Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How to Move with your Pet

Moving is stressful. Moving to another country, with your fur baby is even more stressful! At least it was for me when we moved over to Germany. Moving to Germany without my fur babies wasn't even an option. My dogs are my family. They're my fur children. I'm sure you've seen them travelling with us!

I've heard horror stories about people leaving their pets behind because they can't "afford" to bring them back with them. Which is fine, everyone has their ups and downs, but bringing a pet into your family is a 10-15 year commitment! I've read things about someone actually waiting til the last minute (day before) to rehome their pets and just leaving them in their old house, or even some people taking their pets to the airport and just leaving them there! I swear, there are some horrible people in the world.

Moving from Germany back to the USA with Rylie was stressful...for me. She handled the trip like a champ. I was the one who was the worry wort and now looking back the process was even easier than I thought.

I wanted to share my experience with you, for those who are like me and worried about travelling back stateside with your pet.

Before you start:
- Contact your airline provider: Some airlines will not ship your pet under the cabin, make sure your airline is pet-approved. 
- Confirm your pet spot. Recheck and check again. Airlines tend to forget.
- Ensure you have sufficient funds: some countries require a fee upon arrival. Not including the fee you have to pay to fly your pet with you.

What you'll Need:
- Health Certificate: local veterinarians know what this is. It's a piece of paper stating that your pet is healthy enough to travel.
- Updated Shot Records: Rabies Vaccine must be older than 21 days before your flight.
(If you're traveling from the U.S. you need to go to USDA authorized vet to get the paperwork)
- Pet approved crate: Your pet must be able to stand up, turn around and sit without touching the top of the crate.
- Food and Water Bowls : Although it's suggested you don't feed your pet 8 hours before your flight, some airlines require you to have removable food and water bowls.
- International Microchip: 15 digit microchip is the must for pets travelling internationally.

At the Airport: 
This is the easiest part of your journey (unless you're a worrier like me).
- Your luggage and pet will be checked in at the same time.
- Your pet's crate will be inspected to make sure it meets all the requirements
- Let the gate attendants know that you have a pet; confirm that they have made it on board, before boarding the plane.

Upon Arrival:
- Find your pet first: Your pet might come out after you, but at least you'll know where they are. And after a long flight, I'm sure your pet would love to see you.
- Don't be afraid to ask someone for help. People are willing to help you out, you just have to ask!
- Research where the "pet-relief" areas are located.

I know it seems like a lot of work, and a big inconvenience, but if you have a pet that is like family, it's worth it. Especially if you've got this adorable face waiting for you!