The importance of planning international pet travel in advance, can not be stressed enough. The one who suffers most from lack of adequate travel planning is your pet. And your pocket! Future planning any overseas adventures with pets allows you time to crate train, vaccinate your pets and budget your pets' transport into the other costs of moving overseas. Your pet courier will break it down for you.
Your pets need time to be vaccinated and tested. If flying long haul, especially to Europe, they will likely need rabies vaccinations. Rabies vaccines take 30 days to develop antibodies in the bloodstream in cats and dogs. Then you must allow time to receive their test results which come from labs in England. All flying pets must be in tiptop health at departure or they will not be rejected by MPI.
Pets flying internationally from New Zealand need time to get comfortable with their IATA approved travel crate. Even if they are crate-trained or have flown overseas before, warm them up for the journey. Crate training is best done in a low pressure environment that is not time sensitive. Prevent any anxiety about cratetraining to a specific date by allowing a buffer of months not weeks.. You want to avoid any anxious associations with your crate and travel prospects entirely.
Whilst pet transport is often more affordable than most people think, it is an unknown quantity until you request a quote. Unlike flying humans, where booking fees are standard regardless of how tall or heavy you are, booking flights for pets is not the same. The volumetric weight charge is unique to each animal; how much space they occupy in the cargo hold and how much they weigh. Once you know how much the your pet's travel tickets will cost, you can plan when and how to pay accordingly..
Planning in advance allows you time to prepare your pets and budget your travel with a nice time cushion, just in case vaccination goes curly or crate training takes a little longer than anticipated. Most importantly, it ensures both humans and pets have a pawsitively awsome travel experience together! Contact one of our knowledgable pet transport consultants to get your pet travel plan underway!
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When you fly your pet overseas from New Zealand with us, we professionally fit your pet with the correct sized IATA compliant cage or custom-build your travel crate to spec. If you are unable to come to our stock rooms at Auckland Airport with your cats or dogs, we can explain travel cage sizing over the phone and will send IATA measuring diagrams guide you with instructions by email. This week on Facebook and Instagram we started sharing our top 5 tips for travel crate training success with a little help from Rosie the Border Collie.
Step 1: Park your professionally sized & fitted #IATA approved #travelcrates in your living room. You want your pets to be really comfortable with their new #crate in your home before you start introducing play inside. No drama, no stress. Just let the crate become part of the living room furniture. A little curiosity, sniffing around or pawing at the door indicates they are ready to proceed to the next step
Step 2: Start introducing play in and around the crate to get your pet comfortable with the crate. Don't be shy with the treats or praise! Use them to reward exploring behind the door and staying inside with the door open. No need to push your pets to go in and stay in but reluctant pets maybe encouraged by placing a favourite toy or blanket inside, or some dirty clothes from your laundry basket. Familiar comforts and rewards are key here!
Step 3: Closing the door is almost the final stage. By now, your pet's travel #crate is fun and cozy place they sit or sleep in by choice. Your #pet needs to be #calm and comfortable inside the cage when the door closes. This will be their "home away from home" whilst #travelling. If they seem distressed, open the door immediately and let them out - you do not want their #travelcrate to ever be a scary place. If things start to come unstuck at this stage, don't hesitate to give us a call on 09 256 0999
Step 4: This final stage is really only necessary for pets flying long haul, however it never hurts to see your pet's crate training all the way through to completion. If your pet is quite happy inside their travel cage with the door closed, start making it part of your evening routine with bedtime inside the crate with the door closed. You can even start this early in the piece with the door open and don't hesitate to move the crate to your bedroom if that is where they usually sleep. You want your pet to make their crate their home, their safe space and a personal retreat in the same way they will identity their pet bed or favourite chair in the house as theirs.
Smelly socks, used nighties, freshly worn gym gear and underwear are among pets favourite smells and do let them use these items to mark their crate with your smells. You can always remove them later when they are chill with the crate. Heaps of our clients hold onto the crate even after travel and use it as an indoor kennel or pet bed - yep, eventually cats and dogs really grow to love their lovely travel crates! Continued use of the crate well after your international journey will only smooth the way for further adventures together in future.
If you would like an IATA measurement guide, further information about our drug-free crate-training program or need help at any stage of the game, don't hesitate to contact us. We want every pet to fly safe, calm and happy. There are no stupid questions and we love helping travellers with pets - do get in touch with one of our consultants! Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below!