Microchips are an incredibly useful tool that have helped reunite copious amounts of pets and owners. Knowing your pet’s microchip is registered with your up-to-date contact details could be the difference between a pet lost forever or not. Microchips are an essential part of pet relocation as they are the legal link between the pet and the documents, its how we prove the paperwork relates to that individual pet.
There are several places that you can find your pet’s microchip number. These include:
1. A certificate from the database of which your pet’s number is stored
2. Your vet’s records of your pet
3. On your pet’s passport (if applicable)
4. On your pet’s insurance documents
What to Do If You Cannot Find Your Pet’s Microchip Number
If you have no luck finding the number through the above documents then you can also do the following:
1. Contact the database that your pets number is stored in – for this you will usually need either names, addresses or phone numbers to search the database with. Make sure you use the information that would have been inputted when you first registered the microchip
2. Contact whoever carried out the procedure, if not your normal vet
3. Take your pet to be scanned at your local vet, dog warden or rescue centre
Updating your Pet’s Microchip
Depending on the database your pet’s chip is registered to, you can usually search the chip number and see the contact information that is being held on it. You can then contact the database and ask for your details to be updated. Beware, this may come at a cost. Checking and regularly updating your pet’s microchip is an extremely important habit to get into and really does make the difference to being reunited with your pet if it is ever to go missing.
In Hong Kong the only real database is the AFCD record of microchips, which does need to be correct and up to date for export.
Normally all pet dogs and cats destined to Australia must travel as manifest cargo (i.e. in a commercial airline as Cargo, not as excess baggage) in a crate for biosecurity and traceability reasons. This is also an Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority requirement for all aircraft that fly into and through Australian airspace.
It is possible to import pets to Australia via private jet into Melbourne, but please note this requires very special arrangements with the Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) facility whose staff will attend the airport, remove the animal from the aircraft in its crate and take it to the Australian Quarantine facility where they must still stay for 10 days.
This also does not alter all the necessary preparations, testing, vaccinations, treatments and examinations required before the animals are eligible for export to Australia as per the conditions of the Australian Government import permits and depending on the country of departure.
Hong Kong is categorized as Group 3, contact us for assistance planning your move to Australia.
The Cargo rate is same all year around for pets so the flight cost will be the same to travel in what are thought to be "peak times" like School Holidays and Christmas time. Although your ticket price for personal flights can double at peak times, pets travelling Cargo are unaffected by this pricing changes.
The only way pet flight prices would rise would be if the airline is increasing their cost , can happen on an approximately annual basis.
Pet travel agents do charge surcharges for weekends and Public Holidays and night times for assistance with clearances or delivery, and some airport government customs departments do close at nights or weekends depending on the Airport.
Q: We are flying our dog as excess baggage, very concerned about the heat and are specifically wondering what will happen with our dog once we are checked in (ie. will you be with him from check-in until loading into the aircraft)? I am worried about our pet being left in the heat for the prior hours before and his water bowl being empty from being moved around.
A: Please note that when flying with your pet as excess baggage, they will remain in the passenger terminal, with AC until the very last moment when they get loaded, they are not left in the outside heat. Our staff wait with him until the airline staff take him down to the planes perhaps one hour before flight. Also the water bottles with the cage will give a constant supply of water.
He will be in the cargo hold, so there wouldn’t be anyone there with him during the flight.
If flying excess baggage then they stay in the check in counter area till shortly before boarding where they are taken straight directly to the aircraft for loading and are the last ones to be loaded and then the first to be taken off at the other side. You collect him from the oversize baggage counter in the destination country.
Relocating overseas, whether by choice or for work, is a big decision that requires quite a lot of forethought and planning. Things get even more complicated when you have furry friends to take with you. Moving with pets internationally is a lot tougher than moving with them domestically, and it’s stressful for both humans and their pets.
The good news is that if you do your research (which you’re doing now) and plan properly, you should be able to make it easier for both yourself and your beloved pet. If the thought of quarantine is something that concerns, then learning what is required and following the rules is the first step to easing your mind.
