Moving overseas

(16 Posts)
Tinofcurses Sun 29-Dec-19 20:43:42

We're moving from NZ to Scotland in 2020, with our 3yo staffy.

I'm wondering whether there's anything I can do in advance to make the journey less traumatic for our slightly neurotic dog. Or anything I should do at the other end to make settling in go more smoothly?

She's used to being in a crate during the day (7hrs at the absolute max, usually less), but that's in our house, not in a scary, noisy plane.

We took her on a ferry last year, where she was in a kennel below deck for 3-4 hrs, and I'm pretty sure she stood and cried the whole time (her blanket was still neatly folded when we returned, and I could hear her whining as we came down the stairs).

Does anyone have any experience of relocating an anxious dog?

Any tips? Is it worth putting her in kennels for a night or two so she's used to the idea of being away from us? Would it be silly to do a couple of short flights within NZ?

Really I just want someone to tell me it will be ok and a couple of days of stress will not permanently damage my dog!

OP’s posts: |
SittingInMustard Sun 29-Dec-19 21:07:59

I would speak to a professional pet relocation service, tbh. This sounds like it might be the best part of 36 hours in the travel crate for your dog.

My guess would be that choosing the crate now and building up strong, good associations with the crate (food, sleep, calm settle etc) may help but otherwise you're just going to have to gamble.

I would not do short flights beforehand. It's not enough for the dog to get used to them and risks him being stressed so already worried on the big flight. For a one off it might be better if the whole flying experience comes as a surprise.

Winterdaysarehere Sun 29-Dec-19 21:11:00

If 7 hours crated is acceptable to you maybe a new ddoggy home?

Tinofcurses Sun 29-Dec-19 21:19:16

I mentioned that to show the absolute maximum time she has spent in a crate. It's a massive cage, twice her length and height, and I have no concerns about her occasionally spending a day in it.

OP’s posts: |
Tinofcurses Sun 29-Dec-19 21:24:27

@SittingInMustard I think you're probably right about not doing practice flights. She might hate it and I have no plan B.

I have been in touch with one relocation service and the quote included getting the dog out for a walk/toilet halfway. But I think halfway is Doha after an 18hr flight.

OP’s posts: |
Veterinari Mon 30-Dec-19 06:13:26

She won’t be able to fly in your massive crate - she’ll beee an IATA approved sky kennel so her one of those ASAP and start building positive associations as mustard suggests

Jokie Mon 30-Dec-19 06:39:52

Talk to a professional relocation service. I'd also recommend talking to your vet about sedation if she's truly anxious


SlidingIntoForties Mon 30-Dec-19 06:57:25

You cannot sedate a dog on a flight. It's not allowed.

QuillBill Mon 30-Dec-19 07:05:06

I agree with Sitting that your first step should be speaking to a dog relocation company to see what exactly is involved.

Tinofcurses Mon 30-Dec-19 07:05:55

@Veterinari yes, I know she will be in a different, smaller crate for flying. I was just explaining why I'm not concerned about occasionally leaving her in there almost all day.

I will talk to the relocation service, of course. I was just looking for some reassurance until I do.

OP’s posts: |
QuillBill Mon 30-Dec-19 07:22:17

I know someone who did it the other way and their dog was fine, although he had to stay in quarantine for a couple of weeks I think it was.

It doesn’t sound pleasant and I didn’t know that they didn’t sedate the dogs. Obviously the flights would be able to be broken up in different ways depending on the route but you can’t just take them on any flight so that might not make a difference. I’d want to be on the same flights I think even though it wouldn’t make any difference.

Veterinari Mon 30-Dec-19 07:49:16

OP but you also use this crate to explain that she’s used to being crated - she is not however used to being sky kennelled so you need to work on this as we’ve advised. It’s quite different

adaline Mon 30-Dec-19 08:03:11

Being kennelled at home is very different to being kennelled on an aircraft.

The crate she'll be in will be much smaller than what you describe as I believe they have to fit certain criteria in terms of size and strength and material.

Seven hours is also nothing in comparison to the 36+ hours she'll spend in her sky crate. The two experiences really can't be compared - just because she's fine with the former doesn't mean she'll be okay with the latter.

It's not really something anyone can reassure you on one way or the other I don't think. All dogs are different and would react differently. Mine hates crates at the best of times so kennelling him on a plane just wouldn't be an option for him as he would hurt himself in his distress. If your dog is okay being kennelled he might be alright but you won't know until it happens.

SittingInMustard Mon 30-Dec-19 08:59:28

I read the OP as undertanding the two experiences were different and simply mentioning the home to crate to say that whlst the dog is used to being confined it is in a totaly different circumstance to flying and, therefore, cannot be used as a gauge.

It's good that there are options for a break midway. It might also be worth thinking about the fact that it isn't just the flight and that life at the other end may be stressful for a while as well. Am thinking about having to settle into a different climate, different house etc.

OP - am guessing you are shipping your goods but it might be worth thinking about things you can take with you that comfort the dog. E.g. getting a big fluffy blanket now for her to sleep on that you can take in a suitcase to produce at the other end.

Ditto food. Might be worth changing her to a food you know you can get in the UK easily and arranging for some to be ready for her first meals when you get here.

Finally, the people are as likely to be stressed as the dog. Go easy on yourselves and go easy on her if she looks be 'naughty'. Gentle goes it, I would think.

LochJessMonster Mon 30-Dec-19 15:05:52

Tbh I doubt any dog is going to love the experience but its a one off and a necessity.

Speak to a proper dog relocation service, get the correct advice, and give her time at the other end to decompress and settle down.
The idea of the small travelling crates is to encourage the dogs to lie down for the journey.

Either way, it has to be done.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Mon 30-Dec-19 15:51:27

I brought a dog back from Greece to UK once some years ago. Of course, the journey is horrible for them but you have to do it if you/they are relocating. Unfortunately, your dog has to be checked in many hours before the flight departure time (as they travel cargo) and this meant my dog having to be checked in around 12.00 noon for a 7.00 pm flight - so, she had to be in the approved box without collar or lead at that time and I couldn't see her again until I collected her at Heathrow. In all, I think the poor thing was in that box for about 12 hours before we met up with each other again. When I went to collect her (I was on same flight as her), the Animal Centre told me I'd have to wait while they checked her paperwork and washed out her travel box (apparently they all pee, etc in their boxes, no matter how short the journey). However, although very tired, she was OK and was back to normal after a night's sleep. I think your dog will survive and soon forget the unpleasant experience. I know you will but make sure you find out and fulfil the regulations of DEFRA and your chosen airline TO THE LETTER so there is no last minute hitch. As someone has said, you are not allowed to sedate your dog for the trip (in case they get breathing difficulties en route).

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