I’ve been in the pet travel business for 25 years. I can honestly say that animals are my passion, and nothing brings me greater joy than helping families successfully relocate their cherished pets from one location to another. Every time we have a successful move, even though I’ve done it so many times, I feel a sense of victory and a feeling of happiness.
When the move is done properly, when all the steps are followed, when everything is planned out in advance, the move is exciting and anticipatory. The owners are able to relax and enjoy the journey. The pets aren’t stressed because they are well taken care of it. Everything is a positive experience, from the drop off at the airport and that final farewell to the pick-up on the other side. It’s a smooth process and everyone involved reaps the rewards from a trip well done.
Unlike pretty much everything else, where there is a wealth of information to sort through on the internet, when it comes to pet shipping and transportation, well, to say it’s lacking is an understatement!
But when the rules aren’t followed, or the move isn’t planned out properly, then the move becomes riddled with anxiety. Stressed out pet owners at the airport. Children in tears. Panicked parents. Heartbroken pet owner that are forced to part with their beloved pets, uncertain of when they’ll see them again.
I’ve seen both sides; families who board the plane with excited smiles, rest-assured that their pets will meet them on the other side, and families who are in a state of panic at the airport, forced to make difficult, and sometimes heart-breaking decisions about what to do with their pets.
I decided to write this book for several reasons. The first is when I realized that there isn’t really a lot on this topic available. Unlike pretty much everything else, where there is a wealth of information to sort through on the internet, when it comes to pet shipping and transportation, well, to say it’s lacking is an understatement! There isn’t a whole lot out there. It’s a real struggle trying to find information about the rules and regulations, about the actual process, about what an owner needs to do for a pet before the move, during the move, and even after the move.
And to add insult to injury, what little information there is – well – it’s often incorrect. Part of this stems from the fact that rules and regulations regarding pet transportation are constantly changing. Countries adapt and update requirements as they see fit, so it can be hard to keep up with it all. A lot of information, then, is outdated. What was true last week, last month, last year isn’t the case anymore. This can be frustrating and overwhelming because pet owners thought they had the right info; they thought they were following the rules. And they were – it’s just that those were last year’s rules…
But I think another reason that there isn’t much available is because it’s a very specialized, niche topic. So many people own pets (which I’ll discuss in further detail later) but no one really thinks about transporting a pet until they are in a situation where they have to. People don’t just randomly look up ‘how do you bring a cat from California to New York’, or ‘what vaccinations does my Doberman need to go to Dubai?’ Information about breeds, healthy weight, training, toys, what to do if your pet has a tick, the best brush for a Persian – sure! You can find pretty much EVERYTHING ELSE about pets on the internet. Pet shipping doesn’t headline the blogs; it isn’t the content of websites. It’s just sort of absent. This is because pet shipping isn’t on the forefront of pet owners minds.
Until it is…
I know this firsthand. I acknowledge this. There is a lack of easily accessible information in this space. So, this is one of the reasons I decided to write this book. Anyone who is planning on traveling with a pet should have access to the information they need. The internet is full of websites that you help teach you almost everything else you need to know about your pet! Blogs on dogs. Wiki pages on cats. The internet abounds with pics of pets. There are even entire Instagram accounts dedicated to pets. Websites with more ‘pet info’ than you could ever possibly wade through. But when it comes to traveling with your pet? I saw the void.
Pet owners should have access to all the information they need so they can properly transport their pets. This lack of accessible information was one source of inspiration for this book. I want to help people by giving them the benefit of all my years of experience. I want you to have access to the information you need when you need it. I want to give it to you all in one, convenient place, so you don’t have to scour the internet and question anything you come across.
But my inspiration for writing this book runs deeper than a simple lack of information on the internet. I know, firsthand, how much we love our pets. For many people, our pets are like our children. For some people, their pets ARE their children. And more people own pets today than ever before.