There are countries that require quarantine no matter what. However, in some cases they will waive or reduce quarantine time if your paperwork is in order. Therefore, it’s certainly worth ensuring that all your documentation is ready.
Here’s what you need to know about the quarantine requirements
The rabies-status of each country
Quarantine gives officials a chance to look for numerous health problems, but rabies is the biggest concern that drives quarantine requirements.
Every country in the world has been split into three categories relating to rabies; rabies-free countries, rabies-controlled countries and high-rabies countries. Before you relocate your pet internationally, you need to be aware of the rabies-status of your furry friends origin country, along with the destination country.
The rabies-status information can get quite complicated, but we will try to summarize it for you here:
- Rabies-free country to just about any other country: they can enter without quarantine and minimal paperwork.
- Rabies-controlled country to another rabies-controlled country: there may be certain requirements, such as; current rabies vaccinations, your pet should be microchipped, and you may need an import permit for entry.
- Rabies-controlled country to EU country: A pet-microchip is required for all EU countries. You will also need a veterinary certificate, current rabies vaccinations, and sometimes tapeworm treatment certificates.
- Rabies-controlled country to high-rabies country: Paperwork is minimum and you will probably just need the correct pet passport and occasionally an import permit.
- High-rabies country to rabies-controlled country: A blood titer test will usually be required and your fur baby should have a microchip.
- High-rabies country to high rabies country: Pet passport forms are required and maybe an import permit.
- High-rabies country to rabies-free country: There are some countries that do not permit pets from high-rabies countries. Others may require blood titer tests to prevent quarantine. But, there are a few countries that make quarantine mandatory, even if your pet is coming from a rabies-free destination.
Countries that quarantine pets on arrival usually require proof of a rabies vaccine performed at least six months before they arrive. Even countries that don’t have a mandatory quarantine period need a health certificate and rabies vaccination certificates.
Country specific quarantine
Many countries have strict regulations pertaining to international pet travel. No matter where you’re going, you should contact the embassy of that country to confirm pet travel regulations and quarantine rules.
Here’s an overview of the requirements for some of the most popular countries that travelers relocate to with pets:
- Canada: Cats and dogs can come into Canada for any period of time without quarantine from any country. However there are a few requirements and exceptions (rabies-status being one of them).
- Australia: There is a list of rules and regulations for pet travel to Australia. When your pet arrives in Australia, they will immediately be taken to the Quarantine Facility. The quarantine period is for a minimum of 10 days.
- New Zealand: Cats and dogs can be imported only from approved countries. If arriving from any country other than Australia, you'll need an import permit and your pet will be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days.
- United Kingdom: All pet dogs and cats can come into the UK from any country in the world without quarantine if they are in line with the rules of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).
Research import requirements
Different countries have different rules and requirements, and therefore you will need to research the import requirements through the Ministry of Agriculture of the country to which you’re moving to find out if quarantine is necessary.
If quarantine is required, you will want to find out as much as you can about procedures and the facility to ensure that you have all necessary documentation in place. This will help to avoid any issues and subsequent delays in having your pet released.
Each country incorporates its own rules with regard to live imports. These are aimed at keeping diseases and invasive species out. All countries need basic vaccination certificates and formal proof that your pet is in good health.
Other things to consider
If your pet has a layover that exceed 2 hours or will be changing airlines, you need to consider quarantine requirements of countries in which they must clear customs. There may be additional requirements in these countries.
Also, keep in mind that quarantine rules and regulations can change at any time. So always make sure that you are working with the most up-to-date information.
Moving to a new country and wondering about the process involved in having your furry friend fly with you? Driving with a pet in the car can be stressful enough. So the thought of your pet boarding an aircraft might sound like a nightmare. But, of course, often you don’t have much of a choice because the thought of leaving a beloved four-legged friend behind is not even an option.
These days, most commercial airlines allow passengers to fly with their pets. This is great news for all the fur-baby parents out there who are moving counties, and naturally, taking their pets with them. However, pets aren’t people, and therefore they have a very different flying experience. Even if your sassy little cat were capable of appreciating the amenities of a first-class ticket, they wouldn’t be eligible.
