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Old 06.03.2009, 12:58
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Importing Dog from USA

Hello there-

My husband and I have been settled in Luzern for almost 2 years and while it broke my heart to leave them, I left behind two wonderful dogs in the capable care of my father. Due to unfortunate circumstances (the older dog has been diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer), I am now looking into bringing the younger dog here as her quality of life will simly not be as good without her big sis around.

Could anyone let me know what the best options for pet transport are? She's a 6 year old boxer (nothing cropped, long tail and floppy ears) in great health and completely up to date on her vaccinations. Is it possible to bring her here without me going to the USA (i.e. manifest cargo with the assistance on my family on the other end)? Do people recommend a professional pet transport company? For those that have done this what's the financial damage all said and done?

We know we have some work ahead to even think of bringing her over. The flight itself will require her to be crate trained, but any insight people can offer will be great.
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Old 06.03.2009, 13:30
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Re: Importing Dog from USA

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Hello there-

My husband and I have been settled in Luzern for almost 2 years and while it broke my heart to leave them, I left behind two wonderful dogs in the capable care of my father. Due to unfortunate circumstances (the older dog has been diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer), I am now looking into bringing the younger dog here as her quality of life will simly not be as good without her big sis around.

Could anyone let me know what the best options for pet transport are? She's a 6 year old boxer (nothing cropped, long tail and floppy ears) in great health and completely up to date on her vaccinations. Is it possible to bring her here without me going to the USA (i.e. manifest cargo with the assistance on my family on the other end)? Do people recommend a professional pet transport company? For those that have done this what's the financial damage all said and done?

We know we have some work ahead to even think of bringing her over. The flight itself will require her to be crate trained, but any insight people can offer will be great.
She can fly a normal flight with most airlines in a crate. Your relatives
on the other end, of course, must take her to the plane. I am not
sure where the dog will be coming from, but airlines will not fly the dog
from certain cities during the summer.

For example, friends of mine lived in Dallas but moved to Zürich. They
came here in July, but the dog had to wait until October to come because
it is too hot in the cargo hold.

Good luck! It is not so complicated. Also, make sure you have
the dog's immunization record.
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Old 06.03.2009, 13:42
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Re: Importing Dog from USA

A normal plane should be OK if the paperwork for the dog is in order. Our boxer came with us back in July of '00 and there were no problems. Post 9-11, I'm not sure if they're more strict. Check with the air company. I do remember that we had to take her to the vet before so he could do a check-up to see if she was physically fit to take a plane, and he gave us tranquillizer pills to give her right before the flight.
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Old 06.03.2009, 15:59
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Re: Importing Dog from USA

New2Luzern,

First, I'm very sorry to hear about your older dog.

When you bring your younger dog over, you might want to consider using a pet shipping agent; I use one anytime the muttleys' need to fly. Using a professional shipper will cost more, but for me the peace of mind was well worth the added expense.

If your dog is anywhere near the Chicagoland area, I can recommend an excellent pet shipper. If elsewhere, have a look at the IPATA (an umbrella organization of pet transportation agents) for a shipper in the area.

http://www.ipata.com/

It's been a few years since my guys last flew, so the prices I paid are probably no longer relevant... but be prepared for a couple of thousand, depending on what services you need. Any shipper will gladly give you a quote.

A couple of things, based on flying the mutts around the world a few times:

First, I would strongly urge you NOT to tranquilize your dog! Most vets now recommend against this practice, and some airline specifically forbid it. Some dogs can have an adverse reaction to the drugs, and incidents of breathing problems in traquilized dogs have been recorded. Additionally, tranquilizers can make the flight more difficult for the dog- few drugs work long enough for a flight from the US (plus on the ground time), so the dog wakes up mid flight, confused as to where he/she is, and becomes very agitated.

Rather, it is better to acclimate your dog to his/her travel crate well ahead of the flight. If the dog sees the crate as a safety den he/she will relax once the plane gets underway. I start by setting the crate up in the house - once the dog learns that the crate is his special retreat, we do a few car trips in the crate so that he gets used to movement.

I usually put one of my worn t-shirts (something that smells of me) in the crate to comfort my dog, as well as one favorite toy. (However, if your dog is a chewer a toy is not a good idea, as he/she could choke.)

I also make sure that the dog learns how to drink from the drip bottle before the flight. I've found that freezing a bottle works well - the water melts slowly during the flight, giving the dog enough to keep hydrated without spilling all over the crate.

Whenever possible, it is best to fly animals on a direct, non-stop flight - even if it means driving a long way on one end or the other.

(I once stepped off the plane in Hong Kong, only to find that my dog was still in Amsterdam, while her import papers were winging their way to Tel Aviv... that was the first - and last - time I ever took my dogs on a connecting flight! That incident also is why I always use a professional shipper now. )

Check with the airlines as to their crate requirements - some crates are not flight worthy, especially the folding ones. In general, a crate must be large enough for the animal to comfortably stand and turn around in. But a too large crate can be dangerous, as the dog could get tossed around in turbulence. Last time we flew, it was a requirement that a crate be ventilated on all four sides. I use shock-absorbing tiles in the bottom of the crate, with a foam pad on top. However, check to see that these are still allowed.

