6 Great Tips for Expats Moving Abroad with Pets

by Nantanaa Mutharasu

Learn What You Need to Do Before Moving Abroad with Pets

Moving to a new country is an exciting idea for expats. However, moving abroad with pets requires adequate planning, as it can be a bit stressful. If you are treating your pet companions as family members, it will be difficult for you to leave them back home.

moving abroad with petsIt is important to note that moving overseas with your pets requires thorough planning. It cannot be a last-minute decision for sure. It can get very hectic if you are a digital nomad juggling between work and frequent travel. In this blog, we explore six tips for moving abroad with pets.

1. Do Thorough Research on Pet Import Laws

Pet import laws vary across countries. Some of them may have stricter regulations than others. Note that some expat destinations only allow specific breeds or types of pets. You will also have to follow the guidelines, including vaccinations of pets in the new destination. Your pet companion also may need to be microchipped or even go through a mandatory quarantine period. Contact the consulate of your host country to get accurate information regarding pet transfer before you leave.

2. Consult an Experienced Vet

Before moving abroad with pets, you should get in touch with your local veterinarian. They will be able to guide and let you know if your pet is healthy to get on a long flight. The vet will also help you in getting your pet prepared for an international journey. Ideally, you shouldn’t let your pets be put in cargo if they are too young or fragile or sick. All the necessary vaccinations should be administered in advance to ensure that there is no last-minute hassle. The vet may also give an anti-anxiety medication to calm your pets when they are in transit.

3. Take Help from a Pet Relocation Service Provider

You can take the services of a reliable pet relocation service if you are worried about taking your pets along during an international flight. Few popular service providers worth considering include the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA), and Happy Tails Travel, Inc. Apart from ensuring that all the pet import rules are followed, these organizations will make the necessary arrangements for their safe transit.

4. Find the Right Timing for Relocating Pets

moving abroad with petsSimilar to acquiring a visa for yourself, the entire process of moving abroad with pets can be cumbersome. For countries like Japan, the process can take up to six months. So, in such a scenario, you may end up waiting for your pet to reach you in your new destination. This may not be the ideal situation for you and your loved pet, so plan well in advance. The transitional steps must be followed in the right manner to ensure that the waiting time is minimum.

5. Let Your Pet Get Comfortable in a Crate

You must get an airline pet travel crate immediately if you don’t have one at present. Let them get used to the pet carrier. Encourage your pets to get in and out of the crate at various intervals. Initially, they may not like getting near it, so you need to get a little creative and patient. They will gradually feel safer and more comfortable in a crate as days passes by. Simple things like feeding your pet or letting them play with their favorite toy inside the carrier can do the trick. Make the crate comfortable for them by adding thick blankets to keep them warm during the long flight. Note that some dogs simply hate traveling and especially crates – so talk to your Veterinarian for some tips and maybe some medication.

6. Get in Touch with Your Airline

moving abroad with petsTalking to an airline operator even before booking your tickets can give you a fair idea about traveling with pets. Check out the rules and regulations that the airline adheres to regarding moving abroad with pets. There is a possibility that the regulations regarding international pet travel may differ between a particular airline and your chosen host country. Additionally, check with your airline about the sizes of pet carriers that are allowed. Your airline may also let you know the specifics related to crate sizes. Most importantly, have a checklist of the documents you need to show when boarding.

Enjoying Your Life Abroad With Your Pet

The tips mentioned above may be more dog and cat-specific; however, they may be applicable for other kinds of pets too. If you are accompanied by an exotic pet like a reptile or bird, you should follow the required regulations carefully before hopping into a flight. Every country may not allow every type of animal- so, do your research. The right planning and having a checklist will save you from unwanted hiccups.

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