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Help Me Move My Pet

Pet News Round-Up: Pizza Cats and Sheep Dogs

Friday, August 29, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Okay, then: this fake Pizza Hut is run by cats (in Japan).

You're on holiday. Can you/should you rescue that stray cat?

The mystery of how dogs herd sheep.

Crazy products you can buy to spoil your pet.

How to relocate your pets to a new country. How to relocate yourself to a new country.

Meet Mac and Bubba, two frequent pet travelers with lots of great tips to share.

 

 

amal

Have a good weekend!

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!

 

 

Can Rabbits Travel to Japan?

Monday, July 28, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Emma
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Rabbit
Pet Breed: Holland Lop
From: United States
To: Japan

 

Dear PetRelocation,

I can't find any information on moving my bunny from the US to Japan, including whatever regulations they may have. Please help!

Thanks,

Emma

 

Hi Emma,

Thank you for your question! When seeking out pet import requirements for various countries it's often helpful to look at official government sites such as the USDA or the Ministry of Agriculture for the country of import.

In this case it looks like Japan's pet import information can be found on the Animal Quarantine Service page, and there is an overview of rabbit travel requirements specifically. You'll find here that you'll need an official health certificate, and upon arrival your rabbit will undergo a one-day quarantine inspection. Here's a link to a few frequently asked questions about importing rabbits into Japan.

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you think you'd like some help arranging your move. We've assisted with several rabbit relocations around the world and would be happy to discuss our services with you.

Good luck!
 

Pet News Round-Up: Pet Travel Developments and Fitness Tips

Friday, July 4, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Spotting dogs in Tokyo, Japan. (You will love this blog.)

Tips for keeping pets in good shape.

Luxury pet travel options.

A petition has been launched to let dogs ride the Eurostar.

Fourth of July pet safety tips.

Pet boarding facilities around the world.

 

callie the red lab

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Globetrotting with Pets in Tow

Thursday, June 12, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Sienna
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Terrier mix, German Shepherd mix
From: USA
To: Australia/Japan/Hong Kong

 

Dear PetRelocation,

We are just considering a move next year that would involve living in Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong for 3 months each. Would it even be possible to bring our dogs with us or are the quarantine procedures such that it would be too difficult?

Thank you in advance!

Sienna

 

Hi Sienna,

Thanks for contacting us with your question!

Honestly, these are not the easiest countries when it comes to importing pets and going from one to the next with two dogs would be a pretty big challenge. To undertake this you'd have to spend quite a bit of time researching the details, gathering the right paperwork and making sure you have all logistics (flights, quarantines, rabies vaccines, etc.) carefully scheduled.

For example, Australia requires about 190 days of preparation to bring pets into the country, including 10 days of quarantine upon arrival. Japan and Hong Kong are also somewhat strict when it comes to importing pets, and no matter what order you're wanting to arrange these visits you'd need to find veterinarians in each place to help you obtain the necessary documents/vaccines. Your dogs would also need to be comfortable spending time in their travel crates, and you'd need to be able to spend quite a bit of money on these trips, as the cost of flights and import documents, etc. can quickly add up.

You'd also want to take into account the travel experience for your dogs -- this will be taxing for them, and often pet owners decide it may not be worth the time, stress and expense to vacation with pets (as opposed to bringing them along for a permanent relocation, which most find a much easier decision to make). When handled correctly pet travel is very safe, but in regards to taking relatively short trips, the reality may be that it's better to leave your dogs with a trusted pet sitter.

For your reference, here is more information about bringing pets to Hong Kong, bringing pets to Japan and bringing pets to Australia. Please take a look at what each country entails and let us know if you have more questions.

Hopefully this information will help you make a decision! We also recommend talking to your vet, of course.

Good luck, and please let us know if there is anything else PetRelocation can do to assist you as you move forward.
 

Pet News Round-Up: Tips for Easter Pet Safety & More

Friday, April 18, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Our dogs, ourselves.

USA Today presents dog travel tips from author Kelly Carter.

