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Why is international pet transport so expensive?

Travelling with your pet to another country is, unfortunately, no walk in the park. It is a time-bound process that has many moving parts, and everything has to be perfectly in sync for your pet to be approved to travel and accepted into the destination country by customs officials. Customers sometimes wonder why pet travel is so expensive; often costing more than their flight.

International pet travel is expensive because of all the components involved in making the trip successful. It is not as simple as your travel; buy a ticket, and you’re good to go. Read on to understand why your doggy’s or kitty’s trip costs so much.

Airline costs

Air travel with a pet is not as simple as buying a ticket. Air travel for people has so many variables; the price of your ticket is different depending on the day of the week, the hour that you are flying in and even how early you’ve booked your flight. It does not work like that for pet transport.

Every airline has different policies when it comes to animal transport, and the price of your pet’s ticket is calculated based on your pet’s weight and the volume of the crate your pet is travelling in. It is more expensive, therefore, to fly larger pets such as Labradors and Great Danes than smaller pets like Chihuahuas, Pugs and cats.

When a pet travel agency is booking a flight for your pet, your pet’s convenience is always put ahead of the best price. A direct flight is preferred over one with many stops, and these flights may not always be the least expensive.

When you are booking a ticket for yourself, it is easy to look for the discount route and get the most value for money. Booking your pet’s flight is a little more complicated than that. Pets have to fly on pet-friendly airlines that make stops at pet-friendly airports. Usually if the layover is long, they will be taken to a pet lounge for a comfort stop. All these amenities come at an extra cost.

Vet visits and documentation

Just as we need documentation in the form of visas and passports to travel from one country to another, our pets need their own set of documentation for international travel. Every country has its own set of rules, and your pet must fulfil all conditions to be eligible to enter the country. This involves several visits to the vet for all required vaccinations, microchip implantation, and health examinations.

Your dog or cat will need a health certificate endorsed by an authorised vet for international pet transport. Many countries also require an import permit from the destination country.

IATA-compliant travelling crate

When departing from Australia, your pet dog or cat cannot hop on the aeroplane seat with you during the flight. They will fly in a specially earmarked space in the cargo hold in an IATA-compliant crate. The crate should be strong and sturdy to be able to withstand the rigours of international pet transport. Pet crates are usually made of rigid plastic, though large breeds travel in customised wooden crates.

Your pet’s crate must be big enough for your dog or cat to be able to stand up, lay down and turn around comfortably. You will have to measure your pet before buying a travel crate because if the crate is too small for your pet or not ventilated enough, the airline will not let your pet board the plane.

It is a good practice to buy a new pet crate for your pet; hiring or buying a used crate is not recommended for hygiene reasons. The Petraveller Sky Crate conforms to all international airline standards and is built with safety and comfort in mind.

Airlines calculate animal fares by considering the dimensional weight of the crate and pet. The cost takes into account the size of the crate and the weight of your pet; that is why pet travel is more expensive for larger breeds when compared to small and miniature breeds.

Quarantine and import fees

Many countries have strict biosecurity and quarantine rules where all pets entering the country have to stay in mandatory quarantine for a fixed number of days. These regulations are in place to protect the local fauna from introduced diseases. If you are planning on travelling with your pet to a country with mandatory quarantine, you will have the factor in the cost of your pet dog or cat’s stay at the quarantine facility. The longer the duration, the more expensive it is.

In some countries, pets that show signs of illness or have improper documentation are sent to a quarantine facility until all pet import criteria are met successfully.

Another cost component of international pet travel is the import fees levied by countries before your pet is allowed to enter. These fees differ from country to country and cover the import tariff, veterinary inspection fees, and other airport taxes.

Door-to-door service

Most reputed pet travel agencies offer a door-to-door service where your dog or cat is picked up from your home and then dropped off to your new home in the destination country. This service is very convenient for pet parents, especially when they are in the middle of an international relocation.

Your pet is transported to the airport in a comfortable climate-controlled vehicle and boarded on the aircraft on priority. On disembarking, they are given a comfort stop and the customs clearance process is completed by an expert who is familiar with what departments and buildings to visit and the paperwork that must be presented. This service is safe and comfortable for your pet; it saves you time and energy in organising a pet drop-off and pick-up at the airport, which can be especially daunting and lengthy for fliers who have completed a long journey themselves.

Personalised pet care

An accredited pet travel company will ensure the best interests of your pet are at the forefront with every decision you take. From finding the best and most direct flights to organising the vet visits, from helping you with the documentation to co-ordinating with various agencies for approvals, your pet travel partner will give your pet the best personalised service they deserve.

Call the pet transport specialists

International pet transport is not always easy and straightforward as it is for people. The rules are many and can change without notice as mandated by airlines and government departments. If you are planning to travel with your pet dog or cat, it is recommended to choose a pet travel partner to assist you with the nitty-gritty of international pet travel. A pet travel agency will help you save much in the time and energy required to organise the trip, and ensure your pet will be accepted into the destination country and not returned home.

As a pet parent, you always want the best for your pet. Travelling across the world can be as stressful for your pet as it is for you. Be sure to choose a pet travel agency that has a zero-harm policy and one that will certainly make your pet a priority.

International pet travel is expensive; there’s no denying it. But the joy of having your best buddy with you as you move to a new phase of your life is truly priceless! If you are planning to relocate to a new country with your pet, reach out to us at Petraveller for a detailed and itemised pet travel plan.