Pet Travel News

Learn More about Pet Travel and Pet Moves

Hurricane Dorian will affect air and air cargo in Southeastern U.S.

Dorian,Hurricane Dorian,pet shipping,pet shipping service,pet transport,pet transportation service August 30, 2019

You may have heard…we’re expecting Dorian will visit Florida Monday and maybe Tuesday. While we will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, Dorian will affect air and air cargo travel in the southeastern United States. We plan to re-open Tuesday. Here at Air Animal we’re hoping Dorian doesn’t stay long. If you have questions about a move in progress, please contact your pet move manager using the mobile number listed in your pet move documents. Thank you in advance for your patience if our response is somewhat delayed early next week.


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Air Animal Combats the Top 10 Pet Moving Myths with the Top 10 Pet Moving Facts

international pet move,international pet shipping,international pet transport,international pet transportation,pet moving facts,pet moving myths August 22, 2019


About 30 years ago, Air Animal Pet Movers published their first “Top 10 Pet Moving Myths and Facts.” They continue to update the list each year because it’s the right thing to do. Air Animal is one of five founders of the pet moving industry. Its owners consulted with air carriers and the federal government to write the rules that now protect pet safety while traveling.


The 2019 Top 10 Pet Moving Myths vs. Facts are:
Myth #1 --  Passenger airlines transporting pets do not have pressurized air cargo holds.
Fact #1 ---  Air cargo compartments are pressurized the same as the passenger compartments on airlines.

Myth #2 --  Pet moving by air during the summer is hazardous to pets.
Fact #2 ---  Summer pet relocation is safe, reliable and humane because airlines that accept pets use air-conditioned vehicles to move pets from one aircraft to another and many airports now have pet lounges. The lounges accommodate pets traveling internationally. They need a break just like their pet parents.

Myth #3 --  Airlines accept all dog and cat breeds as cabin baggage, accompanied baggage and air cargo.
Fact #3---  Mushy-faced breeds (brachycephalic) may relocate by air when temperatures are 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) or below at both the departure and arrival airports. Airlines have also prohibited specific breeds.

Myth #4 --  All pets must be given tranquilizers when moved on airlines-both as baggage or as air cargo.
Fact #4---  Tranquilized or sedated animals are prohibited by passenger airlines.

Myth #5 --  Britain requires six months of mandatory quarantine when pets relocate to the UK.
Fact #5---  There is no quarantine provided you follow the UK protocol: microchip, rabies vaccination and international health certificate. See our resource pages for UK  and EU protocols.

Myth #6 --  Parrots and other birds only need a health certificate to move from one country to another.
Fact #6---  All parrots and some birds on the U.S. Endangered Species List must have a CITESexport or import permit to leave or enter the U.S. Occasionally blood tests are required before the move.

Myth #7 --  Pets entering the U.S. must be quarantined.
Fact #7 --  Only horses, livestock and birds are quarantined when entering the United States.

Myth #8 --  There are no breed restrictions for pets flying on U.S. passenger airlines.
Fact #8 ---  Passenger airlines may choose to refuse transport to breeds which have known breathing issues or other problems.

Myth #9 --  Every pet going into the European Union countries needs a 15-digit microchip.
Fact #9---  Air Animal recommends a 15-digit ISO chips such as AVID or Home Again for pets traveling to the UK and the EU.

Myth #10 --  Only one vet visit is required to get the microchip, rabies vaccination, and the International Health Certificate for relocation to the EU.
Fact #10---  Relocating pets to the EU  will take at least two vet visits for cats and three visits for dogs because dogs must have a parasite treatment.
Ole and Teddy moved from Germany to the UK with Air Animal. They're British shorthair cats.

Copyright 2019, Air Animal Inc. All rights reserved.



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Pet Birds Require CITES Permits for International Relocation

CITES permits,international pet move,international pet shipping,international pet transport,moving birds and pocket pets August 22, 2019


Air Animal Pet Movers relocates family pets. They advise that owners of birds, specialty and pocket pets plan well in advance before moving because their precious pets may require a special Convention on International Trade in EndangeredSpecies of Wild Fauna and Flora permit.


CITES is a voluntary international conservation agreement signed by 183 countries including the United States. The convention ensures that international trade does not harm the 35,000 endangered and protected species on the list.

According to CITES, “trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them, including food products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, tourist curios and medicines. Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction.”

“For example, if you own a cockatoo or a gecko, you will have to have a CITES permit,” said Dr. Walter M. Woolf, veterinarian and founder of Air Animal. There are many rules, regulations and exceptions in the CITES agreement. Every step must be followed to the letter. Each country has a CITES Management Agency responsible for issuing permits. In the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the managing agency.

