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Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Old Sep 27th 2021, 2:30 pm
  #1  
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Default Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

I'm interested to know if anyone has moved an animal from the US to the UK without using an pet shipper. There was one person who did this from Canada, and I've re-read her experience, but time/covid has passed since then and I'm also interested in US-specific experiences since that is where we are and where our cat will have to leave from.

I have spoken to a couple of shippers, and have gulped at the astronomical price (3 - 4k USD for one cat, with varying degrees of "support"). Most of the work seems to be getting the right medical exams and the right paperwork done, and then of course booking/managing the actual flight and making sure the animal is ok in that process.

I would appreciate hearing a blow-by-blow account from anyone who has done this themselves, and/or from anyone who can tell me why it's crucial to have a shipper (if it is crucial). The quoted costs are a financial hardship for us (if it weren't, I wouldn't bother asking the question) but we certainly don't want to put the cat at risk in any way.

Thanks all.

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Old Sep 29th 2021, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

From memory:

1. Contact your air carrier for their requirements. Airlines differ. We used virgin who supplied us with details including crate size.

2. Contact an authorised vet who can provide what vaccination certificates etc. Must be chipped.

3. 3 days prior to flying take vet certificates to USDA office for verification.

4. Take animal to cargo area of airport to have the crate checked. Make sure you have the correct type of crate and don't be late.

Some links:

https://www.gov.uk/bring-pet-to-grea...sted-countries

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet...oreign-country

As stated, all from memory and over 3 years ago. Hope this helps. ................. and it's not cheap.
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Old Sep 29th 2021, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Originally Posted by Bud the Wiser View Post
From memory:

1. Contact your air carrier for their requirements. Airlines differ. We used virgin who supplied us with details including crate size.

2. Contact an authorised vet who can provide what vaccination certificates etc. Must be chipped.

3. 3 days prior to flying take vet certificates to USDA office for verification.

4. Take animal to cargo area of airport to have the crate checked. Make sure you have the correct type of crate and don't be late.

Some links:

https://www.gov.uk/bring-pet-to-grea...sted-countries

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet...oreign-country

As stated, all from memory and over 3 years ago. Hope this helps. ................. and it's not cheap.

Thanks Bud.

I've been reading the instructions, but crucially, did you do this yourself without the use of a pet shipper?
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Old Sep 29th 2021, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Yes we did. Only real problem we had was due to an impending hurricane about to close the USDA office which was 90 miles away. Just made it. Our dog was between medium/large so we went for the large cage. The cargo handlers were very strict on time and the type of crate.
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Old Sep 29th 2021, 6:03 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Originally Posted by Bud the Wiser View Post
Yes we did. Only real problem we had was due to an impending hurricane about to close the USDA office which was 90 miles away. Just made it. Our dog was between medium/large so we went for the large cage. The cargo handlers were very strict on time and the type of crate.

Well that's encouraging. If shipping is expensive, pet shippers are ruinous, quote 3-4K for one cat from Chicago to the UK.

Did you fly at the same time as the dog? How was pick up at the other end?
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Old Sep 29th 2021, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Well that's encouraging. If shipping is expensive, pet shippers are ruinous, quote 3-4K for one cat from Chicago to the UK.

Did you fly at the same time as the dog? How was pick up at the other end?
Yes, to Gatwick. We booked into an airport hotel and went to pick the dog up about four hours later. He had been checked over and cleaned up and was obviously pleased to see us after what must have been quite traumatic for him.
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Old Oct 1st 2021, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
I'm interested to know if anyone has moved an animal from the US to the UK without using an pet shipper. There was one person who did this from Canada, and I've re-read her experience, but time/covid has passed since then and I'm also interested in US-specific experiences since that is where we are and where our cat will have to leave from.

I have spoken to a couple of shippers, and have gulped at the astronomical price (3 - 4k USD for one cat, with varying degrees of "support"). Most of the work seems to be getting the right medical exams and the right paperwork done, and then of course booking/managing the actual flight and making sure the animal is ok in that process.

I would appreciate hearing a blow-by-blow account from anyone who has done this themselves, and/or from anyone who can tell me why it's crucial to have a shipper (if it is crucial). The quoted costs are a financial hardship for us (if it weren't, I wouldn't bother asking the question) but we certainly don't want to put the cat at risk in any way.

Thanks all.
We are also planning to move our cat with us to the UK (from California) and were equally shocked at the quotes from pet shippers. And love to share info with you if you're willing?

