Moving to another country is very challenging for everyone involved, including your pets. Transporting them across an international border is quite a procedure, so make sure you prepare and plan the move on time. The whole procedure can take a lot of time, effort and money.
In case you are moving permanently overseas it is certainly worth taking your pet with you, but if you are staying there only for a couple of months don’t bother preparing everything for such a short period of time. In that case you can entrust it to a friend or relative who will look after it until you come back.
Moving abroad with a pet
First of all contact your new country’s consulate and try to find out as much information as you can about the required documentation for moving overseas, quarantine, vaccinations, possible additional tests, how long the pet will be quarantined, any possible restrictions for importing pets into the country, any additional fees,… Call the consulate well in advance and check the rules of the country. It happens sometimes that vaccination is required a few months in advance, so gather all necessary information at your earliest convenience.
Have your pet checked by vet and take care of the paperwork. You will certainly need your pet’s health certificate which will ensure that your pet is not infectious, it is free of parasites, it is vaccinated, doesn’t come from a place which is under quarantine for rabies and it wasn’t in contact with a rabid animal in order to avoid possible risks for other people and their pets.
After all, when it comes to transporting pets the main concern are potential transmission of diseases. Also, find out if your new country requires a lengthy quarantine. If so, bare in mind that it can last up to six months and will cost you a lot of money.
Your pet’s health certificate should provide the information about the manufacturer, serial number, type and expiration date of the vaccine. In case the pet is younger than 3 months, the information about the rabies vaccination is not required, since the pet is too young to be vaccinated.
This procedure is applicable in both scenarios, whether you are traveling by airplane or by car. However, do some further checks with your airline company, maybe they have some additional requests.
In case you are flying with your pet bare in mind that most airline companies will insist on IATA – approved company for transporting pets. Also, don’t forget to book space for your pet at least two days in advance, since the number of pets transported per flight is limited.
Small dogs or cats are the exception, because they are allowed to travel with you if their cage is small enough to fit under your seat, according to the policy of some companies. The other option is to send them in heated and ventilated hold, which could be less confusing for them. If their cage doesn’t fit under the seat, you should ship it as checked baggage, which might bring some health risks. So, before booking a flight get all necessary information regarding temperature and air pressure in the cargo. Also, get reliable cost estimates before booking a flight. You may be surprised how expensive moving a pet can be.
After you have called the consulate, pay a visit to the vet, get a copy of your pet’s records, talk about the vaccination and get as many tips as you can about making this transition less stressful for your four-legged friend. Also, your vet will be able to give you more information about some other vaccinations that may protect the pet in a new country, administrating a sedative to the pet, feeding it before the journey, recommendations for vets in the new country.
Having done all the paperwork, start preparing your pet for this huge change. Take several pictures of your pet and attach one to the carrier, so that your pet can be easily identified. Purchase a collar and an identification tag with your personal information.