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Asking the right questions: What to ask before choosing a pet relocation company

Moving homes can be extremely stressful, more so moving countries with your family and pets. There is so much to be on top of – confusing legislation, vaccinations, pet safety, unending paperwork, the costs, choosing the right crate – it can get overwhelming.

Before you choose your pet relocation partner, make sure you have done the research. There are many pet travel experts to help you relocate, but selecting the right one makes all the difference. Here are a few questions to consider before zeroing on the company to move your loved one.

Is the company an IPATA member?

International Pet Animal and Transportation Association or IPATA is an international network of pet shippers who are committed to providing professional and compassionate pet relocation service across the world. Why is it important for the shipper to be part of IPATA? IPATA members are registered with necessary organisations in their own country and are strictly required to follow the live animals regulations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Adhering to these rules means that your pet will be transported safely and legally, and with utmost care.

Does the company know the ins and outs of pet travel?

Different countries have different rules and regulations when it comes to pet travel, and it is crucial that the relocation company is conversant with all the rules and requirements. They should be able to tell you the different regulations, the quarantine and vaccination requirements, the import and export documents needed, and the best airlines to fly with for that particular destination. Regulations change frequently, and the company must be able to give you the latest information.  It is essential to follow all the rules to the letter, failure to do so can lead to unhappy consequences. Your pet may not be able to board the scheduled flight, or is denied entry to the new home country and sent home at your expense, or be subjected to lengthy and expensive quarantine periods. Check if they are a preferred provider for a pet-friendly airline. This information will help you gauge how experienced they are in international pet travel.

Is it a full-service relocation company?

The best pet relocation companies have a range of services in addition to shipping such as veterinary services, door-to-door delivery, boarding facilities for your pets and a team that is contactable 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week while your pet is in transit. Animal transport services are essential, especially when you are travelling to countries that have stringent quarantine laws.

How long have they been in business?

As in all services, the longer they’ve been in business, the better they are at it. One of the most important things to consider is how approachable and easy to contact the company is and how experienced their team is. Check if they are friendly and open to answering your doubts patiently and pleasantly. Reconsider if they are focused on securing deposits and if they outsource work to contractors who are inexperienced pet carers.

Are they pet lovers?

Your pet is most precious to you, and it makes a big difference if your pet relocation company is manned by pet lovers who are not just knowledgeable, but also understand that your pet is an integral part of your family. Look for a company that has a zero-harm rating and check their track record when it comes to international pet travel. If the company you choose is run by pet-friendly staff, you can be assured of personal and caring service.

What do their customers say?

Always read customer reviews before choosing; these reviews go a long way in telling you how the company really operates and if they truly deliver on their promises. Companies often self-publish testimonials on their website; look for comments that they can’t edit or remove. Get on their social media pages, and look for what their clients have to say about them. If there are negative reviews, see how they’ve been resolved as after all nobody’s perfect!

If you are planning to move your pet to a new home in a different country, contact the team at Petraveller for more assistance.