3 Frequently Asked Pet Travel Questions (and Their Answers)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 by

cat in soft sided carrier

Though some pet owners take their furry friends with them wherever they go, many owners never think about the mechanics of pet travel until they find themselves planning a big trip or a move halfway across the world. As such, there are a handful of common questions that come up whenever an owner is moving their pet for the first time. Here are 3 of the most frequently asked pet travel questions, along with some basic answers.

Remember, there are a lot of individual factors at play in pet travel, so these questions and answers may not apply to everyone. If you want to have a specific question answered, submit your question to the pet travel experts at PetRelocation and it may appear on the blog! And be sure check out questions which have already been answered.

1. What are the requirements for getting my pet into my place of destination?

Pet import requirements vary from country to country, and sometimes even from state to state. A good first resource for determining what you will need to bring your pet to a specific destination is PetRelocation’s guide to international pet import requirements. There, you will be able to select your place of destination and you will be led to a list of requirements for that country (or state).

world map

Pet import regulations vary from country to country.

To make sure you are getting the most current information possible (especially important for countries that are not as frequently visited by pets), you should try to check the official website of your place of destination to confirm pet import requirements. IATA is another good resource for people traveling internationally by plane.

2. How much will my pet move cost?

The price of moving pets depends on a variety of factors including the mode(s) of transportation, the distance to your destination, and the size of the pet. That being said, transporting pets is more often than not a pretty pricey affair. Check out this post on the PetRelocation blog about all of the factors that go into shipping a pet to get an idea of why pet travel is so expensive.

It can be a bit cheaper to handle pet moves on one’s own, but many find that hiring a pet relocation expert is worth the extra money. Hiring an expert can relieve some of the stress of orchestrating a pet move, as pet move specialists are well-acquainted with the requirements imposed by countries and airlines, and know which forms you need to fill out and when they need to be completed. If you are considering a pet move and are interested in consulting a pet relocation specialist, fill out PetRelocation’s quote form for a free price estimate.

3. I’m nervous about flying my pet as cargo…can my pets fly in the plane cabin with me?

Policies vary by airline, but the general rule of thumb is that only pets which can fit in carriers which can be stowed under an airplane seat are allowed to fly in-cabin. If you’ve ridden on an airplane recently, you’ll know how tiny that space under the seat is. That means that only the smallest of pets—think kittens or toy dogs—are able to fly in-cabin. Additionally, many airlines allow only one in-cabin pet per passenger (or even per flight), meaning that transporting multiple pets in-cabin is highly unlikely. Thus, the majority of pets end up riding as cargo.

The good news is that riding in cargo is nowhere near as cramped and scary as most pet owners imagine. Most cargo holds on planes are pressurized and climate-controlled, meaning that pets in cargo experience conditions which are similar to those in-cabin. Additionally, some believe that riding as cargo is actually less stressful for pets, as they are not subjected to the sights, sounds, and smells of a plane cabin full of humans.

monkey in cockpit

Monkey riding in cockpit via Wikimedia

There are, of course, lots of other questions that come up when a pet owner begins planning a pet move. Look forward to future posts which address other common questions relating to pet travel, and feel free to submit questions of your own.

Do you have any experiences with pet travel? What questions do you have about traveling with pets? Let us know in the comments below!