September 17, 2017

Moving to Canada (2)

This is one out of three blog posts I’ve planned for my immigration to Canada. This post will primarily be about my dog Yumi and how he relocated to Canada with us.


Yumi was born September 8th 2015 - by the time we travelled he was close to his 2nd birthday.

We did plenty of research to make sure that his immigration went as smooth as possible. First, we had to organize a properly sized transport box for the flight, and secondly comply with the Canadian dog import regulations.

We bought the biggest box available at the local pet shop in Hamburg. The crate included a dog bowl for water and food, which is required. Also Yumi could stand in it comfortably, which is important.

When booking the flight we immediatly added a dog transportation to the ticket. For unknown reasons we had to book twice, as the online booking failed the first time so we called the airline multiple times to make sure the booking was correct.

Having booked the flight and bought a dog crate we set up two appointments with a veterinarian to have Yumi checked out: one some months ahead to refresh his rabies vaccination and one two weeks before the flight. The veterinarian provided a health certificate for Yumi on the latter date. So far so good.

We checked in our luggage the night before the flight. When we asked about the procedure to checkin Yumi the agent told us there was no dog on our booking. Staying calm we discussed with the agent for a while. I had printed proof that Yumi was booked, and after some searching he was able to find his booking. It seemed the booking was only visible on my ticket, not the one of my wife; the agent had only looked at her booking aparently. Luckily we asked about our dog, had printed proof of his booking and were persistent about the issue.

Problems did not stop there, sadly. The day of the flight we went to checkin Yumi and the agent told us the crate was too small. Yumi only had about 5 cm headroom when standing inside the box, and regulations require 10 cm. Interestingly, the inspector present at the checkin counter said he’d be fine, but ultimatly the decision was up to the travel agent.

This gave us about 60 minutes to find a bigger crate, or Yumi had to stay in Frankfurt.

Together with Yumi I rushed off to buy a bigger crate - inside the backage claim area there was a crate shop, and about 30 minutes later I had bought the biggest crate available and moved it back to the checkin counter. We assembled the crate in a hurry and checked him in, and then moved on to our own checkin.

After arriving in Vancouver we first went to the immigration area, and while waiting I walked over the the airline counter to inquire about the pick up procedure of Yumi. He was transported to the bulky cargo area, it took about an hour, but he was calm when I got him so I assume that his first flight was fine.

As Yumi is a healthy dog the immigration agent only checked his papers and we quickly moved on to get out of the airport.

Dispite all problems, with proper preparations and a bit of luck we made it to Vancouver, Canada. Needless to say that we would not have taken the flight without him :)

And now we’re all in Canada, enjoying the adventure together :)