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Relocating With A Pet! - How?

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

by Her Expat Life Team

Moving abroad is simultaneously the most inspiring, uplifting, and exhausting process to go through!

Perhaps you've been offered a new job, or you are a single female wanting a fresh start and have made the bold decision to move to a foreign country, or your spouse has been offered a job abroad and you will follow his/her career!

The planning, logistics, and organizations of moving is all in your hands.

You have to think of where you will live, where you will work, how will you get around when you get there? Do you speak the same language, or will it be a complete culture shift? But what if you have significant family editions?

Like the pet family dog or your beloved cat you have had for years?

Our pets are part of our life, and sometimes the thought of leaving them behind is too great to bear!

A way to ensure your pet can move with you and join you in your new expat life is not an easy task and does require a lot of planning in advance, so be sure to leave yourself time to cover for every eventuality.

We have outlined essential tips below to make your move abroad run as smoothly as possible with your beloved pet!

Contact your Veterinarian

First things first, book an appointment at your registered veterinarian and be sure to obtain a 'Pet's Health Certificate' that will enable your pet to travel internationally. This will provide proof that your pet is in good health, doesn't have any pesticides, and is appropriately updated with vaccines. The Vet will also advise you on how to help your pet on long haul flights, giving them medication to calm them down, or supplying anti-sickness tablets. Your Vet will most likely be able to help with any special requirements needed for the country you are moving to as well, like specific vaccinations.

Pet Relocation Services

Some services will help you move your pet internationally. They can be costly, but they will help with the planning, the flying and support you and your pet all the way through the international transition! Your pet may be left behind if you need to relocate quickly for a job or specific reasons. Hiring professionals is the best way to help get your pet to your new country after relocating.

Hire The Professionals! - The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association will be able to answer all your queries and provide you with all the support you need.

Contact The Airline

Before purchasing your ticket, you must call ahead with the specific airline and inquire if your pet can fly with the chosen airline. Can you take your pet on this particular airline? What crate size is allowed?

Are there any special requirements needed for my pet to travel?

Airlines can be tricky; some allow specific sizes of crates in the cabin, others enable your pet to travel as cargo, and some do not allow pets at all. Do your research and speak to airlines to find out their exact stipulations for international pets travel.

Contact Immigration

Like humans, pets may also need a visa, and may need to be quarantined.

Ask questions such as:

1. Does my pet require vaccinations?

2. What are the Pet import rules?

3. Has your dog been microchipped?

This is an absolute necessity. Immigration of the country you are residing in or the country you are moving to will supply you with this information.

Sometimes there are lengthy documents involved which you will have to prepare! These vary from country to country.


Get Them Comfortable With The Crate.

Depending on what the airline says regarding the crate size, try giving your pet as much room as possible. They will be confined in this space for a long time, and getting them accustomed to the crate before flying will help familiarize them with their new area. Make it comfy and personalized with their toys.

Contact Veterinarians In Your New Country

Before you arrive in your new country, it is essential to get in touch with a local or international vet service for your pets' well-being and overall health while in your new country of residence.

What are the price point or range for pet care services? What sort of care is provided? - some vets can be unorthodox in some countries, and you want the best care for your beloved pet!

Do your research and plan accordingly.

Your New Home

Ideally - Make sure you have permanent accommodation that allows pets to be pre-arranged so that you can settle your dog/cat/rabbit/fish in when you move.

This will be hard for your pet. Unpacking your pet's things first and making their new home as familiar as you can help your pet feel safe and settled in quickly.

Her Expat Life has a network of people who have successfully relocated with their pets so comment below or email us if you have any questions!

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