Moving Your Pets?

Pet Transport has become a huge industry, and when we want to take our beloved furrbabies with us on holiday or we might be relocating, it can become a rather stressful situation for the family.  Understanding what the process entails and preparing you and your pet/s for the journey could ease the stress levels significantly. 

Herewith a few important questions answered by a Pet Transport company in South Africa known as The Pets Taxi.

Question:  Where in the plane does my pet fly?

Answer:  All pets are flown as manifest cargo and travel in the cargo hold of the plane. The captain is made aware of the fact that pets are on board, the cargo hold is then pressurizes and air-conditioned and is kept at a temperature and pressure that is suitable for pets. Your pets travel in wooden flight containers (plastic is much more expensive) made to IATA specifications and is supplied fitted with a water bowl. It must be large enough inside for your pet to stand up, turn around and lie-down in (5 cm taller and 10 cm longer than your pet). If you have your own it must be suitable.


Question:  What can I do to prepare my pet for travel?

Answer:  The best thing you can do to acclimatize your pet for his upcoming move is to make sure he is comfortable with his flight container. Start by putting treats in the flight container and then progress to leaving your pet in the crate for short periods of time. This will help avoid separation anxiety and ensure a comfortable move.


Question:  Can I move my pet myself?

Answer:   In most instances you can move your pet yourself. But if anything technical goes wrong and you are not available to collect your pet, it may mean unnecessary time for the pet spent at the airport.


Question:  Is using a pet relocation specialist cheaper?

Answer:  No. It would be unusual to find a pet relocation service that would be less expensive than doing it yourself.


Question:  Is it Stressful?

Answer:  Separation from the owner, being put in the flight container, delivery to the airport and delivery to the aircraft is probably stressful for some pets. Once they are in the aircraft they will get used to the sound; cats handle the flight better than dogs, it may be a good idea to crate train your pets.


Question:  Should I give my pet a sedative?

Answer:  Do not sedate your pet as it is not allowed! Sedatives suppress the respiratory system of the pets and often cause disorientation and dehydration; sedation lowers your pets' breathing rate. Sedated dogs or cats can choke on their own bile if they get motion sickness; cats with hairball cannot clear their throats and can choke.


Question:  Can I feed my pet?

Answer:  It is not advisable to feed your pet before the flight. Dogs and cats are generally clean animals, and do not like messing where they are. If they do mess it can stress them a little bit. A clean pet at the end of the flight is a pleasure.


Question:  Can my pets share?

Answer:  Pets that are used to sharing will be allowed to share a flight container, but only small pets.


Question: Can my pets travel in the cabin?

Answer:  Pets are not allowed to travel in the aircraft cabin. Guide dogs are allowed in the cabin.


Question: Are my pets cared for?

Answer:  BidAir Cargo Johannesburg has a “Pet Lounge” where the pets are kept calm until it is time to fly; once they are put onto the aircraft no-one is able to monitor them, as the cargo hold is inaccessible. Pets get first priority and should be put on last and taken off first.


Question: Can I supply bedding?

Answer: A light blanket is fine. Place an old T-shirt of yours inside the kennel to remind them of you during the flight.


Question: Will my pets be medicate in transit?

Answer: Pets cannot be medicated during the flight. Check with your veterinarian to make sure the pet will be OK. Medication can travel on the flight box although glass bottles are not recommended, but the airline has the right to take it off. It is recommended that the medication is given before delivery to the airport and after collection from the airport. A letter stating the pet’s medical condition should travel with the pet, including type of medication and dosage, it may be recommended that the pet should not fly at all.  Mark the container clearly with information, eg medication info, your contact details and the destination details.


Question: Can my pet wear their lead and collar?

Answer: Dogs and cats must not travel with a collar and lead attached, it must be taken off and attached to the flight container, please be aware that the collar/leads have been known not to complete the trip.

Source: The Pets Taxi


Office: +27 11 949 4068 (Office Hours Mon - Fri 8am - 5pm)
After office hours only : +27 81 346 3514
For quotation requests email:


You Might Also be Interested in:

With millions of people around the world adopting dogs; now is a great time to start to learn import
Obesity is the biggest health problem facing South African pets. Many owners believe a ‘little extra
Celebrating the spirit of the season, we dedicate this song as a reminder that being different is ve
How to administer Pet Medication, Tips to give your pet medication, dieregesondheid, animal health, pet insurance, diere versekering, troeteldierversekering suid afrika, south Africa, Pet Health Care, pet care health, petcarehealth, pethealthcare, ask the vet, dieremaniere, animal behaviour, sick animals, siek diere, honde, katte, cats, dogs, veterinary advice, dog walks, dog events, pet wellness, kitten care health, pet care health insurance, pet insurance health, pet care news, pet health care questions,
No matter what animal you have as a pet, the odds are that you will have to provide them with medica
Although temperatures in South Africa are usually fairly pleasant year round, in winter month lows c
Cape Town Tail-waggers get ready for the SPCA PURINA Woefie Wandel! It’s time to wag those tails, s