakening to learn today that we can't take our 2 adorable domestic (house born bread 2 cats) to Sri Lanka as cats are prohibited from the USA. First the Director said "Ok will send the pre-approval letter" (last Friday 8/6) and today 8/9 Monday he says that he's not giving the approval..... USA is BSE? status, and not approved. Why can't he intelligently take case by case with approval of all vetrinarian documents from this end! Please advise us what to do? (This was news to the US Embassy too and they will investigate) We appreciate your help, as these are like our children and it is dampening life changing decisions for us.
Hi Giovanni,

I'm so sorry to hear of your frustration in trying to relocate your cats to Sri Lanka and my heart truly goes out to you.

PetRelocation.com's understanding is that at this time, all cats from the USA are restricted from being import into Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka is currently in the process of declaring the USA BSE free status.

BSE refers to Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad-cow disease. 

However, as of June 23, 2010 agweekly.com posted the following:

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad-cow disease

You must have approval from the Director General / Animal Production & Health of Sri Lanka for import of any pet, which involves a permit issued from his office.  There doesn't appear to be a "work-around" process.

You more than likely already have this info, but here it is for easy reference:

Director General, Department of Animal Production & Health P.O. Box 13 P, readeniya 20400 , Sri Lanka Tel. 00-94-91-2388195, Fax. 00-94-81-2388619

If you take your pet without a prior permit to Sri Lanka, your pet will be re-exported to your country (of origin).

More information on importing pets to Sri Lanka can be found on our website.

Thank you for your inquiry and I wish you the best of luck in whichever decision/path you choose for you and your family. 

Getting Friendly with FIDO Friendly Magazine

Monday, June 28, 2010 by Rachel Farris

FIDO Friendly TravelIf you're anything like us, you can't get enough of reading about your favorite topic:  pets!  That's why we we're so excited to be featured in FIDO Friendly magazine, a pet magazine that features dog travel articles, tips on pet friendly hotels and destinations for your next big escape, and the latest and greatest pet products for your furry best friend.

You can get a sneak peek of the article below, or pick up the August edition of FIDO Friendly at your local newsstand or bookstore.  Also, as a special bonus for all our fans and followers, FIDO Friendly is offering a 20% discount on new subscribers from PetRelocation.com.

To subscribe, just click here to head on over to FIDO Friendly's subscription page.  The coupon code to use when subscribing to take advantage of the 20% discount is "JUNIOR."
FIDO Friendly Magazine: On the Move with PetRelocation.com

Cat Travel Lovers: Recall of Iams canned cat food in North America

Thursday, June 10, 2010 by Rachel Farris

Iams cat food recallThis post is for the cat travel fans of ours.  Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has issued a voluntary recall of specific lots of its Iams canned cat food in North America.

Diagnostic testing indicated that the product may contain insufficient levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1), which is essential for cats. Cats that were fed these canned products as their only food are at greater risk for developing signs of thiamine deficiency.

Iams ProActive Health canned Cat and Kitten Food distributed in North America has been affected. No other Iams pet food is involved, so international cat travel lovers shouldn't be affected!

How can you tell if your cat or kitten has thiamine deficiency?  From the Iams recall notice:

Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include loss of appetite, salivation, vomiting and weight loss. In advanced cases, signs may include ventroflexion (downward curving) of the neck, wobbly gait, falling, circling and seizures. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat is displaying any of these signs. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible. 

For further information or a product refund, pet owners can call P&G toll-free at 877-340-8826 (Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST).

Top Five Pet Friendly Destinations to Travel to with Pets on KLM Cargo

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 by Rachel Farris

We move pets all the time using KLM and have outlined some pet friendly perks of the top destinations accessible on KLM Cargo flights. 

1.  Amsterdam, Netherlands

In addition to hosting the AF-KL Cargo Animal Hotel at its main airport, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the city of Amsterdam offers pet lovers plenty of pet friendly options.

The Ibis Amsterdam City Stopera hotel is ideally located in the city centre a few minutes from the Stopera Opera House Dam Square Rembrandtplein and Waterlooplein.  They allow up to two dogs per night for a fee of 5 euros/night per dog.  Pet owners who want to get out and enjoy some of the Netherlands beautiful parks can stop by Sarphatipark, which has a doggie playground on the opposite side of a small pond.  It's also conveniently located to Albert Cuyp Market, which makes a great picnic stop!  De Bakkerswinkel also offers outdoor seating for pets and their owners.

Since Amsterdam is AF-KL Cargo's main hub, there are plenty of pet friendly flights for pets from the US and other international airports all over the world.  Pets that fly into Amsterdam will need to clear through customs at Schiphol and will need to meet the Netherlands Pet Import Rules.

