Help Me Move My Pet

"How Old Should a Puppy be Before Traveling Internationally?"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Ruth
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog (puppy -- 5 weeks old)
Pet Breed: Puddle
From: Dominican Republic
To: New York, USA


What documents will I need to bring my dog into the United States? Also I was told that puppies need to be at least three months old to enter the state, is that so? And can a local veterinarian prepare the health docs for the puppy?

Thank you,



Hi Ruth,

Thanks, those are great questions. The United States has relatively easy pet import rules -- essentially you need proof that the rabies vaccine is up to date and you need a vet health certificate telling the airline that your dog is healthy and fit to fly. Yes, a local vet can help you with this.

In terms of age, our company recommends that dogs be at least 16 weeks old before they fly. At this point your puppy will be better able to withstand the travel experience, so for safety's sake we suggest you wait at least that long.

If you have any more questions about choosing an airline, selecting a travel crate, or anything else related to travel, please peruse our website, give us a call or fill out our free quote form if you think you might like to learn about our door-to-door services.

Thanks again for reaching out, and good luck!

Choosing the Right Airline for Pet Travel

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Amy
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Spaniel/Lab/Aussie mix
From: Austin, TX
To: San Francisco, CA



I'm getting married in San Francisco in October and want to take our dog with us. She's 25 pounds but too big to fit under the seat. Are there only certain airlines that will fly her, and at certain temperatures?




Hi Amy,

Thanks for your question, and congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

Choosing the right airline is definitely one of the most important parts of pet travel. We often fly with United due to their PetSafe program, which includes a set of procedures that places an emphasis on pet cargo safety.

Many airlines do operate with weather-adjusted schedules, but by October summer embargoes have usually been lifted. Also, United is less affected by temperature because they work to keep pets in temperature-controlled environments year-round. You'll want to double check everything before you go with the airline directly, but it's likely you won't need to worry about temperature (especially because you don't have a snub-nosed breed, who often do face special restrictions in warm weather).

Take a look at our blog if you have any general questions about pet travel, and be sure to look over the requirements for flying pets in the United States (you'll essentially just need proof of rabies vaccine and a vet health certificate).

If you have any further questions, please let us know. Either way, good luck with everything!

Retiring Abroad? Plan for Your Pets, Too

Thursday, April 3, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Recently we came across this helpful article about how to prepare for a post-retirement move abroad. More and more people are choosing to relocate to another country after they've stopped working, and doing so requires quite a bit of planning and money-saving.

The BBC points out that it's important to research housing and medical costs in the new location and to allow plenty of time to map out all the details. They also say to "consider your family," -- important advice for sure -- but we think they left out something pretty big. To the list they've made, we would add pets, who are family members, too.

Pets are becoming a bigger and bigger part of people's lives worldwide, and people in their 50s, 60s and beyond are some of the most dedicated pet owners out there. When children have moved out and when free time becomes more available, it just makes sense that people turn to pet companionship in their lives and in their travels.

So what should a pet owner do if they decide to retire abroad? We have a few tips.

Start planning early

We say this a lot, but it's always a good idea. Some countries (such as Australia) have quarantine requirements for pets, and no matter where you go you'll need to make sure paperwork is in order, vaccines are updated and flight reservations are made. You may not know what you don't know, so give yourself plenty of time.

Keep pets in mind as you consider the major (and minor) details

We're not saying "let your pet rule your life," but just remember that each detail will affect them, too. The city to which you move (are pet amenities available there?), what house or apartment you choose (are pets allowed?), what the weather is like (will your furry friend be comfortable there?) -- these are all a part of the big picture. If you're bringing a pet along, think carefully as you make arrangements so that they will be able to find reasonable happiness, too.



Calculate the costs

The BBC article reminds potential expats that moving abroad can be more expensive than you might initially suspect, and this is especially true when you add the cost of pet travel. More expensive than just an airline ticket, relocating a pet requires vet visits, paperwork, customs fees and maybe quarantine costs and pet agent fees, as well. Also, once you're there you could face marked up prices on your favorite pet food, medical care, etc. Figure out how much you'll need to save beforehand to make your move realistic.

The common theme to all of this is 'do your research before you make a move.' Obviously it's a big deal to move to a new country, and if you've chosen to make a pet an important part of your life (as so many of us have), their needs must be a factor in the ultimate decision. 



And on a lighter note, we can tell you from experience that pets are often pretty great at settling into completely new places. As long as you're there with them, they have the most important thing they need.

