Q1) Why was "pet holiday" established?
The business owner started travelling to Japan with his dog a couple of years ago. At the beginning, he sourced help from other agencies to handle the inbound and outbound quarantine and documentation requirements at very high costs and the costs were not transparent.
As a result, he studied the details of each process and eventually eliminated all the unnecessary procedures providing cost savings to the process. Since then he visited Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa, and Hokkaido with his dog creating many memorable and unforgettable experiences. After returning from each trip, many other pet owners requested help to handle quarantine procedures. However some quarantine procedures cannot be handled by individuals other the pet owner. Eventually, the brand “pet holiday” was established as agency to assist pet owners with their travel needs.
The business owner feels and understands that the market can improve on pricing and transparency, so that more adorable pets will be able to benefit from the opportunity to travel with their owner on a clear travelling budget. “Pet Holiday” hopes to gradually expand service scope and new travel destinations so that pet owners are able to provide more choices when considering traveling.
Q2) How many inbound or outbound procedures has the "Pet Holidays" team handled?
The whole “Pet Holidays” team including the business owner has multiple travel experiences with pets themselves and speaks from first-hand experiences. Other professionally team has over 8 years of industry experience and has handled inbound and outbound quarantine experiences for more than 500 pets. We believe that the professional experience accumulated by the team over the years is the first step to create a pleasant travel experience for the pet owners and their pet.
Q3) What is "Pet Holidays" vision?
Your pet will be welcomed as an addition to our large family. “Pet Holidays” hopes to create a chance for pet owners and their pets to travel together at the lowest possible costs. “Pet Holidays” aims at continuous improvements to offer competitive pricing and transparency. Pet owners can flexibly choose from our wide ranges of itemized services or from the one-stop package services. Rather than investing on beautiful decor and massive marketing campaign to gain publicity, we effectively control our operating costs and concentrate on passing the savings directly to returning pet owners. Through this process, it is our belief that more pets can benefit and enjoy precious moments whilst on tour with their owners.
Q4) Are pets safe in the dedicated temperature-controlled cabin on commercial airline?
There are currently three types of airplanes that can carry your pet, namely cargo flights, commercial airline and private jets. The most popular choices would be your pet travelling on commercial airline when balancing between cost, safety and convenience.
Both pet owners and your pets will experience similar check-in procedures when travelling on commercial airline. You will accompany your pet to the check-in counter, present the required pet quarantine documentations, and sign the necessary travelling agreements required by the airline.
The pet owner can place a water bottle and a food container inside the pet’s cage to ensure that the pet is properly replenished throughout the journey.
After check-in, your pet will not be placed on a conveyor belt with other luggage. Instead, it will be handled by a dedicated person and will be carefully carried to the plane by the ground staff. During the process, your pet will be placed on a covered trailer preventing them from being affected by rain or other weather conditions.
During the journey, your pets will be arranged to stay in the dedicated temperature-controlled cabin. The cabin will be controlled in the same manner as the owner’s cabin. The ventilation system will ensure good air circulation and steady temperature to be maintained.
After arriving at the destination, the ground staff will transport your pet to the arrival hall and directly to the baggage claim area (for details, please refer to the Cathay Pacific website).
Q5) Why Japan is an ideal place for traveling with your pet?
This is mainly due to three considerations. Firstly, Japan is categorized as Group I Countries by the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Administration. When all the terms and conditions set out in the permit are fulfilled, quarantine may sometimes be exempted (see website for details). Secondly, Japan is a very civilized country with a very high level of acceptance. The corresponding pet hotels and facilities are also relatively well accommodated. Thirdly, the geographical location and airline departure times are convenient for travel arrangements. For example, from Hong Kong to Okinawa requires only about two and a half hours or to Hokkaido requires four and a half hours with frequent daily departures.
Q6) What travelling costs are involved for travelling to Japan?
In general, pet travelling incurs the following costs:
a) obtain the quarantine documentations and vaccination from the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and quarantine. Currently, some pet owners have mastered the complicated procedures and can learned to do it by themselves. Trouble free pet owners may consider “Pet Holidays” agency itemized service or full package reference price at HKD6,888.
b) your pet’s outbound airplane ticket. Currently, Cathay Pacific Airways and Hong Kong Airlines are charging your pet’s ticketing as excess baggage. The weight is calculated based on the total weight of your pet with the cage weight. For Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa and Hokkaido, the current costs are USD10-USD20/KG. If your pet’s weight plus the pet cages and water bottle totaled to 15KGS, the costs would be about HKD2,340 (15KGS x USD20 x 7.8).
c) your pet’s inbound return ticket. Since Hong Kong requires all living animals to enter using the cargo procedure (even through your pet will return to Hong Kong on the same flight), the charges will be according to CBM and the total weight. Generally, the charges for 15KGS would be approximately HKD3,000 (prices depends on the Japanese logistics company).
d) the Cargo’s Forwarder fee. Some pet owners may employ the local Japanese inbound and outbound agency, however the fees are very costly. For example, Cathay Pacific Airlines has its own Cargo company, with earlier preparation and notices, you will only need to pay for related fees at approximately USD300 which is about HKD2,340 (reference price only).
e) the costs related to customs clearance and quarantine procedures after your pet arrives in Hong Kong. Pet owners can consider the “Pet Holidays” custom clearance package service at approximately HKD2,000 or pet owners can apply for the exemption fee themselves.
f) the cage rental fee according to airline requirements ranging from approximately HKD400 to HKD3,500. From the above, pet owners calculate the travelling budget according to your own itinerary.
