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#D2 Moving Pets Overseas Part 1: You Can Put A Price On Love

If you have not read the first post in our Pet Saga Series, I recommend getting to know our little fur monsters. I looooove our dogs so much!! With that said, the most expensive part of this whole process has been, by far, the dogs. Now I will sound like a horrible person, and yes, they are family, and we are taking them no matter what, but I did consider finding a nice home for Whiskey! Before you completely hate me, let me explain why! Whiskey is probably my favorite dog in the whole world, and honestly, I think I kind of like him more than Pendleton (thank goodness dogs can't read), and sometimes my husband (sorry, I love you!). The issue is that because Whiskey is a freakish horse dog, it complicates everything and makes it way more expensive than we had initially thought. Again before we get the pitchforks, it would devastate me to leave him behind, and they are both coming with us.

Things to Consider When Bringing Your Pet

1. Size of the animal:

If you are lucky enough to have small animals that can go in the cabin with you, you are one lucky duck. They must fit in their carrier and then fit under the seat in front of you. If you have a service dog, please look up each airline for specifics. A lot of airlines are no longer considering emotional support animals as service animals. Below I put the 2 major airlines that fly from the U.S. to Spain.


Acceptable PETs in Cabin:

dogs, cats, fish, turtles, and birds (except birds of prey). Take them with you in the cabin if they don’t weigh more than 8 kg.= 17lbs (including their cage or pet pack). Some pets can travel in the cabin with you if you get authorization from the Booking Office and if the pet meets these conditions:

  1. 8 kg= 17lbs. maximum weight, including cage or pet pack.

  2. Maximum container measurements are 45 cm long = 17.71 inch, 35 cm wide= 13.78 inch, and 25 cm height= 9.84 inch and the sum of the three dimensions cannot exceed 105 cm= 41.34 inch.

  3. The cage or pet pack should be strong, ventilated, with a waterproof floor, and safe.

  4. To carry birds, please ensure that the cage is strong, locks securely and that no food or drink can spill. The cage must also always be covered.

  5. You can carry several animals of the same species in the same container if they are small and light enough.

  6. Your pet should travel with you without bothering the other passengers. It must stay inside its container/cage during the whole flight, and its care is your responsibility.

  7. Animals with special characteristics, e.g., a strong odor, etc., may bother other passengers and the crew, and you will not be able to carry them.

  8. For safety reasons, do not occupy a seat in the aisles next to the emergency exits.

Charges for the carriage of pets in the cabin, in each direction

Spain (except 35€=45$=3o

Canaries, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East£50€=60$=45£

America and Asia 150€=180$=135£

Acceptance in hold

Iberia permits the transport of dogs and cats in the hold except for brachycephalic animals and dangerous breeds. To transport your dog or cat on an Iberia, Iberia Express, or Iberia Regional Air Nostrum flight, you must place it in a crate that complies with international regulations:

  1. The crate must be made of solid material and must have a secure locking system to ensure that it remains closed at all times.

  2. It must be comfortable for the animal's size, enabling it to stand in a natural position, turn round and lie down.

  3. It must have no defects on the outside or inside that may injure your pet, and with ventilation and a waterproof bottom.

The maximum weight permitted is 45kg= 99lbs (pet + crate). If you are taking a connecting flight, the transit time between flights must be no less than 90 minutes and no more than 4 hours. Otherwise, you can't take your pet with you.

Book well in advance. Please bear in mind that the airport staff needs to know that you will be bringing a pet. Bookings must be made at least 48 hours before the flight's departure, and you will need to indicate the breed of your dog or cat. Permission to travel with your pet will only be granted when all the flights in the booking have been confirmed.

The number of crates and the crate sizes permitted vary according to the type of aircraft. For Iberia Regional Air Nostum flights, the maximum dimensions permitted are 83cm x 65cm x 56cm = 83inch x 25,59 x 22.04

Charges for the carriage of pets in the cargo, in each direction

Spain 80€=$95=£75

Canaries, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East 120€=$145=£110

America and Asia 300€=$360=£270

American Airlines

Carry-on pets

On American flights, you can bring 1 kennel as your carry-on bag if:

  • You pay the carry-on pet charge

  • Your pet stays in the kennel and under the seat in front of you the entire flight.

You can travel with your pet carrier and one personal item, but you won’t be permitted to bring a carry-on bag in addition to a pet carrier and personal item. Instead, the kennel will replace your carry-on bag.

Kennel guidelines for carry-on pets

We assume no liability for the health or well-being of carry-on pets. These rules are enforced:

  • Pets must be able to stand and sit erect, turn around normally and lie down in a natural position in their kennel (without touching any side or the top of the container)

  • Non-collapsible kennels can’t exceed the under-seat dimensions of any aircraft included in your journey. Please contact reservations to verify maximum dimensions for your journey.

  • Soft-sided collapsible kennels can be slightly larger but still need to fit under the seat without having to excessively collapse the kennel, have to be secure, padded, made of water-repellent material, and have nylon mesh ventilation on 2 or more sides.