They may be treated like royalty in your home, but onboard an aircraft there are typically two categories that they will fall into: Carry-on baggage (cabin) or cargo. Below we will take a closer look at each of these options. Keep in mind that every airline is different and may have different requirements. But, for the most part, the general concept will be the same.
Carry-on Baggage (Cabin)
Firstly, you will need to figure out if your pet is small enough to fit under an airplane seat. Unfortunately, this option is only available for small pets. So if you have a large dog, they will need to fly in cargo luggage.
Most airlines allow passengers to travel with small pets tucked away inside a carrier, and under the seat in front of them. Size and weight restrictions vary between airlines, but most stipulate that together your pet and carrier should not exceed 20 pounds in weight. The other requirement is that the carrier fits under the space in front of you.
It’s also important to note that there are some restrictions in place regarding breed and age. Many airlines don’t allow puppies that are younger than eight weeks to fly in-cabin. In addition, some airlines don’t allow short-nosed dogs to fly because of the increased risk of respiratory problems. However, sometimes short-nosed dogs are only restricted from flying in-cargo, but can fly in-cabin. So it’s important to check these requirements with the relevant airline.
Most airlines allow passengers to ship their pets as cargo year-round in climate controlled sections. Cargo hold specifications may vary between airlines, but pilots are able to change the temperature according to the type of “load” and any items that may be sensitive to temperature, like your beloved furry-friend. However, there are often restrictions in place for extreme hot and cold weather conditions. This is because even though the cargo section may be temperature-controlled, other parts of the terminal might not be.
Despite what many people think, pets are not confined with luggage in a dingy dark hole at the bottom of a plane. Your pet will be securely loaded into the cargo area, but their crate will be placed in a separate area, away from the rest of the luggage. Baggage handlers often strap animal crates in place and typically wrap them with perforated air cushion rolls. Also, they get loaded onto the plane last and come off first.
While storing your pet in cargo may be a terrifying thought, it’s really not as bad as you imagine. Some great ways to prepare your fur-baby for the experience is by introducing them to the cargo crate as soon as possible, ensure that they are hydrated (water is very important), and fill the crate with toys and blankets to make them feel comfortable.
Other things to consider
Sometimes airlines restrict the number of pets that they allow onto an aircraft at any one time. This is why it’s very important to book and pay for your pets ticket as far in advance as possible.
It’s also important to go carrier shopping and ensure that you get a carrier that will offer your pet the most comfort, but also complies with airlines rules. There are many different types around so you can shop around to see which one will work best for you.
Lastly, sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight. Remember that airline employees who handle your precious cargo are highly trained and they are often animal-lovers who take your pets safety very seriously.
8 Airlines that allow pets to travel in-cabin
For some animal lovers, the idea of placing their furry friend into a carrier and inside the cargo hold of a plane is not something they’re comfortable with. Travelling with pets is confusing and stressful enough without having to place their safety in a stranger's hands. Fortunately, there are some airlines who allow small pets (under a certain size and weight) to travel in-cabin with their owners. This is a much less stressful option for both animals and humans.
With an increasing number of airlines offering in-cabin pet travel, we thought that we would put together this list to help you to narrow down your search. Policies, rules, and regulations may differ drastically between airlines, which is why it’s important to use a relocation company or do your research and determine which works best for you and your beloved pet.
American Airlines allows small cats and dogs to travel in-cabin with their owner, but there are certain stipulations in place. Firstly, the weight of your pet together with the carrier cannot weigh more than twenty pounds. Larger pets will need to travel in the cargo hold. Secondly, the carrier needs to fit underneath the seat and therefore should no larger than 23” long, 13” wide, and 9” high. Pets must be able to stand up, lay down, and turn around in the carrier. Lastly, there’s a limit of seven animals in-cabin per flight - which works on a first come, first serve basis. It will cost between US$125 - $200 to travel in-cabin on American Airlines with your pet.
