Moving overseas with your pets can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to disrupt your plans. When there are a million little things to consider about your impending move, peace of mind about your pet’s safety will help you focus on other logistics.
Here are a few tips to ensure your pets have a safe and easy travel experience:
Research pet import laws
Animal ownership and pet import laws vary from one country to another. It’s important to learn as much as you can before your moving date arrives. Find out what type of vaccinations your pet requires and what, if any, licensure you need to possess the animal.
To move overseas with pets, some countries, such as New Zealand, don’t allow certain dog breeds and other pets to be imported. For the most accurate information, contact the consulate of the country to which you’re moving.
Schedule a consultation with your veterinarian
A long international flight can be stressful for animals. If your pet is old, sick or highly anxious, it may be inadvisable to place them on an airplane. In addition, some snub-nosed dog breeds are unable to breathe on airplanes.
Before you move overseas with your pets, take your pet to the veterinarian for a check-up. Your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medication to give your pet before the flight.
Determine the best time for the move
Just as you’ll need a visa to travel abroad, your pets may require special documentation. For example, Japan requires pet owners to give Japanese immigration services a 40-day notice prior to travel.
Include your pet’s travel dates in all of your itinerary planning. The sooner you can make the proper arrangements, the more likely you’ll be able to travel on the same flight as your pet.
Reach out to the airlines
In addition to country-specific regulations, each airline has its own rules regarding pet transport. Different airlines accept different breeds of dogs, for example. Likewise, some airlines may allow small dogs and cats to ride with their owners, while others require pets to stay in the pet cabin.
Contact airlines as you know your travel dates. You may be required to fill out additional paperwork. The sooner you can get that process in motion, the easier it will be to book your flights.
Acquire a pet carrier
If you’re pet isn’t used to travelling in a crate, you’ll want to acclimate them to one as soon as possible. Cats and dogs can become anxious when in confined spaces.
Find a carrier that is safe for air travel, then place it somewhere your pet can explore it. Place a few of their favourite blankets and a few treats inside to help them feel more comfortable. This will help your animal feel secure during the long international flight.
Have all required documents on hand during the move
Keep all of your pets documents with your own when travelling. You may be required to present these documents upon arrival in your new home country. This may include your pets vaccination records, a vet report and your ownership licence.
If possible, take pictures of all documents and save them to your phone. If you lose the originals, these may help you expedite the process of getting through customs.
Work with expert pet travel consultants
Ensuring the safety and comfort of your pets shouldn’t add stress to your international move. Pet transportation services can help you with everything from customs requirements to choosing travel crates.
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