The story of Dolli the cat's move to Japan.

Watch and play with your pet remotely with the successful Kickstarter project Petcube.

 Have you met the cutest baby and dog duo ever, Zoey and Jasper? Here's their Tumblr so you can catch up.

This Washington hotel is super pet friendly.

Can this man make his dog a Hollywood star?

From the archives: Tips for Easter pet travel.

Finally: Please take our pet travel survey!

 

two cats

Have a lounge-y weekend!

Cat Travel from Japan to the United States

Thursday, March 13, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: David
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Scottish Fold
From: Tokyo, Japan
To: Richmond, Virginia

 

Dear PetRelocation,

What do I need to do to move my cat!? I've looked several places, and this kind of move seems to be quite rare.

Please help! Thank you!

David


Hi David,

Thanks for your question. You can start by taking a look at the pet import requirements for the United States. The primary considerations will be obtaining proof of an updated rabies vaccine and a health certificate. In general, this is one of the easier countries to import a pet.

Please use our blog as a resource if you're looking for frequently asked pet travel questions or need some assistance with crate-training your cat. We also recommend choosing a pet friendly airline with established pet policies.

Finally, you're also welcome to fill out our free quote form or give our office a call if you think you'd like to enlist our help with this relocation. Either way, thanks again for reaching out and good luck with your move!

 

Who Would Win The Pet Travel Olympics (If They Existed)?

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

One of the reasons it's fun to watch the Olympics is they allow us the chance to get to know other countries a little better. In Sochi it's been fascinating to see how hockey, curling and skiing (things we don't see much of here in Austin, TX) unite and excite people from around the world, and we couldn't help but apply our own experiences as pet shippers to the idea of international competition.

If there was such a thing as the Pet Travel Olympics, who would the winners be? Based on our observations of pet travel trends -- who goes where and why -- here's what we came up with.

1. Most obscure/challenging country to move a pet: Papua New Guinea (Runners Up: Gambia, Sierra Leone, Angola and Cancun)

2. Cat-friendliest country:  United Arab Emirates

3. Top choice for adventure-seeking pets and owners: New Zealand (Runners up: China and Brazil)

4. Top choice country for retirees: Belize (Runners up: Ecuador, Costa Rica and Hawaii)

5. Most popular winter destination: Thailand (Runner up: Russia)

6. Most popular summer destination: Singapore

7. Most tech-oriented country: Hong Kong and Japan (tie)

8. Country with the highest percentage of sweater-wearing dogs: United Kingdom

9. Country with the most dog-friendly pubs/bars: The Netherlands (Runner up: Hong Kong)

10. Overall easiest/most welcoming to pets: United States

What do you think? Did we overlook any gold medal winners? Let us know!

 

 

Pet News Round-Up: Pet Travel Etiquette and World Pet Trends

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Famous literary pets.

An advice seeker asks: "Can I bring my four dogs with me when I visit my friends"?

More about Japan's cat cafes.

Who will win Westminster?

These were the top 10 cat names of 2013.

Homemade treats for your favorite Valentine pup.

From the New York Times: Racing to save the stray dogs of Sochi.

What's it like to relocate a dog to Singapore? Just ask Lulu.

 

Looking forward to a great weekend!

 

2014 Update: Pet Travel to Korea

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

The Korean government has updated the country's pet import requirements, effectively making it easier to move pets there from several places. In the past many pet travelers were tasked with completing a rabies antibody titer test before being allowed entry, but many nations no longer need to fulfill this requirement.

Find out more about moving pets to Korea, and note that, even if a rabies titer test isn't required, several other details need to be attended to in order to complete a smooth pet move. Please contact us if you have questions about moving pets to Korea (or anywhere else).

