If you’ve ever had to move, you know what a hassle it is. There’s packing everything up, and then arranging to have movers pick it up and deliver it. It’s a logistical headache on its own, but throw your dogs into the mix? It becomes a nightmare. Some people might have room to bring their dogs in the car when moving, but that’s less practical for cross-country or even international relocations. So, how can you move your dog safely from point A to point B? Let’s discuss pet relocation services!
Bethany Tucker, the marketing automation specialist for Austin, Texas-based company PetRelocation, sums it up best. “We’re basically pet travel agents,” she explains. “We work with owners to meet import processes, book pet flights and pick up and deliver the pet on the move day. We handle a full door-to-door move for a pet owner.”
While relocating pets is in their name, the service isn’t just for transporting dogs and cats when their owners move. Tucker says they also get calls from people who have fallen ill or who are no longer able to care for their pets, and want to have another family member or friend take care of the pet for them. Instead of arranging to have the dogs move themselves, “people call us to arrange to move the dog,” Tucker explains.
Murphy’s Law states that what can go wrong will go wrong, and that’s doubly true when it comes to traveling. “Lately, we’ve had a lot of weather problems,” Tucker says, “When somebody is moving themselves or handling other affairs, it becomes difficult to handle pet-related issues on top of that.”
Pet relocation services take a lot of stress off a pet owner during that time, Tucker says, by coming up with contingency plans that still get your pet to where she needs to go. That can be really beneficial, especially if you’re moving during a peak travel season, such as summer.
During peak travel times, pets get bumped from flights for one reason or another, Tucker tells us. Instead of worrying if you have to change flights with your pet, a pet relocation service company will already have found another spot for them.
Ever tried to find a pet-friendly airline? Difficult, right? An added benefit of using a pet relocation service is that they know which airlines provide the best when it comes to in-flight pet care.
Knowing which airline to choose is key, since pets are shipped as cargo when they’re on airlines. That isn’t as scary as it sounds, despite what you might have heard in the news.
“I often like to remind people that only the negative stories make the news,” Tucker explains. “We’ve moved thousands of pets over the years safely via cargo. It’s not a bad thing for pets to fly as cargo.”
Tucker explains that pets flying as cargo often shocks a lot of people, who don’t believe letting their four-legged loved ones travel via cargo is safe. However, a lot of fragile goods and animals are shipped via cargo every day without incident. Many of those items have special shipping requirements, just like your furry family members do.
However, choosing the right airline is key, Tucker adds. “We only work with the most pet-friendly airlines around the world to make sure the pet is handled safely and treated as priority.”
Unfortunately, since pets are shipped as cargo, how they fly is a lot different than how humans do. While you might be able to handle an 11-hour flight like a pro, your dog might not be able to that.
“Most of the airlines we use have a certain time period that pets can be on a plane before there must be a layover so the pets can be taken care of and [we can ensure that they] are handling the flight well,” Tucker says. “Since pets can’t tell us [if they’re not OK], it’s important we check in to make sure they’re not in distress and things are going well for them.”
During that layover / check-in process, a pet will be given access to water, and moved to a larger kennel so that he can stretch his legs, before he’s put on the next flight, Tucker explains.
If the pet isn’t handling the stress of flying well, the airlines have trained professionals who know the signs. They also usually have veterinarians on call too, so any stressed pets can get the care they need while traveling.
Thumbnail: Photography ©damedeeso | iStock / Getty Images Plus.
Tell us: Have you used a pet relocation service before? How did it go? What did you use this service for? Let us know in the comments.
Read more about traveling with dogs and moving with dogs on Dogster.com: