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Old 05-28-2012, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
10,791 posts, read 7,693,190 times
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Speaking from personal experience - our Golden Retriever was flown from Perth, Australia to LAX last November - snofarmer is spot on.

We used JetPets pet transport company. I'm satisfied that they take good care of the pets in their charge and as mentioned, they're not tossed in with the baggage in some dark, cold corner - I'm sure if there were dogs suffering or freaking out in such a situation, the passengers above would hear about it!

On one Perth to Melbourne flight I did hear some dogs barking as the hold was being loaded up. Just for a few minutes, then they settled down.

JetPets picked him up a few hours before boarding and walked him before putting him on the plane. Because that particular journey is so long, they did not make him do the entire journey in one go. He went Perth to Sydney on a red-eye and spent the day and the next night in Sydney. Then he went on to LAX.

Snofarmer is also correct when he says it's harder on the owner than the pet. We worried and fretted, wondering if we were being selfish and if we were doing the right thing in bringing him with us on our international move. Some people would say yes, we were selfish, to take that risk, but when you've had your dog since a puppy and he's going on 12 and is your faithful, constant companion, it doesn't seem wrong.

It didn't look like Rocky had had a great time when we picked him up in LA - he was panting and hunched over. But that, we found out, was due to him holding his wee the whole time. Once out of the crate, he made a mad dash for the nearest tree, dragging me behind him, and proceeded to drown that tree for the next full minute. They have special pads in the crate for dogs who can't hold it. The pads soak up urine, like a diaper and keep the top dry, but my Rocky didn't test that out. The crate had two bowls attached to the inside of the wire door - one for water, one for food. You can try to arrange to be on the same flights, if you wish. The company lets you know the flight information but we chose to fly ahead of him, and have him follow 3 days later.

So don't worry. It's not easy or cheap but we have no regrets.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:44 PM
 
1,176 posts, read 2,762,866 times
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I have taken cats to Brazil and back, to Mozambique and back and to Brazil (long story). Regarding airlines, you need to, as noted, contact individual airlines about their policies. Some limit the months they will transport pets. Some limit the temps on the ground (including stops) above or below which they will take pets. Costs can vary widely. All require approved, non-collapsable cages (do NOT assume that a brand marked "airline approved" on the box would necesarily be okay). When I took two pets to Mozambique, I found that only Lufthansa would guarantee they'd take the pets from Washington, DC regardless of temp on the tarmac (they said they kept the pets in an air conditioned office until loaded onto the plane). Once they got to Frankfurt, they were in a kennel, and given food and water before being loaded onto the next flight. The cats returned to the U.S. on KLM. I made all of the arrangements myself, except for transiting South Africa, which has very complicated laws. I assume that there could be restrictions should you want to transit the UK on the way to Austria, due to the UK's quarantine policies, but I'm not sure.

If you are not on the same flight as the pet (i.e., take the pet as unaccompanied air freight vs. excess baggage), the rate can be considerably higher. Even if your dog is in the cargo hold, it can go as excess baggagge if you're on the same flight. You can verify with the airline that the cargo hold is pressurized (virtually all in the States are, but confirm). Some commuter jets limit the number of pets that can be in the plane, so make your resevation early. It is true that only small anmals can be in the cabin, and there is usually a limit there, too.

A big part of the preparation was getting the permits required to export a pet and take it into another country. Each country's policies can vary. Contact the Austrian Embassy well in advance. You'll need to arrange a pet exam, vaccinations, etc. and get a certficiate from APHIS (Dept. of Agriculture Plant and Animal Inspection Service) to show to the airline. Their Web site, and that of the U.S. Humane Society, have additional info on transporting pets. BTW, for the most part it is only island states, and the Gulf States, that require any sort of quarantine for animals brought in from overseas.

If you want to PM me I can relay more about my experiences. It's a bit of a hassle, but doable. None of my anmals were ever the worse for wear from our travels. Last thing: make sure when you board each flight that you confirm your pet is on board and that the crew knows an animal is on board.
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:27 PM
 
Location: A circle of Hell so insidious, infernal and odious, Dante dared not map it
623 posts, read 1,048,075 times
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Thank you all for the information. Lufthansa said they have an embargo on DFW in the summer months, but that airport is merely an option (because it's far and inconvenient for me,) though I might be able to leave before the summer. Because I would have to call the airline anyway, I may try to request a stopover just to shorten the amount of time he has to spend on the plane. Usually those are free, and I could try to get a Lufthansa code share through Dulles and stay the night in Washington. However, I will also check out the shipping company you guys recommended, as it may be better to have him come a few days later.

This is making me feel better about getting him there. I forgot to mention that he has been on long trips, though he was by my side the whole time and in a car. We drove from Phoenix to OKC and back (through the southern route: I-10 to I-20 to I-35) and also back to OKC through the faster route (I-17 to I-40.) On the latter trip, he didn't have much room as my car was full of stuff when I moved away from Phoenix. For the most part he did fine, and just slept almost the entire trip, though he did seem to get nervous and fidgety at times. My car did break down three times on the first trip I mentioned and he seemed to be okay though we were stranded for a few hours at a time on I-10. (*side note: if you pass through southern Arizona, make sure your car is good to go before you hit Willcox... they repaired my car twice and it still broke down)
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:32 PM
 
Location: St. Croix
737 posts, read 2,251,133 times
Reputation: 756
Call your vet and check into a pet passport. We had one for our oldest when we used to travel frequently with her, in cabin, US to France or Brussels. The passport takes several months and our dog weighed in at a hefty 18lbs but could get up and turn around in the soft-sided, in-cabin transport crate.

Fast forward, she is too old to travel now. However, we constantly do pet rescue from where we are located to various Eastern seaboard airports in the US. The cut-off date is May 15th for any dog in cargo, so only small dogs in the cabin for the time being.

I've heard very good things about transports for pets, only; haven't used that service yet. That may very well be the answer for your situation so that you can pay all attention to your pet upon arrival if you arrive a day or three before.

Good luck to you!
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:54 PM
 
Location: A circle of Hell so insidious, infernal and odious, Dante dared not map it
623 posts, read 1,048,075 times
Reputation: 472
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunsetBeachFL View Post
Call your vet and check into a pet passport. We had one for our oldest when we used to travel frequently with her, in cabin, US to France or Brussels. The passport takes several months and our dog weighed in at a hefty 18lbs but could get up and turn around in the soft-sided, in-cabin transport crate.

Fast forward, she is too old to travel now. However, we constantly do pet rescue from where we are located to various Eastern seaboard airports in the US. The cut-off date is May 15th for any dog in cargo, so only small dogs in the cabin for the time being.

I've heard very good things about transports for pets, only; haven't used that service yet. That may very well be the answer for your situation so that you can pay all attention to your pet upon arrival if you arrive a day or three before.

Good luck to you!
Thanks for the info. I was planning on calling the vet this week to discuss this with them, namely for the services they provide for immigration, plus any possible problems; e.g. my dog's breed is sensitive to extreme temperatures, has a short snout, etc. Just in case, I may want to look into that passport, especially if I go somewhere else in Europe for a few days. I will add that my dog is coming up on three years old, so he's pretty young and healthy.
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