To: Toronto, Canada
Pet: Mordecai: Pug/Shepherd mix (Approx, 37lbs, 3 1/2 years old)
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: English Working Cocker Spaniel
To: Charlotte, NC, United States
How easy is it to move my dog from here in Singapore to Charlotte in the United States? How long does it take? What will he require in terms of paperwork, vet checks and vaccinations, etc.?
He was originally born in the UK and moved to the Netherlands after 18 months, had a pet passport and traveled via the car across the water. He then moved again after 12 months to here in Singapore and required a flight, more paperwork etc.
He is now 5 years old and also had a metal plate inserted into his knee about 8 months ago.
Thank you kindly,
Thank you for your question! Please take a look at the pet import requirements for the United States. We typically recommend starting to prepare at least 30 days in advance, as you'll need to gather a vet health certificate and proof of an updated rabies vaccine.
We also recommend helping your dog to become acclimated to the travel crate if he's not already. The fact that he has a metal plate in his knee should not cause a problem, but either way we highly suggest discussing any concerns you have with your vet.
Finally, choosing a pet-friendly airline is an important part of the process, as well. We often use KLM, United, British Airways and Lufthansa, for example, as these carriers have established pet procedures and place a high priority on safety and comfort.
Please let us know if you think you'd like some help organizing your move; one of our Specialists would be happy to discuss your relocation options with you.
Hope this helps, good luck!
By Kelley Barnes, Director of HR
If creating an incredible experience for PetRelocation’s clients and their fuzzy family members is like painting a masterpiece, then Tobi is the Georges Seurat of Client Care Specialists. Every ‘t’ is crossed and every ‘i’ is dotted when it comes to her communications and plans.
When she interviewed with PetRelocation in April 2013, one quality about Tobi that was immediately evident to the team was her meticulous attention to detail. Nothing slips past her when it comes to the logistics coordination that is an essential part of every pet move Tobi supervises.
Tobi has built strong partnerships with a select group of PetRelocation’s team of agents that she likes to use regularly. They know what she expects in terms of pet love and handling, and in turn she always keeps them apprised of any unexpected changes or hiccups that may occur (like the recent snow storms and weather issues that caused pet flight cancellations in New York, Chicago and Boston and affected several pet trips).
During a move when there is a sleepless pet parent anxious for an update, Tobi has been known to take late-night phone calls and send prompt emails with pet photos after a pet arrives in a foreign destination.
One previous coworker wrote, “She is always there to help the team and accomplish any task that is needed, and she comes up with out-of-the box and creative solutions when there is no clear solution at hand.” Teamwork is one of the core values we uphold at PetRelocation, and Tobi doesn’t try to live it, it just comes to her naturally.
We asked Tobi to share some of her thoughts in a series of questions below. Hope you enjoy the read!
After college, I worked at a computer company for 13 years. I became unfulfilled because I could not see the direct impact of my work. My husband encouraged me to find a job where I could make a difference and helped me do some research – he found the Client Care posting online and I applied for it the very next day.
Tobi, her husband Kris, and their Basset trio (Gus, Bluebonnet and Clementine)
There are so many terrific reunion stories to choose from, but one that really stands out is a recent move of two English Bulldogs from California to Indonesia. The dogs (pictured below) started their journey on Sunday and reunited with their family on Friday. I shared every step of their trip with the entire office because every single person at PetRelocation cares about the journey of the pets we move.
Two of Tobi's most memorable clients
In a word – terrific. I feel like I am one of those lucky people who has a job they actually enjoy and works with people they like.
I am most surprised by the remote locations that people move to for their work – places I had never heard of before working here such as Kuala Belait, Brunei and Ripailles, Mauritius.
My hope is that more airlines will establish actual pet travel programs, giving us more options to present to our clients. Pet travel is clearly becoming more common and airlines are bound to really start catering to animals as well as humans.
A few PetRelocation team members on 'Pajama Day'
Do not be afraid to ask questions. What we do is very unique – until you worked with us as an employee or a pet owner, you’ve probably never met a “pet relocator.” Between airport codes, animal import/export requirements, animal vaccines and countless other things there is an abundance of information to learn. This is not the kind of job where you can just assume you’ll figure something out later – questions are good!
We truly manage your pet's move from point A to point B and we specialize in problem solving. There are certain elements of travel that are unpredictable (weather delays, lost paperwork, etc.) – you can count on us to handle those unexpected events for you.
So many things – that I am over 5 feet tall. That I am actually an android (Tobi spelled backward is iBot). Also, I am learning to play the mandolin. [Editor's Note: Tobi also has a hamster named Christmas, who is pictured below].
Christmas, Tobi's hamster
I would like to be invisible so that I could sneak into music concerts and Disney World.
I would have to insist on playing myself because I’m not sure anyone else could capture my strange and adorable accent that is half-Louisiana, half-Texas.