Enjoy your retirement adventures abroad, and if you have any questions about how to move your pet with you or need advice about a particular destination, please contact PetRelocation.

Pet News Links: Dog Friendly Hotels and Spring Health Advice

Friday, March 28, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

A cute cat cartoon (made by one of our clients)!

Very strange animal laws.

The best San Francisco hotels for dogs.

Spring safety tips for pets.

Travel snacks for dogs.

Photos of Karma and Reiki, cats we've helped with two international moves.

Things you learn when you get a puppy.


Have a good weekend, pet lovers!

Can Cats Fly Unaccompanied?

Thursday, March 27, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Caitlin
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Cat
From: Big Island, Hawaii
To: Brooklyn, New York



My cat has been under the care of someone in Hawaii for the last couple of years as I have been traveling, and is now ready to return him to me. I am in New York.

Can the cat be flown here without someone with him, or does he need a person to bring him along? What else is required for the move?

Thank you,



Hi Caitlin,

Thanks for the question! Your cat does not need to be accompanied during the flight(s). In short, we recommend choosing a pet friendly airline (we often use United) and then arranging for someone to drop him off at the airport and pick him up in New York.

These are the pet import requirements for the United States -- primarily you'll need proof of an updated rabies vaccine and a vet health certificate stating he is healthy and fit to fly. If you want to hire some assistance you can check IPATA.org for agents, or you can fill out our quote form to find out about our door-to-door services.

No matter how you go about it, just know that pets fly safely all the time without being on the same plane as their owners. It's all about making the right choices, and when you do, it's a pretty straightforward process.

Let us know if you have any more questions, and good luck with everything!

Planning Dog Travel from New Zealand to the United States

Thursday, March 27, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Ginger
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Fox Terrier
From: Auckland, New Zealand
To: Wisconsin, U.S.A.


Dear PetRelocation,

We are relocating to Wisconsin. We are very concerned about our pet traveling in the hold of an aircraft. We would love to be able to fly the shortest distance to a state of America, hence our questions. Is it possible to comply with the requirements for the 5 day or less option OR Airport Release, gather our dog once we land in Honolulu, Depart for a flight to Wisconsin say 2 days later, and being a domestic flight then he will be able to travel with us in the cabin on to Madison, WI?

A lot to digest I know, but we love our dog to bits and given he has to have a rabies shot anyway, if we comply with the Hawaiian Quarantine regulations and go to Hawaii  maybe we could clear quarantine the same day as we arrive, allow ourselves a day or two before departing on to the mainland OR could we leave the same day on a later flight even? Lots to think about but just wondering if this is a possibility at all?

We await your response eagerly.

Kind Regards & thanks,

Ginger ( a U.S. Citizen)


Hi Ginger,

Thanks for contacting us with your questions! We know that pet travel -- especially the beginning planning stages -- can be very stressful and filled with uncertainty.

Your plan might work, but it also might add unnecessary complications to your trip. Bringing pets into Hawaii and avoiding quarantine there requires a few more steps than going straight to the mainland United States, where all you need is proof of updated vaccines and a health certificate. You'd need to time it correctly so that your health certificate was valid for the entire trip and also arrange lodging, transportation, etc. for the time you were in Hawaii, which would add a considerable cost to the trip. Again, this could work out fine depending on your circumstances, but after further research you may decide to take a different route.

We have shipped pets between New Zealand and the United States several times, and typically we find that the direct flight from Auckland to San Francisco works well. Pets can then proceed from SFO to their next destination, if there is one.

If you're concerned about cargo travel in general, we invite you to take a look at our blog for an examination of the issue here and here. Though it sounds scary at first, when the right choices are made pet air travel via cargo is very safe. Thousands of pets fly this way each year without incident, and in many ways cargo travel is preferable to flying in the cabin.

You clearly have your dog's best interests in mind, and in light of that we'd be happy to advise you about all your options before you make a decision. Feel free to give our office a call or fill out our free quote form. One of our relocation specialists will be able to offer you more specific advice and suggestions if you'd like -- just let us know.

Either way, hopefully by perusing our blog and website you can better acquaint yourself with the pet travel process and start to feel a little more comfortable about undertaking your journey. Reading a few of our customer experiences and catching up with some frequently asked pet travel questions could be a good start.

We hope to hear from you soon, and good luck with everything!

Pet Travel Cartoon: "The Many Adventures of Toby"

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

We were delighted to discover that one of our new clients has created a web comic in honor of her mischievous and lovable cat Toby. This sweet troublemaker is getting ready to move to the UK with his mom, because as you can see he is an important part of her life (and understandably so).