Q7) What’s the travelling budget for the entire journey?
Besides the quarantine and airline expenses as outlined above, other travel necessities includes accommodation, transportation and meals. These travel necessities can be customized suitable to your requirements. For Japan, pet owners can choose accommodation from the price range of a five-star dedicated pet hotel to local homestays. In terms of transportation, most car rental companies do not charge extra fees for pets. Meals preferences are very personal, currently there are many recommended restaurant information which can be found on the Internet. “Pet Holiday” is very happy to provide the necessary information and share with pet owners. Alternatively, you can also consider our “one-stop all-inclusive package service” which is hassle free and saves time.
Q8) What dedicated pet hotels are there in Japan?
Dedicated pet hotels must fulfil the ability to provide pet-friendly activities, enabling pets to eat and sleep with their owner inside the restaurants and the hotel room.
The larger hotels may also include special designated pet areas such as dog run area, forest area, hot springs suitable for pets or at beachside. Dedicated pet hotels offer comprehensive facilities and are generally located in the suburban districts. Pet owners need to pay special attention when selecting hotels as some hotels may only accept puppies.
Q9) What you need be aware of when purchasing car rental tour packages in Japan?
Many pet owners have experience of driving in Japan in the past. Most car rental companies do not charge extra fees for pets. Formalities includes advance notification to the car rental company informing them your pet will travel along with you and then sign an additional Pet Consent Form during check-in. For further details please consult “Pet Holidays”.
Q10) What are owner recommended travel packages?
Owner recommended travel packages includes pet-friendly hotel or attractions our owners have personally stayed in or have visited previously. As many of the exclusive pet-friendly hotels in Japan are converted from normal hotels, there are differences in the quality. “Pet Holidays” believes that your affectionate and devoted attitude towards your pet shall be reflected when travelling with your pet. The owner recommended travel packages are suggested from your pet’s perspective. On our recommended packages our attention to detail takes into consideration of the quality and environmental safety of Dog Run’s grasslands, the cleanliness of the pet swimming pool and whether sufficient pet supplies are provided for pet owners. Of course, in the era of advanced information technology, information can also be obtained from the Internet and magazines. However, if you want pet to receive the most intimate care, we believe that personal visits are the greatest guarantee.
Q11) What if my pet is rather large in size, can I still travel?
Referencing to Cathay Pacific Airways and Hong Kong Airlines’s travel policy, in the absence of prior approval, pets weights over 32 kilograms (70 pounds) or exceeds the total length of over 203 centimetres (80 feet) will not be accepted. For more details, please refer to the Cathay Pacific website or the Hong Kong Airlines website.
To overcome this obstacle, pet owners may consider your pet to travel via cargo flights, or making advance application to the airline during reservation. For further details please consult “Pet Holidays”.
Q12) What pets are not suitable for traveling?
Most pets travel with commercial airlines inside the dedicated temperature-controlled cabins, however the restrictions varies between airlines. For example, flight related health risks on short-headed animals (such as flat nose, short mouth or flat face) and pregnant pets are generally not accepted. Please refer to Cathay Pacific’s website and Hong Kong Airlines website for details.
In addition, some countries/regions impose certain restrictions on animals on board commercial airlines. Details can be found on the website of the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the website of the International Air Transport Association Passenger Center.
Q13) Before travelling, what training is required?
We recommend all pet owners to conduct some accompanying training before travelling. In particular, the process of pets being caged is very important. Pet owners must slowly help their pet to adapt to the cage conditions. When it is successfully trained, pet owners should also try to close the cage door for a period of time ensuring that your pet does not perceive a sense of negativity when caged. Regarding this matter, however, our professional trainers can provide you with training tips if required.
Q14) What safety preparations are required and what to do when your pet is sick abroad?
It is advisable for your pet to conduct a physical examination in a veterinary clinic before departure. To avoid sickness of not being accustomed to the climate of a new place, pet owners shall bring along your pet’s medical kits (such as for allergies, styptic powder,etc.) for emergency use.
“Pet Holiday” will provide veterinary clinic information for pet owners prior to departure. Japan is a very pet-friendly country, where necessary assistance can be requested for the hotels.
Q15) How long does it take for the pet to complete the customs and quarantine procedures?
The complete customs and quarantine process takes between one to six months. This depends on the requirements of the destination and your pet’s health condition.