This month's featured pet move shines the spotlight on two very cool cats: Fred and Wilma. This charming duo has moved with us before (their mom is a busy world traveler), so they're becoming pros when it comes to relocating internationally.
Their latest trip took them from Germany to Japan, and now that they're settling in we thought we'd catch up and find out how things are going. Read on to find out more about Fred and Wilma!
Due to my job, I move every 2 to 3 years. I got the cats in Australia in 2007 and since then I moved them to the States, then to Germany and now Japan.
Both of the moves were the easiest, smoothest I ever had with the cats.
No matter where you are headed, the paperwork can be extremely confusing and overwhelming. I was worried that since I was overseas, it would be hard to get everything done on time.
The best advice I can give is to plan early. Lots of countries have strict rules about the importation of animals. In my case, I was taking my cats from Germany to Japan and had to have a 6 month “at home” quarantine. Also, lots of airlines have restrictions on the time of year the pet can travel based on the temperature.
My fur babies are known for being “fraidy cats,” but as soon as they got to me here in Tokyo and out of their crates, they have just taken over the apartment. They found their box, their food and my couch for a nice nap. I just cannot get over how easily they have adapted.
Both Germany and Japan are known for their love/obsession with their pets. The Germans LOVE their dogs and the Japanese LOVE their cats (see Hello Kitty). In Germany, I was lucky enough to have a vet that made house calls! I get my pet supplies online or from a military base, as my cats are used to American products. I know I could get anything I need here in Japan if I had to.
As I say, plan early. Pets are part of your family and SO important to you, so I know the process can be stressful because you just want them to be comfortable and happy. It can be done (and be done smoothly) if you plan ahead.
I did my research, believe me. I went with PetRelocation because they were super responsive and totally understood how important my cats are to me. I was encouraged by the testimonials of other clients. Also, I immediately felt at ease with my PetRelocation consultants.
My situation was hard, as I was moving from Germany to Japan with a stop in the States in between. Turned out I had to leave the cats with my brother in the States for 6 months due to a Japanese regulation for an “at home quarantine.” My consultants treated my brother with as much respect as they gave me and constantly kept us both informed.
They walked us through all the paperwork and worked out a great timeline. I also LOVED that they offered a point to point delivery. They picked up the cats at my brother’s so that he would not have to tackle the nightmare of the airport processing, and they delivered the cats to me at my place in Tokyo. I have done this by myself and trust me, this was priceless!!!
Another highlight was that they tracked the cats the whole way from beginning to end so I had peace of mind the whole time. I honestly cannot recommend them enough. From beginning to end they made this process as easy and as stress free as possible. I will be using them again for sure!!!
Congrats to Fred, Wilma and their loving owner on another successful move! Thinking about relocating with your own pets? Feel free to contact us to speak to a Specialist about your options.
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Pit Bull
To: Florida, USA
I have a 60 pound Pit Bull and I need it to bring it here to United States. I would like to know if this is possible (and can your company do the moving)?
Thanks for your question! The United States does not have any particular breed restrictions when it comes to importing pets, and it's actually one of the easier countries in terms of rules and regulations. Please take a look at the US pet import requirements for an overview of what to expect.
We also recommend reading over these basic pet travel questions and answers. Here you'll see that it's important to choose a pet-friendly airline and help your dog to be acclimated to the crate as well as possible. You'll also want to review the airline requirements very carefully, as Pit Bulls often face different rules. If you're flying with United, for example, your dog would need a reinforced travel crate.
If you're interested in hiring help with this move, please fill out our online consultation form. With a few more details we'll be able to tell you more about your move options.
Hope this helps, and we hope to hear from you soon!
Anyone looking for a stuffed animal clone of your pet?
A few of our team members answer the question, "how did you know your pet was The One?"
Find out more about Atchoum the cat.
Have a lovely weekend!
The PetRelocation team will happily accept any opportunity to celebrate our pets, and Valentine's Day is one of our favorite times to shine the spotlight on the cats and dogs we go home to every night.
Obviously our pets are our #1 Valentines, but this year we're answering a specific question: How did you know your pet was 'The One'? Get ready for some adorable stories...
Bethany, Client Care Manager: I knew Goonie was the one for me on the 4th of July, the day I rescued her. She was scared of the fireworks that night, but was trying to be tough about it by barking at them. Eventually, she gave in and snuggled really close to me under the covers before falling asleep and snoring loudly all night. To this day, she is still the best “little spoon” ever! :)
Tim, Pet Relocation Consultant: I have a dog and her name is Hufflepuff. She is weird, sometimes wild, fluffy, scruffy, and basically the cutest dog I have ever encountered and had the privilege to hug. My girlfriend Alanah and I had been discussing getting a dog for a couple of months. Every week we almost went to Austin Pets Alive! to adopt one, but talked ourselves out of it ever time, saying that we weren’t ready for a dog.
