Wags can tag along…

Are you relocating to another country? Are you worried who will take care of your pooch? Can you take your pooch along? The good news is yes…you can take your pooch along. There are professional companies which help you to relocate safely with your pooch. Here’s more info on Pet Travel, which offers pet travel services to more than 70 countries across the world.

There were times when we found our clients struggling to find a way to carry their important family member with them, that is, their pet child. Within India, most families travel by road with their pet. However, the same is not possible when you relocate to another country, particularly with so many complex rules and regulations in place. Safety and proper handling of the pet in transit has been another worry for the relocating families. When many of our clients requested us to handle this worry for them, we prepared ourselves to take up this challenge and in 2008, we launched this service for our clients, says Sanjay Goel, chairman, Pet Travel which is engaged in quality relocation of families and corporates within India and abroad.

Helping pet parents relocate…

“We have handled over 100 pets since we started our operations. Besides, we have also relocated pets from one country to another without bringing them to India. We have handled many species of dogs and cats, however most popular breed is Labrador among dogs and Persian among cats,” he adds proudly. “God has been kind to us till now and we have not had an unhappy customer so far. Though we do have to face client anxiety which is normal as most of the clients are relocating their pets for the first time and they have scores of questions. Based on their queries, we have prepared FAQs which usually answer most of their queries. However, there is always a dedicated Pet Travel Advisor available at hand for them,” adds Sanjay as a matter of fact.

The process…

Normally, the pet relocation process starts almost three months before the actual travel takes place. It starts with medical examination of the pet for her fitness and then for diseases, if any. “All documentation is readied so that pet is not stranded in transit. All quarantine formalities are completed in advance. Then, IATA approved Travel Crate of right size is selected for comfortable travel of the pet and proper co-ordination is maintained with airlines and customs at both ends to eradicate chances of discomfort to the pet or her pet parent. There are almost 40 activities that take place prior to export of pet and almost 27 activities that take place prior to import of pet,” tells Sanjay.

Services – far and wide…

“We are members of International Pet Animal Transport Association (IPATA), the global association for pet shipping experts and Animal Transport Association (ATA), the association which promotes uniform and effective international regulations and humane handling of live animals. Besides sharing latest developments, changes in rules and regulations and expertise in animal transportation, these associations have presence in over 70 countries with more than 350 members. As such, there are very few countries in the world which we cannot serve. Lastly, as members of these associations, we are governed by the live animal handling protocols of these associations. This also ensures that our work standards are at par with the best in the world and no compromise in service can take place at any level at our end,” adds Sanjay.

The future plans…

“We have noticed that very few people are aware of pet travel services and many do not travel with their pet child as they are not sure of safety and comfort of their family pet in transit. We plan to spread awareness about pet travel and how easy it is to make it happen without any stress or hassles with a proper agency which has necessary exposure and expertise,” briefs Sanjay.

Advice to pet parents…

“Do not worry at all. Pet Relocation is quite simple, hassle free and much cheaper than you think. Just hire the right people to do the job,” concludes Sanjay happily.

Relocation tips

  • Plan your pet relocation well in advance.
  • Consider the weather when you move, especially for a long distance or international pet transport. For example, if you have snub-nosed breeds it is not advisable to transport them long distances in very hot weather as they can have complications with their breathing. Again planning the pet transport in advance and choosing the right time of the year will help greatly.
  • Choose the right type of pet transport container for your pet.
  • As a general rule, your pet must be able to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably in the container. The container should have appropriate ventilation and construction to accommodate the size and weight of the animal.
  • Familiarise your pet with the travel container a few days prior to pet relocation. Put some bedding and some toys in the container and have your pet sleep in it a few times to get used to it.
  • On the day of the pet transport, put some toys or an old T-shirt in the container.
  • Do not over feed pets prior to relocation. Like us, pets can get motion sickness during travel and with a full stomach it can become even more difficult for them. Try not to feed them on the day of pet relocation or give them only a light snack. Give them a nice long walk or have some playtime with them before they travel, this will help them relax. Give them plenty of water before they travel.
  • Like people, our pets have different personalities as well, some get more stressed than others. They mostly respond according to how we act around them, if you are getting stressed, they will sense it.

Did you know?

