Relocating with Pets

Written by: Tamara

It may be one of the last things you consider when moving to a new country, but taking Fido and Kitty along can be a tricky process!

There are a host of factors that need to be considered, paperwork that needs to be completed, bookings and vaccinations, and it can take several months to get all the details sorted out (which is why it’s best to start early!) but here is a basic outline of the procedure:

  • Find out the specific requirements for the country you are entering, as well as your own country’s quarantine laws.
  • Depending on regulations, your pets may be in quarantine for several weeks before you leave and up to several months in your new country!
  • Find a reputable animal travel agency in your area – they should be able to help with organizing road transport, suitable pet carriers and other logistics.
  • Your pets will need their vaccinations up to date, and depending on the country you are entering, may require additional vaccinations, for rabies or other diseases.
  • They will also need a health certificate, which your veterinarian can provide you with.
  • You may also consider sedating your animals for the journey. Consult with your veterinarian about this too.
  • If you do opt for sedation, take care to test this before the big day – while most pets respond well to sedation, some may become aggressive, or hyperactive. In that case, seek an alternative!
  • Permits, import and export licenses may also be required, but your pet travel agency should handle those for you.

With logistics like these to think about, it may be easy to forget practical considerations, however, there are some very important points to remember when it comes to your pet’s well being too!

  • If your pets have never been separated from you for a long (or any) period of time it will be a good idea to book them into boarding kennels a few times before you leave, for progressively longer stays.
  • This will help them to get used to the idea, and realize that you will be fetching them again!
  • Another good idea is to check on facilities for pets in the area you are moving to – veterinarians, kennels and grooming parlors may not be available in all areas.
  • When your pet does travel, make sure you include one or two of “their’ belongings – traveling is stressful and lonely for animals, and having something that smells like home can help!

Traveling and relocating to a new country can be as stressful for pets, if not more, as it is for you.

If your stay is not going to be a long one, it may be a better option to find a friend or relative to provide a “foster home” for them while you are away.

Either way, making sure you make arrangements early, and consider their feelings, will go a long way to ensuring your pets’ health, happiness and safety!

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