How to get pugs from point A to point B?
February 24, 2009 10:57 AM   Subscribe

A likely move to Grand Cayman, but how to get my pugs there?

I am thinking of moving to Grand Cayman, and would need to take my 6 pugs with me. The move would be in August, and many of the airlines won't take pugs in warm weather because they have problems with...breathing.

I was thinking that there might be a way to charter a boat to take me, my belongings, and my beloved pugs to the island, but I am having difficulty finding information. Does anyone have any useful ideas or solutions (and no, getting rid of the dogs is not an option).
posted by bolognius maximus to Pets & Animals (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you still in the US?
posted by jerseygirl at 11:08 AM on February 24, 2009

Yes, close to Chicago.
posted by bolognius maximus at 11:09 AM on February 24, 2009

Make sure you research the pet importation policies of Grand Cayman. Some countries have strict rules around documentation of vaccines and such in order to keep diseases like rabies out. If you arrive without all the proper docs, your pets could be put in quarantine. For Japan, the quarantine is ~6 months.

Also, I've flown with my cat in a soft-sided cage in the main cabin across the U.S. Pugs are small, but not sure if airlines allow dogs in the cabin.
posted by jsonic at 11:10 AM on February 24, 2009

Looks like this will tell you what you need to know about complying with the Caymans' pet importation rules. A brief skim reveals that you should start the process immediately, because there may be six month waits for test results - hopefully you don't have to quarantine them.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 11:30 AM on February 24, 2009

I've flown with my (1) pug on airlines before (but not internationally) at the time I belive she had to be less than 20 lbs and able to fit under the seat in front of me in her carrier and there was a limit of 2 dogs per aircraft. She also needed to be certified by the vet. I don't know if any of that has changed, but she's a very nervous pug and had no problem with it, also, she loved the attention from other flyers... so hopefully at least that part maybe easy for you.
posted by cestmoi15 at 12:18 PM on February 24, 2009

Unfortunately, only one of my pugs is really petite. The rest are about 25-28 lbs, and one (a rescue pug) is about 36. He's a big boy. I am very nervous about the idea of putting them in cargo on a plane.

I have looked up the importation rules and am applying for the permits, making sure rabies shots are in order, etc. I was hoping that maybe someone knew of a company or individual that had a shipping/passenger boat thing or something like that.

Thanks for the responses!
posted by bolognius maximus at 3:52 PM on February 24, 2009

Probably start dieting the 36 lb pug now, as 13-20 lbs is typical for a male pug.

Temperatures in the 80's and 90's plus full humidity are not going to be that dog's friend.
posted by talldean at 4:04 PM on February 24, 2009

It sounds like you may not be able to find a way to carry all of them on a commercial flight (even if it takes multiple flights, etc.), because of the size. You may look into that further, though.

If you are doing some kind of cargo transport, I would start with an air cargo transport page like this. You can find similar ones for ocean cargo. Looking around there and similar sites should get you to the right kind of people. You may be able to find monitored and/or climate-controlled cargo situations for them. You will probably have to call a lot of places, and may want to consider trying to work with a cargo broker of some sort. If you want to avoid it being exorbitantly expensive, you will probably want to find a regular cargo flight or voyage where you can have your dogs transported instead of arranging a charter solution. If you are going to charter something, a small plane may make more sense than a boat, although it's not that short of a flight to the Caymans (around 800 miles from Florida).

For the safety of your dogs, considering that they are pugs and it will be summer in some very hot areas you are going through, I would try to secure a solution which allows you or another person to accompany and monitor the dogs. Animals die during commercial air transport all the time. It sounds like you are aware of this, but I just wanted to point it out for anyone reading this in the future. I would not use commercial airlines to transport any pets as cargo under any circumstances at any time. However, you may be able to find some custom cargo services which are reasonably safe.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 5:07 PM on February 24, 2009

Oh, I know it, talldean. It is an issue that we have been working on. He was tied to a tree for several years, so he has "food issues". But he is on a strict diet, and is down from 45 lbs.

Thanks, iknowizbirfmark. I was aware of the commerical air transport issues, but I think a lot of people still feel that it is safe. I will search around the way you suggested.

Again, thanks for everyone's replies.
posted by bolognius maximus at 5:32 PM on February 24, 2009

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