The Relocation Bureau

European Nervous Pet Shipments

Nervous Pet Shipments

If you’re hiring or relocating staff from within the EU, sooner or later you’re going to come across a situation where an employee is looking to relocate their pet, and they’re asking for your help.

We handle one or two pet moves a week, and while most animal shipments are done by air, we’ve started doing an increasing number of pet relocations for nervous pets (and nervous owners!) by road. The great advantage of this is that the owner can remain with the pet throughout, so the animal stays calm and happy.

Pet owners can of course always drive themselves to the UK with their pet, but they’re then left with a foreign-registered left hand drive car in the UK. An easier solution is to leave the car behind, and take the train. Eurostar will only accept assistance dogs, but the European rail network makes moving a pet by high speed rail to a Channel terminal very easy, and pets that meet UK import requirements can then enter the UK by Eurotunnel, or on a cross-channel ferry.

For example we’ve recently moved a Labrador from Frankfurt to London in a single day, with the transferee getting a 10.00am high speed direct ICE train to Brussels via Cologne, and then continuing on a local train to Ostend to meet their relocation consultant. A short drive to Calais and the Eurotunnel, and Mum, Dad and Basil the black Labrador were in London before 8:00pm. Mum, especially, was absolutely delighted!

In the last few months we’ve also picked up a pair of lovely black cats with their owner from Lille in northern France, and have even been to Paris to collect a Great Dane who was scared of trains….. In practice, it’s quite easy to organise same day pet relocation by rail from France, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. For example, Marseille to Lille takes under five hours, Amsterdam to Ostend takes just three hours, and Zurich to Lille takes just over six hours. It’s even possible to do Barcelona – Lille – London in a (long) single day using the new direct TGV service. All pets need a travel crate, and generally pay half fare on the train.

With the cost of shipping pets by air within Europe normally being over £1000, shipping by rail and then Eurotunnel or the ferry doesn’t cost much more, and is a great alternative for employees whose pets are their top priority. If we can help to solve this difficult problem for you, then please don’t hesitate to ask.

Sep 2016