Q: Is air travel stressful for pets?
A: While airports and aircraft will certainly be an unfamiliar environment for pets almost all cope with air travel very well. Pets will usually consider their travel crate as a safe haven or a 'home from home' and once they are on board the aircraft the movement and unfamiliar noises stop and they will usually take the opportunity to get some sleep. Having seen many pets arrive on long haul flights we can say that they most often look better rested than their owners!
Q: When should I feed my pet before travel?
A: We recommend giving your pet a small meal four hours before they leave home. This will give plenty of time for this to be digested before they travel reducing the possibility of travel sickness. We will always ensure your pet gets to go to the toilet just before they travel.
Q: Will my pet be fed during the flight?
A: Most flights are of a short enough duration that they will not require feeding. In the cases where your pet's journey is a sequence of very long flights we will arrange for a rest stop where your pet will be let out of his or her crate and fed. A water bowl is fixed to the inside of your pet's travel crate and this will be topped up with water prior to each flight and at any stopovers.
Q: Isn't it very cold in an aircraft hold?
A: No it isn't. Pets travel in a special section of the hold which is maintained at a comfortable temperture - normally 20 degrees celsius. The temperature is monitored by the pilots on the flight deck.
Q: Can I send my pet's favourite toy in the travel crate?
A: Yes small soft toys can be sent along with your pet. We recommend putting an old t-shirt or other item of clothing that you have recently worn in the travel crate - your smell may provide some extra reassurance to your pet.
Q: Could I arrange my pet's travel myself?
A: You could but it is safest not to. It is a steep learning curve and we have seen cases of people having to leave their pets behind in boarding kennels because they have overlooked a detail. In the worst case scenario pets have been quarantined or returned to Australia at the owner's expense.
Q: Who will look after my pet at the airport and on board the aircraft?
A: Travelling pets are treated with the highest priority by the airlines and their handling agents. Pets always board last and disembark first from the aircraft. While the cargo hold cannot be accessed during flight airline staff will check on them before boarding, during rest stops and on arrival.
Q: Can my pet travel with me in the cabin?
A: No. All pets travelling overseas from Australia are required to travel in the cargo hold. The cargo hold is as heated and pressurised to the same standards as the passenger cabin but is quieter with low lighting which pets find less stressful.
Q: Do you issue Pet Passports?
A: The term Pet Passport refers to a document issued to pets in the European Union which shows their microchip number, Rabies vaccination details and deworming details where this is required. As such we cannot issue a Pet Passport in Australia but the EU Health Certificate we provide will allow movement of your pets within the EU for up to four months after entry provided their Rabies vaccinations remain current and they are dewormed as required for entry into certain countries such as the UK and Ireland.
Q: Will my pets be quarantined on arrival overseas?
A: Very few countries enforce post entry quarantine nowadays. In most cases your pets will be able to go straight home once all arrival formalities are complete which is usually a matter of hours. All countries are different, however, and we will advise you on an individual basis.
Q: Will my pet have a chance to get used to the travel crate?
A: Yes, Pet Travel Specialists will endeavour to deliver your pet's own travel crate to your home as soon after booking as possible. We recommend that you place your pet's bedding in the crate and allow them free access to sleep in the crate. You can even give your pet a meal or two in the crate to provide some positive reinforcement that the crate is a safe and secure place. In the case of very large dog crates we may collect these a day or two prior to travel so that you do not need to transport the crate on the day of travel.
Q: Will my pet need to be sedated for travel?
A: No. We strongly advise that pets should not be sedated for travel. Sedation can lower blood pressure and, in conjunction with lower air pressure at altitude (aircraft holds and cabins are pressurised to an equivalent of 8000 feet altitude), this can lead to physiological stress.
Q: Where will my pet travel on board the aircraft?
A: Pets travel in a separate section of the cargo hold that is pressurised and heated to the same standards of the passenger cabin. There is a low level of lighting installed which makes travel less stressful.
Q: Should my pet wear their collar?
A: We recommend that pets don't wear collars when travelling. We can attach your pet's collar and leash to the outside of the crate.
Q: Can I travel on the same flight as my pet?
A: Yes this is possible providing that there are seats and hold space available for you and your pet on that flight. We will always aim to book your pet on the shortest and most direct routes as possible.