We moved Murphy to Singapore using KLM Airlines - here he enjoys a ride on a pedicab!We moved Murphy to Singapore using KLM Airlines - here he enjoys a ride on a pedicab!2. Singapore, Singapore

Singapore is a popular destination for expats and their pets.  There are plenty of leash-free dog parks available in Singapore where pets can run and socialize.  Bishan Park Dog Run, one of the largest dog parks in Singapore, is fenced in and centrally located.  Weekends can get cramped but it has some perks:  big breed dogs are kept separated from small-breed pets at the park.  While the park is open daily 24 hours, it is only lit from 7pm-7am.   For more dog parks, check out Time Out Singapore's dog park rundown!

AF-KL Cargo offers pet flights to Singapore Changi from their hub in Amsterdam.  For information on rules and requirements for moving your pet to Singapore, see our Singapore Pet Travel page.

3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Every dog has its day in Kuala Lumpur!  Dogathon, an annual carnival of dogs and their owners, was started in 1997 as a 2.5km run to benefit Pro-Kasih, a public education program that supports catch-and-release spay and neuter services to help control Malaysia's stray dog problems.  Now in its thirteen year, the Dogathon offers games and events for pets and their owners. 

Pets can travel to Malaysia via AF-KL Cargo's pet flights from Amsterdam, but will need to fulfill a seven-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur at the government quarantine facility. Check out our Malaysia Pet Travel page for more details.

4. Stockholm, Sweden

If you're looking for a pet friendly place to stay in Stockholm, try the Grand Hotel Intercontinental, which allows up to two dogs of any size for no additional fees.  For a little exercise for your pooch, check out Vasaparken, a dog-friendly park located in Vasastaden and named after the Royal Vasa Dynasty.  Your pet will feel like he's king of the castle!

Don't forget to check out the Sweden Pet Travel rules before you go.

Here's Wheezy, a Boston Terrier we moved to Bali using KLM Airlines!Here's Wheezy, a Boston Terrier we moved to Bali using KLM Airlines!5. Bali, Indonesia

Bali is an exotic location that has been booming with tourism and business-which means the pets followed shortly behind!  The Bali Street Dog Foundation is a non-profit animal welfare organization that aims to reduce the numbers of unhealthy, neglected street dogs in Bali and hosts occasional events to raise awareness.  Most recently, they had a Fun Walk for Animals to help raise money to control the spread of rabies within Bali.  If you run out of supplies for your favorite pet, not to worry:  the Bali Pet Shop has four locations in Sanur, Denpasar, Kuta and Seminyak selling "complete products for your lovely animal."


Pet Travel In Cabin: Five Things to Remember

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 by Rachel Farris

If you've got a pint-sized dog or cat, chances are you'll want to travel with him at some point in the cabin of the plane.  While it may sound like fun, traveling with a pet can be a lot of work if you aren't prepared.  Here are some tips for in cabin pet travel with a pet.

1.  Practice perfect "Pettiquette. TM

If you're planning on traveling with a pet, you're not just representing yourself-but every pet loving person who wants to travel with their pet!  Looking for a rundown of rules of the road-or sky-to follow?  JetBlue's "PettiquetteTM" policy gives travelers with pets some convenient guidelines to help them act as considerate pet ambassadors when at the airport or on the plane.

2.  Accidents happen.  

Be sure to bring along wet wipes, paper towels and pet waste bags in case your travel partner has an "oops" at the airport or while flying.  A pet travel kit, like the one offered by JetBlue for $20 on their site, ensures you'll always have a wipe, water bowl and dog toy handy.

3.  Skip the sedation. 

While you might think you're doing your pet a favor by slipping him a little something before the flight, you could be potentially endangering your pet's health and safety.   At altitude, pets can have adverse reactions to sedation that they might not normally have at sea level.  To help with your pet's anxiety, bring toys and treats that he can play with while flying and don't forget the importance of crate training.  You can also try aromatherapy options like Earth Heart's Canine Calm or for cats the popular anti-stress product Feliway.

4.  Head for the back row. 

If you're flying coach, be prepared to be booked in one of the last rows of the aircraft so that you won't disrupt other travelers.  Don't forget that you'll need to book your flight early.  JetBlue allows up to four pets per flight which means that in order to secure your pet's ticket, you'll want to call ahead.

5.  Check the carrier. 

Purchase the largest size carrier for your pet's travel to give him extra leg room for your flight.  But buyer beware:  you'll want to make sure it will still fit under the seat in front of you, or it won't be allowed on the flight.  JetBlue offers a custom-made JetPawsTM pet carrier designed by Cindy Adams from Jazzy Park Avenue Dog products that is guaranteed to fit under their aircraft seats. 


Pet friendly airlines

PetRelocation.com's Pet Friendly Airline Spotlight series features our favorite pet friendly airlines for travel with pets.  These Spotlights will highlight one airline each week, Monday through Thursday, through the month of May.  We'll take a look at the various aspects of their pet programs, including amenities offered for pets, how to book a pet flight on each airline and their fee structures.  For a look at the rest of our Airline Spotlight series, check out the Airline Spotlight page or on Twitter as #PetReloAS.

