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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there

Our family is moving from Sydney to SFO in June and I'm anxious about my dog - he's around 8 (a rescue mutt of mixed heritage, mainly cattledog and lab) and is generally laid back although he gets pretty nervous when he doesn't have company or he's in unfamiliar territory - sooo not a great mix when we're talking about shipping him 15 odd hours in a plane to a whole new hemisphere!

The only other option is to rehome him but that would be equally, if not more stressful. We would love to have him with us but I want to do what's best for him and the least amount of stress. Any advice would be gratefully received - even if it's just to remind me heaps of people do it and he's better off with his family!

Thanks
 

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He is probably over the weight limit for in-cabin transport. You may want to speak with your vet about sedatives. If this is an option be sure to run several trial runs! How will things proceed in SFO - house hunt, hotel ...? Please consider that it is not just the flight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He is probably over the weight limit for in-cabin transport. You may want to speak with your vet about sedatives. If this is an option be sure to run several trial runs! How will things proceed in SFO - house hunt, hotel ...? Please consider that it is not just the flight.
Yes he'd definitely have to be crated in the special cargo hold and plus there's the waiting time before and after the long flight. When we get there we have pet friendly accommodation while we find a house but that's going to be a challenge as we have two small children too and my husband will likely be working while I do the house hunting. Alternatively I could have a friend look after him and ship him when we get settled.

Much to consider...
 

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Yes he'd definitely have to be crated in the special cargo hold and plus there's the waiting time before and after the long flight. When we get there we have pet friendly accommodation while we find a house but that's going to be a challenge as we have two small children too and my husband will likely be working while I do the house hunting. Alternatively I could have a friend look after him and ship him when we get settled.

Much to consider...
Sorry, those are decisons you have to make and I do not envy you. Any good friend or family member you can leave him with for good?
 

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Hi,
We brought our 8 year old Golden Retriever from Norway to Houston last year. Total flying time 13-14 hours because there are no direct flights - poor puppy had two landings and departures. I would not describe her as nervous, but at the same time she is far from brave. So we were really worried too.
I had a long chat with my vet, who does international show jumping so very familiar with transport of animals, and she gave me a lot of comfort.
Re Trauma of it all she said "dogs are smart. it's not gonna be any better or worse than a person flying for the first time". By the way, when they go in the hold they are not in the general cargo hold but a room with a light - at least on our flight - good to check.
Re duriation of flight: "has it never happened that the dog will be alone in the house for 13-14 hours? they can hold it that long"
Key tips from her:
- have a passport for your dog, even if not required (immunisations and micro chip details)
- try to get a direct flight. If you cannot get a direct flight try to avoid connecting flights in the US as the dog will be cleared at the first point of entry. If there is a problem with papers, etc you don't want to be on the connecting flight while the dog is still at the first airport.
- Contact the airline at least two months in advance and before booking the flight. Not all airplanes / lines can take a dog. Ask them out about transport arrangements. If you are making a connection, ask about services there. E.g. I discovered that flying via UK is often risky as they sometimes stop animals there! Frankfurt was a better choice because they have vets on site that will assess the dog and contact the owner if any concerns. by the way, it is the cargo people at the airline that know this stuff.
- My vet strongly advised against any seditives. a) they are a risk on their own (and then with no people around, b) increases chance of injury, as the take off will wake them and they will then stagger around, c) over a 13 hour flight they will awake at some point anyways so still get the experience.
- That long a flight one of the challenges may be water. She recommended that shortly before handing her over at the airport, I fill a small plastic bowl with dog food soaked in water and place it in the box. In addition dog transport cages should have a water bowl on the outside (no one is allowed to open the cage to the dog while en route). My dog's water bowl was full when we arrived state side. A lot of dog lovers in the world. ;-)
- You will probably be told that the dog's papers go with you. My vet advised me to make an extra copy of the papers and tape it to the side of the box. Just in case.

When we arrived in the US the worst part was that we were all so happy to see each other but we couldn't open the door until customs was cleared. Of course a suitcase was lost, and no transport guys available. Honestly, that was the worst bit. When we got to the new house she was tired and unsure, so we just sat next to her the rest of that day. Next day we had to go out, and she hated that. Luckily I was able to work from home first week, as she wasn't quite her self. More skittish, very protective of our property, sceptical to strangers, etc. This weirdness lasted 3-4 weeks then passed and she became exactly the same dog as she had been before.
Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dear Kafka
Thanks so much, this helps a lot. We have decided to bring Monte as he is such an important part of our family. I've done heaps of research and am fully reassured that he is better off with us. Funny because I work in animal welfare and conservation - most of my colleagues looked at me like I was mad for even considering not taking him!
Really looking forward to the move, I've heard CA is really dog friendly which will make a change from Sydney where we can't do very much with our woofer.
Thanks again
Imogen
 

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I've been looking in to the same thing for my foster dog that I've had for 2 months now, unfortunately I'm in love with him and want to adopt him! So I've been doing a lot of digging in to shipping to the US.. I would probably say go with a pet shipping company as they handle all of the paper work and checking in and even check on your dog before the flight before it's boarded etc, they're all different. Definitely worth checking out...

There's several, some good ones are JetPets, DogTainers, can't think of the others off my head, they'll all give you a free quote. Not cheap, but dogs are family!

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks JessJame5, I came to the same conclusion. We can't possibly leave him behind. Dogtainers and Jetpets were also recommended to me so we'll use one of them - I'm going to pick up the crate next week and start getting him used to sleeping in it. It doesn't seem to be too expensive - probably around $2500, which isn't much for having a family member join us! At least on the way over we don't have to put him in quarantine.
A friend of mine put me in touch with someone who has been shipping animals for 50 years and he reassured me our dog will probably be more comfortable than we are.
Good luck with your move too!
 

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imogenthea said:
Thanks JessJame5, I came to the same conclusion. We can't possibly leave him behind. Dogtainers and Jetpets were also recommended to me so we'll use one of them - I'm going to pick up the crate next week and start getting him used to sleeping in it. It doesn't seem to be too expensive - probably around $2500, which isn't much for having a family member join us! At least on the way over we don't have to put him in quarantine.
A friend of mine put me in touch with someone who has been shipping animals for 50 years and he reassured me our dog will probably be more comfortable than we are.
Good luck with your move too!
We moved our TWO dogs from Adelaide to Canada last year...no problem.
I agree with everything that has been said so far ...
My dogs really coped well.
We left them with my mum until we were settled in a house and then got them shipped over.
You have to go with a dog transport company and cannot arrange things yourself.
If you can't fly them direct at least try to get it so the flight change happens outside of the us and when they arrive in the us, they can clear customs and be with you rather than organizing for another local company to clear them for you and then put them on another flight for you.
It was not required to have their rabies shots beforehand but I still got the vet to give them the shots as rabies is around in north America. (only certain vets can give these shots in Australia)
Good luck
 
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