Do make sure that the door has a sturdy lock/latch - one that won't release if bumped a bit.

Also, if there are specific instructions needed to handle your dog, post a notice to that effect on the crate. (Normally no-one will handle the dog once you put him/her in the crate, but I found it best to be prepared - doG help anyone who tried to open my psycho-collie's crate! )

By the way, everything you need to know about the regs for importing a pet into Switzerland can be found on the BVet website:

http://www.bvet.admin.ch/themen/0161...x.html?lang=en

Best of luck bringing your pooch over!

Last edited by meloncollie; 06.03.2009 at 16:13. Reason: link added
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Old 06.03.2009, 16:03
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Re: Importing Dog from USA

Thanks all for the quick answers. This helps a lot. Like I said, this is just a back up plan, but it's looking more and more realistic as the days go on.
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Old 06.03.2009, 16:10
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Re: Importing Dog from USA

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First, I would strongly urge you NOT to tranquilize your dog! Most vets recommend against this practice, and many airline specifically forbid it. Some dogs can have an adverse reaction to the drugs, and several incidents of breathing problems in traquilized dogs have been recorded. Additionally, tranquilizers can make the flight more difficult for the dog- few drugs work long enough for a flight from the US (plus on the ground time), so the dog wakes up mid flight, confused as to where he/she is, and becomes very agitated.
The pills we used didn't put her to sleep, but were more the canine equivalent of Xanax, actually. If it's just to make the dog calmer while her cage is carried and loaded by a dozen strangers, I don't see the problem.

Anyway, you seem to know this better than me.
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Old 07.03.2009, 00:14
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Re: Importing Dog from USA

We used a service to move our 12 year old Labrador over from Atlanta. They were very good, and gave us e-mail updates every step of the way. They delivered her right to our temporary flat in Zurich.

http://www.petmovers.com/

Good luck.
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Old 07.03.2009, 00:23
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Re: Importing Dog from USA

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Hello there-

My husband and I have been settled in Luzern for almost 2 years and while it broke my heart to leave them, I left behind two wonderful dogs in the capable care of my father. Due to unfortunate circumstances (the older dog has been diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer), I am now looking into bringing the younger dog here as her quality of life will simly not be as good without her big sis around.

Could anyone let me know what the best options for pet transport are? She's a 6 year old boxer (nothing cropped, long tail and floppy ears) in great health and completely up to date on her vaccinations. Is it possible to bring her here without me going to the USA (i.e. manifest cargo with the assistance on my family on the other end)? Do people recommend a professional pet transport company? For those that have done this what's the financial damage all said and done?

We know we have some work ahead to even think of bringing her over. The flight itself will require her to be crate trained, but any insight people can offer will be great.
Sorry to hear about your older dog. As for bringing the younger dog, I recommend under the circumstances to use a pet shipper. Others on this forum have used Rex Transport and were really pleased. Here are the contact details.

Marcel Brozius
REX Transport GmbH
P.O. Box 308
CH-8058 Zurich-Airport
Switzerland

Tel: +41 43 422 9017
Fax: +41 43 444 0942
Mob: +41 79 793 2542
Skype: rexexpresszrh
www.rexexpress.commarcel@rextransport.com
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Old 12.03.2009, 18:18
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Re: Importing Dog from USA

Hi.
I imported a dog from Canada in January. It was not so much problem. He needed rabisshot and of course all his papers on top of the cradle so the custums could see it. He flight with Air Canada Cargo, witch has excellent servis, although it might not suit you since it is far away. I had to go to Frankfurt to pick him up. The cost for the flight was around 1200 Franks, and I asume he is in simulair sized cage as yours would be in. Note that you also need to pay some bills at the airport when you pick him up (vet, custums and some stuff...).
He did not get any medicine to calm him for the flight, and he was just fine when I picked him up (superhappy acctually and gave me many kisses )
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Old 12.03.2009, 18:41
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Re: Importing Dog from USA

Now granted I'm not sure how much of this is taken care of by the animal shippers but the official rules we were given last year for bringing a dog here in order to skip quarantine were:

First the dog has to have a microchip that is readable by European scanners - the typical US microchips are on a different frequency so you need to go somewhere like Petsmart which will put both in.

Rabies Vaccine less then 1 year old - and the vaccine has to be verified by:
http://www.vet.ksu.edu/depts/dmp/ser...bies/index.htm (its the only lab in the US that does this - your local US vet will draw the samples and send it to them - I think it took us something like 6 weeks to get the results back)

Then you have to have a vet fill out papers, followed by your state's USDA vet signing off and stamping that everything is in order and meets export rules.


Then your dog will get to Switzerland and no one will even bother looking at all the papers you absolutely HAD to have to bring the dog here (but of course you have to have them if you actually do get asked). I think that was everything anyway. Good luck
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