Hundreds of thousands of pets fly each year, to destinations near and far. Obviously, not all those animals fly under the aegis of a professional pet transport company. So why not simply handle the arrangements yourself? How hard can it be to book a flight for your pet as well as yourself?
The short answer is, doing it yourself can be pretty easy. Or it can turn into the proverbial can of worms. So before you decide to DIY your pet’s travel plans, there are a number of factors you should consider. Because we know your #1 goal is to ensure your pup or kitty has the safest, most comfortable trip possible.
With that in mind, here are some reasons why you might want to choose a pet transport company instead of doing it yourself.
Some people fly frequently with their kitty or tiny dog in tow. If your flight is short, or you’re a seasoned traveler to a particular destination, arranging the details on your own is not that hard. If your pet is a first-timer and your travel plans are straight-forward, you can still make the arrangements yourself with a certain degree of confidence. What constitutes “straight-forward?”
- Airlines that allows pets to travel in-cabin
- You have only one pet
- Your pet’s carrier fits under the seat in front of you (every airline has different dimensions)
- Nonstop flight to your destination
- Confirmed reservation for your pet (yes, your pet needs a separate, paid reservation, and it might affect where you get to sit)
- No last-minute weather embargoes likely
- No language barriers
If you have more than one pet, or your trip involves multiple flights, or you’re headed to a country with complex pet import regulations, things quickly become not-so-straight-forward. Essentially, the farther you’re going, or the more “foreign” your destination, the more you need professional assistance.
Transporting a pet requires more than booking a flight. Your pooch or feline must have travel documents that identify her and vouch for her health and up-to-date vaccinations. Each country has different rules, and some of the tests required before your pet can fly can take weeks or even months. There is a specific timeframe within which certain things have to be done, and choreographing everything can be confusing as well as time-consuming.
A pet transport company can handle some or all of the details for you, so you can concentrate on other aspects of preparing for your trip.
The pros know things you won’t be able to find out
Researching what will be needed to import your pet is not only time-consuming, it can be extremely frustrating. Embassies don’t always know their own country’s rules regarding pets – or they didn’t get the latest change memo. Airline personnel are sometimes misinformed. Websites aren’t always up to date. You cannot be 100% certain you’re finding all the information you need, or if it is accurate.
Pet transport professionals do this for a living. They know the rules, no matter where your pet is headed.
The pros can bend the rules when you can’t
Airlines limit the number of pets that can travel in the cabin and also in the pressurized cargo area on any given flight. They limit the number of pets that can travel with you, regardless where they ride. If you have multiple pets, this can seem like an insurmountable problem. But when your pets fly “under the wing” of a professional transport company, airlines take a different view.
They have your back
What may seem like the ideal itinerary for you could be problematic for your dog or cat. And if it will take several flights to get to your final destination, things can get tricky. Your big dog’s kennel may not fit on a small commuter plane for the first or last leg of her trip. And not all airlines even accept pets.
Pet transport experts work with airlines around the world every day. They know how to sidestep potential problems to make sure your pet’s itinerary is not only as safe and comfortable as possible, but as streamlined as possible.
Occasionally, problems crop up that no one can control. For safety reasons, airlines won’t take pets when it’s very hot or very cold, and weather embargo decisions are made day-to-day. Even pets can be bumped due to overbooking. You have no way to deal with these challenges if you’re traveling yourself, or if you’re otherwise not available.
A pet transport company functions as a substitute pet parent, and they monitor your loved one’s travel progress every step of the way. If a problem or question arises, they’re there for your dog or cat, and they’re there for you.
The reasons to choose a pet transport company all add up one thing: peace of mind.