While at work, Alanah would send me links to dogs on APA’s website. Most were cute, others were too old. I had expressed that I did not want a girl dog, much less a small, wiry haired dog (I have had bad luck with girl dogs in the past). One day, she sent me a link to small, wiry haired, girl dog and said “I think this is the one”.
At the time, the Huff’s name was Starburst and she looked like an ugly, wire-haired dog. I got off work and went to APA with Alanah. They took us back to see “Starburst”. She was sitting on a pillow, alone, and surrounded by a bunch of loud, obnoxious dogs. When I made eye contact with her, she gave be the look of “please get me out of here.” We played with her for the required thirty minutes and we both fell in love with her. It turns out, you can’t judge a dog by a picture or name.
Hufflepuff (formerly Starburst) has since become the scruffy, fluffy (not wiry) love of our lives. She has been though a few medical complications, but was a champ and is now just has happy and playful as ever. I do not know what I would do without my canine best friend. She is the best dog I could have ever asked for.
Keith, Senior Client Care Specialist: MayBelle was a stray that found her way to my door, and now she watches the movies with me that no one else will. #truelove
Rachel, Chief of Staff: I’ve been crazy about Golden Retrievers since I was a kid when one of my best friends growing up introduced me to her two Goldens. When I turned 13, my mom surprised me by taking me to pick up a one-year old rescue Golden Retriever named Gus. He was an amazing dog and the best friend a teenage girl could ask for. After many loyal years by my side, Gus passed away from stomach cancer at age 13. I waited seven years before getting another Golden.
My second Golden, Charlie, was a rescue from Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue in Houston, Texas. Charlie was a beautiful boy with an endless enthusiasm for swimming and a huge, adoring smile. He passed away much too young last July from a devastating fight against bone cancer. Shortly after Charlie passed, I decided that I was going to get another Golden and enter him in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Health Study, an incredible study by the Morris Animal Foundation that is working to study what causes cancer in dogs. In order to participate in the study, dogs have to be under 2 years and have at least 3 generations of known bloodlines – something my other two Goldens, who were strays I had adopted at around a year old, did not have.
I began researching responsible breeders and my research led me to Stanroph Golden Retrievers, an English Golden Retriever breeder on the southern coast of Spain known for their healthy, beautiful dogs. After working in the pet moving industry for almost 10 years, I thought I would be well prepared for bringing my puppy into the US from Spain, but I also knew it would require a lot of research! Fortunately, PetRelocation has tons of free pet travel resources I was able to use to plan my puppy’s trip.
My puppy was born in December, and just two weeks ago, when he was finally old enough to come home, my husband and I traveled to Spain to pick him up. No one told me how hard picking out “the one” would be! All I knew was that I wanted a male dog, and there were four adorable boys to choose from. But, as they say, “the one” picks you.
After sitting on the floor playing with the four puppies for a while, three of them got drowsy and piled up in a little heap to go to sleep. The breeder had marked each puppy with a different color to distinguish them and “Mr. Pink” was the last man standing. Out of habit, I started playing a game with him that I had played with Gus as a child, having him chase a toy underneath my legs and around in circles. Suddenly, I felt like I was looking at both Gus and Charlie, a beautiful, fuzzy blend of spirit, strength, and loyalty. As his big eyes became drowsy, “Mr. Pink” sat down between my husband and I, staring up at both of us, ready for an adventure. That’s when I knew he was “the one.” And don’t worry – the name “Mr. Pink” didn’t stick. We’ve named him Bravo, Spanish for brave.
Sarah, Senior Pet Relocation Consultant: I always wanted a Goldendoodle -- a big, teddy bear looking dog. But then I thought, how funny would it be to get one specifically because she looks like me!? So I began my search for a redheaded Goldendoodle. They’re really hard to find! It’s kind of like children -- hard to predict if you’ll get a redhead out of a red dad and a golden mom or vice versa. So, I looked for a breeder that specifically bred Irish Setters to Red Poodles, making the chances of red hair a guarantee!
I found one in Indiana, just a few hours south of my parents’ house in Michigan. A winter snow baby, just like me! How could I pass this up? I named her Reba due to her red hair and hopefully sassy attitude. Reba and I have gotten comments such as “look at your little doppelganger!” or “I’m a hair colorist and I don’t know how you matched your dog’s coat perfectly to your hair, but your hairdresser is a magician!” (my hair is naturally red, by the way).
I loved her the instant I saw her little puppy butt wagging in a video my breeder sent. And when I picked her up, forget about it -- that SMELL! Intoxicating! I’m in love with Reba. She stole my heart that day!
Rebecca, Pet Relocation Trainer: I knew Stryker was the one when he became putty in my lap!
