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Tips for Moving Overseas with Pets

Moving overseas with your pet dog or cat can add an extra layer of stress as there are many extra aspects to consider and elaborate procedures to follow. Being organized in advance is the key to a smooth and enjoyable overseas moving experience with your pets. 

Here are some tips and things you should know when planning to move overseas with your pet.

Check the animal import requirements

Different countries have different requirements for importing animals. Regulations can also change depending on the country you are moving from. In the first instance, check whether you are able to move your pet to your target country at all. For example, some countries may not accept certain breeds of dogs and cats. Once you have checked and determined that you are able to relocate your pet to the country, start planning and follow the animal import requirements as accurately as possible.

Make a timeline 

Relocating pets overseas can be a lengthy process. It often involves a stringent series of time-sensitive bound steps that must be carried out precisely so that the various requirements of the target relocation country are met. For example, rabies vaccinations may need to be administered 6-months before your intended departure date, depending on the country you are relocating your pets. Failure to meet the deadline at each stage can have serious consequences, such as your pet being denied entry and extra costs. Having a timeline will save you a lot of headache and stress later down the track.

Meet with the vet for vaccinations and health check

Schedule an appointment with a vet that is experienced preparing animals for overseas travel. Make sure your pet is up to date with all vaccinations; depending on the country you and your pet are moving to, additional vaccines may also be required.

The vet should also conduct a complete health check on your pet to ensure it is fit to travel. For example, some dog breeds may not travel well in airplanes due to respiratory problems (e.g., pugs and bulldogs) or hidden health conditions.

Get animal health certificate, import permit and other documents sorted

There are documents you will be required to have to relocate your pets overseas Again, this will vary on a country-by-country basis; however, most countries will require you to provide an animal health certificate from an authorized vet or pet passport, which outlines your pet’s health status and all the medical treatment they have received. It is best to prepare your documents as early as possible, as having an error in any paperwork may cause unexpected delays in your pet’s overseas relocation process or refusal of entry. 

Another tip is to create a file containing copies of all the documents to carry with you. It should also include a photo of your pet, descriptions about their breed, size and color, and relevant contact details (e.g., vet and pet relocation agent).

Find a pet-friendly airline and check airline policies

Each airline has slightly different policies and options for carrying pets, so make sure you allow yourself enough time to research different airlines for their pet transport options. Some airlines may have more experience transporting pets and pet-friendly policies than others. 

Once you have decided on an airline, find a crate that complies with the airline’s policies and government regulations. The crate should also be big enough for your pet to stand, sit and lie down comfortably. Finding the right crate is significant as you could be in for a shock when the airline turns you down if the crate does not adhere to their rules.

Give your pet crate training

You and your pet will be less stressed when moving overseas if your pet is familiar with the crate. We strongly recommend starting crate training as soon as you have decided to relocate your pet overseas.

If possible, use the same crate that your pet will be traveling in for the training. Take it slow and try not to rush; let your pet get familiar with the crate at their own pace. Create a comfortable environment inside the crate to help encourage your pet to go inside voluntarily. For example, put toys, treats or their bed inside the crate. Once they are happy to go into the crate of their own accord, close the door for a few minutes initially, and then gradually increase the duration at each training session.

Book the best flight

When it is time to book the flight, try to choose a flight that will create less stress for your pet. Consider booking flights that are not during extreme temperature conditions and busy hours. For example, during the summer afternoon or winter morning/evening, or holiday periods. If your pet needs a layover, make sure the next flight is also on the same airline.

Contact the experts

As you can see, moving your pet to a new country can be very challenging. It is well worth considering employing a professional international pet relocation company to help you take care of the entire overseas pet moving process. They are familiar with all the regulations relating to the different countries for importing animals. If plans change or don’t go according to plan, they have processes to rectify the situation efficiently. An overseas pet relocation company can also provide expert advice and assistance if you are uncertain about specific steps of the process. Hiring a professional can help ease a lot of stress, ensure your pet is in good hands, and make the international relocation process more enjoyable for you and your pet.

Contact National Van Lines for more expert moving tips and a no-obligation moving quote.

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