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How Dogtainers Brought Nicki And Her New Pup Together

Eagerly awaiting the arrival of her new pup from a Corgi breeder in Newcastle, Brisbane-based Nicki faced a dilemma: how on earth was she supposed to bring her home? With a little help from Dogtainers, Nicki and Maple were united at last. Follow her story below!

Finding my puppy

As any Corgi owner would know, finding my pup was a very lengthy process – they’re just so hard to come by! Living in Brisbane, I began my search for a registered breeder in Queensland, but with no luck I expanded my search Australia wide.

When I finally got a response from a breeder in Newcastle, New South Wales, I got so excited that I immediately offered to drive down to pick her up, despite the nine-hour drive. You see, I thought that this was the more desirable option and wanted to show the breeder that I was ready. The breeder gave me a call the following day and told me that she would be happy to give me a pup, but nothing was mentioned about transport at this stage.

To drive or not to drive?

As I began planning my trip to Newcastle, it became apparent that it would not be as straightforward as I thought. If I drove down very early in the morning, picked her up and headed back in the same day, I’d be looking at a round trip of about 18 hours, so that was quickly ruled out.

The second option was to drive down and stay overnight; with hotel and fuel costs I’d be looking at around $250 plus 2 full days of travel.

The third option was to fly down and rent a car for the drive back to Brisbane, however with the costs of flights and car hire, I was looking at upwards of $500 – not to mention a full day of travel for not only me, but my new pup as well.

The fourth option was to fly my pup up on her own to meet me, but this option made me nervous. I had so many questions, and a lingering thought that this would make me a terrible dog mum.

The breeder’s thoughts

With all of my options at hand, I wanted to ask the breeder for her opinion – particularly on how she felt about flying puppies. I was almost expecting her to scold me at the mere suggestion of not making the trip to retrieve my darling pup, but was instead very surprised by her response:

She went on to explain that a 9-hour car drive isn’t all that easy on an 8-week-old puppy and in fact, she’d advise against it. Here I was worried for nothing! I was so caught up in the stigma that flying a puppy was less desirable than driving that I didn’t consider flying as an appropriate option.

As a member of a few online dog groups, I found that there were others who had just as many questions as I did regarding flying and its effect on the dog’s psyche and temperament. Thankfully, there were several other breeders who also recommended flying as their preferred method of dog transportation,

Choosing a pet transport carrier

Well that settled that! Now I just had to decide which pet carrier to book. As always, a bit of online research goes a long way. I checked out the websites, reviews and testimonials of all Australian pet transport companies and got a better sense of what each company valued and how they operated.

The quote

To get an idea of costs, most carriers asked you to select a crate size. If you’re purchasing a pet from another state, selecting the right size can be tricky if you don’t have the measurements. I found Dogtainers’ travel crate size calculator handy – even if you didn’t have your pet’s exact measurements ready, they happily select a size for you based on the breed and weight of your pet. Dogtainers also had an FAQ section for dog owners which was very helpful.

A few pet carriers provided an instant quote which was helpful to know instantly. When I submitted my quote through Dogtainers, I got a personalised email the following day – from an actual human, not an automated machine! The two-page quote was very detailed and listed my crate size, flight time, cost and even different pet transit plans. I especially adored the part about the additional services offered, including a comfort stop, hydro bath and pet pack!

When I saw the lengthy quote with all inclusions and additional extras, I prepared myself for the price – surprisingly, it was very competitive.

The customer service

I’m someone who places a lot of importance on the customer service I receive. Of all the quotes I requested online, only Dogtainers called me the following week to ask if I had any questions about their services.  This gave me an opportunity to ask all of the questions I hadn’t found an answer to yet and the lovely lady I spoke to on the phone put all my worries at ease. The follow up phone call really made the whole process feel much more personal and that they had the safety and well-being of my puppy at heart.

Head and Paws above the rest

For me, Dogtainers was the most suitable option. The way that they spoke about my pet and my options really made me feel like the company had a personal investment in making sure my pet would be completely safe and happy to be travelling with them. They went above and beyond with their quote – it was tailored and personalised, not just an automated email. It had an incredible amount of detail and anything that wasn’t answered in the pet transit plan was answered during the follow up call they conducted the following week. I felt at ease trusting them with my new little puppy.

The Experience

The Drop Off

My breeder dropped off the pup to the airline freight office. I was informed that this was a shared area, with each animal put straight into their travel crates immediately after drop off, and assured there was no mingling with other animals. All Dogtainers crates were fitted with a water container, but my breeder was instructed to bring a bottle of water to top it up.

The Pick Up

During my follow up phone call with Dogtainers, I asked the lovely lady on the other end if there was a suitable area to park and if so, what sort of cost I would be looking at. She told me not to worry as there would be plenty of parking and it would be free of charge. Leading up to the pick up date, they also sent me a map and descriptive instructions of where I should go and at what time I should be there.

The location was surprisingly easy to find and she wasn’t wrong about the parking! There were plenty of free parks. I arrived and awkwardly walked up to a little kiosk connected to a bigger building and basically said “I’m here to sign out my pup”. I described my little fluff ball and had a few little things to sign while they went into the conditioned area to retrieve her crate.

