Top Tips on Taking Your Pet Abroad

Moving abroad is an exciting prospect. Packing up your belongings whilst imagining your life in your soon-to-be newfound stomping grounds. Immersing yourself in a different culture and opening doors to new experiences and opportunities. Strolling through the airport knowing that everything is set in place for your new adventure. Waving goodbye to the old, and saying ‘hola, ciao, bonjour ’to the new.

But if you’re heading off on an adventure, you won’t want to leave your favourite companion behind. Whether it’s your dog, cat or your beloved budgerigar, they deserve to join you. So let’s take a look at the top tips for transporting pets abroad.

Before you jet-set with your pet

If you’re planning on moving abroad with a dog or any other pet, it’s important to take the time to research the import laws of your chosen country. Does the country have any restrictions or quarantine laws to consider? Does your pet need special paperwork or vaccinations? Let’s take a look at Australia as an example:

For those planning a big move down under, they’ll have to comply with Australian laws to ensure the safe arrival of their pet.

  • Microchip

Firstly, your pet will need to be implanted with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant microchip. This then needs to be scanned and the number must be recorded on all of your pet’s documents.

  • Vaccines

Depending on which country you are flying from, your pet may require a rabies vaccination. It’s important to check which category your country falls under to find out if it’s something you have to organise.

  • Import permit

You’ll have to make sure you have an import permit for your pet. This must include all the relevant paperwork including the rabies documentation if applicable.

  • Quarantine

Many will be able to enter straight away, but depending on which category your country falls under, it may be necessary for your pet to quarantine for 10 days.

These may be the rules for Australia, but each country will have its own specifications, so make sure you read up on official government websites. It’s more than likely that you will need to quarantine your pet, make sure it’s had all the relevant vaccines and probably microchip it. These have become pretty standard procedures for international pet travel. Remember, if you’re looking to take your pet to Europe using a pet passport, these are no longer valid since Brexit, so you want to make sure you have investigated the new regulations. Let’s look at some other steps you should take to make sure you’re ready to take your pet with you.   

Check with your vet

Is your pet in good health to travel? Do they have any outstanding treatments or vaccinations? These are the types of questions that your trusted veterinarian can answer before you make your big move.

Any veterinarian will be able to examine your pet and offer advice from a professional standpoint; raising any possible concerns about your pet making a long trip. Depending on the age, temperament and health of your loyal companion, they might not be suitable to travel in cargo, so your vet can advise on how to get them over safe and sound.

Not everyone enjoys travelling, so if your furry friend gets agitated and anxious when making trips, your vet may offer an anti-anxiety medication to calm them during transit, as well as covering all other health requirements and vaccinations required to enter your new home country.

Which animals can travel?

When it comes to Australia, you can only transport dogs and cats easily. Rabbits and selected breeds of birds are only allowed in from New Zealand, while horses are only welcomed from certain countries as well. In the US, it can be decided by state. Beyond the usual cats and dogs, there are options to transport ferrets, reptiles and even rodents. But that doesn’t mean all species in these groups are allowed, or that they can be imported to any state, so it’s important to check.

Whether an animal can travel also comes down to its own health. For example, various breeds such as pugs, shi tzu and boxers are at higher risk of complications due to hereditary respiratory problems. Stress and heat can contribute to possible problems for these breeds, so it’s important to consider this and seek any advice from a veterinarian.

What’s the best mode of travel?

Depending on where you’re travelling to, it may be better to go by plane, boat or over land. If you choose to travel by plane, it’s important to bear in mind that very few four-legged travellers are allowed to travel by your side in the aircraft and will be kept in cargo instead. Also, if your flight has stops or changes along the way, this could affect how you choose to travel – both in terms of your pet’s wellbeing and whether you need to abide by any strict regulations when entering and leaving that country. You want to make everything as smooth and comfortable as possible for your pet, so finding the best mode of transport for you both is the first step.

Ask the experts

If you want to avoid added stress and need help managing your pets move, dedicated professionals are there with a delicate hand and expertise in transporting pets abroad. Pet relocation companies are highly recommended in ensuring that your animal is transported safely, calmly and efficiently. Offering help and support with all the pet import rules and organising your pet’s trip is a fantastic way to make your move less nerve-wracking and one less thing to worry about.

Time to adjust

Remember that it’s not only us that need to get used to our new surroundings, it’s all new to our pets too. Understand that this is a big move for a small animal, and they will need plenty of time to adjust to their new environment. The change in the climate, smells and sounds can be confusing for animals, so familiarities will be important. Make sure you spend time with them and bring home comforts to let them know that they’re safe to help them settle into their new home.

Home sweet home

Moving abroad with your pet can be made simpler if you pay attention to the necessities and have everything in check before you go. That way, you can rest assured and look forward to starting your new life together. If you are planning a move abroad and looking for a safe and reliable furniture shipping service, get in touch with us at 1st Move International for all of your international removals needs.