With 2015 rapidly underway, we’ll begin the year by briefly describing the basic methods of professional pet relocation. Anyone who is new to relocating with a pet quickly discovers that there is an overwhelming amount of aspects concerning the move. At the very least, all pets travelling domestically require a health exam from a licensed veterinarian. For international moves, the veterinary requirements and paperwork can grow to become much more tedious. Aside from destination-specific requirements, there are also rules that are specific to certain airlines. In an effort to help those who are considering a move with their pets, we explain the three basic methods of pet travel below.
The Domestic Flight
When some people hear about their dog or cat travelling across the country in an airplane, panic mode immediately sets in. There are plenty of the same questions (understandably):
Won’t my dog be kept in the cargo area?
Isn’t it freezing/hot in there?
Is that area even pressurized?
Isn’t having my pet travel by airplane much more expensive than simply driving him or her?
With the incorporation of specialized departments in cargo companies pertaining to live animals only (such as United’s “PetSafe” program), there have been major efforts recently for airlines to provide social outreach concerning how they handle pets. Regardless of carrier, all pets travel in pressurized, temperature controlled compartments during their flights. At popular domestic carriers like Delta & United, specific agents tend to pets in special holding areas by refilling water bowls prior to their departure for the tarmac. For these reasons, the domestic flight is the fastest, safest & even cheapest way for the majority of pets traveling to reach their destination.
When considering a domestic flight for your pet, it is important to concentrate on things that you can do to help your pet successfully travel. Acclimate your pet to their crate well before the departure date. Place an item of clothing in the crate so that your scent will keep your pet company. Do not sedate your pet, but consider D.A.P. (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) therapy directly prior to travel. Certain breeds (such as the brachiocephalic French Bulldog) have travel restrictions, in addition to heat and temperature requirements that prevent travel during some parts of the year. Find a trusted, professional pet shipping service that is well-versed in airline-specific requirements.
The International Flight
For foreign countries, importing a dog or a cat can vary in degree of difficulty. Some countries have only had a handful of reported cases of rabies (Australia), and therefore go to great lengths to screen any and all animals that are incoming. If a pet must leave the U.S. to travel to another country, then he or she will require a USDA endorsement. While we (PPR) have personal veterinary contacts at the USDA office servicing SFO & LAX, we also strive to maintain our worldwide network of professionals to help with moves elsewhere. Global trekkers might also need to provide quarantine arrangements for their pets, depending on for which country their pets are headed.
Did you know that Hawaii is the only domestic destination that also requires quarantine?
Each country has their own paperwork and regulatory agencies that govern the importation of animals. When making an international trip with your pet, it is imperative to contact a professional pet shipper. As members of IPATA (International Pet & Animal Transportation Assoc.), along with the fact that we are USDA-licensed and insured, Premier Pet Relocation considers international pet travel to be our specialty.
There are a handful of pets that will require what is often the most expensive option for pet relocation: the custom ground transport. Here are some situations that would merit using this travel method:
- Pets of breeds that are restricted or banned by certain airlines
- Pets with illnesses that require medication at regular intervals
- Pets that live in rural areas or areas affected by weather
- Short journeys that are closer than airports… many of which would not be considered major moves
At Premier Pet Relocation, we have conducted several successful ground transports from coast to coast, normally involving pets that require medication. Our vehicles meet USDA regulations, as they have a flat surface to support a pet’s crate, in addition to providing heat and A/C to both the rear and the front of the cabin.
Stop Worrying, Start Planning
The absolute biggest disservice that owners can do for their traveling pets is to exhibit tons of stress. Pets will intuitively sense the anxiety and they will mimic your stress when they are in their crates prior to departure. At Premier Pet Relocation, we monitor flight statuses 24 hours a day so that the pet owners can concentrate on the elements of their own move. We coordinate veterinary arrangements on your behalf and we are experienced in dealing with country-specific requirements for international moves. If you know that you will be traveling soon, then give us a call to find out how we can help you. Our time spent talking with you along with the quote that we provide are always FREE… so why wait?