What do you tell your employees when they let you know their relocation includes two dogs or cats? While most employers do not reimburse for these “family member” relocation costs, it’s good to know you have a resource available for your employees.

WHR Group works with the IPATA, international pet shipping experts, and understands that when you move a person, you can oftentimes expect to move a furry friend (or two).

Is your relocation counselor poised to offer assistance?

pet relocation, employee relocation
What costs are associated with animals on airlines?
In addition to the actual charge from the airline to fly a pet, there are other fees to consider. Companies that agree to pay for fees will want a thorough understanding in advance.

Most countries require a health certificate from a veterinarian before any travel is permitted, even domestically. On international flights, pets may need to get passports or other country-specific regulatory approval, which generally is associated with a fee.

Additionally, treatment of parasites is sometimes required, even in healthy animals, before these permits will be issued.

Lastly, some countries require animals to be quarantined, sometimes in excess of 30 days, and individual countries can charge costly per diem fees before the animal will be released.

Are there other options besides flying for traveling with pets?
Unfortunately, traveling with pets on a bus, train, or ocean vessel is extremely restricted.

According to the IPATA, there are two ocean vessels that accept animals on transatlantic trips, but space is very limited.

Busses and trains are usually subject to local restriction, but Greyhound Bus, for example, does not allow any animals other than service animals (IPATA FAQs).

All airlines will fly pets, right?
Wrong! Some airlines do not allow animals in the cabin while others do not allow pets to fly as checked baggage—and some do not allow pets at all.

It is important to call ahead to the airline before booking your tickets to ensure that you, your family, and your pets all arrive in the destination city at the same time. BringFido.com is a great resource that offers a list of all animal-friendly airlines and their policies.

How big is too big for pets to fly in the cabin?
Most airlines only allow dogs or cats to fly in the cabin if they fit into a carrier that can be stowed beneath the seat. One exception is service animals, which must carry proper identification.

The airline must be notified in advance to arrange seating that will accommodate. Flying your pets in cargo is a safe alternative. According to Air Cargo World, there are less than 0.01% of any incidents, with specific airlines like United having even lower incident rates (IPATA FAQs).

Why can't a transferee's bulldog fly in the summer?
Respiratory issues are common with “snub-nosed breeds” of both cats and dogs. Because of the higher incidence of heat exhaustion in these animals, which can sometimes lead to death, these breeds are generally regulated more than other breeds.

In general, however, all animals are restricted when the temperature gets above or below a certain point (or is predicted to during the flight). Each airline will have its own policy on these regulations.

Will an assignee moving internationally need to have their pet quarantined?
Each country has different restrictions on pets entering their country, and sometimes these restrictions vary depending on where the pets came from as well. The only way to know for sure is to call the destination country’s Embassy or Consulate for the most current information.

Typically, animals on a layover are excluded from these restrictions, with only the original departure and the final destination considered.

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