Everything You Wanted to Know About Moving Your Pet Overseas

Some of the most common questions I get asked about moving back to, and life in the UK concern Teddy Roosevelt. Moving to another country is a huge change for hoomans so can you imagine what it’s like for a pet?

As a rule, I don’t usually do guest posts but on this occasion I had to make an exception because who better to answer the Teddy questions than Teddy himself. For a little dog, he is very opinionated, very vocal and is very wise. He also has surprisingly good typing skills. Who knew?

People have asked and the dog has answered. Over to you Teddy…

How difficult was it to organise your flight to the UK?

My pawrents did lots of research to find a pet travel company who could assist us with all the paperwork required for such a big move and decided Jetpets were just the ticket.

Jetpets made the process very easy and were able to get me and the pawrentals on the same flight – which isn’t always possible. Booking a pet flight is a lot more complicated than booking a hooman flight and a request to reserve a spot can only be made 6-8 weeks before travel!

My pawrents also want to let you know that pet travel is not cheap, my flight was almost the price of a hooman premium economy ticket!

Checking out the Jetpets office

Did you travel in the cabin or in the hold?

For me and my pawrents, the preference would have been to travel in the cabin ‘en famille.’ However, pets cannot fly in the cabin arriving or departing from Australia and pets cannot enter the UK flying in the cabin. So for us, the hold was our only option.

Side note: Since I travelled Skye Pet Travel have launched the first pet charter flights to and from Australia. They offer in cabin options for pets and their pawrents flying to and from Australia, the UAE, Singapore, New Zealand and the UK. They even offer a chaperone service for pawrents who can’t travel with their pets!

How did you prepare for your big adventure?

I didn’t need a pet passport to travel to the UK but I did need a rabies vaccine and all my other vaccinations needed to be up to date.

Six months prior to travel, my pawrents invested in a travel crate so I could get used to it. I’m a “bit” clingy so being able to spend time and relax in the crate before the long flight was a priority for us. There are very strict rules about the size of the crate required and this varies from pet to pet. Basically, there has to be enough room to stand up and move around in the crate. My crate was a PP50 and really fit the bill!

Measuring the crate for size

Travelling on an aeroplane is noisy and I wasn’t allowed the luxury of noise cancelling headphones so when I was practicing being a good boi in my crate at home, my mum used to put her speaker on top of the crate and play an airplane noises playlist (yes, that’s a thing) full blast to try and get me used to the big sounds.

My pawrents weren’t allowed to pack anything with me in the crate like toys or blankets but they did ask that my bio be attached to the crate to introduce me to any new hoomans who I might encounter on my big journey.

Hello, it’s me!

How was your journey from Australia to the UK?

Long and a bit stressful if I’m honest. The pawrentals dropped me off at the Jetpets office the day before my departure where I had a vet check and a worming tablet before checking into my ‘pet hotel’ for the night.

Five star cuddles at the pet hotel

Me and my pawrents were on the same Qantas flight QF1 to London. After I checked in at Sydney airport the next day, we found out my flight was delayed by 6 hours. This was not part of the plan! The trusty team at Jetpets came and collected me and my new pal Bear (who was travelling on the same flight) and took us back to the office for some walkies, snacks and cuddles.

Then it was back to the airport take two. Although me and my pawrents were on the same flight, we didn’t see each other because they were in the cabin and I was in a special part of the cargo hold for pets. There’s no puppy cam in the pet hold! Isn’t that just rude?!

However, the captain knows when there are pets on board (and just to make sure my mum told the crew about 272 times) so the pet hold is kept at the same climate and pressure as the human cabin. I travelled safely ensconsed in my crate and although I didn’t have food, I did have access to water throughout the flight and my crate was lined with a water absorbent mat should I need to toilet – spoiler alert, I didn’t.

cavoodle in union jack bow tie sitting in airline crate with door open
Trying my crate out for size in Sydney

Some flights require the pets to have a layover at a boarding facility in the airport before taking a connecting flight. However, QF1 flies direct to London via Singapore with a 1 hour fuel stop. It’s about 8 hours to Singapore and then another 13 hours to London. When the plane stopped to refuel in Singapore and some hoomans came inside the hold, I thought the ordeal was over but alas, they just changed my water and then we were up, up and away on the next leg to London.

a small ruby cavapoo looks at the camera with big puppy dog eyes
Pre-boarding face

Did you have to quarantine?

No, the UK has very sensible biosecurity laws. I did however have to be processed and get a vet check at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC). There, I had my own kennel with a patch of grass and got some food, water and cuddles. Processing at the centre can take up to 6 hours at busy periods but as my flight was so delayed, I was fast tracked and it wasn’t long before me and my pawrents were reunited. Seeing my pawrents definitely got my tail wagging!