Now for your reference, if you're moving a pet to Korea from one of the following places, a rabies titer test is no longer necessary:

 

Korea-Designated Rabies Free Regions
 
Andorra French Polynesia Maldives
Armenia Germany Malta
Aruba Guadeloupe Island New Zealand
Australia Guam Palestine
Austria Hawaii Papua New Guinea
Barbados Hong Kong Portugal
Belgium Iceland Qatar
Brunei Italy Reunion Island
Cape Verde Jamaica Samoa
Cayman Islands Japan San Marino
Comoros Kazakhstan Sao Tome and Principe
Cyprus Kiribati Seychelles
Czech Republic Kuwait Singapore
Denmark Libya St. Vincent Grenadines
Djibouti Liechtenstein Sweden
Egypt Macedonia Switzerland
Estonia Malaysia United Arab Emirates
Fiji Martinique United Kingdom
Finland Mauritius Vanuatu
French Guyana Micronesia Wallis and Futuna

 

Year in Review: 2013 PetRelocation Pet Moves of the Month (Part 1)

Thursday, December 19, 2013 by PetRelocation.com Customer

This has been another fun and busy year for us, and as it draws to a close, we're looking back at some of the most memorable pet moves we completed over the last 12 months.

To start, take a look at the first few Pet Moves of the Month of 2013! You'll see why we love what we do, and why we look forward to 2014 and many more happy reunions.

 

Bear (January)

Bear moved from New York to Kenya with his owner, who works for the United Nations. Africa moves are never simple, but with the right planning they can go smoothly.

 

 

Lovie (February)

This is Lovie, who moved from Texas to Kuala Lumpur. We all fell a little in love with this sweet gal.

 

 

Lou (March)

Lou the Frenchie moved from Minnesota to Shanghai. His family is so glad they brought him along, of course.

 

 

Philly (April)

We help lots of pets move to Australia -- including Philly, a sweet Goldendoodle who traveled from Houston to Sydney.

 

 

Mahalo (May)

Mahalo is an amazing cat! He survived the Japan tsunami and zigzagged the globe until his owner was finally able to bring him home to Hawaii.

 

 

Kreuz & Legos (June)

Kreuz and Legos moved from Seattle to Taipei. Here they are sniffing out their new surroundings after fulfilling Taiwan quarantine.

 

Check out Part 2 of our Pet Moves of the Month from 2013, and follow us on Facebook for daily snapshots of our traveling pet clients.

 

 

 

 

Cat Travel to Japan

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Ashley
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
From: England
To: Japan

 

Hi There,

I'm curious as to what the requirements are for allowing my cat to move to Japan with me, more specifically, Sapporo (though my options are open right now). In the near future I'll be moving to Japan permanently to teach English and I'd like to take my cat with me as he's quite attached to me. He follows me around everywhere and meows at my bedroom door relentlessly whilst I am at college (according to my parents) so I feel like I can't just leave him behind.

I've heard a lot about a possible six months in quarantine but no concrete answers so far so I've decided to ask. I honestly couldn't bare the guilt of leaving him in quarantine for six months, and not to mention the stress from the travel could do some damage as well. If that's the case I think it may be a better idea to not take him with me, but of course that is also something I hate to imagine doing.

In addition to this, I know that a lot of places do not accept animals so my search for a place to live would be that much harder but if I can take him with me then I'm willing to give myself that restriction.

So yeah, any information would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Ashley

 

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for your question -- we understand that pets are part of the family and it sounds like your kitty loves you very much! Here is some information about how you can bring her to Japan with you.

First, take a look at these pet import requirements via the Animal Quarantine Service of Japan. If planned correctly, you should be able to avoid a long quarantine. The process is very particular, as you can see, but we've helped many pets move to Japan and they've been able to go home to their families pretty quickly.

For general information about moving pets internationally, please take a look at these frequently asked pet travel questions. Your cat may not love the traveling experience but there are ways of preparing him as best you can (including by following these cat crate training tips).

The bottom line is to begin planning early, talk to your vet for help and advice, and continue to reach out to pet travel experts when necessary. If you're interested in finding out about our door-to-door services, you can fill out our free quote form.

Thanks again, and good luck with everything!