I fell in love with the Bernese Mountain Dog breed as soon as I read about them in a Dog Encyclopedia. They had the perfect combination of fluff, size and sweet temperament toward humans and other animals. From then on I knew my first dog would be a Berner. After years of scouting for breeders, I flew to Colorado to pick out the new puppy I had only been able to dream about.
I arrived to find only two male puppies remained. One was absolutely striking in color with perfect markings and a gorgeous face. The other had a spotty cow nose, white socks that went half way up his legs and a thin white Mohawk down his neck. I was handed the picture perfect puppy first only to quickly find out he had quite a voice. He cried and squirmed in my arms, so I quickly put him down to watch him further. He pounced and played but reacted similarly when my sister picked him up.
I asked to hold the other puppy, who sweetly snuggled in my arms and even seemed to love my kisses! Sitting on the couch, I placed him on my legs on his back; his head relaxed and his ears flopped back, making me laugh. I had never seen anything so cute or trusting.
From there on I knew he was the one! His spotty cow nose did finally turn black, I found out his white mohawk is called a “Swiss Kiss” (a good luck mark), and it has now blended to his coat and only his white boots remain.
Evelyn, Pet Relocation Consultant: I knew VV and I were meant for each other the minute we met. As corny as it sounds, I felt like we shared a deep level of understanding from the beginning. Sometimes I look at her and it’s like staring in the mirror!
Kelley, Director of HR: Shortly after we got married, my husband, an Air Force Captain at the time, was being sent on assignment to the Middle East and he wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be lonely while he was gone. We needed a dog.
After taking an online quiz (What dog fits your lifestyle?) – the #2 suggestion was Norwegian Lundehund. Our initial reaction was “What’s a Lundehund?” We had never heard of the breed and, of course, started to research. “Dogs with six toes? Dogs who have articulated shoulders? Dogs who can touch the back of their heads to their spines? Almost went extinct during WWII? Only 2000-2500 of them in the world? And cute too?”
Lucky for us, there was woman on the East Coast who was breeding Lundehunds, and she had two puppies from a recent litter who still needed a home. We drove the four hours to Cary, North Carolina and it was love at first sight. The puppy fell asleep in my arms, exhausted from a long day of playtime, while we were talking to the woman. At that point my husband said he knew we weren’t coming home without him. It was a done deal.
Now a senior canine, Dante has been through four moves in his life. He still romps about in the morning with junior barker, Modi (another Lundehund) and Skipper, the Sheltie. He’s my four-legged baby and will celebrate his 14th birthday in April. It was love at first sight and each day that he’s been in my life is a wonderful gift.
Tom, HR Specialist: An animal-loving family in the country who unexpectedly ended up with a litter chose to give their puppies to good homes in hopes of keeping them out of the shelter. We drove an hour into the boonies outside of Austin, down a driveway that can best be described as a dried up creek bed. Even at 8 weeks old, Leo’s personality showed through and we knew we had found our boy!
Happy Valentine's Day to all the pet lovers out there! Feel free to share your own "meet cute" pet stories in the comments -- we'd love to read them.
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Puppy
Pet Breed: Chocolate Labrador
From: Quebec, Canada
To: Houston, Texas
My dog just had puppies and my uncle is living in the states and he wants one. We are just curious about some of the requirements needed to have the puppy transferred from Canada to the States. What are the fees involved?
If there is any special way of handling this? If you can give me the best information on this it would be very much appreciated.
Thank you for reaching out with a question! We'd be happy to offer some assistance. Please begin by looking over the pet import requirements for the United States. The dog will need to have a vet health certificate stating he/she is healthy and fit to fly (this is what the airline requires) as well as an up-to-date rabies vaccine. We recommend that dogs be at least 16 weeks old before they travel by air.
Please take a look at these essential pet travel tips for more information about the basic process. As you'll see, crate-training and choosing a pet-friendly airline are very important parts of planning a smooth relocation. You'll also need to make sure the travel crate is the correct size and airline-approved. If you have questions about flying an unaccompanied dog via cargo, please read more about it here.
If you think you'd like some assistance, please fill out our consultation form. We've organized thousands of safe pet moves and would be glad to help you, as well.
Name: Tor arne Toennessen
Number of Pets: 3
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Jamthund (Scandinavian oldest hunting dog)
What rules would apply for us if we move from Norway to Singapore and would like to bring our dogs with us? We have a 3.5-year-old Female and her 2 pups of 15 weeks.
I have been offered a position in Singapore, but I am not saying yes if this means I can't bring my dogs. A reply from you on this would be appreciated.
Thanks for submitting a question to us (and congratulations on your job offer)!
To plan a course of action, your best source of information will be the official Singapore government website. Here you should find the most current rules about how to import your dogs into the country.
Norway is a "Category B" country, so you'll follow these regulations. As you'll see, you need an import license, veterinary certificate, microchip and all stated vaccines, including rabies. For general information about pet travel rules and requirements, please take a look at this overview.