Three Free Pet Friendly Resources from JetBlue

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 by Rachel Farris

JetBlue JetPaws Pet Travel GuideSince its inception, pet friendly airline JetBlue Airways has allowed pets to fly in the cabin with their owners.  However, in December of 2008, JetBlue began offering their JetPaws Pet Program, which offers pet owners not only a convenient way to travel with their pet as well as pet travel products and information.  Here are three free resources JetBlue offers travelers with pets:

1) The JetPaws Travel Guide

If you're looking for "the what's, where's, when's and how's" of "jetting" with your pet, the JetPaws Travel Guide offers great information on JetBlue's pet jetting policy.  They even have pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and animal hospitals listed for their major hubs to ensure that you and your pet will enjoy a purr-fect stay.

2) JetPaws Pet Travel Checklist

Want to hit the tarmac running with your best four-legged friend?  The JetPaws Pet Travel Checklist gives you a rundown of what you'll need in order to hop on a flight with JetBlue and get on your way.  Use this handy checklist on your day of departure to keep everything organized and your pre-travel jitters away.

3) JetBlue PettiquetteTM

Need to keep up with the McTerriers?  Look no further than JetBlue's PettiquetteTM page, a handy list of social graces for pet travel.  Need to look the part?  JetBlue's got you covered.  Online you can purchase a special JetBlue line of pet travel products made by Cindy Adams from Jazzy Park Avenue Dog products. 

Pet friendly airlinesPet friendly airlines

PetRelocation.com's Pet Friendly Airline Spotlight series features our favorite pet friendly airlines for travel with pets.  These Spotlights will highlight one airline each week, Monday through Thursday, through the month of May.  We'll take a look at the various aspects of their pet programs, including amenities offered for pets, how to book a pet flight on each airline and their fee structures.  For a look at the rest of our Airline Spotlight series, check out the Airline Spotlight page or on Twitter as #PetReloAS.


How To: Book a Flight on JetBlue for Your Pet

By Pet Relocation | May 11th, 2010

JetBlue allows only dogs and cats in the cabin of their passenger flights through their JetPaws Pet Program.  As an added bonus to travelers with pets, you can now earn 300 TrueBlue Points each way when traveling with your pet!  Here's how to book a flight on JetBlue for your pet.

JetBlue JetPaws Pet Program1)  First you will need to determine whether your species of pet can travel in cabin.  JetBlue only allows dogs and cats in the passenger cabin of their aircraft.  If you have a dog or cat, go to step 2. If you have another species of pet, go to step 4.

2) You may take a dog or cat into the cabin if the weight of your pet (including transport container) does not exceed 20 pounds and the size of the carrier is under 17" L x 12.5" W x 8.5" H. If your pet and his carrier exceed these limits, go to step 4.  

Travel Carrier for In-Cabin Pets:  JetBlue sells a cozy pet travel product called the JetPawsTM carrier, designed to fit underneath the seat in front of you.  They are available online for $50 at JetBlue's ShopBlue shopping area and also at the airport.

Alternatively you may use any carrier that does not exceed 17"L x 12.5"W x 8.5"H. Your pet must be able to stand up and move around in the carrier with ease, and the carriers must have a leak proof bottom, be well ventilated, and can be either soft or hard-sided.

3) Call to Book Your Flight:  To make reservations by phone, please call: 1-800-JET-BLUE (538-2583).

When you call to book your flight, you will press 2 for new reservations, and then 1 to speak with a reservation attendant.  You will need to inform them that you will be traveling with pets so they can reserve the space for your pet on the flight.  "We only allow up to four pets to travel per flight," said Alison Croyle, JetBlue's Manger of Corporate Communications.

4) Pay for Your Pet's Flight:  There is a nonrefundable pet fee of $100 each way ($200 round trip).

5)  If your pet cannot travel in cabin due to size or weight restrictions, or if you have a pet other than a dog or a cat, you'll need to contact another pet friendly airline that will allow your pet to travel as cargo or as excess luggage.

Pet friendly airline spotlightPetRelocation.com's Pet Friendly Airline Spotlight series features our favorite pet friendly airlines for travel with pets.  These Spotlights will highlight one airline each week, Monday through Thursday, through the month of May.  We'll take a look at the various aspects of their pet programs, including amenities offered for pets, how to book a pet flight on each airline and their fee structures.  For a look at the rest of our Airline Spotlight series, check out the Airline Spotlight page or on Twitter as #PetReloAS.

The Evolution of Pet Travel Crates

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 by Rachel Farris

The question that the Continental rep had is very common within the show community too because nobody trusts the plastic folding dog crates due to their terrible design, but there is a massive difference between ours and the plastic dog crate folding style.

