Dog shippers compared (does this count as "Lab" testing?!)

07:54, Wednesday 26 September 2007 | Posted in Migration to Oz
Lab testing - comparing dog shippers - labrador retriever - get it?!
I'll get my coat ....

Seriously though I can honestly say i am more worried about putting my dog in a crate on her own and sending her off for 30 days without me than i am about moving my family to the other side of the world.   But it must be done so having done a little research i though i would share it with you all.

Background info - 'Daisy' a black labrador/staffie cross of small-to-medium size, age 8, affectionately known at home as 'thicky' due to being a dog of very little brain (but still very cute!).  Quotes are to go to Sydney approx around May 2008 (might need to change both the location and the date when we actually decide where/when we are going!)

I decided to get quotes from 3 companies - doing a search for pet shippers on BE and (discounting those who several people had said were not good) came up with AirPets, Golden Arrow, and Par Air.  I will list what the quotes included and what i personally though of the company and the info they sent out:

AirPets -
Filled in the online quote form which asked for dog measurements.
Simple and easy to follow instructions and filled in form Friday quote arrived in post Monday.
Paperwork fairly comprehensive and reasonably easy to understand.  Letter friendly and assuring 'caring hands' which i quite liked :)
Close to airport so no additional transfer time which i thought was a plus.
Quote included import permit and worming/defleaing etc.
Quote £2351 + £510 to collect from home.
This was all looking good to me until i got to the price!!!!

Golden Arrow - 0158 868 0240
No website had to phone (Friday) and they posted out forms which arrived on Monday.
Paperwork comprehensive and easy to understand (i liked the questions and answers format) and they included a sae for sending back info.
Sent back form (which asked for dog measurements) on Wednesday quote back on Friday.
Letter friendly and reassuring and (proving i am a rather sad person ) i loved the booklet they included in the literature which was all letters from happy animal owners who had previously used their services.
They are in Shropshire so i was a little worried about the additional traveling of approx 3 hours transfer time to airport.
Quote includes import permit and worming/defleaing etc.
Quote £1826 (oops i forgot to ask about cost of uk pickup)
I was unsure about doing everything 'snail mail' - seems a bit daft when the internet and email are easier and quicker.  Extra transfer time to the airport worried me a little too - more time in the crate.  I did like the suggestion that you drop the dog at least the day before the flight (the price included up to 3 nights boarding) as they like to have time to get the dog used to the crate before they load them up.

Par Air -
Filled in the online quote form which asked for dog measurements, microchip number, owners flight dates ... and lots of other stuff that i didnt know so i didnt fill in!
Filled in form Friday quote arrived in post Wednesday.
Paperwork fairly confusing and i didnt really follow what it was saying (and i already knew what we needed to do!).
They are in Colchester so again there is an additional transfer time of about 1 1/2 hours to airport.
Quote did not included import permit (additional A$280) which we would have to apply for ourselves (!?!)
Did not include and worming/defleaing and Export Health Certificate (additional £57).
Quote £1617 + £236 to collect from home.
Do i need to say anything about this?  I bet you can already guess which company i am NOT using!

All things considered we are going to go with Golden Arrow.  i feel more comfortable with the idea of handing my dog over to them than the others and the price/service seems the best too.  There is that transfer time but Daisy is used to traveling on roads so i think she will be fine.  My Mam and Dad have volunteered to take Daisy to the kennels so she wont need crating for that time and it is also a darned sight cheaper to cover their costs than it is to have her picked up!

Phew glad i got through that lot!
Going to do furniture shipping next!!!

Tiggs x

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