Please be aware that it can sometimes be a challenge to find housing in Singapore, especially for three dogs. We recommend taking some time to research your options here, also, before making a commitment.
If you think you'd like some assistance with moving your dogs to Singapore, please contact us for a consultation. We've helped many pets relocate to Singapore and would be happy to discuss your options with you, too.
Good luck with everything!
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Blue Heeler
To: Dominican Republic
We're moving to the Dominican Republic in the Summer of 2015. Many airlines seem to say you cannot ship a dog if the daily forecasted temperature is 85 degrees or higher, and it appears to be over 85 in the DR all year long! Is there some sort of way around this rule? Using a professional shipping company or something? Thanks for your help!
Thanks for your inquiry. We've helped several pets move successfully to the Dominican Republic and would be happy to explore your options with you. Often pet travel can seem impossible at first, but after some investigating is done and expert knowledge applied, a solution can often be found. For your information, here are the pet import requirements for the Dominican Republic.
Generally, flying with a pet-friendly airline (we often use United) diminishes the chance of being affected by temperature, as a truly pet-oriented carrier will not let pets be exposed to the elements for a significant amount of time and will place a high priority on safety and comfort all year round.
We hope we can be of service to you, and either way, good luck!
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Fluffy
From: Oklahoma City, OK
To: San Diego, CA
My fiancé and I are getting married and we'll be moving her and her cat to San Diego. I'm checking out the options and whether or not it would be easier to use a pet transport service or just fly back with her cat. How does your business handle the pet being transported?
Excellent question. Most of the time it's technically possible for pet owners to move pets on their own, but since the process can require a considerable amount of effort (and often stress), some people choose to hire the help of professionals so that they'll have more time to focus on other things (such as moving their own belongings, etc). Here are a few more reasons people choose to hire help.
A domestic cat move is not as complicated as moving a large dog internationally, for example, but you might still find that enlisting pet travel experts to handle the move could be a good solution. PetRelocation arranges door-to-door travel services and helps oversee the gathering of pre-export paperwork, the right travel crate and the plane ticket. We move our clients' pets via cargo on a pet-friendly airline, making it easier for the owners to plan and carry out their own trip.
You may ultimately decide to carry your cat in the cabin with you or plan the cargo trip on your own, but if you're seeking additional assistance you're welcome to contact us for a consultation.
Hope this helps! Congratulations on your upcoming marriage, and please let us know if we can answer any further questions.
Name: Mrs. Hutson
From: Koh Samui, Thailand
To: London Heathrow
Pet: Bobbi (7-month-old mix breed)
We rescued a street pup in Koh Samui, Thailand and put him with a lovely local sanctuary. Now we want to bring him home to England. Where do we start?
We are willing to accompany Bobbi from Bangkok. We just need help on how to start as we don't expect the sanctuary to run around for us (they are a busy place).
Thanks for contacting us! To start, please take a look at the pet import requirements for the UK. Since Thailand is an "unlisted" country, you'll need to follow those rules as prescribed during a process that will likely take at least three months.
It sounds like you will need to enlist some help if you plan to start the preparation process while Bobbi is still in Koh Samui (the three month waiting period begins when the blood test is taken, which must be done after the rabies vaccine is administered and the microchip is implanted). If you don't have anyone in mind, know that pet owners sometimes use IPATA.org to locate local agents to assist with pre-export paperwork, transportation to the airport, etc.
If you still have questions after reading the information found in the link above and would like to find out more about our door-to-door services, feel free to contact us. We also recommend reading over this basic pet travel information for tips and advice. Hope this helps to get you started, and we hope to hear from you soon!
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Shiba Inu
From: California, USA
To: Richland, WA, USA
My question isn't in regards to moving, but I've found a 4-year-old Shiba Inu in an animal shelter in California that I really want to adopt. The problem is that I can't get down there: is there any way I could have him shipped to me? Is this something that you guys do?
Please let me know how much this typically costs...
Thank you for your question! It is possible to have a dog shipped to you unaccompanied, but you will need to arrange for someone in California to gather the correct paperwork beforehand (usually just a vet health certificate and proof of an updated rabies vaccine -- take a look at the Washington requirements here).
You'll also need to buy the correct airline-approved travel crate and have someone take the dog to the airport and check him in for his flight, ideally on a pet-friendly airline.
Our company arranges door-to-door pet relocations for pets flying unaccompanied, and though usually the pet owner brings their dog to the vet, etc. in the days before the move, it's possible that we could have an agent handle this for you. Our costs for moving one small pet internationally typically start at around $1200, but your costs will differ depending on a few factors.
If this sounds like what you're looking for and you'd like to discuss your options with us, please give our office a call or fill out our online consultation form. Thanks for considering us, and good luck with everything!