Last edited by lesleyeblen; Oct 1st 2021 at 10:13 pm. Reason: missed word
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Old Oct 1st 2021, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
I'm interested to know if anyone has moved an animal from the US to the UK without using an pet shipper. There was one person who did this from Canada, and I've re-read her experience, but time/covid has passed since then and I'm also interested in US-specific experiences since that is where we are and where our cat will have to leave from.

I have spoken to a couple of shippers, and have gulped at the astronomical price (3 - 4k USD for one cat, with varying degrees of "support"). Most of the work seems to be getting the right medical exams and the right paperwork done, and then of course booking/managing the actual flight and making sure the animal is ok in that process.

I would appreciate hearing a blow-by-blow account from anyone who has done this themselves, and/or from anyone who can tell me why it's crucial to have a shipper (if it is crucial). The quoted costs are a financial hardship for us (if it weren't, I wouldn't bother asking the question) but we certainly don't want to put the cat at risk in any way.

Thanks all.
We are also planning to move our cat with us to the UK (from California) and were equally shocked at the quotes from pet shippers. Would love to share info with you if you're willing?
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Old Oct 3rd 2021, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Originally Posted by lesleyeblen View Post
We are also planning to move our cat with us to the UK (from California) and were equally shocked at the quotes from pet shippers. Would love to share info with you if you're willing?
Sure, completely willing but don't currently have much useful to share other than prices seeming largely comparable and equally eye-watering everywhere. A company called Air Animal was recommended by one of the potential movers I've talked to, and they seem like a slightly better bet than Starwood but I've only done online quotes to date.

There are plenty of online sites where you can get the list of procedues and forms and so on, but I was hoping to find people who had done this themselves with a sort of blow by blow account, especially post covid, to see what it's actually like and how feasible it is, and what exactly is gained by using a shipper, if I put the cat on the plane, can someone else receive him on the other end, etc. I don't want any increased risk to the animal of course.

Last edited by Lion in Winter; Oct 3rd 2021 at 1:10 pm.
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Old Oct 4th 2021, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

When I moved our two cats from the UK to the USA with American Airlines this met the crate specifications:
https://smile.amazon.com/Petmate-Ult.../dp/B0002DHZLC

I did drill 4 extra holes (2 near the top of the door and 2 near the bottom of the door) so that the door could be secured with zipties as per requirements. I still use these for vet visits as they close so securely my houdini cat cannot get out. The top and bottom nest for easy storage.
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Old Oct 5th 2021, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Originally Posted by lizzyq View Post
When I moved our two cats from the UK to the USA with American Airlines this met the crate specifications:
https://smile.amazon.com/Petmate-Ult.../dp/B0002DHZLC

I did drill 4 extra holes (2 near the top of the door and 2 near the bottom of the door) so that the door could be secured with zipties as per requirements. I still use these for vet visits as they close so securely my houdini cat cannot get out. The top and bottom nest for easy storage.

Did you manage all your own cat move, or did you use a cat shipper?
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Old Oct 6th 2021, 5:09 am
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Sure, completely willing but don't currently have much useful to share other than prices seeming largely comparable and equally eye-watering everywhere. A company called Air Animal was recommended by one of the potential movers I've talked to, and they seem like a slightly better bet than Starwood but I've only done online quotes to date.

There are plenty of online sites where you can get the list of procedues and forms and so on, but I was hoping to find people who had done this themselves with a sort of blow by blow account, especially post covid, to see what it's actually like and how feasible it is, and what exactly is gained by using a shipper, if I put the cat on the plane, can someone else receive him on the other end, etc. I don't want any increased risk to the animal of course.
When are you planning your journey?
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Old Oct 9th 2021, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Originally Posted by lesleyeblen View Post
When are you planning your journey?
May-ish, 2022. How about you?
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Old Oct 9th 2021, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

March-ish 2022
At the moment, we're thinking I'll go over first to get everything sorted (I'm Scottish, my husband from here), that will mean hubby can put kitty on the plane here and I can collect at the airport in the UK.
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Old Oct 9th 2021, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a pet USA to UK without using a pet shipper

Originally Posted by lesleyeblen View Post
March-ish 2022
At the moment, we're thinking I'll go over first to get everything sorted (I'm Scottish, my husband from here), that will mean hubby can put kitty on the plane here and I can collect at the airport in the UK.
Are you renting when you first land? We will be, and I'm trying to work out all the back and forth to sort that out so the cat has a place to go.
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