Help Me Move My Pet

Pet Travel Tips: Choosing the Right Size Travel Crate

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Recently we moved Cole, a black lab, from California to Disrito Federal, Brazil. It turns out that Brazil has a variety of specialized pet import requirements,so it was important for his owners to plan carefully and start their preparations well in advance.

That's not even mentioning something everyone must address no matter where they're flying a pet -- choosing the right size travel crate. It's easy to underestimate the size of the crate you'll need (pets should be able to stand comfortably and stretch out a little while enjoying plenty of breathing room), so pet owners should consult a few good sources before making their final decision.

Cole's owner happens to qualify as such a source, as not only was he thorough enough to take videos as his pup tried a couple of crates on for size, he was kind enough to share them.

Take a look as Cole (a very well-trained dog, by the way) shows us how it's done, and feel free to use this as a guide as you make your own pet travel crate decisions.

Here's Cole in a crate that's a bit too small for him:

And here he is (along with a friend) in a crate that's a correct fit:

Well done, Cole! We're glad you made it safely to your destination, and hope that life in Brazil is going well. Here's a bit more information about pet travel crate measurements and how to choose the right one, and as always, contact PetRelocation.com with any additional questions.

Pet Move of the Month: Cole's Move to Brazil

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Cole - Pet Move of the MonthCongrats to Cole, our December Pet Move of the Month! Cole is a Labrador who moved from San Francisco to Brazil, a process that required quite a bit of preparation.

In addition to meeting standard health requirements and Brazil's specific import regulations, Cole's owners also had to make sure this big guy had a large enough travel crate (check out Cole's video tutorial illustrating how to choose the right size pet travel crate).

Thanks to Cole for showing us how it's done, and thanks to his owner, Mike, for answering a few questions about their trip. Good luck in Brazil!

What were some of your concerns going into the move?

Temperature and overall comfort level for Cole.

Did anything surprise you about the international pet moving process?

The amount of paperwork that is required!

How is Cole adjusting to the new location?

He loves all of the new space and especially playing with his red Frisbee in the pool and the hot tub.

What is life like in Brazil? Is it a pet-friendly place to be?

So far, we've seen that a lot of people have dogs and bring them everywhere -- a lot like San Francisco. There are some very good trails and open areas. We have not seen a vet yet, but are going to soon. It is difficult to find the same kinds of food here, so for now, we have ordered from Petsmart and had his food shipped.

There are some diseases and insects that can be dangerous to dogs here, so we also have to take extra measures to protect against these. Even though there are a ton of large dogs here, I still can't find a large pet bed for Cole. (Odd.)

What advice do you have for people who might be planning a move?

Having assistance is definitely worth it. I recommend planning very early because the last month goes by very fast and you can't always predict a veterinarian problem or unseen health issue with the pet.

For us, crate training was easy because Cole was trained to be in crate from two months of age, but for those who aren't as comfortable, this is probably a big priority.

Pet Travel Question: Tips for a Military Pet Move

Monday, December 5, 2011 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Noelle
From: Gibraltar
To: London
Pets: Two cats

I would like to know the estimated cost of transporting my animals from Gibraltar to London, and then onto the USA. Due to it being a military move, we will be flying British Airways from Gibraltar to London, and then on American Airlines from London to Seattle, Washington. I am looking for the most cost effective way to do this.


Hello Noelle,

Thanks for contacting us! Since this is a multi-part move you'll need to meet the pet import requirements for both the UK and for the US. Luckily the requirements for the UK are set to become less restrictive Jan. 1 2012 (read more about the new UK pet import rules). The cost of all of this will depend on your time frame and a few other details, so check out these links and feel free to fill out our free PetRelocation.com quote form. (Please note that we also offer a 10% Military Discount.)

Good luck with everything, and please let us know how we can be of further service!

Pet Travel Question: How to Fly a Puppy

Monday, December 5, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Julie
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Puggle
From: US
To: Canada

Over Christmas we are going to visit family for a week with our puppy. How can we go about bringing him with us?