Air Canada offers flights to major cities all around the world and are very accommodating when it comes to pet travel. They allow small dogs and cats to travel in-cabin and stipulate a maximum weight limit of 22 pounds including the carrier. The carrier must be able to fit comfortably under the seat in front of you. Prices range between $50 to $118 depending on the flight and pet.
Air France is another major airline that allows both cats and small dogs to travel in-cabin. They stipulate a 17 pound weight limit including the carrier bag. No crates are allowed in-cabin so make sure that you purchase a carrier bag according to regulations. The following breeds of dogs are not allowed; Staffordshire Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers (pit bulls), Mastiffs, and Tosas. Air France does travel internationally, but they don’t allow pets in the business cabin on intercontinental flights. The estimated price of pet travel is US$153.
Alaska airlines allows small pets including cats, dogs, household birds, and domesticated rabbits to travel in cabin, if the combined weight of the pet and carrier doesn’t exceed twenty pounds. The carrier should not exceed the following dimensions: 17 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 7.5 inches high. Each passenger can travel with two pets, provided that two seats are purchased. The approximate cost of pet travel is $100.
Dogs and cats are allowed to travel in-cabin, so long as the combined weight of the pet and carrier does not exceed twenty pounds. The carrier should not exceed the following dimensions: 17 inches long, 12.5 inches wide, and 8 inches high. The estimated cost of pet travel on JetBlue is $100.
KLM operates worldwide, servicing more than 90 destinations. The rules for pet transportation vary depending on departure country and destination, but for the most part, small pets are allowed to travel in-cabin. Their weight stipulation is 18 pounds including the carrier and the carrier is required to be ventilated. Health certificates and travel documents must be presented before flights. The estimated cost of pet travel on KLM is $60.
Lufthansa allows cats and small dogs to travel in-cabin, so long as the combined weight of your pet and carrier is no more than eighteen pounds. They will need to be kept in an appropriate travel carrier measuring not more than 22 inches long, 16 inches wide, and 9 inches high. The carrier should also be watertight and bite-proof. Estimated pet travel fees are $100.
Turkish Airlines allows small dogs, cats, and small birds to travel in-cabin, stipulating that the combined weight of your pet and carrier should not exceed 17 pounds. A maximum of two carriers are allowed per passenger, but only one is allowed in the cabin. The airline requires passengers travelling with pets to be approved a minimum of 6 hours prior to departure. Pet travel fees range between $35 and $150.
Please bear in mind that prices change, airline policies change, and different airlines have different rules for different breeds. Different countries have different rules for pets exiting and arriving. So this is just a broad blog post highlighting some possibilities (not specifically related to your route) rather than a specific detailed recommendation to rely on. Please contact and commission Ferndale to aid with your pets move.
Pet Quarantine procedures for Hong Kong
Moving abroad with your beloved pet isn’t as troublesome as you may think. Many changes have been made over the last few years to make the process a lot smoother than in the past. However, quarantine regulations are something that you can’t get away from. Most pet parents tend to be very concerned about quarantine procedures. They wonder; is it necessary? Is it terrible? How can it be done safely? So to hopefully put your mind at ease, we have put together this guide for everything that you need to know about the pet quarantine procedure in Hong Kong.
What to know prior to arriving in Hong Kong with your pet
Quarantine for pets in Hong Kong is normally for 4 months You are required to obtain a special import permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department in advance. This document usually takes five working days to process. Here are other procedures that need to be done prior to entering Hong Kong with your pet.
Your pet needs to be microchipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip. A 9 digit AVID microchip will be implanted on arrival if the 9 digit chip is not in place, as it’s the AVID type that is used in Hong Kong.
Pets are grouped into coming from a group bone, group two or group three country, they have different entry rules for each group, and requirements prior to entry into the country.
Vet visits and Pet passports
You should always take your pet to the vet prior to travelling abroad. The vet will check that all vaccinations are up to date and may be able to help you with documentation and procedures for moving abroad with your pet. Also, pet passports are provided by the vet. You will need to visit a vet that is LVI (local veterinary inspector) authorised - they can issue a pet passport in some countries as long as vaccination records are up to date.
