Moving Abroad with Pets: A Guide to Pet Shipping & Transport

Moving abroad with pets

Are you considering taking your furry friend on an international adventure? Moving overseas with pets can be challenging, but with the right preparation, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process of moving abroad with your pet. We’ll cover essential steps such as researching your destination’s pet regulations, preparing your pet for travel, packing the necessary items, choosing a suitable travel method, and helping your pet adjust to their new surroundings. Whether you’re relocating for work, family, or adventure, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s get started and make sure your pet is ready to embark on this exciting journey alongside you.

Researching Your Destination

Before moving abroad with your pet, take the time to research the regulations and climate of your destination country. Pet regulations vary from country to country, so make sure you understand what paperwork is required for entry into your new location. Additionally, different climates can have an effect on a pet’s health and well-being; be aware of any extreme temperatures or weather conditions that may affect your pet’s comfort level, and how you can overcome them. Lastly, ensure that there are adequate veterinary care options available in the area you will be living in.

Pet Regulations

When researching pet regulations for a move overseas, consider any quarantine laws or restrictions on certain breeds of animals. In some countries, pets must undergo quarantine upon arrival before they can enter the general population; this process can take several weeks or more depending on where you are going. Additionally, some countries may have breed-specific legislation which prohibits certain types of dogs from entering their borders altogether; be sure to check these rules before making travel plans with your furry friend.

Climate Considerations

The climate of a destination country should also be taken into account when planning an international move with pets. Extreme temperatures can cause discomfort and even illness in some animals if not properly managed; make sure to look up average temperature ranges as well as humidity levels at various times throughout the year so that you know how best to prepare for any potential issues related to weather changes during transit or after settling in at home base.

Veterinary Care Availability

Finally, research local veterinary care availability prior to moving abroad with your pets. This includes both emergency services as well as regular wellness visits and vaccinations needed for keeping them healthy over time. Ensure that there are reliable vets nearby who offer quality services at reasonable prices; having access to good medical care is essential for ensuring long-term health and happiness for all members of the family.

It’s important to research your destination thoroughly before making the move with your pet, including looking into pet regulations, climate considerations and veterinary care availability. Now that you have an understanding of what is needed for the move, it’s time to prepare your pet for their journey.

Key Takeaway: When moving abroad with pets, research pet regulations, climate considerations, and veterinary care availability beforehand. This includes looking into any quarantine laws or breed-specific restrictions as well as average temperature ranges and humidity levels in the destination country. Finally, make sure that there are reliable vets nearby who offer quality services at reasonable prices.

Preparing Your Pet for the Move

When moving abroad with your pet, ensure that they are properly prepared for the journey.


Vaccinations and health certificates should be up-to-date before you leave. Your veterinarian can provide a certificate of good health which will need to be presented upon arrival in certain countries, such as the USA, for example.

Training & Socialization

Training and socialization are essential for pets when it comes to adapting to a new environment, especially when moving abroad. Here are some ways you can help your pet prepare:

  • Training: Start by ensuring that your pet has basic obedience skills. They should be able to follow commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” This will help keep them safe during the journey and make it easier to manage them in unfamiliar settings.
  • Familiarize your pet with their crate: If you plan to transport your pet by air, they will likely need to spend a significant amount of time in a crate. Introduce your pet to the crate several weeks before the move and encourage them to spend time in it voluntarily. Gradually increase the duration of time they spend in the crate to help them become comfortable with the experience.
  • Expose your pet to new experiences: Introducing your pet to new environments and experiences can help them become more adaptable. Take your pet on short trips to new places, such as parks or pet-friendly stores, and reward them for good behavior. This will help your pet get used to different surroundings and people.
  • Socialization: Socializing your pet with other animals and people can help reduce their stress levels and help them feel more comfortable in their new home. Consider enrolling your pet in obedience classes or doggy daycare where they can interact with other animals in a safe and controlled environment.
  • Keep your pet’s routine consistent: As much as possible, keep your pet’s routine consistent throughout the move. Stick to their regular feeding and exercise schedule and maintain their usual sleeping arrangements. This will help minimize their stress levels and make the transition easier.