 

 



 

Is There a Quarantine for Cats Traveling from Japan to Australia?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Lance
Number of Pets: 3
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: Domestic Shorthair
From: Japan
To: Australia

 

Dear PetRelocation,

Do all the requirements for rabies vaccinations and such still apply if I'm coming from a rabies free area with my pets?

Thanks,

Lance

 


Hi Lance,

That's a great question. Figuring out the pet import requirements for Australia can definitely be tricky (especially considering that, beginning in February 2014, the quarantine rules are set to be changed).

The best way to go about researching the procedures is to visit the official Australia government website. As you'll see, they actually now provide a handy drop-down chart and timeline based on your move details. The last time we checked, the site says that pet moves taking place after Feb. 3 will fall in line with the new requirements (so pets will have a 10-day quarantine rather than the current 30-day quarantine).

Pets coming from Japan, a Category 2 country, still need to fulfill a quarantine upon arrival. For more information about Australia quarantine, please feel free to explore our blog (here's a great dog and cat quarantine story, for example). Hopefully you'll see it's not such a scary prospect!

If you have further questions and think you'd like some professional assistance with your move, please fill out our free quote form. Good luck with everything, and thanks for the questions!
 

"Can My Large Dog Fly In-Cabin?"

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Jennifer
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Soft coated Wheaton/Golden retriever mix
From: US
To: Japan-Tokyo

Hi,

Desperately trying to find a way my dog can ride in the cabin of a plane to relocate to Japan. She is 40 pounds so "too large" by all standards I can find but hoping someone can give me an alternative (service dog, therapy dog, specific airline?). We are too scared for her to fly under the plane in cargo.

Thanks,

Jennifer

 

Hi Jennifer,


This is a common question as many pet owners are not aware of the conditions within airplane cargo holds and are afraid of shipping their pets that way. A 40-pound dog is indeed too large to travel in-cabin on most (if not all) airlines and will have to ride as cargo.

Apart from very small pets, only trained and certified service or support dogs with legitimate documentation are sometimes allowed to accompany their owners in-cabin. If your dog is not a certified assistance dog and you are simply trying to find a way around following pet air travel regulations, you will not be allowed to fly your pet in-cabin. Falsely labeling a pet as a service animal is harmful to the validity of true service animals (and the reputation of owners) if the mislabeled dog misbehaves.

That being said, flying a pet as cargo is very safe and may in fact be more comfortable for your dog. Check out this post where we address questions about flying pets as cargo and another where we disprove myths about shipping pets as cargo. You'll learn that cargo holds are pressurized and climate-controlled, and aren't that different from the conditions in which human passengers fly in the cabin. Assuming you book with a pet-friendly airline (such as United) and that your dog's crate is airline-approved and appropriately-sized, your pet should ride safely and comfortably as cargo on his trip to Japan.

If you have any more questions about pet travel to Japan, be sure to contact us. Thanks for your question and good luck with your move!

Pet Travel Question: Cat Travel to Japan

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Jennifer
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Brown Tabby
From: New York, USA
To: Sasebo, Japan

I am wondering what the process will be to relocate my cat to Japan.

Thank you,

Jennifer

 

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for the question. Cat travel can certainly be overwhelming, so we're happy to offer some guidance. First, you'll want to look over the pet import requirements for Japan to find out about microchips, rabies vaccines, health paperwork, and all the other details. Beyond that, you'll want to help your cat prepare for travel by working on crate training (if necessary) and choose a pet friendly airline for your trip.

If you'd like some assistance and are interested in our services, please fill out our free quote form. We've helped many pets move to Japan so we know how to plan an efficient relocation there. Finally, we invite you to check out our Facebook page and blog for more tips and stories about pets who travel internationally.

Good luck with everything, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Pet Air Travel Update: United PetSafe Rate Adjustments

Monday, May 20, 2013 by Caitlin Moore

Some pet travelers will see new air travel rates beginning June 15, United Cargo has announced, so travelers planning to use PetSafe animal transportation services (United's specialized pet program) should check with the airline ahead of time to find out how much they should expect to pay.

