Considerations When Moving Abroad With Pets

We love our furry friends, don’t we? For most people, pets are like children, and we treat them just like a member of our family. We make sure they eat only the best food that they’re well-groomed at all times, and have all of the best toys – some might even call them spoiled!

Magnus Bråth

Cat CC Photo Courtesy of Magnus Bråth

But what do you do when you have to move internationally? Rest easy – it is possible to move abroad with your pet, safely and hassle-free! It just takes a bit more research, working with a long distance moving company, and some planning ahead to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Let’s look at some things to consider when you’re facing an international move with your beloved pet.

Health and Well-being

This is of utmost concern. If you have an older animal, it is even more crucial you ensure their health. Your move is most likely going to involve traveling by airplane, and the older your animal is, the more likely they will be negatively affected. Talk to your vet – they can discuss all of the things you should watch out for, and offer tips to avoid your animal becoming sick or worse. If your animal is too old for air travel, you’ll have to decide what the next step should be.

While you’re at the vet’s office, you should discuss another important issue – vaccinations. Many countries require specific vaccinations are received prior to arrival in their country, so you’ll need to make sure that your animal receives these vaccinations, and that you have the documentation proving you’ve gotten them. Do your homework online first to see what the specific country’s requirements are regarding vaccinations.

Laws and Regulations

Once you’ve determined your animal is healthy enough to make the trip, you’ll want to review your destination country’s policies on traveling animals. While you know you’ll need documentation on the animal’s vaccinations and health from your vet, there are other things you might require. Some countries require the animal is quarantined for a specific period of time, and some ask that you pay a fee to allow the animal entrance to their country.

Look for the phone number or email of your new country’s consulate. Contact the consulate office to find out all you need to do – otherwise, you’ll find that your animal is denied entrance, and that can be a very heart-breaking thing to go through (often, your pet will be detained until all necessary shots have been administered).

Airline Regulations

It isn’t just the rules of the new country you need to worry about. When you are going to be traveling by air, you need to make sure you’re abiding by all of the airline’s rules and regulations as well. Most of the time, your animal will be relegated to the cargo hold. You want to be sure that you’re keeping your beloved furry friend in the proper carrier as spelled out by the airline so as to adhere to their cargo policies. Don’t worry – this is not a bad thing, especially for animals that get stressed out easily. A crowded cabin is worse for an animal with anxiety than the dark cargo area!

You’ll want to ask the airline if the cargo hold is appropriate for your pet – is it properly pressurized for live animals, and is the temperature properly regulated? If the answer is no, you’ll want to find a new airline. Animals spending too long in a cold cargo hold that isn’t properly pressurized can spell disaster!

Steps You’ll Need To Take

If your pet is typically anxious when traveling or gets car sick, you can talk to your vet about the best way to combat this problem in the air. Is there a medication your pet can take prior to takeoff that can soothe them, or make it so they don’t get sick?

How does your pet feel about its carrier? If there is an aversion to the carrier, now is the time to train them. Each day, a few weeks leading up to your trip, force your pet to get inside and take a drive around town. The goal is to make it regular and comfortable over time. Make the experience easier by placing a beloved toy and a comfortable, warm blanket inside. Each time your pet gets into the carrier, be sure to reward them with treats!

Don’t forget to clearly mark the carrier with identification tags. An improperly marked container could mean that you have a hard time hooking up with your pet upon arrival to your new country.

International moves are hard enough, and having a pet can complicate this tremendously. However, know that proper preparation will make the process go a lot more smoothly. While you’ll need to worry about your pet, trust Exodus Moving and Storage with the transport of your belongings. As a seasoned long-distance moving company, we will make sure that you and your things arrive safely.

You have enough to worry about! Contact Exodus Moving and Storage (your long distance moving company) today for an estimate.

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