Hi Julie,

Thanks for submitting your question to us. To give you an idea about the health documents you'll need, etc, here are the pet import requirements for Canada.

In terms of traveling with a puppy, it's our policy to wait until they're at least four months old so that they can get their rabies shots and are physically sturdy enough to handle the experience of flying.

Take a look at all of this information, and please let us know if you need anything else! We'd be happy to offer more advice or a free quote for our services. Good luck!

Pet Customer Testimonial: Skye & Teddy's Move to Canada

Monday, December 5, 2011 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: William
Pet Names: Skye & Teddy
From: Houston, TX
To: Calgary, AB

Rebecca and the PetRelocation.com team made this transfer exceptionally painless. From the start, their online contract paperwork, their handling of the vet, medical clearances, and travel arrangements were all handled seamlessly and efficiently.

Our pets arrived on time and in the best of condition. Thank you, Rebecca, for such great service! We will definitely use you for all our future moves.

Continuing our Pet Travel Education: Lessons from the 2011 IPATA Conference

Friday, December 2, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

The 2011 IPATA Conference offered a great chance for Cara and Matt, two of our senior PetRelocation.com employees, to meet other pet shipping pros, brush up on the latest industry trends, and get some hands on experience, as well (check out Kika's Hong Kong/China border crossing story). They even got to host a pet party at Pet World for some of our past and present clients, and overall found Hong Kong to be a welcoming and enriching place.

Here's a little more about the conference itself, as recounted by Matt, our Director of Customer Relations:

This year’s IPATA conference in Hong Kong was a great treat for all involved, and an invaluable way to meet new faces, visit old friends, and gain further insight into all manner of current and future trends in the pet relocation industry.

ipata group photo

The conference proper was spread over four days, November 5th-8th, and included various workshops, guest speakers, awards ceremonies, and a silent auction.  Some of the more interesting topics covered:





This year’s conference was particularly unique, as it was one of the first to be hosted in Asia.  In previous years, the vast majority of conferences have been held in either North America or Europe, which has prevented a good portion of our friends in the East from attending.  This year, however, we were able to finally put faces to the friendly voices we have worked with continuously over the years.

It was a tremendous learning experience for every member fortunate enough to attend, and a further reminder that IPATA is one of the most dedicated group of pet lovers the world over!

Friday Pet News Round-Up: Beagle Freedom Project, Hong Kong Pet Travel and More

Friday, December 2, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

-Two of our senior employees recently visited Hong Kong for the 2011 IPATA Conference. Read about their adventures moving a dog to mainland China and about the fun pet party they had at Pet World.

-A stolen dog is found and returned to his family after five years.

-Pet obesity: stats and information.

-Hometown pride! Austin Pets Alive! won the ASPCA $100K Challenge, so they'll be able to help many more pets find homes.

-Here are a few fun pet products from Dogster that'll come in handy for any upcoming holiday pet travel you may be planning.

-It's true, PetRelocation.com played a role in the Beagle Freedom Project efforts you've been hearing about. Check out the video if you haven't seen it yet!

Pet Travel Question: Importing Staffordshire Terriers

Saturday, December 3, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Sharon
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Staffodshire Bull Terrier
From: UK
To: US

I am inquiring for a friend moving to the US with his Staffie. I have heard that Staff's may not be able to enter the US from abroad. This would devastate him. Literally, this dog IS his family. She's not aggressive (except for licking you to death). Is this a cut and dry regulation or are the dog's past and temperament taken into consideration?

Thank you,

Hi Sharon,

The United States is actually one of the easier places to bring a pet, and as far as I know there are no regulations banning the import of Staffies. Here are the import requirements for the US -- take a look and please contact us if you have any more questions.

For future reference, you can also read more about Staffordshire Terriers and breed-specific legislation on our blog. Good luck with everything!

