Incredible Experience: Petrie and Spike's Move to South Africa
It's time once again to announce our Pet Move of the Month -- this time around we're featuring Petrie and Spike, two Chihuahuas we moved from Texas to South Africa! They've had a little time to settle in, and Ramsey, the dogs' owner, was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Here's what she had to say about preparing for the big journey and adjusting to living in a whole new part of the world.
Is this the first time you’ve ever moved your pets? Why did you end up choosing PetRelocation?
Yes, this was the first time that we decided to move our two babies with us. PetRelocation was the first site that came up when I Googled "pet relocation" and I was very impressed with both the website and the immediate response I received in my email from the relocation team.
What were some of your concerns going into the move?
I had many concerns about flying our little Chihuahuas to South Africa. These included but were not limited to the costs, vet fees and visits, their general well being and health while on the plane, the extensive paperwork and permits that would be necessary, and the timeline that the process would follow. The timeline was very important, as we were moving in 3-4 weeks and we wanted to make sure they arrived safe, sound, and healthy.
Did anything surprise you about the international pet moving process?
Yes, the amount of time and paperwork that is needed is way beyond what I had imagined. Also, there were many important details such as writing in blue pen, noting the correct and full names of vaccines, etc. that I wouldn't have been able to do on my own. If I had 6-8 months to prepare, then I maybe could have done things myself. However, using PetRelocation gave me the peace of mind that my two little babies would arrive in South Africa safe and on time.
How are Spike and Petrie adjusting to South Africa?
Petrie and Spike are doing great! Their behavior and personality is the same as if we were home in Texas. When they first arrived off the flight they were exhausted, hungry, and confused. However, after two days of rest, full meals, a bath, and clean beds, they were back to their usual playful selves. We are extremely happy to have them with us in South Africa.
What is life like in South Africa? Is it a pet-friendly place to be?
Cape Town is absolutely beautiful and a great city for our two dogs. Cape Town is very pet friendly with numerous vets nearby, lots of walking trails and parks to take the dogs with clean-up bags available, and the general public seems to be very accepting of dogs. While we don't bring our dogs hiking with us, we have seen many other people with their bigger dogs hiking, running, and even on the boats in the water.
When we lived in the Middle East we did not bring our babies with us as they were quite the opposite of dog-friendly, so we are very happy having them here with us in Cape Town. The pet stores carry the Chihuahua-specific food I purchase in Texas and they have lots of toys, treats, and other comfort items for the dogs to feel right at home. The staff at the pet stores also seem to be knowledgeable and quite helpful as well.
What advice do you have for people who might be planning a move?
My advice would be to do your research! Relocating your little loved ones can be expensive, however the price is far worth it and then some. I would have never been able to have the proper paperwork done in time nor would I have been able to clear them in customs just because of the extensive attention to detail that must be done.
I would also like to say a few things about Cara (our Pet Relocation Specialist) specifically. From the start, Cara was more than I could have imagined. She answered my emails and phone calls in a very timely manner, and believe me, I had a lot of questions for her. Cara was a delight to work with and I can't say enough good things about her.
We really do LOVE having our babies with us in Cape Town, as we move quite frequently with my husband's job being in the oil industry. I would definitely use PetRelocation again as I'm sure we'll be moving a few more times in the future.