International Pet Relocation

We would like to make you aware that pet travel is vastly different to human travel. There are country regulations, airlines stipulations and veterinary requirements that have to be considered and adhered to before the actual travel arrangements can be made for your pets.

We will provide you with professional and up to date pet travel guidance and expertise concerning your destination country’s specific requirements and your pet’s veterinary preparations. Global Paws will happily shoulder all the anxieties you may have to safely and ethically reunite your family in your new home.

We would strongly recommend, that the very first thing you do is to acquaint and establish yourself with these few very important points:

  • Obtain, receive and accept our quote
  • Understand your pet’s travel requirements with your consultant’s guidance
  • Adhere to your pet’s veterinary schedules and timelines provided by your consultant (unless we are assigned to do it all for you)

You do better when you know better…. Read the below points to Know Better.

Understanding your international pet travel quotation.

Overseas pet travel and animal relocation is often far more expensive than human travel.

Airfreight is calculated on how much space your pet’s travel crate occupies in the airline’s cargo hold and unfortunately these prices are never discounted by the airlines. Veterinary fees, airline fuel fees, administration fees, crate charges and additional customs or state vet endorsements have to be taken into consideration.

We will tailor your quote to suit your needs and requirements, but if you find that the quote is above your budget please let us know and perhaps we can advise you on how to reduce costs.

Accepting our quote for your pet’s travel services.

Please let us know that you are accepting our quote so our Admin department can supply you with your invoice.

You can either pay the required non-refundable deposit or the full amount.

Once your payment reflects in our account, your file will be allocated to your dedicated consultant.

Working with your dedicated consultant.

Your dedicated consultant will contact you to establish a relationship with you and your pets and at the same time collect all the travel information specific to your pet travel relocation needs.

You will be asked to send us copies of your pets’ veterinary documentation so your consultant can establish your travel preparedness and advise accordingly.

You will be asked to complete our Required Information Sheet and our How To Measure Your Pet form with your contact details, collection / delivery addresses and your pet’s measurements and weight. It is important that you do this immediately, because if there is anything wrong with your paperwork or if your pet’s travel crate needs to be amended, your consultant will be able to pick it up timeously and guide you accordingly.

Adhering to your country’s veterinary requirements.

All countries require veterinary preparation. This can take a different amount of time and commitment e.g. preparation for taking pets into the UK or EU countries takes 3 to 4 months, preparation for pets into USA can take anything from 5 to 30 days and preparation for pets into New Zealand or Australia usually takes 7 months!

Your consultant will advise you on the veterinary requirements for your destination country and once the travel date is confirmed she will send you a time schedule of when and what needs to be done.

In the meantime please browse our resources and familiarize yourself with your destination Country requirements.

Suppling a wooden travel box or a plastic travel crate.

Our manufacturing team will build your pet’s wooden IATA approved travel crate to the highest safety and durability standards. We can also supply you with top quality plastic travel crate.

If you purchased the Traveller Comfort Pack then we will bring the travel crate to your house at least two weeks in advance. If not, we will bring the travel crate with us to your residence when we collect your pets on the day of their departure.

Your pet’s travel crate will contain two water bowls, an absorbent water pad, labels and airline stickers. If you purchased the Traveller Comfort Pack we will supply our superior quality Pet Travel bedding.

It is worthwhile to put one of your used t-shirts or at least something with a familiar smell or their own doggy / kitty blanket into the travel crate.

Wooden travel crates are theoretically for one use only and some countries, like China, will insist on incineration. However due to the crate’s robust construction if you store them properly they could be used again.

To view the pictures of our travel crates and read more about the crates’ compliance with the IATA standards or How to measure my pet – please go to our Travel crate section.

Suppling own pet’s travel crate.

