Every responsible pet owner gets a slight headache when it’s time to move or transport their beloved pets. Us who own them know how difficult it is to meet every requirement and still be as humane as possible to your pooches. They feel what we feel, especially if they spend a significant amount of time with us and around us, so they can easily sense when something is about to change. To prepare them for this type of change, the environment change, we must be on high alert at all time. Let’s dig into the list of requirements, special demands and obstacles you’re bound to solve in order to guarantee your pet a safe journey to your new place of residence.
Here we will assume that you are moving your whole family and a family pet somewhere outside the borders of your country, and that you will be travelling by plane to get there. Similarly, you can check out this list below if you’re planning a vacation abroad with your pet, and need some information on how to cope with everything.
If this is your first time moving with a pet, we don’t want to give you any false hope that it is going to go smoothly, because in all likelihood, it won’t. This transition won’t spare your, or the nerves of your beloved animal, and this is why we’ve decided to search far and wide for anything that might help you conquer this more easily and with confidence.You can consult our article below to see some of the most troubling issues with flying pets around the globe, and the preventive measures you can employ in the time prior to your moving day.
Step 1: Check destination’s policy on importing pets:
As it can be the case for some exotic pets and certain types of animals, their entry to a certain country may be prohibited or only allowed with special permissions. Be sure your beloved friend isn’t on the list of banned animals before you set out on the trip. Make sure you’ve gone through those rules first, primarily because regulations that govern shipping pets overseas and import of animal in general can significantly vary in different countries.
- Rabies tags – Most states require a rabies tag for cats, dogs, and some exotic animals.
- Permits – You may need to purchase a permit before your exotic pet can enter your new home state. Ask your veterinarian for help with the application process.
- Health certificates – Many states require a health certificate for dogs and some require it for cats and other pets as well. Find out your new state’s requirements online.
Step 2: Check the airline’s policy on transporting pets:
Unless you are travelling by sea, this is a very obvious stop you need to make, or a phone call, before boarding the plane. You need to make sure that the trip you’re going to take with a certain airline has everything your pet might need, and that they will in fact comply with your request to bring an animal along. If your pet is traveling by air, you will probably need a health certificate from the vet, and there may be a time requirement (for example, the health certificate may need to be dated within 30 days of the travel date). Make your airline reservations directly with the airline if you are flying to your new destination with your pet. Cats and small dogs can often fly in a small carrier with you in the cabin. Larger pets and large carriers may require transport in the cargo area. Be sure to check out How to Minimize Risk to a Pet in the Cargo Area of an Airplane. When you board the plane, notify the captain and at least one flight attendant that your pet is traveling in the cargo hold.
Step 3: Mandatory visit to the vet’s:
Call the vet and schedule an appointment as soon as you can. If your pets are due or almost due for shots, now is a good time to get them. It may take you a while to find a new vet and you may need to have updated shot records for boarding, traveling, etc. Most vets are already familiar with the procedures taken during pet shipment overseas, which lessens your load to guarantee they are done accurately. Also, getting your pet’s health records from your veterinarian will help a new vet provide the best care for your pet.
Step 4: You can’t leave without… Paperwork:
- Documents – One thing you can’t go on without is the regular paperwork for your pet to leave the country. Make sure you have all the documents they need to board the plane, and exit/enter the destination country.
- Vaccine Certificates – Once you have consulted the authorities and signed all the paperwork, gather all of the certificates that your pet had been properly vaccinated.
- ID tags – If your pet can wear a collar, put one on and attach an ID tag. The tag should include the pet’s name, your name, and the destination address and your number.
- Microchips – Pets with microchips are entered into a pet recovery system so if your pet gets loose, you’ll be contacted once it’s found. If your pet was purchased from a breeder, pet store, or shelter it likely already has a microchip.
Bonus Tip: Some airlines already provide a pet carrier. If you book a flight with an airline that doesn’t, look for a carrier that is approved by the International Air Transport Association.