Quarantine procedures upon arrival
Upon arrival at the final destination, your pet will be assessed to see if needs quarantine.
If it is needed, your pet will be placed in its designated accommodation almost immediately. You must ensure that you provide contact details and an address in case the quarantine centre needs to contact you concerning any issues with your pet.
The quarantine centre undertakes general cleaning of the room, security, and feeding of your pet. However, they don’t provide exercise, grooming or veterinary care. Therefore you will need to make your own arrangements if you require any of these services.
Visiting your pet
Should you wish to visit your furry friend during the quarantine period, you are permitted to do so. However, you will need to register your name with “Animal Owner Declaration” in advance. Visiting hours at the Hong Kong quarantine facility are 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily including public holidays.
The Hong Kong quarantine facility has different sections for cats and dogs, as described below:
- Cattery: Cat rooms are air-conditioned and cleaned daily. A basic room has a size not less than 1.35m² of 1.5m long, 0.9m wide and 2m high. The type and size of room will depend on availability at the time.
- Kennels: Dog kennels are available in different sizes and all are well ventilated. They are also cleaned on a daily basis. A basic room has a size of at least 4m² of 3.15m long and 1.27m wide. There are two separate exercise areas and a small exercise yard of approximately 400m² - owners may exercise and play with their dogs here.
Pets will be fed commercial dry food that is provided by the quarantine centre. You, as the pet owner, will need to make arrangements for any alterations to this diet.
Quarantine facility fees can either be paid in advance or in intervals of one month. If the quarantine duration is less than a month, fees can be paid when the animal leaves the centre. Dog quarantine costs HK$90 per day and cat quarantine has a cost of HK$46 per day.
There are two main quarantine facilities in Hong Kong; Hong Kong Animal Management Centre and Kowloon Animal Management Centre. The former is located in Victoria Road, Pokfulam and the latter in Sung Wong Toi Road, Tokwawan, Kowloon.
If you are coming from a group 3 country and Quarantine is required, Ferndale Kennels can organize it for you. Please contact us with any questions
So it’s that time of year when people are planning their well deserved holiday abroad, including pet owners. From now until the time that you leave for vacation, there’s a lot to do; finish work, get your holiday shopping done, do research about the best sunsets, waterfalls, and beaches, and lots more. The one thing that puts a big, black cloud over your happy holiday planning is your worry about leaving your pet behind.
It’s stressful enough to think that your four-legged companion will be be sad and lonely without you for a few days, but trusting someone else to care for him/her is also a big decision. There are a variety of different options available, but it’s all about choosing what’s best for you and your pet. Two of the most popular choices are pet kennels and pet sitters.
What a good kennel provides
You always want to ensure that you are sending your pet to a trustworthy and reputable kennel that will look after them with genuine love and care. With that in mind, there are a few basic services that any well-respected kennel should provide. These include the following:
- Frequent daily exercise for your dog: These policies will differ between kennels, but most guarantee a few times per day, either in an off-leash open space, supervised walks, or kennel runs.
- Dogs fed on a regular schedule: Kennels should follow pet owners instruction which would usually be once or twice a day.
- Grooming and bathing facilities: This will typically be done on special request
- Staff give any medication that is needed: If your pet is on medication, staff should agree to administer it according to a schedule.
Pet kennels of today
Modern dog kennels are spacious, clean, and properly looked after. Today, there are options for cats also. The average kennel caters for all breeds of dogs and costs vary accordingly.
Every pet kennel differs so it’s important to choose the one that you and your pet are most comfortable with. However, the above mentioned basic services are something that all of them should offer, but you will need to check this before making a final decision.
Advantages of sending your pet to a kennel
Hiring a pet sitter certainly has its advantages and is a great way to ensure that your pet is comfortable in their own home. But, if you choose a reputable kennel, there are also various advantages of sending them off to board.
