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Transporting LARGE DOG from California to Lisbon

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Posts: 17
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(@tamaratamaramonosoff-com)
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Joined: 4 months ago

Hello, my new friends!

Has anyone used www.AirAnimal.com to transport a LARGE pet from the U.S. to Portugal?

I have a large breed dog that I can't leave behind!

If you have used AirAnimal or any other helpful resources, I would greatly appreciate learning more.

It looks like I will be moving to Portugal in May! : )

Thank you very much!

Tamara

 

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Posts: 36
Premium Member
(@davidiryna)
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Joined: 5 months ago

oh my God, what a cutie! 

we have just moved a few days ago and our 2 little dogs arrived today. We used another company, they were good but agents in airports where they changed planes not so much.

That's why it's not always about companies we use but the process during the transfer. We realized it couldn't be controlled.

Dogs are very stressed and hungry, all the food we provided for this trip was still on top of their crates. 

My suggestion - select one direct flight, our guys were traveling for 3.5 days, was a mistake on our part.

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Premium Member
(@tamaratamaramonosoff-com)
Joined: 4 months ago

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@davidiryna

Thank you for your message! I appreciate your advice.

Where have you landed in Portugal?

Best regards,

Tamara

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 tdn
Community Member
(@tdn)
Joined: 5 months ago

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@davidiryna

what an experience, David! Thank you for the advice! What airlines did they fly with? Did the pet relocation company give you any schedules in advance on how the process goes and how many days will the relocation take? 
I am looking into options whether to bring my cat myself which I would prefer, but it seems that our vet is having some hurdles with paperworks, or use a pet company as an emergency option.

BTW, congratulations on arrival to Portugal!

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Premium Member
(@davidiryna)
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@tdn of course! We all in the same boat and worry for our furry babies.

Our guys went Lufthansa, company did well and told us about the process: drive to LA +night in their care. Next day flight to Frankfurt +night there, Frankfurt Lisbon was the day after that.

Our disappointment was with agents in the process (they are not part of shipping company). They didn't care for them as much as we expected. That's why we suggest for everyone to select shorter transition with less days overall.

But they are here 🙂 not stepping away from us. We absolutely love Portugal! No words to describe how great it is 🙂

You guys got D7's, right? 

David and Iryna

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 tdn
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(@tdn)
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@davidiryna

Our furry babies are the most precious things making us all worrying about them. You are the lucky one, David, all worries are behind 😀.

Glad to hear that you and Irina are happy with Portugal. 
yes, we also recently received our d7s and are looking for tickets. Perhaps, end of May, beginning of June we too will be in Portugal. Starting with Lisbon or nearby. You might be in Porto by that time. But hey, for us, Americans, to drive miles and miles is not a big deal, right? I hope to meet with you one day! 

 

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(@davidiryna)
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@tdn, Absolutely Tatiana, driving for a couple of hours is just a daily routine for US 🙂

Lisbon apartment was great - 2 min walk to el corte ingles, where we could buy food and drinks and 3 min walk from big park (lots of great walks there). We had small court yard for kids to do their thing without going for a walk 10 times a day 🙂

Just moved last night to a house in Palmela (Setubal district). 

When we reserved minivan from the airport to apartment, we got a great guy from Belgium as a driver, he helps us all the time. Super nice and knowledgeable!

He transfers us with 6 suitcases + 2 crates + 2 kids 🙂 anywhere we need to go. Very lucky to meet him! Can share his info, if you guys need.

Congratulations on D7!!! Very excited for you!

You guys are going to love it.

Safe travels!

Irina

 

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Posts: 36
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(@davidiryna)
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of course!

We are in Lisbon for a week, after going to Palmela for 30 days, in May - Douro Valley (looking for a property there).

Where are guys planing to stay when arrive?

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Premium Member
(@tamaratamaramonosoff-com)
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@davidiryna

We are starting in Lisbon for two weeks, Cascais for two weeks, and Porto for two weeks. We are trying to figure out where we want to call home. : )

Tamara

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Posts: 36
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(@davidiryna)
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Joined: 5 months ago

that's a good plan Tamara, we are trying to do the same 🙂 get a better feel

Good luck!

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(@juliamcintyre)
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We just brought our baby over from NC to Lisbon.  After a bunch of research, we landed on traveling w/ KLM.  It went ok.  We landed in Amsterdam and had to get her, take her thru customs and then recheck her for her flight to Lisbon.  KLM is well known for treating animals in the hold well.  The hold is heated, and the people in Schipol were very helpful.  Make sure you have the wheels for the crate w/ you, and a leash to take her out of the crate.  We also had her water bottle w/ us and some treats in our carry-on.  They helped us make sure there was enough time to care for her, and her total flight time was about 10 hours.  She was happy to see us in Amsterdam, and a bit less freaked out to get back into the crate for the short hop to Lisbon.

Best of luck!

 

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Premium Member
(@tamaratamaramonosoff-com)
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@juliamcintyre,

Wow! I appreciate your detailed message. My dog, "Bear" will be flying from San Francisco. What paperwork did you need to complete for her entry into Lisbon? 

I really appreciate your help. This has been keeping me up at night!