Finally, make sure that your pet is microchipped and has all necessary identification documents such as passports or registration papers ready for inspection at customs when entering your destination country. This will help speed up processing times at immigration control and avoid any unnecessary delays or complications during travel.

It is also important that you have adequate pet travel insurance in place, in case of any medical situations or other issues that may cause additional costs, or may require urgent intervention. Your pet insurance that you have in place may already cover this, but check and if not take out separate travel insurance.

Proper preparation is key to a successful move with your pet. With the right vaccinations, training and identification documents in place, you can now consider which travel method best suits your needs for getting your pet safely to their new home abroad.

Choosing a Travel Method for Your Pet

When it comes to transporting your pet abroad, there are several options available. Air travel is the most common and often the most convenient option for shorter distances. If you choose to fly with your pet, they can either accompany you in the cabin or be placed in a cargo hold. When flying with your pet in the cabin, make sure that their carrier meets all size requirements set by airlines and that they have been trained to remain calm during flights.

For ground transportation, consider renting a car or van if you’re traveling within Europe or to and from your home from the airport. Make sure that you plan ahead of time so that you can book accommodations along the way where pets are allowed and ensure that your vehicle has enough space for both yourself and your pet’s needs throughout the journey.

Shipping services may also be an option depending on the distance of your move and budget constraints. Pet Transport companies provide door-to-door services which makes it easier than ever to move pets across countries without having to worry about transport logistics yourself. However, like other methods, this method requires paperwork as well as quarantine periods at destination airports which could add extra costs onto your move depending on regulations in place at each country of arrival/departure point.

From air travel and ground transportation to shipping, each option has its own benefits and drawbacks so we encourage you to do your research on each method to help you decide what’s best for your furry friend. Next, we’ll look at packing necessities for your pet’s trip abroad.

Packing Necessities for Your Pet’s Trip Abroad

When packing for your pet’s trip abroad, it is important to consider their needs and comfort. Make sure to include enough food, water, treats, toys, bedding items and grooming supplies that may help them feel more at ease during the journey.

Food, Water & Treats

Pack enough food for the duration of the trip plus a few extra days in case of any delays or changes in plans. Include some snacks like dog biscuits or cat treats as well as plenty of fresh water to keep your pet hydrated throughout the journey.

Toys, Bedding & Comfort Items

Bring along some familiar toys that will provide comfort and entertainment during long flights or car rides. If you plan on staying overnight somewhere before reaching your destination country then make sure to bring along a comfortable bedding item such as a blanket or pillow so they can rest comfortably wherever you are staying.

Grooming Supplies (if required)

Don’t forget about essential grooming supplies such as brushes and combs if needed for long-haired pets, nail clippers, shampoo, toothbrush/toothpaste, ear cleaner etc., depending on what type of animal you have travelling with you. This will ensure that your pet looks neat and tidy upon arrival at their new home.


An important thing not to forget, is to make sure that any medication that your pet is required to take is also packed and available during transportation. As with food, treats and water, make sure you have more than is necessary to make sure that any delays are catered for.

Making sure you have all the necessary supplies for your pet’s trip abroad is essential to ensuring a safe and comfortable journey. With the right preparation, you can be confident that your pet will arrive safely and ready to start their new life in their new home. Now let’s look at how to make arrangements for them upon arrival.

Making Arrangements for Your Pet Upon Arrival

Finding accommodation, registering with local authorities and securing veterinary care are all essential steps in ensuring a smooth transition for both you and your furry friend.

Finding Accommodation: Depending on the length of stay, there are various types of accommodation available for pets when moving abroad. If staying long-term, renting or buying a property that allows pets may be an option. Alternatively, if only staying short-term or while searching for more permanent housing solutions, pet friendly hotels or Airbnb’s can provide temporary shelter.