Pet Air Travel: Questions about flying pets in cargo

Thursday, December 8, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

It's easy to become stressed out when planning the logistics of an international relocation, and every day we talk to pet owners who are worried about how their pets will handle the experience of flying.

Depending on the airline you choose, where you're going, and the size of your furry family member, you may end up discovering that, to make it from Point A to Point B, your pet will need to be placed in the cargo area of the plane. For many pet owners, the thought of flying with their pets out of reach and out of sight sounds a little scary, and in this situation, it's also easy for pet travel misconceptions and unfounded fears to overshadow the facts.

What exactly does it mean to fly pets via "cargo"? Where is the cargo area, and what's it like inside? Here are a few facts that should help clear up the confusion surrounding this issue.

cargo plane
The two parts of the cargo area are highlighted above

-The cargo area on most standard narrow body planes (Boeing 737s, etc.) is the large area in the belly of the plane and is essentially divided in half by the engine and wings (so there's a forward "bin" and a rear "bin").

-Luggage, assorted cargo and pet crates may be packed in the same bin, and the plane has to be balanced as well as possible.

-Pet crates are secured during flight using netting and straps, so in case of turbulence, pets will be kept safe and stationary. While the crates are in the same general area as luggage and other cargo, these items are kept as far from the pets as possible so that pets' air flow will not be compromised.

-Basically, good airlines know what they're doing, so though baggage and pets are in the same part of the plane, they certainly aren't treated the same way.

-According to Continental Airlines, stress is the most taxing part of the travel process for animals, and keeping them away from the hectic vibe of the cabin (think strange smells, crowds of people, various noises, etc.), makes for a better experience overall.

So, though you won't have access to them during the flight, when you choose a pet-friendly airline with a good pet safety record (in addition to Continental, KLM and Lufthansa are a couple of our preferred airlines), flying pets in the cargo area is often the best choice.

Please contact us if you have more questions about flying with pets in cargo. Remember, it's normal to feel nervous about pet travel, but the more you know, the more you'll realize how safe it can really be.

(Image courtesy of United Airlines)

Pet Travel Question: Moving a Great Dane

Thursday, December 1, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: David
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Great Dane
From: Florida
To: Either England or Japan

I may be assigned overseas and wanted to see how to go about getting my Great Dane overseas with me. He is a year old and weighs 150 Lbs.


Hi David,

Thanks for contacting us with your question. First, here is some general information about moving large dogs. You'll probably need to acquire a custom crate for your Great Dane, and it's important to check with your airline ahead of time to make sure the crate will be able to fit onto the airplane.

Here are the pet import requirements for Japan and the pet import requirements for the UK (which are scheduled to change Jan. 1, 2012, by the way). Let us know if you have any questions about these regulations, and please visit our site if you'd like a free quote for our services.

Good luck with your travels!

Pet Travel Question: Bringing a Cat on Vacation

Sunday, December 4, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Karla
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed:
From: Mexico
To: US

I'm going for a short stay for a vacation only, and I want to know whether my 3 3/4 years-old cat can go with me or not and what do I need to take her with me.


Hi Karla,

Thank you for your question. It would be possible to bring your cat on vacation with you -- these are the pet import requirements for the United States and the pet import requirements for Mexico.

We advise that you choose a pet-friendly airline when you fly; also it's important to take some care in selecting the proper travel carrier and try to work to help your cat get used to the crate, as well.

Good luck with your trip, and please contact us if you have any more questions!

Pet Move Customer Testimonial: Jasper's Dog Move

Thursday, December 1, 2011 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Michael
Pet's Name: Jasper
From: Portland, OR
To: Phoenix, AZ

I moved from Portland, Oregon to Phoenix, Arizona as part of a work promotion. While the thought of moving is overwhelming enough, the idea of "moving" my dog was just over-the-top.

I was more than concerned about how Jasper would get down here - the idea of him being "shipped" felt too much like a package being sent - I needed more assurances that he would be more than a package to them.