If you are supplying your own travel crate please send us a picture and a note of the external dimensions in centimetres so we can check that it complies with airline requirements to avoid any last minute delays. We also recommend that as far in advance as possible you make sure to clean your pet’s crate, assemble the pieces together and check door mechanisms. This will prevent last minute surprises. You should also provide two water bowls that can be securely fitted to the inside of the door and a blanket.

You should also provide two water bowls that can be securely fitted to the inside of the door and a blanket.

Booking your pet’s flight.

Your dedicated consultant will choose the most pet friendly airline and the most convenient route when booking your pet’s flight.

Please note that flights for animals can only be booked approximately 10 days in advance, but the veterinary preparations and the communication with your consultant should be started weeks or months before your pet’s intended date of travel.

Your consultant will send you your pet’s flight itinerary along with their ticket number (Air Waybill Number – AWB).

Once the flight booking has been requested the Airline will contact the consignee, (yourself or the person appointed by you to collect at destination) for the “Okay to forward”. This is the process the airlines use to confirm who will be receiving your pets at the destination and to clarify that they are aware of the arrangements. Once the “Okay to forward” is received your pets’ flight will be confirmed and booked.

Working with a vet.

Sometimes vets or their receptionists can advise incorrectly when it comes to pet travel. Ultimately they are great at healing your pets and taking care of their health. Their job is to be vets not to be pet travel agents therefore we strongly recommend that you let your pet travel consultant guide you through your destination country’s specific requirements – sooner rather than later.

Indicated below are a few mistakes that vets can make. Please, if you are working with your vet make sure he is aware of these absolute “don’ts”:

Absolute Don’ts:

  • Microchips cannot be inserted after the rabies vaccination, unless it is done on the same day.
  • Do not draw blood for the TITRE rabies blood test less than 30 days after the last rabies vaccination.

Applying for an import permit

An import permit is required for most of African, South American & Asian countries. Australia & New Zealand also require an import permit. Countries like The USA, Canada and most EU countries do not require an import permit.

So, if your destination country requires an import permit please see the notes below:

  • Import permits have to be obtained from the country of destination.
  • Import permits need to be applied for far in advance of your pets’ date of departure. It can take several weeks to obtain the permit. It depends on the issuing country.
  • Every import permit is valid for a certain period of time. This means that your pet will have to travel before the expiry date on the permit.
  • Every import permit will specify the countries requirements. Read those requirements. This is very important! You have to comply with the countries requirements before your pet’s can travel.
  • Import permits are valid for one assignment only. This means that every time your pet travels you need to obtain a new import permit from the country of destination.
  • Sometimes cats and dogs have to travel on separate permits and health certificates.
  • Generally pets can travel on a copy of the permit as long as the original permit is submitted upon the pet’s arrival.

Ordering a Comfort Pack.

We offer this special package to ease your precious pets travel experience. We would deliver it to your residence weeks before your pet’s departure.

The Traveller Comfort Pack includes:

  • We will deliver your pet travel box a few weeks before its departure date. That way, your pet can get familiar with the smell of the travel crate and perhaps you can also start Crate Training. Please read more on travel crate training here.
  • We will supply you with a Calming Collar for dogs. This pheromone collar mimics the pheromone that the mother produces to calm and reassure her babies. It mimics the natural way to help them cope with new and fearful situations. It can work for up to 30 days! Please read more on calming collars here.
  • We will supply you with a Calming Paste for cats. This product promotes relaxation and it is often used in stressful situations because it relieves the anxiety that is caused as a result of separation, boarding in a cattery and fear of travel. Please read more on Calming Paste here.
  • We designed and we manufacture our own Pet Travel Bedding for the comfort of your pet while in transit. Please read more on travel bedding for your pet here.

The last few weeks & days before your pets’ departure.

  • We will revise your quotation and update your account:

    Approximately 3 weeks before your pet’s departure, your consultant will review your travel quotation, to check if your invoice needs updating. The main reason for this is that the bigger part of your quote: the airline’s cargo rates, fuel and other related airfreight charges can change, especially if foreign currency exchange rates apply. Global Paws has no power over these charges and therefore we need to make you aware that your invoice will be reviewed closer to your departure time. Usually there is no change in the quotation, but we just want to be honest with you and make you aware that it might happen.

