Moving a dog to Malaysia

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Well, we did it!  We got Kova (our dog) to Malaysia! What a pain in the ass!

We had no idea how to transport a dog from one country to another so we did what every other person would do. We googled it!  We found out that buying a plane ticket and taking her to Malaysia wasn’t as easy as we thought.  Kova is an Anatolian Shepherd that weighs 101lbs she is not an “under the seat” kind of dog, she would have to fly in a crate and in cargo (poor thing).  With a lot of phone calls and research, Scott and I were able to pick out a pet transport company. We went with “Airpets International” based out of Texas.  We worked with a coordinator who guided us on what we had to do.  What has to be done for a dog to fly? Glad you asked..

Steps are 6 months to 1 day before travel

  1. Figure out a “time frame” of when you want the dog to fly. Pick a month. 
  2. Rabbies vaccination- at least 30 days prior to departure but not longer than 1 year.
  3.  DHLPP vaccinations – at least 30 days prior to departure but not longer than 1 year.
  4. Buy a crate that fits the dog standing up and laying down. Send pictures to your coordinator for proof that the crate is of correct size.  pictures below 
  5. Get the dog comfortable with the crate.
  6. 1 month prior to travel your coordinator will give you a list of dates for the dog to fly and airlines that travel with pet cargo.  We chose March 4th for travel and March 11th as a back-up date. Scott would also fly on March 4th and I would fly the following week March 11th. 
  7. 2 weeks before flight, the travel is “booked.” Scott and I must also show proof of our flights along with our passport information. An address in the destination country is also given to show residence of the owners and dog.
  8. 2 weeks before flight,  a vet appointment is made for 1 week before travel. The vet appointment has to be within 7 days of travel for the FDA health certification.
  9. 2 weeks before flight, Kova’s reservation is made at Kuala Lumpur’s pet quarantine for 7 days. We chose Kuala Lumpur’s quarantine over Penang’s because they had A/C kennels for the dogs.
  10. 2 weeks before flight, Kova must get an import permit from the Malaysian government. The Malaysian government must approve the breed to make sure it is not a restricted or banned list. This is all handled by an agent in Kuala Lumpur. We had a hiccup with this because Kova’s breed was not recognized on any list. Malaysia’s department of agriculture and master veterinarian had to “look over” her breed and approve it. That took longer and we worried about Kova making her flight. 
  11. 5 days before the flight, Kova’s breed was approved by the Malaysian Government and not a restricted breed. We received the import permit with just enough time to keep the original flights on March 4th.
  12. 4 days before the flight, Kova had her vet appointment that approves her for travel.  Her paperwork, approving her to travel, is sent to the FDA electronically.  
  13. 3 days before the flight, the FDA certifies Kova as being healthy and sends the paperwork back to us via FedEx.
  14. 2 days before the flight we receive the FDA paperwork.
  15. 2 days before the flight, We make copies of all the paperwork she needs to fly and prep the crate for flying. Click here to see copies of all the paperwork we needed and the cost break down.
Kova in front of her Impact crate
Not sure about this thing
rubber padding for comfort
attached bowls
funnel for water during flight
trying to get comfortable

The Day of Travel

After much stress of getting paperwork in order, more stress was coming knowing my dog would be flying across the world. March 4th was here. Kova’s flight was at 4:55pm but she had to be at the KLM cargo building at 10:30am for a 12:00pm cargo acceptance.  We met a dog handler/driver named Sal, from Ship My Pets out of Chicago, who went over all the paperwork, put stickers on Kova’s crate, took her thru security and made the final drop off for Cargo.  Kova’s itinerary was the following: ORD-AMS, 12 hour layover for food and exercise, AMS to KUL landing at 3:35pm. Scott was then dropped off at departures for his flight going the opposite way through San Fran and Singapore. I was lucky to have my parents help with transportation and while my dad drove me back to Indiana, I got my “flight tracker” app updated so I could stalk my husband and dog, lol. 

her last potty @ O'Hare
attatched water, food, and paperwork
love before her long flights

Kova has landed

Kova landed safely in Kula Lumpur and was greeted by a wonderful person, Mayz. Mayz works for “Armstrong Pet Moving” and would be taking care of Kova with the help of all of their dog handlers during her 7 day quarantine.  Mayz was amazing! She sent us updates, videos and pictures to assure us Kova was doing great. After the 7 day quarantine Kova got in a transport van and was driven from Kuala Lumpur to Penang (about a 4 hour drive).  We finally had her home!!! 

If anyone is bringing a pet to Malaysia or shipping from Malaysia, I HIGHLY  recommend “Armstrong Pet Moving” (click for website) as they did a wonderful job and the communication was fantastic. 

arrived in Kuala Lumpur
Videos and pictures from her quarantine
van ride to the house
preparing for the van ride
finally at her new home

Kova’s home in Penang

After everything that Kova has been through she is acclimating well! Our neighbors, Wai & Jeff have a German shepherd named Kelly, and Kova really enjoys hanging out with all three of them.  Kova has been going on morning walks, chasing birds, playing with Kelly, and napping on the cool floor. She is living in her own little paradise!

Having a pet transported can be very stressful!!  If anyone has questions feel free to comment below or e-mail us, we will be more than happy to help!

Sending love from Penang

Ry, Scott and KOVA!!!

7 thoughts on “Moving a dog to Malaysia”

  1. Whew! That’s a lot and I’m exhausted just reading it. I’m glad your baby Kova is finally with you two! No more long flights for her for a while now, huh? Miss ya lady! Be safe you three

  2. Looks like our pretty Kova girl has officially joined her parents as a member of the world traveler club! She looks so content. I’m certain she’s happy to be with you guys, WHEREVER that may be. I’m glad, too, that she’s found her new friend, Kelly. Life is always better with a BFF . (That being said, we miss her.)

  3. Leslie Ramusack

    Oh my! What an ordeal!!!! I’m so glad she is safe and sound. It does sound incredibly stressful! Are the pets put in a separate compartment under the plane?? Is it heated? I have so many questions about the actual flight.

    1. This is what our coordinator told us… The compartment of the plane is pressure controlled and also temperature controlled. We still chose to have her fly in March just to be on the safe side with temps. The crate is still in cargo but in a seperate area specific for animals. The crate is tethered down so she doesn’t move around and it must be vented on all sides so she has no problems breathing. On the outside of her crate there are spacers to make sure nothing butts up to the crate and blocks the venting holes. There are chux under the rubber mat if she has an accident and they are given only water so they don’t get dehydrated. That is about all I know, she has no problem getting back in her crate so I’m assuming she wasn’t terrorized by the experience (at least I hope not).

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