Our pet move of the month features Tipper's move from the US to Malaysia. His owner Poh was kind enough to share the experience below!
What brought about your move to Malaysia?
I have just retired, but my family (parents and siblings) lives in Malaysia. I made a decision to be with my family at least 7-8 months out of a year. Several of my family members have already met Tipper when they came and visit me in Chicago in the past. They instantly took a liking to Tipper and they all said to bring him back to Malaysia with me. Thus begin Tipper's journey.
Did anything surprise you about the pet travel process?
For Tipper to go across 10,000 miles and perhaps over two great oceans was worrisome as I knew nothing about moving a pet. During my initial research, I found that PetRelocation answered many of my basic and some specific questions even before reaching out to them. They struck me as a well-informed company. I have also read many of the customers’ reviews/blogs about PetRelocation and found that they all expressed one central theme: “PetRelocation takes the worries out of your pet travel” - How true indeed! International pet travel is complicated and it certainly is an involved process, beginning with prepping your pet(s), ensuring all medical needs/vaccinations are met by governing authorities, coordinating with pet handlers from port to port as well as during a layover, and ensuring the pet's well being during quarantine if required. I must say, the team at PetRelocation never lost a heartbeat every step of the way; everyone I dealt with is truly committed and professional.
Tipper's move was tracked all the way from the moment he left my home to the end of his seven-day quarantine stay in the Malaysian facility. PetRelocation sent timely notifications (they even included designated members of my family as I was in the midst of travel myself) during each step, and nothing is more reassuring than receiving timely updates/status about Tipper's whereabouts. When I realized that Tipper will arrive late Friday afternoon (after 3pm), I was worried if he would be detained in the airport cargo area until the following day as it was near closing time for the quarantine facility. I was quickly assured he will be prioritized to be processed through the customs and be accompanied to the quarantine facility. Sure enough, I received both notifications and pictures about him settling in the facility before 6pm.
A little bit about the Malaysia quarantine facility. It is very basic but clean, quiet and spacious for each dog. Each room has its own air-conditioner. And it felt safe. Since I have lined the crate with a couple bath towels and a small blanket, this was used for Tipper as his sleeping “bed”. All visitors have to check in, leaving some sort of ID with the desk and upon check out, your ID will be returned. Staff at the facility is friendly. I wanted to visit Tipper every day but had to refrain from doing so upon the advice of Ananda from PetRelocation that Tipper might be more stressful in that while he will be more than excited to see me during my visit, he will be very disappointed and not understand why he is not brought home after my visit. Ananda was right. As a result, I visited him only twice after knowing that staff at the facility ensured his room is cleaned daily and allowed him out of his space twice a day. In addition, PetRelocation team makes a daily trip out there to ensure he is fed and allowed him some roaming time. Each day I received pictures of Tipper during his quarantine stay.
How did Tipper handle the move and how is he settling in?
I admit I was very worried about how Tipper would handle the move, especially since he was never crated or traveled a long distance by air. Two months prior to the move, PetRelocation advised me after purchasing of the crate to begin acclimating Tipper to being in a crate environment, which I did. In time, Tipper began to feel at ease being in the crate. Next, PetRelocation worked with my vet to ensure that all vaccination that is required by Malaysian authority is met. Even my vet was impressed with the thoroughness and efficient handling of the paperwork. We then worked on our flight schedule. I was to leave two days after Tipper's flight just in case there might be a delay due to weather. (Chicago weather can be unpredictable even in March!) As it turned out, Tipper's flight was canceled and rescheduled for two days later due to some airlines special circumstances instead of weather inclement. So, we both left on the same day!
What advice do you have for people who might be starting to plan their pet's move?
I cannot stressed enough that a pet's move especially internationally is an involved process. Plan ahead! Develop a checklist and get all your questions answered. Allow enough time to prep your pet, ensure that medical needs/vaccination requirements are met, allow some flexibility in your flight schedule if possible. Be prepared to accommodate changes if the need arises.
How pet-friendly is your new home city? Feel free to share the names of any dog-friendly places you've found!
Malaysia is a pet-friendly country. Tipper has now befriended with another dog since he has arrived. He has adjusted well and with so much sunshine, he loves to bask in them occasionally. If only a pair of shades is available, Tipper will be one cool dog in our neighborhood!
Special thanks and appreciation to Team Tipper, for making his trip so smoothly:
Evelyn (PetRelocation) - my first contact, answered my questions and not pushy
Ananda (PetRelocation) - you are so great with coordinating every step and assuring all paperwork are in order. Thanks for working so closely with my vet and providing timely tracking information.
John (of Chicago Pet Transport) - who picked up Tipper for O'Harecheck-inn and even called me to tell me Tipper was a bit scared but he was fine and he saw him through the door.
Handlers in Amsterdam - The 12-hour layover is hard enough for humans let alone for a dog. Tipper appeared tired (in the picture) but he was fine.
Petri/Muru of My Pets Relocation (Malaysia) - who provided almost real time pictures and pictures of Tipper and his wellbeing during the quarantine period.
Thank you to Poh for trusting us with Tipper's big move! We wish you all the best in Malaysia!
Pet Travel Details:
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Maltese
Pet Name: Tipper
From: Chicago, USA
Moving with your dog (or other pets) soon? Contact us to learn about your pet's move plan options.