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Relocating Overseas with Your Pet: What You Need to Know

 by danielle on 02 Jul 2014 |
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Moving overseas requires a lot of organisation and can be an anxious time for pets who don’t quite understand what is happening and why.

Tiptop planning is absolutely vital when transporting animals from country to country to make the trip as smooth as possible both for their welfare and your stress levels.
Here are our tips for making sure your journey to your new home is as simple as possible for you and your four-legged family member:
1. Check the rules

The first thing you need to do is look up the specific rules the country you are moving to requires of entering pets. Things like quarantine periods vary dramatically between nations, with some requiring over 180 day periods and others none at all. Vaccination requirements also vary so check exactly what your dog or cat needs before showing up at the airport. 
Timing is also important. Nations sometimes have a very specific timelines as to what needs to be done and by what point. For example, Japan asks that dogs and cats are microchipped and have their rabies vaccinations and blood tests at specified stages. Save yourself a headache and check early on.
PetRelocation is a fantastic site for helping you get a preliminary idea of what different countries require of travelling pets.
2. Visit the vet 

It is vital your pet has a clean bill of health before they can be cleared to go on an overseas flight. A trip to your vet is therefore essential. Be sure to get all of your vaccinations and worming up to date as well as any new shots your destination country asks that travelling pet’s possess. 
You also need to ask for all the documentation of your dog or cat’s prior vaccinations and medical history they have on file so you can back up your statements as to your pet’s state of health to officials.
3. Find your airline


Not all airlines transport pets and those that do require a booking process be followed, so don’t assume you can just show up with your pet and get easily on the plane.
Whenever possible, it is recommended you book a direct, one-way flight to avoid additional stress on stop overs during plane changes and during a time when the weather is mild, as cargo holds are not as well regulated as the cabin.
4. Get a perfect pet crate
Your pet might be inside their crate for some time, so making sure it is the right fit is important. A carrier that is too cramped might make your dog even more uncomfortable on their flight though alternatively one that is too big may create additional charges. A crate should allow your pet to turn around easily and lie down.
Airlines also tend to have specific requirements as to how long and wide a crate should be so be sure the ask before you buy. Sometimes airlines allow rentals of their crates.

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Travelling can be frightening for animals with many new sights and sounds they encounter. But at the same time, pets are pretty much willing to go to the ends of the earth to be with their humans, so it is worth all the trouble.
Happy travelling!


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