Way back in the 1960s when the folding style was developed and patented, they used the same style of latches that we and others still use today. Oddly enough, they were actually designed for use specifically within the aircraft industry - they wanted something that would not loosen when operating on a plane with all of the usual take offs, landings and vibration. One of the people I have met over the years was in St Louis and he was something to do with the maintenace department in the old TWA airline which was based up there. He pointed out that the original "quarter turn screws" were actually imprinted with "L10-11" which if you recall was a type of plane some years back, because that was the plane that they were first designed for specifically to take what a plane would throw at them. Of course as the years passed, they started using them in all kinds of planes, not just that one model.

Between the crates that were first made by Bob McKee and the others that followed through the years, there certainly have been tens if not hundreds of thosands of dogs flown not just domestically in America, but all over the world on all of the airlines. All of the manufacturers have sold into the overseas markets as well as through north and south America, so they are used all over. The serious dog exhibitors and their professional handlers go somewhere almost every week. When there is a National Specialty show for a certain breed there can be an entry of hundreds to over 2000 dogs as there were in the Golden Retriever show back in October in OK. A good number of those dogs are flown in because the people will not drive that far if they live on either coast for example and that is just one show of hundreds held annually.

To be honest, the way you would have to fold the crate up if using one of our folding style, requires you to turn the crate upside down before doing anything with the 8 screws - gravity will not allow the crate to fold upwards of course, so it has to be placed on the roof before loosening the screws. Since the key elements are the front and rear panels and the hinges for those are on the top, there is NO way for them to allow the crates to accidentally fold, because that would require them to be held up as they are being folded inwards. Trust me, we have tried and it is extremely difficult so every Tejas crate is shipped with an instruction sheet that explains the ONLY way they can fold their crate is to turn it upside down first and follow the steps laid out. As we have seen ourselves at shows over the last 26 years, even if you don't engage all of the screws, the crate still stays upright - and that is allowing for a large dog jumping on top several times to be groomed. The laws of physics exclude the possibility of the entire crate from folding down unless ALL of the screws have been disengaged and the front panel, then the rear panel being pushed inwards, so that they can fold flat onto the roof below. They are specifically engineered so that you MUST do it in a certain way or the crate cannot fold correctly, so again, it is basically impossible for all of that to happen by accident.

The dog show people have been using this design since back in the 1960s and in my years as one of them, I have never once heard of a crate folding accidentally and I have to believe that it is the way they are engineered. Again though, if the majority of the crates that your customers would use would be a single use, or used only a few times, I would suggest that the rigid sided version would be the better choice for reasons of cost. The dog show people do LOVE the folding style because they are so much easier to store and travel with when they arrive at the destination city. For example, they can easily fold the crate and put it in the trunk of a rental car, whereas with the rigids, they would require a larger SUV or mini van to handle the fixed-side crate. Due to the design of the folding style, they can save money on every journey and of course when entering hotels or the show building, the crate is basically just a 5 inch deep suitcase and can be easily carried instead of dealing with something like a traditional 400/500. Your typical clients though would not reap the typical rewards as do my dog exhibitors, so there probably would not be as much justification and they could get what they need from the rigid version.....

Some of the people that show, particularly the pro handlers, travel with many dogs in a specially made box truck or an RV. Inside they will have a mixture of sizes for the various breeds and they are all stacked 2 or 3 high as they travel as much as 60,000 miles a year. We have done entire box trucks filled with crates for people and we use the same stainless steel latches to secure the upper crates to the lower crate. WIth the bigger models - a 300 or larger - we use 2 latches on the front and back instead of just the one which is fine for the smaller, lighter breeds. I was actually intending to bring a stacked set with me to show you the rigid model and you can see the level of rigidity and safety that they provide. Even when using the folding version, they seem to have done fine - and again, this approach has been going for over 30 years without any known failures. I have never done any load testing as such, but years ago, the original manufacturer used to have a picture on his brochure of 4 folding crates spread out in a rectangle and he had a car lowered onto the four crates - a wheel on each roof. Pretty impressive stuff really, bearing in mind that the crates were the folding style and I suppose even a small car has to weigh well over a ton, so each crate was supporting at least 600 pounds.....

I use the same aircraft grade aluminum that he did, so admittedly the idea may not work with other types, but the overall fit and finish available today through the computer aided design and computer driven machines provide a very accurately made and far superior crate in terms of what we offer these days and as you will see, the way the finished article goes together, there is little doubt that they would hold well over a hundred pounds because the average Bouvier is about 125 lbs, as is a Rottweiler and many others, so when they jump up there for grooming, there isn't even a flexing on the roof - the whole point of ours is that they CAN support even the large dogs for grooming!! As I may have said earlier, we know that we are massively over built, but we do that deliberately so that should something bad happen, the dogs will have a better chance of survival. For example, although it is very unlikely that the metal would even flex on the floor or the roof when the dogs are inside or on top, we actually provide two support beams or stiffeners on each, so that the roof and floor act as a "roll cage" when things go wrong. Remind me to tell you about out clients accidents and the outcome for their dogs - they are pretty good!!