When she came out, I dropped the pen and ran to her immediately. She was so happy and very excitable. I rushed through the remainder of the paperwork and the workers released her – she practically leapt into my  arms, giving me lots of kisses. I was so nervous for the first meeting between the two of us off the back of her long journey today but she couldn’t have looked less phased. I retrieved her belongings from the crate and clipped her up to her restraint in the car and off we went home!

My Key Takeaways:

  1. Make sure your pet has been health checked and has been cleared by a vet to fly.
  2. Exercise your pet and give them plenty of attention, water and toilet opportunities before they fly.
  3. Do not sedate your pup before travel.
  4. Contact the carrier and ask if you can send your pet up with a toy. I had my dog breeder send Maple up with a toy that smelled like her mum so she felt a little more at ease. Dogtainers encouraged me to do this but did let me know that sometimes dogs can soil themselves so it might not be salvaged if this happens.
  5. Ask how the company intends to update you if there is a delay in the flight. I’ve read many reviews of anxious clients waiting for their pet that was due to arrive an hour ago, but were not updated on the delay.
  6. Ask about the meeting point and parking. Dogtainers sent me a map of the location and advised that there was a free parking bay at pick up.
  7. Make sure you have a crate or some sort of restraint for your pet in the car ride home.

Maple’s Doggy Diary

One week to go!

I hear my owner on the phone to my new mummy organising my flight. My new mummy lives in Brisbane – boy, I don’t know about that heat with this fluffy coat of mine!

My owner is telling mum that she’s going to drive me to the airport herself so she can give me an extra big hug goodbye at the airport. My owner told me that my mum is worried about me getting home sick and that I need to go find my favourite toy so she can send it with me on the flight. I OF COURSE ran over and grabbed my little green froggie!

My owner giggled and said “She’s going to love you!” – well duh! I’m adorable.


Today’s the day!

I’m super duper excited to be meeting my new mummy today! My owner said she’s going to pick me up from the airport and take me straight to my new home. I grab

my little green froggie and before I know it, my owner has scooped me up and placed me in my carrier and strapped me in the car.

A LONGGGG 30 minutes later I’m finally at the airport. My owner gives me a big cuddle goodbye and places me in this bright green carrier. I like green, it’s actually my favourite colour because grass is green and so are leaves and sticks are brown but they’re also fun to play with! Oh gosh, I’ve been daydreaming for the last hour.

Woaaah so this is what a plane looks like. Hey there’s another dog. I swear I’ve seen that dog on a toilet paper ad. Ahhhh toilet paper. I love playing around with this little toilet rolls. My owner used to let me play with them and I’d rip them to shreds! I’m asleep again! Man, being a puppy sure takes it out of you. What was that sound?! Oh we’re stopping. Are we here yet? Already?! That was quick. Oh hello, are you my new mummy? The lady called me a princess! Oh she’s not my mummy, she said my mummy will be here in 30 minutes to pick me up. I’m so excited!!

Meeting Mum

Me and Froggie are (not so patiently) sitting here in our crate waiting for mum. I can hear lots of voices of humans coming by. I think they’re here to pick us up and take us home! Oh I hear something! Could that be

her? Whiskers? Whose Whiskers? Definitely not my mummy. Maple. Nope not m- Oh wait yes, me, me, me! I’m Maple! Mum I’m here. I’ll howl, that ought to do it. Yes! They found

me. Mr Froggie I’m so excited! Hey mum!! Mum, put down that pen and cuddle me. Oh she has long hair – I’ll be sure to chew and tug on that later. Don’t forget my Froggie, mum. Goodbye nice plane people! Thanks for taking such good care of me and Mr Froggie!

The Most Reliable Pet Transport In Australia

Pet travel in Australia doesn’t have to be daunting.

Whatever your pet’s precise circumstances, whether they’re moving with you or you’ve decided to give a loving home to a shelter pup, interstate, Dogtainers works with you to find your tailor-made Aussie pet transport solution.

We move thousands of pets every year across Australia, treating each and every one as if they’re our own.

What We Offer

  • A dedicated pet travel consultant in your city and specialist advice regarding the best preparation for your pet’s relocation.
  • The most direct route available to your destination.
  • Information surrounding the best travel crate size for your pet.
  • Options to buy or hire a crate from our airline and IATA specified stock.
  • Access to our temperature controlled pet travel vans, if collection or drop off is required.

Unique Dogtainers Add-ons

Rest assured, your pet is in the safest of hands. But for added peace of mind, why not tailor your domestic pet transport plan? One size never fits all.

Pet Transit Plan: Dogtainers’ assurance program meaning your best friend is covered against unforeseen circumstances, including bad weather or airline delays.

My Pet Tag: A revolutionary web based Pet Registration program offering added protection for your pet even after they’ve arrived at their new home, keeping them safe and making sure they’re always close to you.

How Do I Know My Pet Will Be Safe?

40 years of experience is testimony to the care we take, with a focus on your pet’s welfare. Like you, your pet flies in a pressurized cabin with the temperature set by the captain at a comfortable 18ºC.

Want To Know More Specific Information About Your Pet’s Travel In Australia?

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Want to know more? Learn about our Care Code

RSPCA Partner.

Dogtainers offices around Australia partner up and work with the RSPCA helping to reunite pets with people.

Members of IPATA

We are members of IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transport Association), which ensures that we have trusted travel partners in every country of the world to ensure Any Animal, Anywhere, Anytime philosophy is maintained with the same high levels of care that we offer.