If you're in the mood for some entertainment, take a look at The Many Adventures of Toby (cat lovers should be able to relate to his super feline behavior), and join us in wishing these travelers all the best in their new adventures!


A peek at the comic



Toby in his travel crate

Cat Client Update: Karma & Reiki's Return to the United States

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Remember Karma and Reiki, the two cats we moved from the United States to Prague last year? They did a great job learning to get used to their travel crates for their trip, and their story showed that even cats who are new to traveling can handle the experience pretty well.

Well life continues to happen for them, and these globetrotters just returned to the States with their owner. Once again she took lots of pictures, and if you're wondering how the cats have adjusted following another big move, just take a look at the snapshots below.

Their owner told us: "The first day was mainly sleeping… ok, cats sleep a lot anyway but this day was a very sleepy day (I think for all of us!) The following day they were more active and found windows to look out and still explored."

Sounds like Karma and Reiki are doing well! It's always nice to check in with our clients after a move (or after multiple moves) and see how life is getting back to normal.


Home! First, time for sleep.


Then, check out some of the new sights and sounds.


Next, sleep some more.


Please contact PetRelocation with questions about moving your own pets, and thanks to all of our clients who share their stories!


Cat Travel to Australia from the United States

Monday, March 24, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Lindsay
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Tonkinese, White Alley Cat
From: USA
To: Australia



I've read the notes on your website regarding importing cats into Australia, (i.e. 180 days of 190 may be spent in country of origin) however, I would like confirm that this applies to pets (cats) whose country of origin is USA.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,


Hi Lindsay,

Yes, that's correct. Much of the information you'll find on our site is geared towards pets being exported from the United States, and this is the case for the pet import requirements for Australia you see listed.

If everything is carried out properly (the rabies shots, etc.), your cat will remain in your care prior to traveling to Australia and will just need to be in quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Australia. If you haven't visited the official Australia government pet import site we recommend that you do so -- there is a helpful drop-down tool that will help you plan your schedule.

Please review this information and let us know if we can be of further help. Thanks for checking in, and good luck with your upcoming move!



Common Concerns About Dog Travel

Monday, March 24, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Jan
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Great Pyrenees Puppy
From: Dallas, TX
To: Erlanger, KY


Dear PetRelocation,

I need to transport a puppy from my home in Dallas, TX to my sister's home in Erlanger, KY. I have never done anything like this before and would like to know how your services work.

I am concerned the dog will be scared during transport. Do you have ways to minimize the trauma they experience during travel?



Hi Jan,

Thanks for your question -- it's certainly normal to feel uncertain about how a pet will handle a cross-country move, but we hope we can help dispel a few myths and worries.

In terms of what we do, we provide door-to-door transportation services that include overseeing the completion of travel paperwork and arranging the flight and/or ground transport from the old home to the new one. We work with pet friendly airlines and will also guide you to make sure the right travel crate is chosen. For a domestic move, your dog will need to have proof of updated vaccines and, if the dog is flying, a vet health certificate issued within 10 days of travel.

Sedation is not recommended and highly discouraged, and if you have a nervous pet you can help them prepare through crate training and exercise. Take a look at these frequently asked pet travel questions for a better idea of the process; when the right choices are made, most pets handle moves (even longer international ones) with no lasting effects to their health or happiness.

We're happy to discuss the particulars in further detail if you'd like -- please fill out our free quote form or give our office a call if you're interested in talking to one of our specialists.

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


Relocation Preparation: Training Pets to Love Their Travel Crates

Thursday, March 20, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Big parts of a pet move -- completing the vet paperwork and booking the flight -- are certainly important, but it's easy to overlook another essential element: the travel crate. Not only do you need to pick the right size and airline-approved model, you need to help your pet learn to see it as a safe and normal place to be so that, on travel day, stress is kept to a minimal level.

Sound impossible? We've had many clients whose pets started out unacquainted and downright suspicious when it came to the travel crate, but by the day of departure they were happy as could be. Getting from skeptical to relaxed does take some time, but with step-by-step actions and a bit of patience, you won't believe what's possible.

Take a look at these crate-training tips for cats (they work for dogs, too) as well as this move snapshot of Karma and Reiki's pet crate journey. Finally, see the pictures below for a good illustration. Using toys and treats seems to be working for this kitty; maybe that could work for you, too.