The issue of heat is another issue that is very much in our favour. When vendors go to the outdoor shows, many use the "EZ-Up" brand of tents for shade. They have a metal frame and a plastic sheeting as the roof and depending on the weather, we might use the walls for protection. When at the summer shows in particular, we are all cooking under the tents, because the radiant heat which is what does the damage comes straight through the plastic fabric of the roof. A lot of the exhibitors use them as well, but as they have all found, the dogs are "in the shade" under the plastic but are still getting far too hot.

If left in the open, the VariKennel type of crate will absorb and retain the heat into the plastic material and the dogs can quickly become overheated. Ironically, the aluminum actually keeps the dogs cooler than the plastic because the aluminum reflects the radiant heat to a great extent. That and the far better ventilation (the number of holes and their location are key) allows the heat to disapate more easily. The dog seen on my website had a VERY thick black coat and was in his folding 500 done in the silver vein color. Even if he wasn't shown at every location, he travelled with me around the nation and I could leave him out in the sun all day even whe the temps were up in the low 90s. If anyone asked me about whether they get too hot in a metal crate, I could walk them over quietly to my own crate and they could look inside. He would be in there sound asleep without any stress, with a shallow, easy breathing pattern and while somewhat counter intuitive, the people immediately saw for themselves, that he was doing better in there than their own dogs were in a plastic crate, even if sitting in the shade of a tent or a building.

As you know, the plastic crates meet the minimum percentage in terms of ventilated space, but the way the spaces are located certainly doesn't help the dogs. The side panels or holes are typically on the upper half, so there is no flow at all down at the floor level where the dogs are lying. Worse yet, the entire rear panel normally has no holes at all, so that too creates a dead area. We place three rows high and three rows lower down on the sides and the rear panel, so whether my dog is standing or lying down, there is plenty of airflow past his face and that has been a VERY popular feature of our products. Again, my typical buyers are not the once in a blue moon dog shippers, these folks use the crates several days every week throughout many years, so they have very expert experience about keeping their dogs cool and comfortable.

We had responded to quite frequent requests from people that have the double coated breeds (Malamutes for example that will begin to pant at anything over 50 degrees), the snub-nosed breeds like Pekinese, Bulldogs and the rest, who again really struggle with other crates and crate training due to the lack of ventilation in those products and the location of the holes that are there. According to the owners, the giant breeds like Mastiffs, St Bernards and the others again seem to do better with this type of crate than with any others. I think the same rationale applies regardless of the breed.


Saturday, December 13, 2008 by Rachel Farris

Where would the war on terror be without the faithful Kalashnikov? Since it rolled into production in the 50s, the AK-47 is the best selling and affordable assault rifle ever produced. This has led to it being synonymous with poor freedom fighters and terrorists the world over. It is hard to imagine an extremist propaganda video without at least one person holding one of these fearsome icons; simply seeing a drawing of the weapon is likely to stir patriotic blood on both sides of the conflict.

It would be nice to think that the Kalashnikov was an iconography that Russia (a member of the UN Security Council) would like to move away from. Since 1991, the successor state of the USSR - the Russian Federation has enjoyed a colourful political and social upheaval.

Of course for the Russian people this is nothing new. Every generation since Peter the Great and the founding of St Petersburg has lived through similar extremities.Cities built on bones, violently resolved protests, mutinies and revolutions; the cold Russian winter seems to be a season that can not be abated.

Boris Yeltsin ֖ the first democratically elected Russian president took great lengths to attempt to warm his country. Despite opponents nearly impeaching him, Yeltsin managed to sell and privatise the previously communist states industries. Consortiums responsible for totalitarian socialist policies and enforcement were also considered illegal and disbanded despite a military showdown resulting in the Russian Constitutional Crisis of 1993 and civilian casualties. In total somewhere between 300 and 2,000 people were killed in the conflict.

Putin - Russia's latest president - is enjoying a popularity rating that at 70% would leave most politicians standing by-the-way-side and asking for directions in the best Bond villain accent they could muster. Despite this the current Russian regime is criticized for corruption and media manipulation by Western countries, particularly former cold war enemies - the United States.

Despite faltering shortly after the change over - the collapse of the Iron Curtain and Russias new and friendly approach to capitalism, commercialism and Johnny foreigner has lead to a boom in Russian economy and military spending. This means that a great deal of jobs have been made available in the main industries of metallurgy and petroleum. More and more people are travelling to Russia for work and are becoming expats in the process.

If you are one such expat then by now you are likely to be thinking about how your little buddy is going to be feeling about moving to the home of Vodka and Communism.

Russia is the largest single country in the world҅ by a factor of 2. Due to this cultural experiences and climate are going to vary depending on where you choose to call your home from home. For an example of what to expect lets have a little look at Moscow.