Thanks,

Tamara

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Premium Member
(@charw23)
Joined: 8 months ago

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@tamaratamaramonosoff-com

Hi Tamara, 

I sent you a direct message last night, with information on pet shippers. Perhaps you haven't seen it yet. Two messages should be in your notification. 

We too are shipping a large dog. 

Hope it helps. 

Char

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 tdn
Community Member
(@tdn)
Joined: 5 months ago

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Posts: 86

Hi @charw23

would you mind to share it with me, please, as well? I would like to look at this option for my fluffy baby. 

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(@charw23)
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@tdn

Hi TDN. Sorry for the delay. Please check your message notifications. 😎 

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 tdn
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(@tdn)
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@charw23

so nice of you. Greatly appreciated. I will give a try. And good luck to your firry baby!

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Community Member
(@juliamcintyre)
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@tamaratamaramonosoff-com

If you don't have an IATA approved crate, sized for the dog, get one now and get the dog used to it.  HUGE crate!  We also got Fiona a muzzle and practiced putting it on whenever we got in the car.  She doesn't have to travel w/ the muzzle, but you can ride buses and trains over here w/ the dog if she's muzzled.

you will need paperwork from a USDA vet, certified for pets - not just livestock.  You can find info on the USDA website under APHIS (Animal & Plant Health Importation).  Truthfully, it was the most stressful part of our trip, but in hindsight, it's just really careful logistic details.  Find the vet and book 2 appts if you don't know the vet- get a relationship NOW, and take them the detailed, step by step from the website.  If you're not in a really rural area, they have probably seen it before.  You'll need a health check no sooner than 10 days prior to arrival, so make that appt too.  I screwed it up by a day, so count it out on the calendar twice!  LOL! Your dog needs a 15-digit chip, and a current rabies vac, AFTER the chip is installed.  Our dog needed nothing because she was chipped as a puppy and her vac was up to date, so take all your records to your vet.  You may have the vet.  We sold our house & moved so we didn't.

Your vet needs to do the health check, complete the paperwork, and send it to APHIS electronically along with the SELF ADDRESSED PRE-PAID OVERNIGHT label that you must provide to the vet.  After that, just bite your nails until it's returned, probably 2 days before you fly.   I called APHIS before I went to the vet to make sure I understood the procedure, and after the it was submitted, and they were really great.  your label has tracking, you can watch it yourself.  Portugal requires a paper copy w/ a raised seal.  If you look on the consulate, you can find the email for the Veterinarian Directorate General.  Email a copy of your paperwork as soon as you get it back to let them know date & time of your arrival in Lisbon.  

It was not a difficult DIY, it was just stressful so close to the travel date, but it all worked out like clockwork.  We talked to shippers, but we just didn't want Fiona separated from us when we traveled, and I am grateful we made this decision.  We got to see her, the trip wasn't that long, and she was stressed, but fine.  There was peace of mind that we knew she was on our plane.  It wasn't difficult to find her in the airport (it was always at doors near baggage claim), and so was the vet's office in Lisbon.

Also, we took the paperwork to a local clinic w/in 21 days of our arrival to get her a passport.  She now has a passport book so she can travel with us inside the EU w/ no additional paperwork!  

 

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Premium Member
(@tamaratamaramonosoff-com)
Joined: 4 months ago

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@juliamcintyre

Wow, wow, wow! You have been so generous with your information.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Can you please share the Airline you used? And, from where?
I am so worried because we are flying from San Francisco and the shortest flight is 14 hours! I don't know if we should get a flight with one stop to give the animals a break or not.

Thank you again!
Tamara

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Community Member
(@juliamcintyre)
Joined: 1 month ago

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@tamaratamaramonosoff-com.  KLM will tell you everything you need when you make the reservation.    No requirements at Schipol other than to go thru customs w/ the dog, so you need your passport, dog’s paperwork - don’t forget leash, snacks, cookies & wheels.   There is no one to help you w/ transportation of dog in airport

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 tdn
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(@tdn)
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@juliamcintyre

Lots of detailed information, thank you for sharing! 
Julia, I know KLM has all specifics on their website regarding the pet policy. What about the airport? did the airport have any specific requirements or you just headed straight to the check-in?

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Premium Member
(@tamaratamaramonosoff-com)
Joined: 4 months ago

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Posts: 17

@tdn

Are you using KLM? Please remind me... where are you flying from?

Tamara

 

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Community Member
(@juliamcintyre)
Joined: 1 month ago

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@tamaratamaramonosoff-com. We’re from NC.    We flew out of Dulles in DC.

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Community Member
(@juliamcintyre)
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@tdn. Just go to checkin.   2 empty bowls in crate.   Food taped on top if you want it.  The airport people don’t go into the crate.   We put ice in a large goat bucket (not full) and clipped it to the door.   We fed her before we left, so we didn’t put food w/ the crate because we didn’t want her sick.

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Community Member
(@juliamcintyre)
Joined: 1 month ago

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Posts: 7

@tdn.  Depends on airport, I suppose.   We just took her to checkin.   Someone comes to help you take her thru customs in US.   They don’t at Schipol.  They scan crate in US, then look at underside of dog.

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 tdn
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(@tdn)
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@juliamcintyre

thank you so much for all the details! Obrigada!

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