We are a globe of pet-lovers, from hamsters to horses we feel that pets are part of the family so when it comes to moving them abroad we want to make sure they get there safely. To find out move about international pet shipping I caught up with Caitlin from PetRelocation, a pet transportation service provider based in Austin, TX, who arrange door-to-door pet relocations to destinations around the world.

What is the smallest and largest pet you have shipped?

On the small end we’ve shipped pet fish, guinea pigs, rabbits, and mosquitos (those went to a research lab). As for large pets, in addition to huge dogs like Great Danes, we’ve also helped several horses relocate.

Do some countries make pets wait in quarantine, if so for how long?

We move many pets to Australia, a rabies-free country that imposes a 30-day quarantine. This is something that makes many pet owners nervous, but when well-planned it’s just another part of the pet moving process that turns out to be not very scary at all. The quarantine facilities are actually pretty comfortable, and owners can even visit their pets.

Is there a checklist of things you should do with a pet in a new country?

Before moving, it’s smart to check out the pet friendly amenities, like parks, vets and pet stores, that will be available. Of course you want to make sure your new house or apartment allows pets, and doing some internet research to get a feel for the culture is also wise. In some places dogs are greeted with friendliness everywhere you go, but elsewhere it’s rare to see people out and about with their pets. Practicing sensitivity is key to fitting into a new place, and luckily these days it’s easy to use things like social media and blogs as helpful resources to figure out what you’ll encounter before you go. Other than that, try to keep your pets on a regular schedule of feeding, playtime and exercise to help them get used to their new surroundings.

Which countries are the hardest to ship pets to?

A few tough ones we’ve encountered include Siberia, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Burma/Myanmar, Fiji, Seychelles, Sardinia and Kenya. Anything out of Bermuda is also challenging; we recently moved a cat from Bermuda to New Zealand and it required three separate flights (Bermuda-Newark, Newark-Los Angeles, Los Angeles-Auckland). No matter where you’re going, it’s important to start researching and planning early on so that you know what’s required to pull off a smooth pet move.

I’ve heard that pets from different countries have accents, is this true?

Hmmm. Pets from various countries certainly understand different languages. Police dogs trained in Germany only know commands spoken to them in German, for example.

What would it cost to ship the family cat and dog from the UK to the US?

The cost of a pet move really depends on several variables (the size of the pets, the cities you’re starting in and landing in, etc.), but in general we estimate that international moves begin at around $2,000 USD.

Is there one country that everyone seems to be moving to?

We’ve noticed an uptick in moves to a few places lately, including the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and China.

Have you ever had a pet escape mid-transit..say a snake, on a plane?

We work to prevent such things from happening by choosing pet friendly airlines staffed by employees trained to handle pets carefully. It’s also important to have a travel crate that’s both size appropriate and secure. We treat our clients’ pets as our own, and do our best to avoid any unexpected incidents!