In Moscow you should have no problem finding healthcare for your little friend. There are plenty of well educated veterinarians available and many will even make home visits. People like their pets in Russia and it shows. It maybe difficult to find such services outside of the capital and major cities but we are confident you will not be left wanting for medical help when your little fuzzball can be described as something a decidedly more fluid, sticky and smelly ball. Food and treats should not be very hard to locate either.

Unfortunately for Rover he may not be able to roam far unattended if you live in the city center. Most of the city is made up of flats and letting a puppy roam through the garbage littered and fast moving traffic would probably not be advised. If you yourself are an occasional member of the fast moving traffic you are unlikely to find that a park is never more then 15 minuets away.

It is likely that your animals will adjust far quicker then you after the pet transport. If you do get home sick however you can always check out the Scandinavia restaurant on Tverskaya street. With its summer deck and courtyard surrounded with large trees - which muffles out a lot of the street noise - you will be able to relax and chat to the other expats that congregate there. During the winter the dining is good inside.

Despite Russias questionable past; it's magical, mystical and above all down right interesting character will ensure that you have an affair to remember.

Pet Care in the Philippines

Saturday, December 13, 2008 by Rachel Farris

Before arranging pet travel to Philippines you must contact the Philippine Embassy or Consulate closest to you. If already in Philippines then contact the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry, Animal Health Division (AHD).

This growth was a result of an increasing awareness among pet owners as well as general consumer behavior. Pet ownership was not only restricted to those who were seeking pets as a means of companionship but it also became a significant earning factor for those who were into commercial pet breeding.

Most of the newer pet owners prefer pure breed dogs and cats as this is also treated as a form of investment and leads to higher expenditure in pet food, grooming, and other supplies. The general increase in the prices of different pet care products and pet food was also much higher and furthermore this increase did not affect the volume growth of the market.

The dog and cat food segment of the pet food market remained the biggest and showed a 9% increase in volume. Dog food also saw significant increase in price of the pet care products and pet food but it still outsold all other types of pet care products and pet food.

Dogs are the most preferred pets in Philippines and consequently the expenditure on them as pets is much higher than any other type of pet. This too was a factor that contributed to the steady growth of the pet food market and pet product industry and things like a dog crate.

Another factor that seriously influenced the growth of dog and cat pet food market was the one stop stopping experience that became popular in 2004. This was a very convenient way of shopping for all pet owners. Such a shopping center would feature a veterinary clinic, pet shops for products and pet food, and a parlor for pet grooming services.

Nestle and Masterfoods are the top two competitors in the pet care product and pet foods market in Philippines. The competition between these two has always been a close finish and in 2005 Nestle barely managed to emerge in front after a long time of playing catch-up. The competition is expected to get even tougher with the entrance of San Miguel Corp and the launch of its dog food Petko.

The market is expected to show a continuous and healthy growth throughout 2010.

Traveling and Living with Pets in Russia!

Saturday, December 13, 2008 by Rachel Farris

When a tourist visits Russia, he sees a number of pet vendors selling kitten and puppies kept in baskets in and around the Metro stations. What they dont know is that these vendors are just amateur and they can actually find a place to deal with large professional group of pet dealers. So, in St. Petersburg, you need to reach Polyustrovskiy Market on Saturday and Sundays. You would find the market dramatically changing on these days. It turns into the "Ptichiy Rynok"or the bird market but donҒt go on the name. You can find here almost anything that you can think of related to pets and pets supplies. What is more despite the market being outdoors all through the winters, you can easily find pets that are more suited for warmer climate like tropical fish, parrots, turtles, canaries, Chihuahuas, and gerbils being sold here.

You would find it interesting to note that the market of pet food and pet care products is not that old. Just a decade ago, Russia was introduced to it. They were accustomed to feeding their pets with fresh meat or fish or other leftovers. One had the option of imported pet foods but it was costly and not many people had knowledge about the benefits of pet food.

Times have changed and one look at the variety of pet products present in the market could reveal easily the extent of its penetration. Pet owners have a variety of choices right from economy, mid price, premium, and super premium pet foods. Consumers are being bombarded with aggressive marketing including television and print media. Most Russians tend to read what the product labels says and as such you would find most of the products having labels containing detailed information about the products and also the website address where one can get further information.

Pedigree experts still dont recommend a diet of total manufactured pet food and as such pet owners in Russia still go for a mix of fresh meat, fish, and manufactured pet food. It goes without saying that the potential for pet food growth is undoubtedly very high in Russia. One interesting fact observed by distributors is that the volume of sales growth is far higher in provinces and suburbs as compared to bigger cities. This signifies that pet owners in rural regions are also opening up to pet food. This is also because of the availability of economy and lower end priced products.