Flying in First / Business on an A321T?

  • Pets need to remain in their kennel during your flight and will need to be placed in a dedicated animal-friendly compartment at the front of the plane during taxi, take-off, landing, and turbulence.

  • The combined weight of the carrier and your pet can’t exceed 20 lbs, weighed at check-in.

Price: $150= 124

Checked pets

You can travel with up to 2 checked pets that meet your destination's minimum age and health requirements. Please note that as capacity is limited, we accept checked pets on a first-come basis. When checking a pet, you’ll need to:

  • Contact Reservations at least 48 hours before travel

  • Check-in at the ticket counter

  • Allow extra check-in time (can't check pets more than 4 hours before your flight)

  • Complete a checklist with an agent

  • Provide a health certificate

To ensure the health and safety of your pet, the health certificate you provide must be issued by a vet within:

  • 10 days of your travel

  • 60 days of your return (travel on the same ticket)

  • 10 days of your return (travel on a separate ticket)

Check for prices

IATA Kennel Requirements

For the above-mentioned airlines and most airlines, kennels must abide by the International Air Transport Association regulations. Here is the website for all of the specifics. This website, you can find information based on airline and country.

Also, know that for the above airlines, I posted basic information. You will need to check the website listed for specifications, breeds, etc.

Ok, Back To The Size Issue!

The other thing we were considering is the size of the places we would be moving to. So, for instance, our house in Califonia is 1500 sqft, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 2 living rooms. Due to the extra space, our horse dog, who sheds uncontrollably, has his own living room! We also have a backyard, which we connected a dog run so he could let himself out. In Spain, most housing is apartment size and much smaller than our big pup. For Whiskey to not feel too claustrophobic, we will just have to make an effort to take him out much more. Below is a demonstration of why I am not an Instagram model that I am showing to display how tall Whiskey is!

2. Cost to Transport:

Another area for you to think about is the cost of transport. Here is where having a smaller pet is helpful again. If you look above, it doesn't seem like the cost is too expensive to transport your animals. This all depends on the size of the animal, where you are going, and if you need to pay for any Pet Transportation Companies to help get your animal to its destination. We opted to use a pet transportation company because Whiskey needs to be in cargo and not have a direct flight. If you have a direct flight to your location, it is pretty easy, but if you have to make any transfers, there are too many rules, which seemed too hard for us to navigate. When choosing to use a pet service or not, they will break it down by initial paperwork review, transporting pets to the airport, flying them, caring for them, customs, and transporting upon arrival to destination, with add-ons for extra.

One issue we encountered, I swear our dogs are Murphy's Law too, is Whiskey's size. An important aspect of transporting is having the proper carrier for animals going into cargo. A criterion of the approved carrier is that your dog can fully stand and turn around. Our lovely horse dog is shockingly so big that any of the normal IATA-approved kennels are not big enough for him, not even the giant size. Also, he is too big even for cargo that is approved for airlines because of his size. Due to all of these issues, we will need to get him a specialty carrier, which will cost about $1800 new, or if we get lucky, $1000 used. There is a website that re-sells military kennels, so hopefully, we can find one that fits him; if not, we will buy it through Impact Dog Crates because they are the only ones I can find that make his size

We talked to multiple pet transport companies, but the one that seemed to have the best price was from Starwood Animal Transport They have their own way of sending Whiskey by cargo, in a cargo plane that will allow his size. Because we can't get a direct flight from LA to Alicante (leaves LA, lands in Madrid, then we need to take a second plane to Alicante), this service will also include transporting Whiskey by van from Madrid to Alicante. Due to Pendleton being able to be carry-on, it will save some money. Also, I'm pretty sure Pendleton would die of a coronary if he had to ride cargo. I think I'm his support person sometimes, haha. Our total cost quoted was around $5500. It may seem like a lot, but another company we talked to wanted to quote us about $7500, and that didn't include helping with Pendleton!! If we add our quote to the horse cage, we will come out to about $7300. Amazingly, costing about the same price to bring the humans over!

I hope by reading all of this, you get why I did take a minute to think about finding a home for Whiskey or taking him with us. At the end of the day, we really couldn't imagine our lives without him, and he's part of the family! I'll just have to tell my son Jackson, when he is college-age, why he won't be able to go to college because Whiskey took his money, haha (just kidding). Now that we have decided to pay for this dog, that better be worth it in Spain; our next chapter will be on the paperwork needed to begin the process and whatever updates we have had along the way. I really wanted to write something clever, but I think my brain has completely liquified due to looking at the money, so can we just pretend I said something fascinating? Next stop! Moving Your Pets Overseas Part 2: Oh Yay, More Paperwork! I keep forgetting!! Please subscribe or share my blog if you enjoyed it! To think, when I'm famous you can say you liked me before I was cool! Or at least we can meet up in Spain for Tapas!

Written 04/30/2021

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