Moving Your Pets?

Pet Transport has become an enormous industry, and when we want to take our beloved furbabies with us on holiday or we might be moving homes and relocating, it can become a very stressful situation for the whole family.  Recognizing everything required for the journey, and preparing you and your pet/s could ease the stress levels significantly. 

Pet Travel Agency South Africa, Moving Pets, Relocating Pets, Overseas Animal Relocation, Travel Advice, Pet Healthcare

Herewith a few important questions answered by a Pet Transport company in South Africa.

Question:  Where in the plane does my pet fly?
Answer:  All pets are flown as manifest cargo and travel in the cargo hold of the plane. The captain is made aware of the fact that pets are on board, the cargo hold is then pressurized and air-conditioned and is kept at a temperature and pressure that is suitable for pets. Your pets travel in wooden flight containers (plastic is much more expensive) made to IATA specifications and are supplied fitted with a water bowl. It must be large enough inside for your pet to stand up, turn around and lie-down in (5 cm taller and 10 cm longer than your pet). If you have your own it must be suitable.

Pet Travel Agency South Africa, Moving Pets, Relocating Pets, Overseas Animal Relocation, Travel Advice, Pet Healthcare

Question:  What can I do to prepare my pet for travel?
Answer:  The best thing you can do to acclimatize your pet for his upcoming move is to make sure he is comfortable with his flight container. Start by putting treats in the flight container and then progress to leaving your pet in the crate for short periods of time. This will help avoid separation anxiety and ensure a comfortable move.

Question:  Can I move my pet myself?
Answer:   In most instances, you can move your pet yourself. But if anything technical goes wrong and you are not available to collect your pet, it may mean unnecessary time for the pet spent at the airport.

Question:  Is using a pet relocation specialist cheaper?
Answer:  No. It would be unusual to find a pet relocation service that would be less expensive than doing it yourself.

Pet Travel Agency South Africa, Moving Pets, Relocating Pets, Overseas Animal Relocation, Travel Advice, Pet Healthcare

Question:  Is it Stressful?
Answer:  Separation from the owner, being put in the flight container, delivery to the airport and delivery to the aircraft is probably stressful for some pets. Once they are in the aircraft they will get used to the sound; cats handle the flight better than dogs, it may be a good idea to crate train your pets.

Question:  Should I give my pet a sedative?
Answer:  Do not sedate your pet as it is not allowed! Sedatives suppress the respiratory system of the pets and often cause disorientation and dehydration; sedation lowers your pets' breathing rate. Sedated dogs or cats can choke on their own bile if they get motion sickness; cats with hairball cannot clear their throats and can choke.

Question:  Can I feed my pet?
Answer:  It is not advisable to feed your pet before the flight. Dogs and cats are generally clean animals and do not like messing where they are. If they do mess it can stress them a little bit. A clean pet at the end of the flight is a pleasure.

Question:  Can my pets share?
Answer:  Pets that are used to sharing will be allowed to share a flight container, but only small pets.

Question: Can my pets travel in the cabin?
Answer:  Pets are not allowed to travel in the aircraft cabin. Guide dogs are allowed in the cabin.

Pet Travel Agency South Africa, Moving Pets, Relocating Pets, Overseas Animal Relocation, Travel Advice, Pet Healthcare

Question: Are my pets cared for?
Answer:  BidAir Cargo Johannesburg has a “Pet Lounge” where the pets are kept calm until it is time to fly; once they are put onto the aircraft no-one is able to monitor them, as the cargo hold is inaccessible. Pets get first priority and should be put on last and taken off first.

Question: Can I supply bedding?
Answer: A light blanket is fine. Place an old T-shirt of yours inside the kennel to remind them of you during the flight.

Question: Will my pets be medicated in transit?
Answer: Pets cannot be medicated during the flight. Check with your veterinarian to make sure the pet will be OK. Medication can travel on the flight box although glass bottles are not recommended, the airline has the right to take it off. It is recommended that the medication is given before delivery to the airport and after collection from the airport. A letter stating the pet’s medical condition should travel with the pet, including the type of medication and dosage, it may be recommended that the pet should not fly at all.  Mark the container clearly with information, eg medication info, your contact details and the destination details.

Question: Can my pet wear their lead and collar?
Answer: Dogs and cats must not travel with a collar and lead attached, it must be taken off and attached to the flight container, please be aware that the collar/leads have been known not to complete the trip.

Source: The Pets Taxi

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