As always, please contact PetRelocation if you have any questions about an upcoming pet move!


The Early Stages of Travel Crate Training



Acceptance Begins...

Pet News Round-Up: Earthquake Preparedness Tips & Travel News

Friday, March 21, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

How to keep your pets safe in the event of an earthquake.

The Colombian vice president says won't accept the ambassadorship to Brazil because his dog wouldn't fare well in the hot weather.

With a little help from the internet, now you can play with cats all over the world.

Don't fall for a puppy scam!

Mastering the art of pet travel crate training.

Here's an update on some of the Sochi stray dogs who were adopted by an Olympic athlete.

Happy National Puppy Day!


Have a happy weekend!

Pet Travel From China to the United States

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Vicki
Number of Pets: One
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Mix
From: China
To: Kansas, USA

Dear PetRelocation,

My husband is working in Handan, China and found a stray puppy that needed medical treatment and he wants to bring it back home to join our family.

The puppy was taken to a vet and was malnourished with a severe eye infection. She was treated for 5 days and was picked up yesterday. He is currently keeping her at the office with him.

Could you please tell us exactly where to get information on what exactly needs to be done for him to bring this dog home? The vet is planning to give the first set of vaccines next week, but I read somewhere that vaccines were not supposed to be given by a privately owned veterinarian in China to be able to be transported internationally.




Hi Vicki,

Thanks for the question; we also applaud your kind-hearted plans!

Please take a look at the pet import requirements for the United States for an outline of what you'll need to do. The good news is that the United States has pretty simple requirements -- the dog will need proof of an updated rabies vaccine and a health certificate stating she is healthy and fit to fly (the airline requires this and it should be issued within 10 days of departure).

You can take a look at the USDA website for more details or give our office a call if you're concerned that your vet is not properly certified -- since China is listed as a country affected by screwworm, you'll also need to show proof (by means of the vet's signature) that your dog has been inspected and found to be free of the condition.

Hope this helps... Please contact us if you have further questions and good luck with your new dog!


Cat Travel to the EU

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Annette
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Tabby
From: USA
To: France


Dear PetRelocation,

I am only traveling for 1 1/2 months to the EU... Do I need to have my cat fully vaccinated? I know rabies is a must, but what about the others? My cat is an indoor cat so I prefer to not fully vaccinate him if it's not needed... Thank you!

Also, If I am flying on two different airlines (Delta airlines going to the EU and American flying back to the US), is my one veterinary certificate that I'll use sufficient enough?



Hi Annette,

Great questions. To travel with your cat you'll need to meet the requirements for pet import to the EU, and then when you come back you'll need to meet the US pet import rules.

For travel to France, you'll need to meet these requirements, which include more than just the rabies vaccine. The United States is classified as a Third Country so the steps are more comprehensive than they would be if you were coming from a rabies-free destination or from within the EU, and even if you're only staying for a few weeks, you'll need to follow the rules completely.

Here are links to the USDA and EU websites for more information about health documents.

To return to the United States, you'll need to show proof of an up-to-date rabies vaccine and, as required by the airline, you'll need a vet health certificate stating your cat is healthy and fit to fly. This needs to be issued within 10 days of departure, so it sounds like you'll need to secure a new one for your trip home.

Hopefully this information leads you in the right direction. If you have further questions or think you'd like some help with your travels, please contact us and one of our Specialists will be happy to advise you.

Have a great trip and thanks again for getting in touch with us!


Puppy Travel to Europe

Monday, March 17, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Pascal
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: American Bulldog
From: Los Angeles, CA
To: Amsterdam, Holland


Dear PetRelocation,

My friend has a puppy and he is 5 weeks old now. I would like to bring him to Holland, but what are the requirements and at what age can I ship him to Holland? Or if I fly with him are the rules different then?




Hi Pascal,

Thank you for your question. We recommend that dogs fly only after they've reached the age of 16 weeks. At this point they're stronger and better able to handle the experience of travel and can also receive the necessary vaccinations for international import.

As far as the rules you'll need to follow, please take a look at the pet import requirements for Holland. It's not necessary for you to be on the same flight as your dog, but either way the import rules will be the same and we do recommend choosing a pet friendly airline (KLM and Lufthansa are often good choices for European pet travel).

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have more questions, and if you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door services, please fill out our free quote form.

Thanks again, and good luck with everything.

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!


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!


