American Bully to India
exporting pets, Pet shipping, Pet transportation

Pet Shipment goes to India, finally!

Pet shipments, any pet transportation really, must abide by a lot of country rules, some of which don’t really ever seem to make sense.

For 5 months I have been working with another agent to get “Blue” the American Bully to India.  3 times we have had him booked to go, only to find out at the last minute – last time I was literally on the way to the airport with him – that there would be a problem with customs upon arrival.

And so I turned around and brought him back.  He’s stayed with friends, owners have traveled back and forth from India and he’s been boarding now for 3 or 4 weeks.

Today he finally gets to go.  The issues have not been with any of his paperwork, but the fact that the owners have spent too  much time in India prior to having Blue join them.  India has strict rules about pet importation, and basically they do not allow in pets for sale.  I guess that’s what they might have been afraid of, since Blue’s mom had spent more time in India the prior 6 months, than outside the country.  So they may not consider him “her” dog, as she didn’t take him with her immediately.

Whatever the reason, and whatever the pet travel, there are rules that must be met and followed.  While most countries will work with an owner or pet shipping company to meet requirements, or resort to quarantine, there are some countries that will immediately return a pet, and some even worse, will euthanize pets.

If you are not using a pet shipper, make sure you investigate with due diligence to make sure your pet complies to the rules.  There are also some of us that will charge a fee just to help with paperwork and work with you and your vet, even if we are not moving the pet.

Pet shipping, Pet transportation

Summer Safety

This blog form Cesar Millan has some good summer tips for keeping your pet safe.

I will only add some tips about moving/shipping/traveling with your pet during the summer:

For flying:  when possible, always use a nonstop flight, and aim for early morning or late evening when possible.  Pets will have to be tendered to the airline 2-4 hours in advance, depending on the airline and destination – so you want to make sure the pet is in a safe environment during that time period, and not sitting somewhere hot.  Make sure the dishes attached to the door are large enough for water, and provide it before handing the pet off.

For Driving:  make sure to take water with you, stop in shady spots when you park for a rest stop, and never, ever leave pets in a car.  Even with the AC on, the interior of a car can become overwhelming hot quickly.




Airborne Animals Specializes in Pet Moves to Europe

The EU Commission established a set of pet importation guidelines in 2003.  It was supposed to make pet moves into the EU the same for every country.  It didn’t.  What happened is that every country put their own nuance into the regulations – and therefore some countries require parasite treatments, some don’t; some will accept imports on the weekends, some don’t; and only certain cities are considered ports of entry that have both customs and veterinary services available.

Each country has it’s own variation of the fees due upon arrival for veterinary inspections and customs or duty fees.   Some countries Airborne Animals must pay up front along with payment for the freight charges, and some countries the owner or agent must pay upon arrival.

Because we ship so many pets to Europe – Newark and NY have many flights there – we feel confident in saying we have become experts at this part of the world.  We have contacts in Europe everywhere that can assist a pet owner with the arrival process.  In general, we do not recommend doing it yourself unless you speak the local language, and have done it before.


Why should my dog be crate trained?

The shipping kennels (also called the crate) are solid sided compared to wire versions often used for puppy housebreaking.  The principles, however, are the same.

The crate simulates a cave or den – and dogs through out the ages are den creatures.  Witness the dog afraid of thunderstorms….usually hiding in a closet, behind furniture, under the bed, in the bathroom tub, all signs of seeking someplace dark and enclosed where he or she feels safe.  So feeling secure is a big deal to a dog.

If the crate has familiar items in it, then the smells a dog recognizes also have the ability to help calm a pet.  We often recommend to people that a worn t-shirt or socks be put in with a pet while traveling.  Although the items may not smell to us humans, the dog will recognize the owners scent.

So how should you acclimate your dog to a travel kennel?

if you dog was crate trained as a puppy, most likely he or she will remember how it feels to be crated, and will accept it right away.

I’ve had clients get a crate in advance, then complain the dog never went in it for the 3 weeks it sat in the living room.   It’s up to you to teach your dog to accept being crated.

if your pet has never been crated, some time for training ahead of the move is a good idea, and one that can help relieve the stress of travel.  Start slow – a few minutes at a time inside the crate.  put in bedding, a toy, a chewie, dog biscuits…..anything your dog likes.  The key is to  make going into the crate fun and acceptable.  Leave your pet in 5 or 10 minutes, then let out and praise. Leave the room for a few minutes. Then go back and open the door.  The key is not to let the pet out if it is whining and making a fuss – other wise when you open the door and he dashes out, it reinforces the fact that, hey, if I make a ruckus mom will let me out.

When 10 minutes is working, up it to 20 or 30 minutes.  Then for an hour or so when you run errands.

Maybe even overnight to simulate longer travel required for an international move.

You can also put the crate in your vehicle, if it’s large enough, and go out for a ride.  This further acclimates a dog to being in the crate while riding.  The motion of a plane is similar to that of a car. Better yet, go through a car wash – let your dog experience something new in the crate so he feels safe in it.

We’ll never be able to explain to our pets what is going to happen in advance of travel, but a dog acclimated to his shipping crate will have less stress than one not familiar with it.

That said, any crate training, even if not in the shipping kennel, is better than none.

As for cats,don’t bother.  They don’t really crate train, but will naturally curl up in the back and make themselves small, sometimes even going under the bedding.  Their general attitude is “don’t bother me, I will come out when it’s over’!


Pet Shipping 101 program

I recently conducted a training program for IPATA call Pet Shipping 101…this one in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  We had a small group of relatively new people to the pet shipping industry, so it allowed for lots of comments and shared experience.  One attendee has focused strictly on ground transport.  For a long time IPATA never had a members doing ground (road) transport, as most of us focused on air shipments.  Road transport does certainly have a place though. Some breeds and even some individual pets should not be sent by air. Currently is is nearly impossible to move certain breeds by air; namely English and French bulldogs, and some other snub nose (brachycephalic) breeds.

This is because these breeds already have a hard time breathing, and may normally not get as much oxygen into their blood as other dogs.  When you add in some stress, heat during the summer, confined areas (like a crate) they can become ill, or worse, die,  during air shipment.  The airlines do not want the negative publicity that comes with a pet death, even though the problem is the dog’s anatomy, not the airline handling.

All this said, there are companies who can do ground transport really well, and others not so well.  Just like any industry, there are good apples and bad apples.  If you plan to work with a ground transport pet company, talk to them enough to know they understand the dangers.  Ask how they handle rest stops for walks and water, how often, and when they quit driving for the night.  Don’t plan to have them driven as fast as possible with no or few stops.  Check the IPATA website to see if they are a member in the ground transport section.

And understand if the pet is too old, too frail, or unhealthy, ground transport may not be an option either.  Since it takes much longer than a few hours in the air, stress levels may increase continually, and cause the body systems to shut down.

In the northeast, give us a call or complete the estimate form on the website and indicate you are interested in ground transport.  We’ll be happy to help within a 8-10 hour radius fro our location.