Thinking about traveling with a pet? Hopefully the resources you find here on the PetRelocation site are helpful, but we know nothing beats receiving tips, advice and anecdotes from a fellow pet lover who has been through the process already.
That's why we'd like to point you to the blog called Rob, Meg, and Hazel Abroad. We recently helped Hazel the German Shepherd move to Germany and were excited to see that her pet parents took the time to write about the entire process.
We highly suggest reading Hazel's move story in its entirety (especially to those of you planning an international pet move soon), but for now, here are a few highlights that really rang true to us:
It's completely normal to feel overwhelmed and scared at the beginning of a pet move, and nothing compares to having direct access to the knowledge and experience of a seasoned pet traveler. Now thanks to Meg and her blog, a few future pet owners will have this when they begin!
As we've discussed before, the pet travel stories that make it to the news are sad and scary, but they do not accurately represent the big picture. The more you learn about your options, the more you'll realize that you're not powerless when it comes to planning a safe pet relocation.
We included this partly because it's a compliment to us (thanks, Meg!), but also because it once again reflects the uncertainty that is inherent in the pet relocation process. Without evidence and reassurance it's hard to make a choice, but doing as much research as possible and coming across stories like Hazel's can make a big difference. We'd also like to add that PetRelocation is indeed a detail-oriented team of pet lovers, and we treat all clients' pets as well as we'd treat our own.
This is an important update that all pet travelers to the EU should be aware of. Start by reading over the new rules here, and talk to a relocation specialist to find out how they might affect you specifically. Side note: we love that Meg calls Hazel a "fluffbutt" -- you can never have too many affectionate synonyms for "pet."
This is great advice. We suggest to our clients that they start feeding their pets slowly and carefully upon arrival, especially if it has been necessary to switch to a different type of food than what you had at home. Make sure they have plenty of water and attention from you, of course, and talk to your vet if any concerning behavior arises. In our experience, pets are generally pretty resilient and will be probably be back to their normal selves within a few days (sounds like Hazel was!).
It's true that services like ours are not the cheapest option, but time and again we hear from our clients that they appreciate the fact that so much fear and stress was removed from the process because they decided to enlist help. We may not be for everyone, but we're glad to hear Hazel's owners feel confident they made the right choice with us!
Thanks again to Meg and Rob for choosing us to assist with Hazel's move and for sharing such valuable, helpful information about pet travel. As always, please contact us if you're looking for assistance with an upcoming pet relocation and happy traveling, pet lovers!
by Kelley Barnes, Director of HR
Sarah Smith will be celebrating her four year anniversary with PetRelocation this March. In 2014, she helped more than 200 clients by creating customized move plans to safely transport their family pets and guiding them through the selection process to determine the perfect solution to meet their specific needs.
The intricacies of international requirements for the import and export of live animals is not knowledge that can be picked up quickly and easily. Undergoing the same educational process that all our Consultants experience, Sarah started her career with PetRelocation focusing on domestic US moves but she now serves as one of our experts regarding pet transport that originates or terminates in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The complexities of permits and timelines for that region can take over a year to master, given all the countries involved.
When asked about her role in the company, Sarah said, “We send pets to more exotic locations than ever before. Planning can take days or weeks, so even if you apply the same thought processes, it’s never the same day twice.”
Not only does Sarah excel in providing expert advice to prospective clients, she also understands what is means to embody our company values, including commitment and wisdom. When asked to be the subject of our first employee profile in 2015, Sarah demonstrated her dedication to teamwork by making the time to answer the following interview questions.
They took me and Christina (she started on the same day and worked here for about 1.5 years) out to lunch EVERY day that week. And there was beer at lunch!! I remember it was a VERY relaxed atmosphere and I loved that right away. There were no micromanagers breathing down your neck. Everyone was friendly and genuinely cared for one another.
PETS! I was looking for a job that somehow incorporated animals. I am an animal lover and I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew at that point in my life I wanted it to involve animals. I was looking for a supplemental job, just something to pay a few fun bills here and there. And after starting, I found myself needing to rely on this job for financial stability. After I had worked here for a few months, I knew I wasn’t leaving! I got to use my love for animals and my passion for helping people while having fun with puzzle-solving logistics!
Sooooo much has changed. The company has grown in sales, maturity, processes and people. We have more resources and processes in place to support our work. It helps us to do our jobs better.
The two most notable changes? 1) Moving from our Spicewood offices to Downtown Austin. 2) We used to handle the entire move for each client from building the plans to the actual shipping. We really improved the overall process by having the task split between two people, allowing us to really focus on best practices.
The PetRelocation team on a recent outing
I have too many to pick one!! I’ve moved pets for professional UFC fighters and professional European basketball players. I have several clients that are “threepeats.” One duo of Rottweilers moved with us from Laos to the US, then the US to Mongolia, then Mongolia back to the US. Probably some of the best world travelers we have!
One “story” that touches me involves at least three different clients. In 2013 we moved a sweet family to Dubai. They had a few cats and a dog. I had another potential client contact me about moving his dog and cat to Dubai, but he was terrified of what would be life for his Golden Retriever in a foreign country. I connected the two clients -- past and potential.
They hit it off and Kim (past client) took Jim and his family (potential client) to breakfast while they visited Dubai on a house hunt. He hadn’t even hired us yet! Kim convinced him that Dylan (his Golden) would be just fine and that we were a great company to work with. They hired us, and now the two families are fast friends in Dubai! Kim also had a hand in easing the fears of another client whose pets just moved, and now Jim and his family are paying it forward to a new potential client! I think we’re starting a group of friends in Dubai and that really warms my heart.
Dylan the Golden in Dubai
Generating $1.2 million in revenue in 2014, which resulted in lots of beautiful reunions!
It’s hard to say. Country requirements will change, as they always do. For example, the European Union has a new rule that started being enforced on January 1 requiring that a pet traveling to the EU arrive within five days of the owner. It’s a huge change and will impact not only our clients, but anyone headed into the EU.
I also think companies will start realizing their employees won’t leave their pets behind, and we can expect more organizations to regularly factor pets into their employee’s relocation reimbursement plan.
You MUST be able to work strange hours. You MUST be able to deal with stress -- a high level of stress. You MUST care about animals, first and foremost! Decide if the stress and hours are worth it for you. It’s not for everyone and that’s ok, but don’t waste your own time by “trying it out.” It will be MORE stressful than they tell you! But so rewarding and worth it!
Everyone here helps each other. There will be a team of people willing to help you solve the client’s problem. You’re never on your own. The culture here has always been one of fun and caring. In fact, I think the team tries to focus on those qualities when hiring.
Reba, Sarah's dog, helping out at the office
Two things: 1) We don’t rescue and/or find pets a new home: our purpose is focused on relocation pets who already have an owner. 2) Our clients constantly tell us how this was the least stressful part of their whole move, and we’ve had others tell us that they wish we had handled their personal belongings as well because we made things so easy on them. We may cost more than other similar services, but we provide quality, professional service to every client, every day.
I am a super social person, but some of my favorite times are sitting on my couch in pajamas with Reba (my dog) and a glass of wine. Even better if my sister is in town!! Family is #1 for me.
Read, take Reba to the dog park, lift weights, swim, eat and drink, travel and anything involving water, sand and sun.
Laura Prepon -- but not from Orange is the New Black. Laura Prepon from a few years ago when she was playing Donna from That 70’s Show (redheaded tomboy, goofball).
Editor's Note: We interviewed Sarah back in 2011, too -- take a look what she had to say after working at PetRelocation for just a couple of weeks, and read about some of the incredible experiences Sarah and the rest of the PetRelocation team have recently arranged.
To: St. Louis, MO
Pet: Alaskan Malamute puppy, around 25 pounds
I am thinking of buying a puppy that is in Denmark. I have no clue how much shipping will cost. Just a ball park figure is fine. I'm not even where in Denmark the pup is located... I just wanted to know about total cost before I even get serious and bothered the breeder. She'll be an 8 or 9-week-old puppy.
Thanks for your question. It typically costs a few hundred dollars to move a small pet internationally; our door-to-door services can amount to $3500 or more for a relocation like this. Your specific costs will depend on a few factors, such as the exact points of departure and arrival, whether the dog flies in the cabin or in the cargo area, etc.
You can start to calculate those costs by adding up the dog's airfare, travel crate, pre-export paperwork, and associated vet visits and transportation costs to and possibly from the airport. The more help you enlist and the less you do on your own, the more expensive it will be.
Now, we can't help but mention the fact that pet scams are very common these days. You may be dealing with a reputable breeder, but no matter what it's important to use caution when dealing with someone you don't really know. Please read more about puppy scams to educate yourself about the warning signs and ensure that you won't fall for any dishonest tactics.
Another thing to think about: PetRelocation does not move pets younger than the age of 16 weeks. At four months they can receive all vaccines and are more physically prepared to withstand the rigors of travel, and moving a puppy younger than this requires extra care and attention and includes some amount of risk.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions about these topics, and good luck with everything!
From: United Kingdom
Pets: Chihuahua Mixes (5)
How much would it cost to transport my five dogs to Tunisia? They typically sleep together in one crate -- would they be able to travel this way?
Thanks for submitting your pet travel question to us! When preparing to relocate with pets internationally, it's a good idea to check with the Ministry of Agriculture of the country to which you'll be moving to find out about the most up-to-date pet import rules (usually a health certificate and proof of updated rabies vaccine are required). You can also find out a little about Tunisia pet import rules here.
