Nearly half of American pet owners have multiple cats and/or dogs. So when it comes time to relocate your family, keeping your menagerie together for the journey seems like an obvious plan. Traveling in the company of their furry brothers or sisters can help pets feel less anxious. Knowing they’re together can make you feel more confident, too.
When you’re confident, you’re calmer – even in the face of a major move. Your pets will pick up on that and they will be calmer, too. That’s important because, for them, stress-free relocation starts well before the journey itself.
If you’re moving across the country, you could simply load up the animals along with the humans in your family for a multi-day drive to your new home. In reality, however, the charm of such an adventure wears off rather quickly. There is such a thing as too much togetherness. And, like small children, dogs and cats need frequent breaks. This really is not a stress-free way to relocate your pets.
Besides, what if your relocation is taking you to an entirely different country? You can’t drive overseas.
Pet travel arrangements – especially if your relocation is international – can be more complex than you might suspect. The more you know about the rules, the better prepared you will be to relocate your pets in the best available manner. Their move may not be perfectly stress-free, but it can certainly be safe, efficient, and comfortable.
Sometimes, togetherness isn’t possible
When it comes to air travel, every airline has somewhat different rules regarding pets. And every country has its own regulations that govern incoming pets. The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) – the worldwide group that represents top-quality animal transport professionals – also sets standards for pet travel.
One of those rules dictates that adult animals must travel alone, in a kennel that meets IATA flight-worthiness specifications. Carriers are sized for each pet, ensuring they have room to move around and rest comfortably while protecting them from harm. Only puppies or kittens between 8 weeks and 6 months old can ride two to a kennel.
So it is unlikely your pets will be able to share a kennel while in transit. Note, though, that airlines make every effort to place family pets next to one another for their trip. They won’t be able to snuggle (or pester one another), but at least they can see and smell each other.
How many pets do you have?
Another consideration is the fact that every airline limits the total number of animals allowed on any given flight. Some also restrict the number of pets you can consign as an individual. If that limit is two and you have three pets, this can seem like an insurmountable problem.
Frankly, the least stressful way to relocate your pets together is to work with professionals such as our team here at Starwood. Some destinations – Australia is an example – require you to do that, anyway. Relocating animals is our business. We do it every day, from and to countries all around the world. We know the rules, and because we’re known and trusted by airlines and customs officials, we can make arrangements you cannot.
It’s impossible to quantify the amount of stress and worry that lift off your shoulders when you know your furry family members can not only remain together, they will have the most efficient, pet-friendliest, and safest move possible.
There’s an additional stress reliever for you as well. On rare occasions, things go wrong – for instance, there may be a weather issue or some other delay that interrupts your pets’ travel plan. Should that happen, we’re there to deal with it, making whatever adjustments are necessary and ensuring your pets’ get to their final destination as quickly as possible. You can’t do that if you’re already on a plane.
There is such a thing as stress-free ground transport
We noted above that it can be nerve-wracking to drive cross-country with your menagerie in the car. But, perhaps you remember the old Greyhound Bus slogan, “Leave the driving to us.” Now there’s a great idea. We know that some pet parents would prefer their pup or kitty to ride rather than fly. And more airlines are now restricting travel for snub-nosed cats and dogs, making ground the preferred or only option.
That’s why we offer ground-based transport as well as flight-based assistance, and we do it in style. Your pets can travel together (but not share with some other family’s pets). They will get top-dog treatment the entire way. Quality accommodations, lots of breaks for potty and play, and loads of love and attention. (Even cats like to be top dog, they just don’t admit it.)
Whatever your destination, we can help your furry companions travel together and travel well, all the way to your new door. All you’ll have to do is help them adjust smoothly to their new surroundings. Purrrrrrr.