Moving Countries with your Pet Series: Singapore to Germany
Our latest in the Moving with your Pets series covers transporting your dog from Singapore to Germany.
Annika used to volunteer with us at OSCAS (Oasis Second Chance Animal Shelter) and we sadly had to say goodbye to her but also happy as she was taking Pepper! Five-year-old Pepper had been through some upsetting times as she was left behind suddenly by her first family, who returned to the UK without her. Fortunately, we found her an initial fosterer so she did not need to return to the shelter that night she was let go. From then on she was fostered by Annika, who fell in love with this smart, easy-going girl and could never ever leave her. Together they flew back to Germany just before Singapore went into lockdown and here is how they did it.
LD: How many dogs do you have, what are their breeds and where did you adopt or get them from? AK: I have one dog. Her name is Pepper and she is a Singapore Special. I adopted her from a dog shelter (OSCAS) in Singapore.
LD: How long were you living in Singapore (including with your dog)? How much time did you get to plan your move to Germany? AK: I was living in Singapore for 1 year and 7 months and Pepper moved in after the first 7 months. The move back to Germany was a spontaneous decision. It was roughly 4 weeks from deciding to leave Singapore till getting on the plane to Germany, mainly due to the vaccination that Pepper had to have before being able to enter Germany.
Pepper sunbathing in her new garden in Germany.
LD: Did you move your pets on your own or through a Pet Transporter? Why did you choose to use a Pet Transporter over doing it by yourself? AK: I talked to a lot of friends who had moved countries with their dogs and the process did not seem to be too difficult, especially when moving from Singapore to a European country. I was afraid to do all the paperwork, so I asked a Pet Transporter to help me arrange it. Apart from that, I took care of everything else: getting Pepper a crate, booking our flight, arranging transport to and from the airports and checking her in at the airport (with a lot of emotional support from my friends of course).
LD: Have you moved countries with your pets before? From where to where? AK: No, this was the first time I moved countries with a pet.
LD: Can you run us through the process of moving your dog to Germany –
a. A list of things you purchased and if you can recommend any products.
AK: The most important thing obviously was getting the right size crate. I got the Andes 7 Carrier from SAVIC, which to me seemed to be good quality, safe and met IATA standards. I also got a drinking bottle attachable to the crate’s door from the outside. It was from ACE PET, 650 mL capacity and refillable from the top. The next thing necessary was a coat for Pepper to help her adjust to the different climate.
b. The checklist of paperwork required. How much time did it take? AK: I had the Pet Transporter arrange all the paperwork only and it took 3 weeks in total. The documents needed were:
· Vaccination records including rabies vaccination certificate
· AVS export permit
· Health certificate
For preparation, I had to provide the vaccination records, valid dog license from AVS, microchip details, size and weight of my dog, dimensions of her crate and our flight details to the Pet Transporter, The Pet Embassy. They list everything on their website and were very reliable in answering all my questions http://www.petembassy.net/services/services.htm
LD: Which airline did you use and how was the experience with them? How long was the entire journey? AK: We used Lufthansa and had a direct flight from Singapore to Frankfurt in Germany. The flight time was 13 hours roughly and the entire journey including transport to and from the airports took about 21 hours, 17 hours of which Pepper had to be in her crate. My experience with the airline was great. Booking the flight was easy and everybody on board was very helpful checking if Pepper really was on the same plane.
LD: What kind of pre-travel training did you do for your dog? AK: The most important part of the training was Crate Training. I bought the crate 3 weeks before our departure date. Pepper is easily convinced with food so it was not hard to help her feel comfortable in the crate. I put the crate at her usual spot in our home, put her pet blankies and pillows in and fed her all her meals in it. She quite quickly accepted it as her new home and spent a lot of time in it. I then started to close the door for short time periods. A little more tricky was to teach her how to drink from the bottle, but she managed that as well and even preferred drinking from it rather than her bowl after a while.
LD: How easy was it for your dog to adjust to their new home? AK: Pepper adjusted to the climate quickly. It was springtime in Germany and quite cold in the beginning, but with a warm coat on she seemed to not mind the drop in temperature too much. The first couple of days she experienced jetlag (as did I) and she slept a lot under a warm blanket on a sheepskin. Other than the change in temperature, I think she was a little overwhelmed by all the new sounds and smells and was a little jumpy outside especially at night time. Already after two weeks, she was perfectly fine with her new surroundings.
LD: How much did your move cost in total? (If can give a breakdown be good or general mention of what this covered.) If you did the move on your own, how much do you think you saved? AK: The total cost of Peppers move was about SGD$1,600. This included SGD$345 for the crate + bottle, SGD$75 for rabies vaccination, SGD$607,50 airline fee and $SGD568 for the Pet Transporter.
LD: We consider pets as our family. But sometimes people get worried and leave their pet behind… what’s the one thing you’d like to say to such people so that they would reconsider? AK: Imagine your spouse and kids left you behind without telling you: Because that is what it feels like to your dog.
LD: Please feel free to add any other information you think would be helpful! AK: Moving with a pet was easier than I thought it would be. Actually, the hard part was not all the preparation but seeing your dog get rolled away on a cart by some strangers at the airport and then sitting on the plane not knowing how your fur kid is doing in the baggage area. When we were finally reunited, I was an emotional wreck and she was very, very happy to see me.
We hope these stories help keep more furry family members together so no one is left behind. You can read more in the series here:
SERIES ONE: MOVING BETWEEN SINGAPORE & THE UK
SERIES TWO: MOVING BETWEEN THE USA & SINGAPORE
SERIES THREE: MOVING BETWEEN AUSTRALIA & SINGAPORE
SERIES FOUR: MOVING BETWEEN SINGAPORE & GERMANY
SERIES FIVE: MOVING BETWEEN FINLAND & SINGAPORE
Help us keep families together! If you have a moving story you would like to share please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org