Rates for some routes (including those going from the United States to Japan and other Pacific destinations) will decrease, while routes from the U.S. to Guam and Micronesia will increase. According to United, the changes are a result of "recent market evaluations" and the desire to offer competitive pricing.

Says United: "A key benefit of United Cargo's PetSafe is the use of climate-controlled vans to transport our four-legged customers between their flight and our facility safely and comfortably. United Cargo employs more of these specially-designed vans than any other carrier. Also, we recently opened our newest on-site PetSafe kennel facility at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. United operates similar kennels at our airport facilities in Houston and Newark, and these kennels provide the ultimate in care and comfort for animals traveling on United Airlines."

Visit United.com for more information about PetSafe routes and fees, feel free to contact PetRelocation with any questions about pet travel, and keep in touch for more pet travel updates.

 

Pet News Round-Up: Fun Pet Facts & Pet Safety Tips

Friday, May 10, 2013 by Caitlin Moore

Pets by the numbers from CNN.

The states with the healthiest, happiest pets.

Safe pet car travel.

Dog video: take a look at what Sydney pet quarantine is like.

Our Pet Move of the Month is Mahalo, a former show cat from Japan who can sit and shake.

Flying with a pet this summer? Time to start thinking about airline embargoes.

Tips for going to the beach with your dog.

 

Pet Move of the Month: Mahalo's Happy Hawaii Reunion

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Though there's something special about each and every pet move we carry out, some stories are especially memorable. Meet Mahalo the cat, our featured pet move this month. After enduring a natural disaster (the 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan), Mahalo's owner Marian sent her beloved cat to live with friends in Colorado while she left Japan and searched for a new place to live. When she was able to get settled in a cat friendly condo in Hawaii she knew it was time to bring him home, and of course we were happy to help arrange their reunion.

Read more about Mahalo, a one-of-a-kind cat with a very dedicated owner.

Thank you for speaking with us, Marian! When was the last time you saw Mahalo before this relocation? You surely missed him...

The last time I saw Mahalo was last year around August 2012 during a visit to Boulder, where my friend was taking care of him. We had our high school reunion in Boulder so I stayed with her. The timing was great -- I attended the reunion and visited my friend and Mahalo.

What I missed most about him is hard to say because he just IS. He has a presence. He has a matter-of-fact way of getting on with life no matter what the circumstances! I guess if I had to pick, it was his inquisitive nature, his friendliness, and how he would come running when called by name. He also has a sit and shake routine! When I say sit, he would do it and then lift up his right paw for a snack!

Did anything concern you about the idea of moving Mahalo?

For the move from Boulder to Hawaii, I was most concerned about there being a hiccup with quarantine -- although I KNEW I had faxed all the paperwork and documents to Mandy. Still, windows of dates create anxiety. I have had pets experience Hawaii quarantine back in the day when there were NO shortcuts, and even with shortcuts you hear of horror stories. I have also shipped cats from Oregon to Hawaii in 2002 so I should be used to it, but in reality everything has worked out and the quarantine people are fantastic. Not sure why I was so anxious!

How has Mahalo been adjusting to life in Hawaii?

Interestingly there have been some changes. Back in Japan, he used to love dark tight corners, like underneath my bed frame, between the bottom of the bed and a futon I stored underneath. Tight! But back in Boulder he loved the crate they put out to get him acclimated, and also slept in the closet with the little girl of the house. He also licked my face to wake me up like an alarm clock back in Japan and did that with the little girl. But once he got back here, he jumps into my bed to wake me up, rolls around, etc... but no alarm clock licks of the face. He also does NOT like the crate at all, even though he did back in Boulder before leaving. In fact, when I put him in there with the fleece he loves, he growled! Gee! But he still sits and shakes on cue!

 

 

Is Hawaii a pet friendly place to be?

