Emigrating can be a long process, with various checkpoints that need to be met and lots and lots of red tape. It can be very stressful and moving your house, your possessions and yourselves across the world can mean visas, flights and packing. The same applies to pets, with requirements ranging from a simple health check for some countries to 30 days quarantine in others. Pets travel as cargo, so there is the flight to book, as well as the appropriate flight kennel for the trip.
Whilst owners can arrange the majority of these processes themselves, using a pet shipper can reduce the stress of the move considerably. As mentioned above, the requirements for different countries vary considerably and a pet shipper can help to give you the most up-to-date advice, as well as advise you on the best flight routes and the size of the container to use. Many offer a full door-to-door service, but there are also companies that will provide full advice at all stages of the process. Having booked the flight for your pet or pets- indeed some airlines will only let you book a flight through a pet shipper so that they know the paperwork will be correct.
Using a pet shipper can give you peace of mind amidst all the pressures of your own move and they can give you a timetable of what needs doing when as the big day approaches. It’s a very different process to getting yourself a visa, but can take an equally long time and be just as expensive, if not more! Pets should be treated as a member of the family, so there are always lots of questions that pop up during the process. Here are a few:
1. Where in the aircraft will my pet go?
Pets are placed in ‘hold 5’, at the rear of the plane. It is part of the cargo area underneath the cabin, but it is separated and it is heated. It is kept at the same temperature and pressure as the cabin, since the captain is notified of animals on board.
2. What will my pet be travelling in on the flight?
Your pet will need to fly in a flight kennel made to IATA specifications, with enough room inside for the pet to stand up, turn around and lie-down in. Boxes can be made out of plastic or the appropriate kind of wood and will need a water bowl and funnel for pet travel. We can supply you with a flight kennel or if you have your own and it is suitable, we can fly your pet in that crate.
3. Should I sedate my pet?
NO!!! Sedation is not allowed:
• The pet may wake up in the hold if not sedated properly for the duration of the trip and that would be very stressful.
• Sedation dehydrates pets.
• Sedation at a vet’s is a complicated procedure based on weight and muscle mass- it takes more sedation to keep a greyhound still compared to a poodle of the same weight- and during sedation for operations pets are monitored for the process. Add pressure to the equation and it’s almost impossible to work out the right dose. There are some homeopathic sprays that can be used in crates to calm the animals, but the client should check with their vet to be supplied with one- the pet may not like the smell and it should be tested on the pet prior to travel in case of any side effects.
4. Can I put bedding in with my pet?
Some bedding is fine, as long as it does not take up too much room in the kennel. If it means that the box is no longer the right size for the pet then we will reject it. In the case of any country with quarantine, the bedding may be removed and destroyed on arrival.
It is always recommended that you contact your vet as soon as you start planning to emigrate. This is a good time for them to check your pet’s health and get the ball rolling with any treatments that may be required. It is also advisable to contact a pet shipper as well to get an idea of the costs and the logistics involved, so that you can be fully aware of the process. If there is quarantine involved, this may be a valuable period for you and your family to move in a pet-free atmosphere by shipping your pet ahead of you.
Whilst some countries can have a short lead-in time to export, some require as much as six months’ preparation, depending on where you’re going and the health situation of your pet (e.g. what vaccinations they have had). All pet shippers will have your pet’s interest at heart and should happily give you information, reassurance and a no-obligation quote.
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