Registering with Local Authorities: Once settled into new accommodations, it is important to register your pet with the local authorities in order to ensure they have access to necessary services such as veterinary care and emergency response teams should anything happen during their stay abroad. This process will vary depending on the country but typically requires proof of vaccinations and microchipping records along with other documentation such as passport details and ownership information.

It is also important to secure reliable veterinary care prior to arriving at your destination so that any medical needs can be addressed quickly and efficiently should they arise during your time away from home. Researching nearby clinics ahead of time can help make this process easier by providing options close by that meet all requirements needed before making an appointment once arrived at the destination location.

Common Questions on Moving Abroad with Pets

Can you move abroad with pets?

Yes, it is possible to move abroad with pets. However, there are certain regulations and requirements that must be met in order for your pet to travel safely and legally. Depending on the country you are moving to, you may need a health certificate from a veterinarian as well as proof of vaccinations. Additionally, some countries require quarantine periods before allowing entry of any animal into their borders. It is important to research the destination country’s specific laws regarding pet travel prior to making arrangements for an international move. Professional international removal companies can provide assistance with navigating these rules and regulations as well as offering advice on how best to transport your pet overseas safely and securely.

How much does it cost to move a pet overseas?

The cost of moving a pet overseas depends on the size and type of animal, as well as the destination and the chosen method of transport. Generally speaking, it can range from £200 to £1,000 or more for larger animals such as horses. This includes transport costs and veterinary fees associated with preparing your pet for travel. It is important to factor in additional costs such as quarantine fees at the destination country if applicable. Additionally, some airlines may require extra charges for carrying pets in cargo holds or cabin compartments. To get an accurate estimate of how much it will cost to move your pet overseas, contact pet transport company that specializes in shipping animals abroad.

Is it hard to move countries with a dog?

Moving countries with a dog can be quite challenging. Depending on the country you are moving to, there may be specific requirements for bringing pets in from another country. It is important to research and understand these regulations before making any decisions about travelling with your pet. Additionally, you should consider whether or not your pet will have access to adequate veterinary care in the new location. You may also need to arrange transportation for your pet as well as secure necessary documents such as health certificates and proof of vaccinations prior to departure. With proper planning and preparation, however, it is possible to move countries with a dog successfully.


With the right research and preparation, you can make sure that your pet has a safe and comfortable journey. Start by researching the regulations of your destination country, preparing your pet for the move, choosing an appropriate travel method for them, packing all their necessary items for the trip abroad and making arrangements for them upon arrival. Moving abroad with pets may take some extra effort on your part, but in the end, it will be worth it when you see how happy they are in their new home.

Are you planning a move overseas from the UK? 1st Move International provides a full range of international removals services, from expert advice on pet transportation regulations and requirements to secure shipping containers for safe travel. We offer competitive prices, tailored solutions and professional customer service – giving you peace of mind that your beloved family members are in good hands during the moving process. Get in touch today for more information about our international removals, overseas moving and shipping services!

About 1st Move International

1st Move International are a specialist international moving and shipping company offering packing, shipping and insurance for shipping household goods and personal effects overseas. We have a global reach covering over 80 countries and 6500 worldwide destinations. You can get an international removals quote here or find more information on our international moving services here.

Avatar for Mike Harvey
As the Managing Director of 1st Move International, Mike Harvey brings more than two decades of logistics expertise and three years of specialised experience in international relocations to his role. His comprehensive knowledge spans the intricacies of overseas shipping, secondary yet crucial areas such as visa application processes and immigration requirements, and the wider topic of moving abroad including topics such as comparative analyses of cost of living, healthcare and educational systems worldwide. This expertise allows 1st Move International to equip people with the information they need to not just move overseas, but to make informed decisions about whether, and where, to relocate.