RELOCATING WITH YOUR PET?
Relocating with your pet isn’t as simple as buying a ticket and boarding the plane. Elaborate procedures need to be followed. It’s important to note that every country has different regulations. Here are a few things to consider if you intend to move with your pet. Every step is critical.
• Transporting Pets as Cargo is expensive as compared to Excess baggage, this is contributed to Customs, airline handler, pet hotel, insurance and other factors involved. To fly pets as Cargo or Excess baggage is determined by variations due to Flight Operator and Country Destination/Transit/Origin.
• It’s important to ensure that your pet is allowed in your next country, is your destination pet friendly? Your pet must be microchipped; the chip carries the pet’s vaccination information, health records and owners contact information. A vet or a customs official can access all this information by scanning the microchip.
• You will need to furnish a record of your pet’s vaccinations; Rabies and core vaccinations like DHLPP are mandatory. If moving with your cat, they will need Rabies and FVRCP vaccine. All destinations require medical check-ups before departure. Remember to always keep your pets vaccinations current. PS. Some vaccine brands though similar in content are not accepted in Some Countries.
• The rabies antibody titer test usually administered from 30 days after the rabies shot is another must have. The test measures the level of antibodies in your pets’ blood after the rabies vaccination. It’s an accurate method of determining if your pet is sufficiently immune to rabies. Pets that score above 0.5 IU are considered to have passed the exam. Ensure your test is done at an accredited lab recognized by country of destination. This will need to be done at least 90 days before entering the next country. It takes time as the blood has to be sent to an approved and certified laboratory for processing
• Quarantine; different countries have different regulations based on the rabies category of the country. A pet relocation company will be able to help you make sense of the quarantine regulations. Requirements per country are usually attested in the import permit. Incorrectly filled Paperwork and Certificates or Lack of Permits can cause your pet to be rejected entry. Such pets are euthanized or returned to Origin at Owners cost
• Get the right crate; it needs to be of the right size and meet all airline specifications; An IATA –compliant crate. It’s critical to begin crate training as early as possible, so your pet associates the crate with a positive place and is comfortable flying long haul in the crate. Place a comfortable bed and line it with absorbent puppy pads, include a drinker, feeding container, extra packed feed tightly wrapped on the crate, label: “Name of pet and owner with your 247 Contact.” The airline will provide important handling labels to be attached on crate. You can even leave something familiar like a blanket inside to comfort your pet.
- Aggressive and anxious pets might need nerve calming medication to avoid self-injuries during the relocation process. It’s advisable to provide feed at most 4 hours. Water can be availed adlibitum. Seek the best advice from your Vet.
- It’s advisable to walk your dog until the cut off time so that it can maximize on exercise, fresh air, and toilet breaks.
- At loading, please ensure the crate is tightly secured with plastic tie wraps or locks to avoid accidental opening during the loading and off-loading process.
QnA with Dr Ouma, a certified KRA Customs Agent, IATA Agent and IATA DGR/LAR, Pet relocation expert:
In your experience, what’s the number 1 thing people overlook when planning to ship pets?
Time: Most pet owners do not plan ahead of time or they do not have the correct information or lack information on pet relocation completely. Some assume it’s a straightforward process from the house into the flight. They are shocked when they find out that they must follow a laid down procedure and some have to wait over 120 days or more to be able to fly. Pet relocation is a time constrained process and failing to plan ahead of time is planning to fail. We have had to board such patients to rejoin with the owners later. Permits and Certificates also require time.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge is cost: The whole pet relocation process whether Cargo or Passenger flight is expensive and prohibitive. Its advisable pet owners plan as per various destination scenarios ahead of time. Managing this process earlier makes it cheaper and achievable. It involves a lot of professional and consumable accessory fees.
Why would you recommend someone speak to an expert?
- IATA LIVE ANIMAL REGULATION dictates that all flight bookings must be through an IATA recognized agent.
- Experts have a contract with all major airlines, customs and border control; they absorb all associated risks on behalf of the airline and client.
- They have an existing broad agent network between countries, delivering a seamless process.
- They have undergone diligent training and always partake mandatory refresher exams to deliver service efficiently; experts are masters of pros and cons.
- They will save the client a lot of hustle with efficiency, minimizing the risk of pets being returned to origin at owners cost.
- Experts are able to advise on all relevant requirements, tests, acquire certificates and permits, perform customs entry and book flight/type Airway bills all under one roof.
- They have access to the airside in case of emergencies. Experts have a rapid team within the Airport.
in collaboration with Dr. Ouma a certified KRA Customs Agent, IATA Agent and IATA DGR/LAR, Pet relocation expert