“Our pet move managers know exactly how to obtain CITES permits. We’ve relocated thousands of specialty pets. If the client wishes we can prepare the CITES documents as well as the health certificate documents and coordinate the move,” Woolf said.

The number of species on the CITES list often varies as countries request changes. All changes are ratified by all the members. As of August 1, 2019, there are 921 mammals, 1,472 birds, 902 reptiles and 162 amphibians on the CITES list.

“Our goal is to de-stress family moves and corporate relocations. We take on the complex details involved in moving pets across the country and around the world. Pet Moving Made Easy® is our focus, our passion and our promise,” Woolf added.

Quantas, a female blue and gold macaw, moved with Air Animal


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Airlines Rejecting Digitally Signed Pet Health Certificates

Hawaii,move my dog to Guam,pet shipping,pet transportation June 12, 2019

Air Animal® Pet Movers advises anyone traveling with their pet use caution when obtaining a pet health certificate. Delta, United, American, Hawaiian and Alaskan airlines are turning away passengers traveling with their pets using electronic pet health certificates. The airlines are requiring health certificates with a seal and the original veterinarian signature. The travelers had to re-book their trips and obtain new health certificates at considerable trouble and expense.


Air Animal offers global health certificate consultation and document preparation services in addition to full-service pet relocations. All health certificates provided by Air Animal have original veterinary signatures.

In Tampa Bay, Air Animal’s experienced veterinarian completes all the complicated USDA forms in the office and sends them to the USDA. Elsewhere in the U.S., Air Animal completes the forms and overnights them to a client’s chosen USDA-accredited veterinarian. Generally, a pet health certificate exam takes less than one hour.

Health certificates for U.S. moves are good for 10 days from the date issued. Owners should call ahead 14 days to allow for processing and scheduling their veterinary visit. International health certificates are generally valid for 10 days--sometimes less--depending on the destination country. Plan ahead 21 days for international pet health certificates. For some countries, an additional veterinary visit shortly before flight is required.

Air Animal pet move managers are available to walk veterinary practice staff through the process by phone for mutual clients. Air Animal accepts pet health certificate clients from anywhere in the United States.

Hawaii and Guam have also recently updated rules and regulations for pets moving to these island paradises. We've posted the updates on our resource page.


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Moving Pets Can Increase Corporate Relocation Success Rates

corporate relocation,international pet shipping,pet transportation June 12, 2019


ECA’s 2018 Permanent Transfer Survey finds that nearly 40 percent of international transfers lasting more than one year are permanent. That means there is no commitment for employees to return to their home countries.



The 2018 Mobility Outlook Survey by AIRINC concludes that 54 percent of companies anticipate increased demand for cross-border mobility.

Reviewing the corporate relocation policy landscape for “Mobility Magazine” (Sept. 2018), Susan Krupka McCune, CRP, GMS, director of global account management at SIRVA Worldwide Relocation & Moving, and Ish Bajwa, VP human resources-global mobility, Capital Group concluded that existing policies are being replaced. The new programs retain baseline consistency while allowing flexibility based on employee situations and preferences. Technology will make these programs a reality, they said.

Permitting employees to choose pet relocation as part of their flexible benefit can close the deal. According to Pam Buchanan, GMS, Lexicon Relocation, about 50 percent of companies offer pet relocation benefits. Some companies cap the benefit but more and more are moving to lump-sum or managed-cap programs.

Ivana Gibson, GMS described the programs this way:
• Lump-sum programs offer employees a specific amount of money upfront to cover move costs. Employees manage the moves themselves or may choose to work with a recommended relocation company.
• Managed-cap programs limit the amount that can be spent per relocation and may set caps for specific expenses such as temporary housing. These programs are usually managed by a relocation company which coordinates the move and recommends suppliers.

Adding Pets to the Move Mix

Air Animal has assisted over 50,000 families move their 100,000 furry, feathered and scaly pets all over the world. Fully 60 percent are corporate relocations.

“We work with employees and employers offering full-service moves, lump-sum, managed-cap moves and military permanent change of station moves every day,” said Walter M. Woolf, VMD, founder and CEO of Air Animal. Woolf said more companies offer flexible plans that allow employees to choose an experienced pet mover that knows how to handle the rules and regulations from origin to destination.

“Pets are members of the family. They’re important to an employee’s happiness and state of mind,” he adds. As proof, Woolf points to the increase in pet super stores, online pet stores, and pet service businesses. Making pet parents and their owners happy is now a billion-dollar business in the United States. It’s growing around the world as well.