Different countries… different rules

  • All animals entering South Africa must travel as manifested cargo and not as excess baggage.
  • There is a seven days quarantine period for pets entering into China, the pets can be released home if the tests show negative results.
  • Microchip is a must for entry into Singapore. It should comply with ISO standard. No other form of identification is acceptable.
  • Dogs and cats of less than two months old and/or more than four weeks pregnant cannot be imported in Hong Kong.
  • Import Permit required from the Ministry of Agriculture to enter into Indonesia.
  • There is mandatory 30 days quarantine for all live animals entering Australia.

Documents required for export of pet

  • Name & address of the pet parents with 24 hours telephone number in the country of origin as well as destination country.
  • Three photographs of pet in standing position.
  • Copy of passport and ticket of the pet parent.
  • Details of pet such as name, age, colour, breed, sex, microchip number and size of kennel in which pet will travel.
  • Health certificate from local vet. To certify that the pet is ‘FIT FOR TRAVEL’ before 15 days of travelling.
  • NOC for export from animal quarantine before seven days of travelling.
  • Serum blood test report from government recognised vet (also known as Anti-Rabies Test), if required.
  • Details of vaccination report of the pet.
  • Authority letter from the pet parent in our name for all necessary formalities & to collect NOC on behalf of the pet parent.
  • Size of the IATA approved crate in which the pet will travel.

Documents required for import of pet

  • Details of pet such as name, age, colour, breed, microchip number and size of kennel in which pet will travel.
  • Passport and ticket copy of the pet parent.
  • Vaccination report of the pet.
  • Name & address of the pet parent of the country of origin and the country of destination.
  • International health certificate endorsed by the government authority.
  • Quarantine protocol endorsed by the government of the country of origin.
  • Flight details and date of travelling of pet.
  • Airway bill copy, if travelling as manifested cargo.
  • Letter to airlines to collect delivery order signed by the pet parent.
  • Authority letter on travel agency’s name to collect NOC and custom clearance on behalf of the pet parent.

For details, log on to: www.pettravel.in

FAQs about air travel

Is it safe for pets to fly?

Air travel is as safe for pets as it is for people. Your pet will travel in a special cabin on the cargo deck of the aircraft. This section is both climate controlled and pressurised for your pet’s safety and comfort, and it is on the same air circulation system as the passenger cabin.
Should my pet be tranquilised or sedated for the trip?
A crucial piece of advice is not to tranquilise pets during their transportation. It has negative side effects on respiration and on their blood pressure, especially at high altitudes.
Will my pet have food and water during the journey?
We provide your pet purified and safe water to drink at the airport before departure. We provide water in the sipper attached with the bottle which is fitted alongside the crate. Before the trip please prepare two portions of your pet’s food in two separate plastic bags. We will attach these portions to the outside of the crate at pick-up time, and they will be available in the event that your pet’s trip is delayed.
When should I get started?
As early as you can!! Many countries have entry requirements that require us to start up to seven months prior to the pet’s relocation date.
What if my pet is a wee bit aggressive?
Some airlines and foreign governments have aggressive breed restrictions. Pet Travel maintains a list of restricted breeds. Your pet will be denied boarding if he exhibits aggressive behaviour during screening of his body and crate.
Can my two pets travel together?
For safety reasons, each pet must travel in a separate crate. In most of the countries two pets are allowed in one passport.
What is the difference between ‘Excess Baggage’ and ‘Air Cargo’?
‘Excess Baggage’ is when your pet is checked through with you and your luggage in the passenger terminal, but travels in the cargo hold on the plane. ‘Air Cargo’ is when your pet travels without a passenger and is checked in through a cargo terminal. The cargo terminals have livestock holding rooms and are used to dealing with many types of animals.
Where will my pet be placed in the aircraft?
Your pet will travel in the livestock hold which is pressurised, climate-controlled and situated below the pasenger cabin.
Will my pet be stressed from the flight?
More than a million pets fly safely worldwide every year and are well cared for. It is the captain’s responsibility to know whether or not there are animals on board and that certain procedures are adhered to. All animals are checked and watered on stopovers.
Should I feed my pet before he is collected?
No, there should be no feeding for at least eight hours prior to collection, to avoid your pets from soiling their travel containers. You may, however, give your pets water.