If your heart can’t bear the prospect of you leaving your pet behind, the only solution is to bring it with you. However, it’s much easier said than done as taking a pet to another country often entails a complex and time-consuming process.
The process of relocating your pet is quite complicated but this should not, in any way, discourage you. After all, having a familiar “furry friend” around can help you adjust easily to your new life abroad.
To put your mind at ease, here are some tips you can follow to make your pet relocation much smoother:
1. Check with the embassy
Import rules regarding animals vary in different countries. First, you should determine if you’re allowed to bring a pet at all to the host country. There are countries which only accept certain species of cats and dogs, while in others, bringing in pets is not allowed.
To have an idea of the country’s rules and regulation on pet importation, refer to the government website. You may be required to get a pet health certificate from your vet to ensure that your pet’s in good health and is free from parasites.
Make sure to get the correct microchip for the country where you’ll be relocating since encryption codes and radio frequencies may vary.
2. Evaluate your living environment abroad
Contact someone who’s a local in the place you intend to relocate to, and ask about the community.
Do the house rentals or apartments accept pets? Are there nearby vet facilities available in your prospective neighborhood?
This will help ensure that your furry friend can get all basic needs met like quality pet food and vet care to survive in your new place.
Also, it’s important that you take into account the possible health threats to your pet abroad. While you can protect your pet through vaccinations, there may be other fatal diseases or parasites common in your new place that can affect its health.
3. Contact the airlines to check if you can travel with your pet
Speak with an airline representative to clarify if your pet can travel with you and ask about the transport requirements.
There are some airlines that allow pets in the cabin, but only if the pet cage can fit under your seat. Other airline pet-related requirements may include:
● Special pet containers in the cargo bay or cabin
● Sedation of the pet during the trip
● Pet health certificate and microchip details
If your pet can only travel through the cargo bay, ensure that you get detailed information about the air pressure and temperature before booking a ticket.
Extreme temperatures can affect your pet’s health and cause it to be anxious throughout the duration of the flight. The more direct and shorter your flight route is, the better it is for your pet.
Review the cost factor
Bringing your pet abroad can be expensive so make sure to get a reliable cost estimate from your airline beforehand. For pets shipped as cargo, fees may be assessed based on the animal’s size, weight, and destination.
Remember that this option is usually more expensive than choosing to travel with your pet in the cabin or getting it in as checked baggage.
4. Talk to your vet about your relocation plans
Schedule an appointment with your vet and ask how you can prepare your furry pal for travel abroad. Discuss your pet’s age and overall health and what potential problems it may encounter with moving overseas.
5. Set a timeline
Moving alone is already a time-consuming process, how much more if you add your pet in the picture?
It’s important that you set a timeline in advance as your pet may have to undergo a series of medical tests before it is determined to be fit to travel. The submission of pet requirements on time is vital to avoid stress and extra costs.
For instance, in Japan, it usually takes at least six months to bring in an animal. A cat or dog should have a microchip, blood tests at specific stages, rabies vaccinations, and undergo a 180-day waiting period after the tests.
By setting a timeline, you can have a buffer period just in case you miss out on one or two requirements.
At home abroad with your pet
The complicated process of relocating with your pet can definitely become smoother if you familiarize yourself with the process early on, and follow all requirements to the letter.
Once everything is settled, you can rest assured you’ll be feeling more at home overseas knowing your beloved pet is with you, or will be coming soon.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight . A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.