The overall condition of the Russian economy has improved and that has resulted in increased purchasing power of citizens here. They are willing to spend money on non-essential items and that is what pet food manufacturers are exploiting. They are offering their consumers with a variety of products. Even though low priced pet food is still the most popular yet the high end products are also making good progress.

Thus, the market is witnessing a lot of activity and it is going to increase in the coming time. Most of the premium brands are planning launch of new products targeting more specific needs of the pets. The market is surely very exciting for any new entrant as well as all the old players.  We can help with pet airlines that can help with your pet travel to Russia.

Relocating to Belgium?

Saturday, December 13, 2008 by Rachel Farris

A number of people who visit Brussels feel disappointed with the fact that the city does not compare in any way to other European capitals like London and . Many expatriates start disliking Brusselsthe moment they set foot on the land, and you might come across people who visited Belgium and did not really like it much. However, in case you have to relocate to Belgium for some reason or the other, then dont be disappointed, for a number of expatriates---especially those who have actually spent some time in Belgiumҗwill tell you about the numerous merits of living in Belgium

For one, you can find great accommodation in Brussels at amazingly low rates. Belgian property prices are on their way up now, but accommodation here is still quite cheap when compared to other parts of Europe. The country also has one of the most modern health care networks in the world, and you can be assured that you will get professional medical help as and when you need it easily. The country is populated with all kinds of bars and eateries serving its famed beer and food. The quality of the food that you get is exceptional, no matter where you eat, and Brussels claims to have more Michelin starred restaurants than even Paris. You can also catch an English movie as and when the fancy takes you, since most cinema houses always have something or the other from Hollywood playing.

On top of this, a number of Belgian stores also carry American merchandise, especially food items, so there isnt much of a chance that you will have to miss out on munching your favorite cereal for breakfast. Cosmopolis and Delhaize are a couple of stores in Brussels that carry American products. If you are taking your pet along with you to Brussels, then you should not have any difficulty in finding the right kind of food for your pet. Belgian is full of pet lovers and their pets. Dogs, cats and birds are the most common pets here, with most pet shops doing brisk business.

Bringing your pets to Belgium is not a tedious process, even though you will need to fill out some forms. The most important thing that should ease your tension as a pet owner is that your pet will not need to be put in quarantine in Belgium. You can take as many as five pet animals with you as long as they are personal pets and are not intended to be sold. You will be required to carry a health certificate, a rabies certificate as well as an import permit for getting your pet into Belgium. Your pet need not be micro chipped if you are not planning to spend more than six months on Belgian soil. Detailed information regarding the import of pets to Belgium can be acquired from the APHIS Area Office in your state.

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in pet travel help or pet airlines recommendations to Belgium.

Tips on Taking Your Pets to Greece

Saturday, December 13, 2008 by Rachel Farris

Greece is one of the most, if not the most culturally rich countries in the world. So when in Greece, you can expect to keep getting your daily dose of history. But this is not all, for the country is known for its parties and night clubs and will in no way let the party animal down. You can expect to have a great time in Greece, whether you are a nature lover, a culture and literature reader or a party animal.

Tempting Greek cuisine awaits the gourmet or the food freak. Greek food is a delightful mixture of Oriental and European dishes and a lot of its special dishes are seasonal or festival related. On top of this, Greece is considered to be an ideal destination for shopping a wide variety of products. The high streets as well as tourist centric markets are open from morning till late at night throughout the week. So Greece offers something of interest to almost everybody. If you are relocating there with your family, then you may expect to live a life that is lively and eventful, since the island offers numerous methods of recreation to its people and tourists.

In case you are planning to take your pets to Greece, then you will need a health certificate for your cat or dog certifying that it is infection free, in good health and has had a rabies inoculation not more than 6 days before arrival in Greece. This is in compliance with World Health Organization (WHO) requirements .The same would be required when you leave Greece with your pet. This certificate needs to be validated by an appropriate medical authority in the country. This may also be done by the Greek consulate in your country. Apart from this, all animals entering Greece need to be fitted with an electronic identification system like a transponder or should have an identification tattoo. However, most expatriates will tell you that these things are generally not checked stringently and you can easily visit Greece and come back without once having to show any pet related papers to any authority. However, it is better to be safe than sorry and you should definitely try to follow the law of the land in case you do not want your pet to suffer any harm. While boarding kennels are available in Greece, there arent many, and even then most are a far cry from your regular American kennels in terms of facilities and standards. In case you require the services of one, you will need to make advance bookings.

A number of options are available for transferring your pets to Greece. Many pet airlines let you take your pets with you as excess baggage, which you may keep with you in the cabin or in the cargo hold. Whether your pet lands up in the cargo or not depends mainly upon its weight and the airline policy, and it is best to check with the airline you plan to book your pet travel with. You can also transfer your pet as air cargo. Another option is to get your pet transferred through pet transportation companies. This is generally the most convenient method for you and most comfortable for your pet since these companies take care of most of your pet transfer related issues themselves and take utmost care of your pet.