Honestly, I found PetRelocation.com through a Google search and after reading some testimonials, felt pretty good with their service - what sold me was Rebecca's service when we first spoke and emailed - I knew that Jasper would be well cared for and she did not disappoint.

Here's the kicker, I was already in Phoenix and my dog was staying with family so I went for the full door-to-door service. AMAZING. He was picked up promptly, all his paperwork was handled in advance so there were no last minute "things" to worry about. I received update emails to let me know how things were going on Jasper's big travel day, and before you know it, my dog and I were reunited.

Rebecca and all of her team took care of everything and also CARED for Jasper like he was just as important to them as he is to me.

Thanks for all you have done.

Pet Move Customer Testimonial: Bandit and Princess Return to the US

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Marietta
Pets' Names: Bandit & Princess
From: Huizhou, China
To: Kentucky

PetRelocation.com moved Princess and Bandit to China and moved them back to Kentucky just last week. Both times, working with their agents has been the most smooth part of our move. I was more calm coming home because I have been through it before, but Christina, our agent, made sure I didn't worry any more than necessary. She sent pictures in Hong Kong and again when they arrived in Chicago.

When you have these guys handling your furry babies, you feel like they have a nanny all the way to their destination. The entire operation is first class, from the driver that picks them up to the driver that brings them to your new home.

There are no concerns or even suggestions for improvement. Every person I have spoken to during the travel separation leaves you feeling calm and comfortable before hanging up. The phone calls to my family member at home to update on how Princess and Bandit were doing was impressive.

You never feel out of reach or control of your babies when PetRelocation.com is moving them. They treat the entire process like they are moving their own pet.

Pet Travel Question: Moving Cats to Australia

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Alexandra
Number of Pets: 5
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: 3 tabbies, 1 torby, 1 birman
From: US
To: Australia

We're considering a move to Australia. All of our cats have been strictly indoors their whole lives, are microchipped, and have all vaccinations up to date.

Would they still require quarantine? If so, can they be quarantined in our home?


Hi Alexandra,

Thanks for contacting us! Moving pets to Australia is definitely a big endeavor, so we'd be happy to help you figure it out.

These are the requirements for importing cats to Australia from the United States. As you can see, there is a quarantine requirement for this situation (check the official AQIS site for more information). Pet owners are often nervous about putting their pets in quarantine, but in reality these facilities sound much scarier than they really are.

Check out our blog for more info about Australia pet quarantines, and please let us know if you have any more questions! When handled correctly, your cats will enjoy a safe experience and will be home with you before you know it. Good luck!

Pet Travel Update: New Pet Import Rules for Australia from the UK, Ireland, Sweden & Malta

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

map of australiaAs we know, the pet import requirements for the UK are set to change on Jan. 1, 2012, essentially aligning UK rules with standard EU requirements for importing dogs and cats.

Not surprisingly, this change will affect pet imports to Australia, as well.

Since the UK is becoming less strict, Australia is shifting UK pet imports to a different category; UK pets will face a different set of rules than they did in the past.

According to the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), beginning Monday, Nov. 28, 2011, permit applications from the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Malta must meet Category 4 conditions. These countries are now in the same category as places like the United States, Canada, etc., and it may take longer to prepare for a move.

As always, PetRelocation.com advises that pet travelers begin preparing for a move well in advance, and if you have any questions or would like some help planning a pet relocation, contact us for a free quote.

Pet Travel Question: The effects of leaving pets behind (for a few weeks)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Olivia
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Yorkie and Morkie
From: Canada
To: Florida

I am moving to Florida for four months and can't bring my pets with me! Having said that I am leaving them with a family member who both dogs love and spend a lot of time with. Even though I know they are in good hands, though, I am worried about the effect it will have on them of me being away so long. Will they forget me? Or not want to come back home to me when I return? I have been struggling with this guilt more and more the closer it comes to my departure and I would just like a professional opinion to hopefully ease my anxiety about this!


Hi Olivia,

This question is a little different than the ones we normally address, but we're happy to offer some advice! First, it sounds like you're a very conscientious pet owner and take great care of your dogs. They're lucky to have you!