We'd also like to suggest taking a look at these essential pet travel tips and, when researching airline options, choose one with pet-friendly policies if possible. It's likely your dogs will each have to travel in their own airline-approved travel crate in the cargo area of the plane, so it's important to acclimate them to their crates in the weeks before you move (this makes it a less stressful and overall more smooth experience for all involved).
In terms of costs, our door-to-door services typically start at around $3500 to move one small pet internationally. You're welcome to contact us to discuss your options, or if you'd like to explore alternate and possibly less expensive solutions, we recommend searching for local agents through IPATA.org.
Hope this helps to get you started! Just let us know if you think we can be of further assistance, and good luck with everything.
Name: Ammar & Guy
Pets' Names: Lucy, Oscar, & Winston
From: Glendale, California, USA
To: Brussels, Belgium
We moved to Brussels, Belgium from Southern California in October of 2014. The most difficult aspect of the entire process was figuring out how to get our three animals safely transported. None of the animals were used to traveling, nor were they used to being in crates, but PetRelocation took all the craziness out of our hands.
They aided us in figuring out what papers to have ready and what medical tests to have done. They made sure that our three "babies" were picked up from our house in California and safely delivered to our door in Brussels. It may have taken 15 hours of travel time due to the distance, but all of our pets not only survived the ordeal, they are each thriving in our new locale. And while they may not have access to a personal backyard as we had back in SoCal, with several dog-friendly parks all with a half km of land at our new house, they don't seem to mind one bit!
We highly recommend PetRelocation to anyone needing help in transporting their animals cross-country or overseas.
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Pit Bull mix (though hasn't had DNA testing)
From: Chicago, USA
I've been researching individual airline guidelines for transporting dogs, and have found that the restricted breeds are often subtitled "brachycephalic or snub-nosed breeds," which I thought referred to dogs such as pugs and English Bulldogs. However, pure bred or any mixed breeds of Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers are listed in the restricted breeds, as well. Is this because they are considered brachycephalic/snub-nosed, or is it an additional/unrelated issue? I am considering a move to Europe and will not move without my dog, but also do not want to take any extra risks if it is a greater health hazard for his breed to fly.
Additionally, I was unclear whether dogs transported in the cargo compartment can be flown in the crates that are metal only, or are you supposed to use the carriers that are plastic enclosures with metal doors? My dog is well behaved in his normal metal crate where he can easily see out, but is often anxious and frightened inside of a plastic crate with the limited number of slits.
Thanks for your help!
Thanks for the question, we'd be happy to offer some guidance. Breeds such as Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Terriers are often listed as "restricted" because of historic breed bans rather than health issues. Though you'll find plenty of evidence to support the fact that these breeds are no more dangerous than any other (as we're sure you already know), their size, appearance and possible strength still dictates the policies of many countries and airlines.
We often refer to breed-specific legislation resources online when helping our clients plan out international moves, as some countries do not allow certain breeds to be imported. For example, we helped a dog named Stan move to the Netherlands in 2013 when his owner found out that he wouldn't be able to go to Denmark, where Pit Bulls are banned. Advance planning and creative solutions might be necessary for your move, as well, so it's great that you're starting the process now.
As far as travel crates, this is up to the airline. United (an airline we often choose to fly with) requires that Pit Bulls and a few other breeds travel in reinforced crates meeting IATA Container Requirement #82. KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways are also airlines that we typically select, so we recommend researching the current rules and procedures of these carriers when planning your dog's move.
We also recommend contacting the Ministry of Agriculture in Bulgaria as well as any local authorities and vets who may be able to shed light on how Pit Bulls are regulated (if at all) there. Every country is different, and it's best to learn as much as you can about laws and cultural attitudes before you go.
Hopefully this helps! Just let us know if you think you'd like some help arranging this move (you can fill out our online consultation form), and good luck with everything.
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Monkey
Pet Breed: Capuchin
From: MN, USA
To: GA, USA
I am taking to someone about getting a monkey, and all she wants is a shipping fee that she says is $280. She said she would be using your services. I am just wanting to make sure this isn't a scam.
That is definitely a scam. Anytime someone you don't know is offering to give you a pet (especially a high-demand breed or exotic species) and only wants to charge you transportation fees, you can assume the animal doesn't exist and they are just trying to take advantage of you.
Read more about how to avoid pet scams and know that these tactics apply to dogs, cats, birds, and yes, monkeys. We strongly advise against dealing with unknown parties online when looking to add a pet to your family, and remember that anytime you're asked to wire money for "transportation fees," you're in danger of falling for a well-worn scam.
For reference, moving a small pet domestically typically starts at around $1200 (this covers airfare, health documents, vet visits, travel crate, etc), so this suggested fee of just $280 serves as another red flag. Monkey travel also requires a little more planning than dog and cat travel, so if something sounds too easy to be true, it probably is.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Magan (and hopefully you haven't sent any money yet). Please let us know if you have further questions, and good luck out there!
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