“Air Animal works with the major relocation firms which represent international corporations. We work hard to earn their trust and referrals. Those relationships assure transferees that our services have been thoroughly vetted. We’ve found that corporate transferees who choose Air Animal are focused on their new jobs and challenges because they are confident their precious pets’ moves will go smoothly,” Woolf explained.

Air Animal is an appointed and endorsed International Air Transport Association air cargo sales agency working with all airlines that move animals. Air Animal is an Indirect Air Carrier cleared for pickup and delivery of live animals by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. Recent relocations included dogs, cats, a quarter horse, a turtle and several guinea pigs.

Air Animal offers three service levels to meet every corporate transferee budget. VIP door-to-door is the most popular level for busy corporate employees managing a move and a new assignment. Costs for U.S. VIP pet moves for dogs and cats under 20 pounds start at $1995 and VIP international moves begin at $2895. This service includes residential pickup and delivery, airport terminal services, commercial airline cargo charges, and domestic health certificate review or international health certificate preparation.

Pet relocation and shipping costs vary depending upon the species, breed, number of pets, the pet's physical weight, the flight kennel in which the pet flies, the origin, the destination, pre-flight requirements, air transport charges, and in-transit care charges. For international pet relocations, estimated costs also include customs entry procedures, veterinary inspections, in-transit care, boarding or quarantine if required, and the specific requirements of the destination country. In some countries destination air cargo firms may charge additional fees for animal handling that are not included in Air Animal’s estimates.

Air Animal’s new mobile and desktop app also de-stresses corporate relocations exclusively for Air Animal clients. The app puts the pet move in the palm of their hands:
• Microchip info
• Vaccination records
• Veterinarian info
• Health certificate copies
• Pet move itinerary
• Flight tracking
• Pet photo ID

“Pet Moving Made Easy® is our passion, our focus and our promise to companies and their corporate transferees,” Woolf said.

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411 on International Pet Health Certificates

health certificate,international pet shipping,international pet transportation,pet health certificate March 20, 2019

International pet health certificates are required entry documents for all pets traveling outside the U.S. Most countries including the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates require U.S. Department of Agriculture export endorsement. Here’s how the process works.

Pet owners make appointments with USDA-accredited veterinarians who examine the pets. The veterinarian verifies the microchip in the pet and logs the number on the paperwork. The veterinarian signs the documents and sends the paperwork to the USDA for endorsement. Microchips must always be present before rabies vaccinations when they are required by the destination. If the pet does not have a microchip, the veterinarian can insert an International Standards Organization-compatible microchip appropriate for the destination. If rabies re-vaccination is required, travel will be delayed.

International health certificates are generally valid for 10 days - sometimes less - depending on the destination country. Please plan ahead at least 30 days for international pet health certificates, processing and scheduling veterinary visits. For some countries, an additional veterinary visit shortly before flight is required.

These four basic steps must be followed in order:

  1. Microchip the pet for identification purposes
  2. Certify a current rabies vaccination. If the pet enters the UK or EU with a current 3-year rabies vaccination which is more than one year old, then additional documentation will be required.
  3. At least 21 days after the most recent rabies vaccination, book an appointment with a USDA-accredited veterinarian to issue an international pet health certificate. The veterinary appointment for the international health certificate must be within the time frame required by the destination.
  4. USDA export endorsement.


Health certificates for U.S. moves are good for 10 days from the date issued.

For Pets on the Move®, Air Animal offers global health certificate services in addition to full-service pet relocations. In Tampa Bay, experienced veterinarians complete all the complicated USDA forms right in their office and overnight them to the USDA. Elsewhere in the U.S., Air Animal completes the forms and overnights them to the client’s chosen USDA-accredited veterinarian. The service includes an overnight envelop to ship signed paperwork to the USDA for export endorsement.

Air Animal’s experienced move managers are available to walk veterinary practice staff through the process and timelines by phone for our mutual clients. Air Animal is pleased to accept health certificate clients from all over the United States.

Learn more about country requirements for importing pets at airanimal.com.


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Pet Owners Are Experiencing Pick-up Delays at Heathrow

BREXIT,international pet move,international pet shipping,international pet transport,UK February 8, 2019

(Feb. 7, 2019)—Recent administrative changes relating to pet entry are causing release delays at London Heathrow. Pets are being held longer than we have previously experienced. Our United Kingdom service partners have advised that more changes may occur with Britain’s exit from the European Union. We’ll post updates to this blog as we learn of the changes.




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