A bit jet legged leaving HARC

Did the trip change you?

My pawrents once heard a trainer say, the dog you have at 2 and a half is the dog you’ve got for life! Not so with me of course because I like to keep the pawrentals on their toes.

I’m definitely a bit more nervous and skittish especially if I hear a loud and/or sudden noise but I am so much more playful at home. My toy box used to be overflowing but untouched – not anymore. These days I’m always head down, bum up waiting for someone to play with me. Favourite games include fetch and tug and if I had my way, I’d play all day!

What do you miss most about Australia?

Defurnitely my friends, my siblings and never ending play dates. I have to say, I don’t miss the weather though.

a small apricot cavoodle and a black and white labradoodle sitting on a grey pet sofa in matching stripy tees and red berets
Oh how I miss matching with Scotch

Talking about the weather, how is it?

Mostly cold and a little bit wet. I’m actually a hot dog so prefer the cooler climate. Mum is thanking her past self for investing so heavily in my winter wardrobe because all those coats and jumpers have been on high rotation. My new equafleece has come in very handy because it’s kept me warm and dry.

Best of all, as it’s so much cooler, there’s no rush to get up early and beat the heat. In fact, I prefer to go walkies mid to late morning as it’s warmed up a bit by then and I get to have a lie in! Bonus!

Dog wearing red onesie looking at camera in a street full of frost

And what did you make of snow?

My first snow was fun… At first. I wasn’t so enthused when it got a bit deep and a bit icy. My poor little paws! Mum keeps talking about snow boots – perish the thought!

Snow Patrol!

Is the UK much more dog friendly?

Definitely! Our town is super dog friendly and there are so many dogs here. The big difference is that there are hardly any cavapoos here unlike Sydney which was full of them!

Dogs aren’t just allowed, they’re geniunely welcomed in lots of shops, pubs and cafes many of which give out lots of complimentary treatos. It’s Doggy Heaven.

a cavapoo looking longingly at two beers on a wooden picnic table

Chaperoning my pawrents down at the local pub

Also I have a lot more freedom here and am even allowed on public transport. I’ve been on the London Underground and a London bus – talk about planes, trains and automobiles!

cavapoo wearing a red jacket sitting on the seat on the tube
My first ride on the tube

And while we’re on the subject of friendly, have you made any new friends?

To be compawletely honest, it’s been harder than I thought to make friends. There’s no dog park as such so it’s been hard to make canine connections. That said, mum did put a call out in the Cavapoo UK Facebook group to see if there were any local “poos” and we’ve met some lovely pups. And let’s not forget my ex-next door neighbour, Ruby! We make a cute couple if I say so myself.

two small dogs looking at the camera standing on grass by the roots of a tree

Ruby and I

You’ve always lived in an apartment, what’s it like living in a house?

Do you know the old saying that an English man’s home is his castle, well, it’s the same for English dogs! I am loving having my very own garden. Neither me nor my pawrents miss the late night trips down in the lift for a toilet break outside our apartment!

a ruby cavoodle sitting in a garden
My furst garden

Of course, I’ve always had windows at home but none that look right out onto the street! I’m a very community oriented kind of dog so am thrilled that I can do bit for neighbourhood watch. I’m always on guard!

How’s the veterinary services?

I’m very lucky to have found a pawsome vet practice – I know they’re pawsome because I’ve had to make a number of visits over the past year or so. First I had tummy trouble, then I had pee pee problems and inbetween I had a bad leg but I’m pleased to repawt that I’m on the mend now. Luckily the pawrentals signed up to the one of the vet plans which covered almost all my treatment so both me and their bank account are looking healthy!

apricot cavapoo in a navy harness sitting on a vet table looking away from the camera
The goodest patient

Your floof is looking fine, tell us about your groomer!

I love the team at Soap and Furry who keep my floof looking furbulous. I’m kind of missing my hipster beard but feeling like my new style becomes me.

Stepping out at the salon

Are you getting out and about?

I’ve swapped my suburban strolls for walks in the countryside. Although we live just a short walk away from town, we’re very close to fields and meadows and weather permitting, I run free among them. One of my favourite activities is to do a little bit of pony spotting at the field at the end of the road.

I’m a country boi now!

My favourite walk is to Burleigh House because the scenery is stunning and I also get to check out the deer and sheep too! We’re looking forward to warmer and drier weather when it’s not so muddy and we can explore further afield.

Home is where the floof is

Teddy has certainly settled in well to the UK and feels right at home. If you have any more questions about pet transport or relocating with furry friends let us know in the comments and Teddy and I will try our best to answer them!

Linking up with Min for Wednesday Words and Whimsy