In our experience, we've found that pets are very resilient, and if you're leaving them with a trusted friend they will surely be fine. In fact, even though it's tough to leave them this is actually a caring thing to do; putting pets through the stress of travel when it's not a permanent move just isn't necessary, and the time you're gone will surely fly by.

As long as you get back to a normal schedule once you return from Florida and show them plenty of love, your pups will probably feel and act completely normal in no time. Talk to your vet if you have more questions (we're pet shippers, not pet psychologists, after all), but it sounds like you're putting yourself through a little too much stress right now (we all do it, don't worry).

Good luck, contact us if you have more questions, and feel free to keep in touch! Also, don't forget that Facebook is a great resource for talking with other pet owners, and reaching out to people there may hopefully help put your mind at ease.

Bringing Pets from Hong Kong to China: Lessons from the 2011 IPATA Conference (Part 2)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by Caitlin Moore

Yesterday we told you about Kika, a 150 lb Newfoundland traveling from Hong Kong to mainland China. When we left off, her paperwork had been inspected, she had passed a physical exam, and she was headed to the airport. Kika's journey isn't over yet, though! Read on to find out about the rest of her pet travel adventure.

Once customs was cleared, it was time to head to Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport for Kika’s flight to Shanghai.  The airport was about 45 minutes from the border, and our furry passenger did great on the ride over.  First stop, the cargo terminal.

hong kong terminal

hong kong cargo terminal

The initial step in tendering any pet is the weigh-in and preparation of the flight documents.

cargo check-in 

hong kong cargo check-in

Next, it’s time to prepare the pet and travel crate.

travel crate

Here’s Kika being walked to her travel crate and given some pre-check-in TLC from her owners (she garnered quite the crowd response from the cargo crew).
honog kong onlookers

kika in her crate

It is required that crates for pets traveling within China be secured by a secondary source, in this case wiring, which our buddy Zhou Lee is applying.

readying the crate

Now that Kika’s crate is prepared and secure, it’s time for a mandatory x-ray check and loading preparation.

crate prep
Kika departed shortly thereafter and was reunited with her family in Shanghai. The entire trip was short, efficient, and most of all, safe!


We're not finished with our 2011 IPATA Conference coverage yet! Check back tomorrow for more photos and information gathered by our visiting specialists.

Pet Travel Question: Moving Dogs to Mali

Monday, November 28, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Elsa
Number of Pets: Two
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Boerboel/St Bernard , Jack Russell
From: South Africa
To: Bamako, Mali

What papers do I need to move my dogs to Mali?


Hi Elsa,

Thank you for the question! These are the pet import requirements for Mali as per the IATA website. Take a look, and please contact us if you have any further questions.

Good luck!

Pet Travel Question: Returning to the United States

Monday, November 28, 2011 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Lucy
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Border Collie, Jack Russell
From: Dubai, UAE
To: Houston, Texas, US

We are moving back to Texas with our two dogs (originally from there). We want to take the dogs as cargo on the flight with my husband. What documents and paperwork do I need? Both dogs are microchipped.


Hi Lucy,

It sounds like you'll be ahead of the game considering that you've traveled with your pets before. These are the pet import requirements for the US (they're pretty straightforward, as you can see).

Take a look, and please contact us if you have any further questions or if you'd like some help handling your move. Good luck with everything!

Pet Travel Question: Moving a Cat to the Dominican Republic

Monday, November 28, 2011 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Julia
From: Moscow, Russia
To: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Pet: Cat (one year, three months)

Hi, I would like to know if I need a chip for a cat going to the Dominican Republic? What vaccination should we have in her veterinary passport? Where I can find any official information about it?

Thank you,

Hi Julia,

Here are the pet import requirements for the Dominican Republic. Take a look at these rules and then let us know if you have any questions (as you can see you will need a microchip and proof of vaccines).

Good luck with all of your pet travels!