I am a resident owner of my condo and it is a pet friendly complex -- a new one, and I wouldn't have bought in if it wasn't. That was a condition when I started looking two years ago; while pet friendly is growing in Hawaii, it is not easy (especially for large dogs or multiple pets). I am planning to get a second cat, but I have to check out the rules.

Homeowner rules are pretty strict in Hawaii even in condos -- dogs have a weight restriction of about 25 pounds I think, and one pet is generally the rule. However, some condos have been known to grandfather in long time residents and change rules for new buyers. There are lots of vets in the city and in suburbs so you have to wonder where do these owners live? Small animal vet services are very lucrative and busy. Boarding starts at about $25 a day and there are plenty of pet sitters, but again I always advise folks to get personal referrals only. Many pet owners want people to come to their homes, and the going price is $25-$35 a day. Finally, there is a Petco in the city of Honolulu and the suburbs as well as Walmart, Walgreens and other stores that support pets, so there is certainly nothing to worry about.

The one piece of advice I would give to pet owners moving to Hawaii is to nail down a place to live first. Be sure it allows pets. Dog runs (mostly in suburbs) and parks I think are available in the city and the beach, but people must pick up after their pet. Of course that doesn't apply to cats; my cats are strictly indoors. I am not a fan of letting cats run amok outside, as Hawaii has a lot of birds and they are tame, which means they are fodder for cats. Also, living in a condo means there is no good way cats can be let outdoors.

You've moved Mahalo by yourself before, so what made you decide to hire the services of PetRelocation this time?

I found about PetRelocation through a friend in Japan who used your services from Florida to Japan back to Florida. Also, I saw you on Facebook after the friend told me about your services. I decided to use your services because I was not planning to go to Boulder to meet Mahalo, as some other issues came up precluding my doing the arranging. Also, after talking to my friend from Florida, I realized I did not want the hassle of taking him to the airport in Denver, yaddah yaddah.... Also that he would be delivered to me in Honolulu was the best part. I did not want to do the send off and pick up I have done too many times.

I liked the prompt response emails from Mandy. She went into detail about every concern I had. I also liked that you have local vendors and that you start the process early on, which was good for a planner like me. I couldn't have done without the hand-holding on the communications regarding departure, arrival, and quarantine. For me, just firing off emails and getting an answer was the best!

Thanks again, and we're looking forward to Mahalo becoming famous. Just as an FYI - he was a show cat in Japan and has won his share of ribbons, although he is now retired. He placed in his class of neutered short hair cats.

 

Thanks to Marian for sharing this wonderful story with us. We're glad Mahalo is home safe and sound at last! Please contact us for more information about moving pets to Hawaii, and travel safely, everyone.

 

Pet Travel Question: Importing a Dog to Japan

Friday, November 16, 2012 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Christian
From: San Francisco, CA, United States
To: Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Pet: Richie, Chihuahua mix, 8 years old, 12 lbs

What vaccinations, paperwork, and other miscellaneous things do I need to send the dog to Japan from San Francisco?
 
Thanks,
Christian
 
Hi Christian,
 
Thanks for your inquiry, we'd be happy to offer some advice. These are the pet import requirements for Japan (including instructions for shipping dogs unaccompanied), and we always recommend choosing a pet-friendly airline. Please take a look at this information and contact us if you have more questions or if you'd like to hire us to help handle your move.
 
Good luck with everything, Christian!


 
 

 

Pet Travel Question: Transiting through Tokyo

Thursday, November 1, 2012 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Sara
Number of Pets: Two
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed:
From: NE
To: Guam

My two dogs will be traveling in the cabin with me. We will have a five hour layover at Tokyo/Narita International Airport on our way to Guam. I know the requirements for Guam, but will Japan also require anything due to the layover? We are flying on the same airline for the entire trip.

Thanks,

Sara

 

Hi Sara,

Thanks for the question. When transiting through an airport on the way to your final destination, it's not necessary to meet the layover country's requirements unless you're leaving the airport or switching airlines so it sounds like you're in good shape.

Please let us know if any other questions arise, and have a great trip!