Our featured pet move this month will introduce you to a true pet lover. Jen is the pet parent to Peaches (a Pit Bull, therapy dog, and cancer survivor), Finley (a three-legged Golden Retriever) and Charlie (a cool cat who recently lost a few pounds in order to be healthy enough to travel), and she has fostered over 200 animals.
Jen has also traveled with pets before this move from Arizona to Georgia and has learned a lot about what it takes to make the process easier, and she was kind enough to share some of her valuable knowledge and advice below.
Read on to pick up some excellent pet travel tips and find out more about her very special pets.
What surprised you about the pet travel process?
Moving pets is incredibly complicated!! This is the second time we’ve used PetRelocation to move our pets, so we were a little more prepared this time. I honestly don’t know how people do it on their own – there are so many tiny details and forms and requirements, all in the middle of a stressful move. It’s so much harder than moving your furniture or your car or your children.
Can you discuss any particular challenges or interesting details that go along with Pit Bull travel?
Transporting a Pit Bull adds an extra level of complication. Certain airlines won’t fly pit bull breeds at all, some consider them ‘snub nose breeds’ and won’t fly them during warm weather months, and some will only fly them in specific reinforced crates. Others will fly them, but at increased rates. We had to fly four dogs and a cat [Editor's Note: PetRelocation helped with three of the pets], and navigating the system was so complicated just because one of our dogs happens to be a Pit Bull. Honestly, most of the time, owning a Pit Bull isn’t a big deal – most people realize she’s just a goofy, friendly, big-headed dog!
How did your pets handle being in their crates during the flight (did you crate train them beforehand)?
Our dogs are all crate-trained, so it wasn’t a big deal. We thought our cat was going to be terrified, but he LOVED his crate so much that we’ve kept it out for him – he naps in it every day!
How has everyone handled the transition so far?
All of the animals adjusted within a couple of days. It helped that I shipped a couple of their favorite blankets, beds, and toys in advance, so the new house already seemed familiar. Now they’re all settled in and love their new home.
Can you talk a little about your foster and rescue activities? What inspired you to be such a great advocate for pets?
I’ve been involved in pet rescue for almost 20 years. I started with volunteering at a shelter, then adopting, then fostering. We love working with tough medical cases now – starvation, abuse, neurological issues, you name it. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with an unwanted dog for months – they’re like an unpolished diamond – we can see that they just need some extra love and attention before becoming the perfect family pet. We’ve fostered almost 200 pets at this point, many of whom are still in touch with us.
What advice do you have for people who might be planning a pet move?
Be prepared for the expense and the complication! It’s worth it – remember, your pet is part of your family. You aren’t an expert, so be prepared to hire someone else to take care of the details for you. It will make things so much easier for you!
In terms of the actual move, make sure your dogs are used to your crates in advance. If they’re at all nervous, put one of your favorite T-shirts (wear it for a couple of nights in advance – make it good and stinky!) in the crate with them. You don’t want to drug them, but there are some good calming treats with the same ingredients in Thanksgiving turkey that will help them relax. The best thing you can do for them is to be calm – your energy will calm them down. If you can, ship some of their bedding and toys in advance to your new home.
What made you decide to hire PetRelocation to assist you?
The experts at PetRelocation made the experience SO much easier for me. Transporting five pets total was a logistical nightmare, but PetRelocation made it simple. I didn’t have to worry about forms or stickers or customs or where to check in. Plus, the people who picked up my pets were incredible. The woman who dropped off our dogs heard me say we had no cat litter and offered to go get us some – which wasn’t remotely part of her job, but just goes to show how the PetRelocation team goes above and beyond to make sure their clients are happy.