Incredible Experiences: Sugar's Move to Austria
Pet Moves to Austria aren't exactly common, so when we recently had the opportunity so assist an 11-year-old Westie named Sugar with her move from Illinois to Eben im Pongau, we decided it would be fun (and educational) to highlight the story.
Read on to find out more about pet-friendly life in Austria as well as what it takes to move a pet there. Thanks to Sugar's owner Julie for answering our questions and for letting us feature Sugar as a great July Pet Move of the Month!
Is this the first time you’ve ever moved a pet?
We have moved pets within the United States by car. This is the first time we have moved a pet internationally.
Did anything surprise you about the international pet moving process?
The large amount of paperwork and the vet visit that had to be scheduled 10 days prior to the flight were surprising requirements.
How is Sugar adjusting to the new location?
Sugar's attitude is good after the move and has been from the very moment she got out of the mover's car.
What is life like in Austria ? Is it a pet-friendly place to be?
Austria is a pet-friendly place to be and Europe in general seems to be, also. There are walking paths between the small towns. I live in a more rural area and it was slightly difficult to find an English speaking vet. I visited a vet that could hardly speak English, but gave me the name and number of a vet about 20 minutes away that speaks better English and has an X-ray machine. For special services (an endoscopy and CAT scan) we had to drive about two hours away near Linz, Austria. However, the vets seem just as capable here as the USA.
There are plenty of pet stores. Sugar ate a special IAMs food sold only by vets in the USA. I called IAMS while still in the USA and they had their British contact email me with the brand name of the food I could get from the vet in Austria. IAMS gave me great customer service, too.
People let their dogs off-leash here more. In fact, there is a large, very furry Golden Retriever that roams a neighboring town. He is appropriately named Simba and is 14 years old. Everyone in the town knows him. He walks on the sidewalks and visits around town. We even saw him walk through the Christmas Market without his owner last December.
What advice do you have for people who might be planning a move?
Start early, especially if your pet is not crate-trained. If you are going to do the paperwork yourself, allow plenty of time and you will need a native speaker to interpret the form. Or you will need to find someone that speaks good English in Austrian customs. We find that there are not too many good English speakers in our area and a lot of miscommunication can take place. (I used PetRelocation.com for everything, including paperwork, so I did not have to worry about this.)
What did you find most helpful about hiring PetRelocation to help with your move?
Basically, PetRelocation did all the research. You knew what crate to buy, how to train the dog, and what documents were required. It would have taken me lots of time to figure that out and then I would have been worried that USDA or airport customs would reject the documentation.