Medical supervision and care
While hiring a pet sitter is a great option, most pet kennels offer experienced nursing staff who can help give medications or watch out for issues.
Choose a licensed and registered business rather than the home of some unknown or unregulated person.
Pick up and Drop off service
Kennels have professional drivers and vehicles for pick up and drop off, convenience.
Pet kennels are usually one of the more affordable options.
Flexibility and availability
Most kennels offer their service every day of the year, and sometimes there is an extra charge during holidays. Try to book as early in advance as possible to secure a booking at your preferred facility.
Trust and professionalism
Again, if you choose a trustworthy service you can be rest assured that your pet will be well looked after. Well-respected kennels understand the importance of looking after animals with love and care and have a team of employees who are committed to providing the highest level of knowledge and care.
Contact Ferndale Kennels about boarding services.
Regardless of how much you love your furry friend, there may come a time when you need to leave them behind, be it for vacation, business, travel, emergencies, or illness. Even if you want to bring them along with you, often it’s not possible. Perhaps the hotel has a no-pets policy, or logistically it just doesn’t make sense.
Part of planning a trip often also involves figuring out what to do with your four-legged companion while you are away. There are a number of options available these days. You could hire a pet-sitter, or send them to a kennel. Pet boarding is becoming increasingly popular and your babies will be under someone else’s care and supervision there.
Each and every pet and their owner is different. Some pets settle into boarding easily and even seem to like the change of scenery. Others may start by pine for their owners, refuse to eat, and seeming miserable for the start of their stay. The same goes for pet owners. Some have no problem dropping their companion off at a boarding facility, while others may be very apprehensive and even emotional about the decision.
The good news is that if you have a sensitive pet or if you are a sensitive pet owner, there are a few ways to make the process easier for both you and your pet.
Stressed out people and pets
Sending your beloved pet off to some stranger to look after can be a very stressful and difficult decision. Pet kennels in the past were thought of as not being a very nice place to send your animals to. But in reality, a well researched and reputable pet boarding facility could be a real treat for your fur baby. This is especially true if you have a social dog. Dogs in these facilities typically get walked multiple times a day and are treated with a lot of love and care.
Something to keep in mind from your pets perspective is that they are likely to feel anxious about staying in a foreign place. So talk to the boarding team about how to help your baby settle in.
Signs that your pet is stressed
Some pets prefer not to stay by themselves in a strange place, although most do okay. But those who do experience clear signs of stress should be dealt with in a special way to ensure that their stay is a happy one.
No matter what the circumstances, the causes of pet boarding stress are pretty clear. All of a sudden, your fur baby is held in a unknown area, possibly eating new food, sleeping with different bedding.
The common signs of pet stress include; tail chasing, refusal to eat, pacing, excessive barking and jumping, and shaking. There are a few ways to reduce this stress. So it’s always important to ensure that the facility understands this and has the following practices in place:
- Socializing animals with people
- Going for individual walks
- Experienced staff who can recognize any issues and alert others
A good kennel will both have experience in dealing with this scenario and know how to recognize any signs, as well as know what to do. They will also have veterinary back up on hand.
How to prepare your pet for pet boarding
Since you don’t have any control over what happens while you’re away, there are a few things that you can do to prepare your pet for their time away from home. Something as simple as ensuring that they understand basic commands or having him/her spend time around other animals and people will go along way in helping to prepare your pet for a boarding facility.
You could also consider doing a boarding trial. If your pet is particularly nervous or prone to separation anxiety, a trial can be very beneficial. These trials are usually about 24 hours long and will help to introduce your pet to the new environment and routine. Another tip to ensure your dog's comfort is to send them to the facility with their familiar blanket and their usual food.
How to prepare yourself for pet boarding
Pet boarding can also be very stressful for pet owners. To reduce your own anxiety levels you should think about visiting the facility before going out of town to ensure that it’s run properly and staffed with knowledgeable and caring employees. Also, when you drop your pet off, leave his/her favourite treats, toys, and food to make their stay more enjoyable.
To learn more about our facility Ferndale Kennel boarding facility in particularly, please reach out and contact us about how we can help.
