Your pet is part of the family. If you’re planning on moving abroad, of course you’ll want to bring your pet with you. Moving overseas with pets requires careful planning to ensure your furry friend is properly cared for and their best interests are looked out for. Below are some top tips for when you’re planning a relocation with your pet.
The thought of leaving your pet behind could be devastating, but it’s important to consider what’s best for your pet. Relocating could be particularly stressful for your pet depending on their age and disposition. You should also consider the climate of the country you are moving to and whether your pet will be able to adapt easily. It may be kinder to leave your pet behind with a trusted friend of family member.
Particular breeds of dog and some cats are more prone to reacting negatively to travel. You should speak with your vet about what they think is best for the welfare of your pet and if they think your pet will be able to travel comfortably.
Different countries will have different criteria for allowing your pet into the country. Most countries will allow dogs or cats, but more exotic animals may be denied entry. Some countries have rules around what breeds of animal are allowed in. Some countries may have more specific rules, for example, Switzerland does not allow dogs with docked tails or ears, unless you can prove you are taking up residence in the country.
A lot of countries will require a mandatory quarantine period for your pet. This can cause worry in pet owners, but the facilities should be clean and safe, and your pet will be well cared for. You should research what vaccinations are required for your pet – you will most likely need at least the rabies jab. You should always make sure your pet is microchipped and the chip information is correct and up to date.
You will need to find out what sort of documents are required to import your pet. This will depend on both the country of origin and the new country of residence. You should make sure to leave plenty of time to arrange the paperwork, as certain documents can take months to arrange.
If you’re travelling to the EU and Northern Ireland from the UK, you will most likely need an Animal Health Certificate. These need to be completed by a vet no sooner than 10 days before you travel. Not every vet is authorized to complete the certificate, so you should aim to check with your vet in good time before the due date.
If you’re traveling from the UK outside the EU, you will most likely need a relevant Export Health Certificate, which can be obtained from the UK Government Website. Like the Animal Health Certificate, an authorised vet will need to complete the form, so you should speak to your vet in good time to see if they are able to do this for you, or help you find a valid vet.
Other countries may just require a pet passport from the country of origin. You should check with the local government of the country you’re relocating to, to find out exactly what is required. A lot of these documents will require proof of certain vaccinations and microchip information.
Once you have established that you are able to relocate with your pet and what documents you will need, you can begin to organise the travel itself. There are many experienced pet travel companies who will be able to help you with every step of the relocation, from finding the right crate for your pet, to arranging the travel itself and dealing with customs. You should speak to a few different companies to find the one you trust to help with your pet’s travel.
You should always try to get your pet used to being in the crate prior to travelling. This will help them feel less stressed on the day of travel, as they will already be comfortable in the crate. If it is safe to leave your pet with an item in the crate, they may be happy with a familiar blanket or toy on their journey. You can also purchase some natural calming sprays with pheromones that can help keep your pet at ease. Again, if you use these types of products, you should get your pet used to them in familiar surroundings at home before the day of travel.
When you travel, your pet’s microchip should be up to date, and they should have the relevant identification information on their tag and crate. You might find it helpful to carry copies of their paperwork with you and make sure you are able to access copies online. This way you’ll always have the right information to hand should you need it.
Once you have ensured your pet is properly looked after and able to relocate with you, you can organise what you will need for your move. Expatriated Healthcare offers international health insurance so you’re covered with instant healthcare, 24 hours a day, wherever you’re moving to. Contact us to talk to our expert team about how we can help you.
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