Taking Your Dog to the UK?

Saturday, December 13, 2008 by Rachel Farris

Taking your pet into the UK is bound to be one of the most tedious parts of your relocation to the United Kingdom. No doubt the process has become much more easier than it was earlier, but even after the US became a qualifying country for the Pet Travel Scheme, there are still a lot of shenanigans attached to taking your pet transport to the UK with you. Since the US now is an accepted country for the Pet Travel and Pass Port Scheme, you will be saved the hassle of putting your pet into quarantine for six months;but there are still a whole lot of eligibility requirements that your pet will have to meet before pets travel to the UK. Keep in mind however, that if even a single requirement is not met, then your pet might still find itself in quarantine.

The laws in Britain are not very kind to dogs or any other pets for that matter. So your dog is not allowed to travel with you even if it is extremely teenie weenie, since it is mandatory for all dogs to enter UK only as cargo, and thus your beloved pet will have to travel in the cargo hold of an airplane. Even if you are filthy rich and want to take your pet via your private jet or boat, the government will not allow you to. Then again, there are a number of dogs that are considered dangerous and are not allowed entry into the UK. Some of these breeds are the Japanese Tosa, the Filo Braziliero, the Pit Bull Terrier and the Dog Argentino.

Given below is a list of the requirements that your pets must meet in order to qualify for entry into the UK

In case you and your pet belong to the US or Canada, or any other qualifying country, then the pet should not have been put of the country for at least six months prior to entry in the UK.

Your dog should have been micro chipped at least six months before entry into the UK. Please ensure that the microchip meets ISO standards, or carry a micro chip reader with you at all times. Also, take care that you bring all the original microchip papers from your vet.

Any dog above the age of three months should be vaccinated against rabies at least six months prior to traveling. You should carry your pets rabies vaccine record, which should have details about: dog's date of birth/age (if known), date of vaccination, micro chip number, vaccine product name, vaccine batch number and also the date when the booster shot has to be administered.

Blood test results showing that the rabies neutralizing antibody titer in your dogҒs blood stream is equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml. This should be done at a lab that is recognized by the U.K. Pet Travel Scheme.

Apart from these, you will also need an official PETS certification and a Tick and Tapeworm Treatment and Certification.

Requirements for pet travel do keep changing and it would be best if you check with DEFRA (http://www.defra.gov.uk) regarding what you and your pet will need to be granted entry into the UK at least six months before you plan to travel.


Saturday, December 13, 2008 by Rachel Farris

Hong Kong was under the British rule for a long time and it was only in the year 1841 that it was ceded into China. But later on in the year 1997 Hong Kong was given a separate autonomy as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong lies between China and the South China Sea and is at least six times the size of Washington DC.

The hilly mountains and lowlands, the climate of Hong Kong enjoys the tropical monsoon season. The winter is usually humid and cold, and the spring to summer has the combination of heat and rains. It has more than 200 islands under its geographical territory and is often affected by the typhoons. Yet, it is vibrant and colorful with its cross cultural and diverse citizens. Though 90% of the people are of local religions, yet it has adapted other cultures with equal ease. But the main concern that it faces right now is rapid urbanization, which is leading to massive air and water pollution. Marine dumping is also a big issue, for which several environmental organizations are working closely.

The economy of the country is based on free market and international trade. Since, its natural resources are of limited volume; hence a great deal of money is spent on import, making it an expensive city. Though it suffered economically during 1989 to 1997 due to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Asian financial upheaval in 1998 and later on in 2001-02, yet it has grown stupendously in the years 2003 and 2004. The trade with China and tourism boom is the major driving force behind this growth factor. The major agricultural product it deals with is vegetables, fish and pork. The industries that are predominant in the economy are clothing, tourism, shipping, electronics, toys, watches and banking.

So, if you are traveling to Hong Kong or is planning to shift your base to Hong Kong, be aware of its various rules and regulations, which is actually many and is a bit complicated. And the same is true if you would like to relocate your pet as well. The rules are at times quite tedious, but if you have professional help, then it is not so complicated. And when it comes to the matter of pets travel, one also needs to very careful about your pet's health duing pet transport. Pets, like cats and dogs cannot sit at a fixed place for a long time and requires adequate care and food to keep it lively and stress free. The professionals in the field of pet relocation have the knowledge and expertise to take care of your pet and will give you the right advice regarding the documentation and rules of relocating the pet to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is also very particular of pet diseases and require specific clearance certificate to approve the transportation of your pets. Pet Moving Professionals also have the solution for this and get all the necessary paper work to ease the process of your pet's relocation. Many Pet Shipping companies will arrange for additional vaccinations and disease checking to ensure that you and your pets do not suffer from the tedious and time consuming process.

So be assured of your pets well being and travel to the place of your dream.