In the past, flying with a pet used to be rather simple (at least domestically in e.g. USA); Buy a travel crate, don’t feed your pet too much, and you are good to go. Today, the process is a little more complicated, but for a good reason. Service and emotional pet support pets have become far more common, number of people and pets flying has exponentially increased, and airline safety procedures have been significantly improved. So although pet travel may seem like a complex process, it’s for the benefit of both you and your beloved pet.
Airline policies regarding whether you can travel with your pet in-cabin vary according to a number of factors. But quite a few airlines will allow you to travel with a small cat or dog in-cabin, as long as the pet carrier fits underneath the seat in front of you. Larger pets will need to be transported in the cargo section and checked in as luggage or sent as cargo. It’s important to check airline rules and regulations prior to travelling with your pet.
If you have a small pet that will be travelling in the cabin with you, you may be wondering about the process involved. We have put together the below list of tips to help pet owners who want to know more about travelling with small pets in-cabin.
Booking and Registration
There are several rules and regulations in place that pet owners must follow before getting the go-ahead to bring their pet onboard with them. Most flights have limited space for pets and you will need to make prior arrangements with the airline, letting them know that your dog or cat will be travelling with you. You should make these arrangements as early as possible because if the pet spots on your particular flight are already filled up, your pet won’t be allowed onboard. Most pet owners call the airline directly to discuss and book their pet travel.
Arriving at the airport
It’s important to arrive at the airport on the day of travel with a lot of time to spare. You want to keep stress levels as low as possible and the last thing you need is to be rushing through the airport with your pet in tow. Also, most airlines don’t allow pets to be checked in online, which means that you will need to queue at the check-in counter for check-in procedures.
Staff may want to weigh your pet and his/her carrier, which is why it’s important to adhere to weight restrictions. A slight leeway may be given. For instance; if your pet is only 100 or 200 grams overweight. You may also be requested to display your pets passport or travel documentation at the check-in counter. This relates to travelling with small pets in-cabin, and not Cargo (which is mandatory for many destinations, e.g. UK, Australia, NZ).
Security and passport Control
Pets do not generally have to go through the x-ray machine as baggage does. When you reach the security point, remove your pet from the carrier bag and send the carrier through the machine. Your pet (if it is a dog) will walk with you through the security point and should be placed back in the carrier on the other side. This relates to travelling with small pets in-cabin, and not Cargo. Follow the airport and government staff guidelines at all times.
If you have to pass through passport control, there’s usually no need for you to show your pets passport. The relevant check-point for pet regulations and entry documentation if applicable, is customs.
Lastly, it’s important that you take your pet outside to relieve themselves before you go through security because you most likely won’t have the option on the other side. Also, always check airport rules and regulations. Some airports allow dogs to walk around outside of the carrier, while others usually stipulate that dogs should remain in the carrier at all times.
Boarding the flight
If you’re travelling with a pet you should always try to board your flight as early as possible. This relates to travelling with small pets in-cabin, and not Cargo. This will make the boarding process easier and less stressful. There’s nothing worse than trying to make your way down the aisle carrying your luggage and pet, when the plane is already full.
Remember that once you set foot on the plane, your pet should remain in the carrier at all times. Most airlines will book travellers who are flying with pets at a window seat. As soon as you get to your seat place the carrier underneath the seat and any hand luggage that you have in the overhead above. Soft carrier bags are always recommended because they have a little wiggle room and are easier to fit underneath the seat.
If you do your research, follow the above tips, and choose a reputable and trustworthy airline, you should have a fairly smooth experience without too much hassle. Just make sure that you’re well prepared and have all the necessary documentation in place. This relates to travelling with small pets in-cabin only, and not Cargo, or excess baggage for larger dogs and certain airlines.
In general we always recommend to commission our professional pet relocation services rather than follow any guidance from personal research and doing the move yourself. Every airline is different, every exit- and arrival country is different, so there is a lot of additional complication that we have not touched on here, e.g. regarding the shipping documentation.