Q: How long before travelling do I need to hire a professional pet moving company?
A: Ideally as far in advance as possible. Some international moves can be arranged in two weeks or less assuming all requirements have been satisfied. There are, however, countries whose requirements can take up to seven months to complete.
Q: Can I arrange my pet's move on my own?
A: It is possible to arrange your pet’s move yourself. However, with the constant change in requirements for international travel it is never a bad idea to hire a professional. Attempting international pet moving yourself could result in a situation in which you try to save money (By not hiring a company), but end up paying more for your mistakes. Unfortunately a mistake in this case could result in your pet being sent to quarantine, or being returned to you at your own expense.
Q: Where will my pet travel in the aircraft?
A: In most cases your pet will have to travel as manifested cargo. This means that it will travel in a pressurized, heated and ventilated cargo hold of the aircraft (Located just below the passenger compartments). Tie-down straps secure the travel container during flight in order to prevent the kennel from moving in the event of turbulence.
Q: Should I do anything special to prepare my pet for the flight?
A: We have had many clients that have told us the day before travel that they have had a chat with their pet. That they have explained to them what will be happening during the next 24 hours. Of course we thought it was funny at the time, but the day before our pets travelled we found ourselves sitting down and explaining the exact same thing to them! We are not sure it helps them cope with the trip, but there are a few things that will definitely help.
Familiarize your pet with the travel kennel as far in advance as possible. Do not close them in the kennel. Just put their favourite blanket or toy inside, and show them that it is a safe place. Reduce the amount of food you give your pet prior to the flight. This will help them travel comfortably, and to keep their kennels clean during the trip. Also, they should have water at all times, as staying hydrated is very important during travel.
Q: How are pets handled at transit airports?
A: If your pet is stopping somewhere, the chances are that they are flying on an airline with a pet hotel at their main hub. These pet hotels have dedicated employees who take very good care of the pets. We are big fans of a comfort stop for a pet. It is a great place for someone to check on your pet to make sure they are travelling well. Pets spend the layover out of their travel kennels. They are also fed, and are given fresh water. A few hours before their next flight they are returned to their clean kennels, and off they go for their second leg.
Q: Should I sedate my pet?
A: No! Your pet can naturally adjust better to the altitude change without being medicated. Airlines should not accept pets that have been sedated.
Q: What is quarantine? Will my pet have to spend time in quarantine?
A: Some countries require that pets are kept isolated in order to assure that diseases are not brought in by travelling animals. Quarantine duration varies depending on the destination country. Some countries do not have any quarantine period, while others could be as long as 210 days.