  • Approximately 10 days before travel, your consultant will book your pet’s flight. We cannot book flights earlier than that. It is an airline regulation.
  • The Airline will contact the consignee, (yourself or the person appointed by you to collect at destination) for the “Okay to forward” this is the process the airlines use to confirm who will be receiving your pets at the destination and to clarify that they are aware of the arrangements.

    Once the “Okay to forward” is received your pets’ flight will be confirmed and booked.

  • Your consultant will then finalise all customs clearances for your pet.
  • Your consultant will arrange to collect your pet’s veterinary paperwork and do the Government State Vet clearance.
  • Once all the veterinary documentation is completed and in order, your consultant will send you electronic copies along with your pet’s AWB (manifested flight ticked).

Departure day.

  • Our Animal Handler will collect your pets from your residence on the day of their departure (unless kennelling is required prior to travel).
  • Do not feed your animals a large meal on the day of departure; a small snack or treat is more suitable. This is because they will be in their travel crate for an extended period and will need to relieve themselves at some point. The larger the meal the greater the chance that your pet will soil their travel crate, this could lead to a very messy dog and travel crate. Alternatively your pet may feel constipated and if they have been fed a large meal this could lead to some discomfort. So please feed them well the night before collection and give your dog a long walk to have enough time for a toilet break before our scheduled collection time.
  • We all know how intuitive cats can be and they are famous for doing a disappearing act on the day of collection or even the evening before, so please keep your cats securely closed in a room from the evening before scheduled collection so there are no last minute surprises.
  • Please note that your pets have to travel with their original documentation attached to their travel crate.
  • Your pets must be booked in, at the airlines, several hours (generally 4 hours) before their time of departure. Our Animal Handler will walk your dog, to let them refresh themselves, just prior to the handover to the airline. Our Animal Handler will also inform you once your pets have been booked in for their flight.
  • You will be provided with a track and trace website link to check on your pet’s flight status anytime during its journey.
  • In the case of an emergency we have a 24 hours manned phone line, please find the emergency phone numbers in your consultant’s email stationary.
  • Your consultant will follow up with you upon your pet’s arrival and again a few days later to check how your furry friend is settling into its new environment.

Arrival at destination.

You can either clear your pets through customs & collect them from the airport yourself OR we can arrange it all and have them delivered to your residence. Please read further info on both choices below:

Owner clearing and collecting pets themselves after arrival:
  • The consignee (person collecting the pet) needs to have their ID or passport with them when collecting.
  • At the destination airport the consignee must go to the airline cargo section at least 40 minutes to an hour after the flight has arrived, show the person at the counter the Air Waybill number that will be supplied, their ID or passport and request their pets’ original documentation.
  • Then the consignee must go to the customs office with the documentation and obtain customs clearance (you might be expected to pay additional customs fees).
  • Once the customs official has stamped the appropriate forms, the consignee must go back to the cargo section, show them the stamped customs forms, pay additional airline handling charges and collect their pets.
  • This process might be time consuming but should be pretty simple.
  • Very important: should you be clearing and collecting your pet yourself, please ensure that you contact the cargo section at the airport prior to your pet’s arrival. Please ensure that you are aware of the customs requirements and procedures at the airport where your pet is arriving as we cannot supply you with this information.
A Pet travel agency clearing and collecting the pets after arrival:
  • Prior to travel your destination travel agent might need information and documentation from you, the owner, i.e. passport copy, visa copy, customs forms that needs to be completed etc.
  • The destination agent will take care of customs clearance, payment of the airline handling charges and any other import formalities that might need to be done.
  • After clearance the travel agent could either hand the pet over to you at the airport or deliver to a residence.