Dog Travel from Florida to California

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Sandra
From: West Palm Beach, FL
To: Los Angeles, CA
Pets: German Shepherd

Dear PetRelocation,
We have a very large puppy that we want to give to a family member. What is the safest way to transport him (he is 8 months old and 85 lbs)? We would like to send him unescorted, if possible.
Any information you can share would be helpful, thanks!
Hi Sandra,
Sure, we'd be happy to offer some advice. To move a pet domestically you need to show proof of an updated rabies vaccine and also have a vet health certificate (here are the pet import requirements for the United States). The most important tips we can offer are these:
  • Choose a pet friendly airline, such as United
  • Make sure your travel crate is large enough and airline approved (find more info here)
  • Work to help your dog feel comfortable in his travel crate in the weeks before your move
  • Look over these frequently asked pet travel questions for more information


Hopefully this helps to get you started. Please contact us if you have more questions or would like a free quote for our services. Thanks again for the note, and good luck!

Multi-Step Pet Moves to New Zealand

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Kirsty
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Collie
From: Mainland China
To: New Zealand


Dear PetRelocation,

Can you please advise what my options are for relocating my dog from near Shanghai back to New Zealand? I understand it is likely he will need to go via another country, as direct import to New Zealand from China isn't possible. It would be good to get an idea about what I can do and the time frame, so if it is feasible I can start making plans for it now.



Hi Kirsty,

Advance planning is a very smart idea when it comes to pet travel, especially for strict rabies-free countries like New Zealand. And you're right, you can't take your dog directly to New Zealand from China so you will need to arrange a six month stay in an approved country.

Here is a link to the official New Zealand site that should help you put together a timeline of steps and requirements (which will include undergoing microchip implantation if necessary along with a series of rabies shots and parasite treatments).

If you'd like some additional assistance with your move, feel free to contact us for a free quote. We have helped pets make multi-step moves such as yours before and would be happy to discuss your options with you.

Hope this helps to get you started! Good luck with everything, and we hope to hear from you soon.

Pet Client Story: Twiggie's First International Move

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Kelsie
Pet's Name: Twiggie
From: Chicago, IL, USA
To: Bangalore, India

Twiggie is now a world traveler, and PetRelocation made his trip possible with as little worry as possible.

Chicago to Bangalore is a 22-hour flight that includes a five-hour layover in Germany. We had to arrive in India first, then Twiggie arrived a few days later. PetRelocation has a cat boarder they use in these situations. The boarder was fantastic and very caring and they sent pictures and updates.

PetRelocation provided a detailed itinerary and stuck to it. We were provided updates on Twiggie during his flight, and PetRelocation answered all questions quickly and their answers were complete. They provided information before I could ask. They pay great attention to detail.

For India, Twiggie had to see the vet 10 days prior to fly out so documents could be submitted to India. PetRelocation was in constant contact with the vet to ensure the required information was provided and the forms completed correctly. We also sent special food with Twiggie for him to have at the boarders and for the flight. He was given the food correctly. The receiving company in Bangalore was also great with communication, and we started hearing from them the day before Twiggie arrived with periodic updates.

Twiggie arrived ready to see us and ready to get out of the carrier. The carrier was big enough for him to stand up and move a little. He has not displayed any negative effects from this move. He is his normal self. Twiggie is a Maine Coon (long haired cat).

We will be using PetRelocation for the trip home. I can not say enough good things about PetRelocation. They sincerely cared about Twiggie and us.



Planning Pet Travel to South Africa

Monday, March 10, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Kristin
Number of Pets: 4
Pet Type: 2 dogs, 2 cats
From: US
To: South Africa


Hi There,

I am going to be moving to South Africa, and have a dog and two cats. My boyfriend has one dog. I was wondering if there is a list of things that need to be done and what the correct timeframe/checklist is to do them? Also, dogs and cats don't need to be quarantined, correct?

Any and all information you can give would be very much appreciated. Also, are you able to help me move my pets when it comes time? I'm in California.




Hi Kristin,

Thanks for your question. You're right, you'll need to take a look at the pet import requirements for South Africa and follow them carefully to make sure your pets make a smooth transition. And that's correct, there isn't a quarantine provided you meet the rules you'll find by following the above link.

Even if you're not moving for awhile, there are a few things you can start to do now, including getting your pets accustomed to their crates and talking with your vet to make sure he or she is USDA-certified and will be able to assist with the necessary paperwork correctly.

If you have any questions, please give our office a call or fill out our online quote form to receive an estimate of price from one of our Africa specialists. We've helped several pets move to South Africa safely (including Petrie and Spike) and would be happy to assist you as well!