Moving Overseas With Your Pet

Moving to a new country is a stressful job that will require a lot of planning. Moving with pets internationally will be more difficult as compared to relocating domestically with them. Before relocating overseas, you must learn the customs and rules of importing your pet to the destination country. You must ensure that you have all the important documents. Also, make sure that your pet feels fit, comfortable, and safe during transit.

Knowing all the above points is essential. So make sure you conduct all the relevant research before you board an international flight with your furry friend.

Moving your pets Internationally checklist

Different countries have different customs rules for importing a pet. So, we recommend that you learn about the relevant guidelines to ship your pet to the destination country.

Consult with your vet

It is advisable to talk to your vet about moving internationally with your furry friend. The vet will provide you with relevant advice regarding your pet’s health and the further steps for the move. Alike, if you need to move your pet from the USA to Europe, most likely you will require to choose a vet who with an USDA-accreditation.

Book a pet relocation service

For a smooth relocation, hire a pet relocation service if you have the budget. A pet relocation service handles everything, from documentation to crate training and overall relocation management.

Vaccinate your furry friend

It’s important to get have vaccination for your pets against rabies before moving them to a new country. Many countries will require a pet to wait for 21 days after the vaccination before relocating to a new country.

A few European countries will require you to get treatment for tapeworm, while a few others will require additional vaccinations for the pets. Thus, it’s advisble to see whether your pets are up-to-date in terms of their vaccination.

Collect a health certificate

An international health certificate shows your pet is fit and ready for entry into new country. Usually, authorities issue such certificates within 10 days of the travel, although the time frame may vary from country to country.

Provide crate training

You must crate train your pets much before time so that they get a hang of it. It will take weeks and sometimes months for a pet to feel comfortable inside the crate for endless hours.

Trip planning

Every airline will have different requirements when it comes to sizes, breeds, and charges for moving a pet. So, it is a strong recommendation to conduct a little bit of research and find the most suitable option for shipping your pet.

KLM, American Airlines, and Lufthansa are a few pet-friendly airlines, make sure you reserve your furry friend’s seat well in advance.

Prepare for the move

In case your pet is traveling with you in the cabin, make sure you pack an essential’s bag where you may keep items like pet food, waste bags, water bowls, medicines, and their most loved toy.

Alternatively, if your pet will be flying in the cargo, ensure that their crate has a comfortable bed with water and food. Also, it will be a good idea to attach a plastic bag to the crate, where you must write your pet’s name, contact details, and important documents.

Feeding requirement

As per the USDA you should give both food and water to your furry friend within four hours of check-in. You must avoid overfeeding the pet or feeding them close to the travel time.

Allowance for bring food and water in the container may be a restriction. But you can keep a few ice cubes to keep your furry friend hydrated. Furthermore, you can inquire with the airlines whether their flight attendant will provide food to your pet in case of delays, emergencies, or layovers.

Avoid sedatives

Even if your pet is nervous, it’s advisable not to give them sedatives before the flight. Tranquilizers won’t be safe for your pet and high altitudes will create a different impact on them.


It’s important to check for any pets-related restrictions in your destination country. Many countries won’t allow a specific breed of animals. These also include pit bulls as they are known to be exotic and a violant breed.

Many countries will have a specific limit of pets that will be able to make entry into their country.

Microchip requirement

Some countries will require the government to recognize a pet through a microchip. A microchip will just be like a small grain of rice that you will need to insert in between your pet’s shoulder blades with the help of a needle, usually in a painless process.

With the help of this microchip, you can easily scan a pet for identification in case it gets lost during transit. So, if your furry friend doesn’t already have a microchip, you should get it done before your pet takes the rabies vaccine.

Finish the quarantine requirements

There’s a possibility that your pet will have to be quarantined in the new country for as much as a few weeks or as less as a few hours. So, it’s suggested you book their place in advance or else you will face issues after arriving in the new country.

Adapt your pet to the new surroundings

Choose a spot in your house, where you can put a bed and a few toys for your pet. Also, you may keep a blanket that smells like your home for giving them extra comfort.

You must try to develop a routine for your pet, like their feeding habit or even taking them for a walk. This should be done similarly just as you would do to fight against jet lag and on the whole be patient.

Manage post-arrival checkups

Depending on which country you will be moving to, it’s recommended to take your pet for some more examination within a specific time after reaching the destination.

You must check for any such details after reaching the new destination. However, it will always be better to find your vet as soon as you can, rather than wait for the last moment.

Choose a suitable crate size

To make the journey comfortable for your pet, choosing the right crate size is important.

Size of the crateSuitable animals
Series 200 ( Medium)Tabby cat
Series 100 ( Small)Small cat/ kitten
Series 400 ( Large)Australian cattle dog
Series 700 ( Giant)Golden retriever
Series 300 (Intermediate)Yorkshire terrier
Series 500 ( Extra Large)English springer spaniel
Custom rateSt Bernard

Overall it won’t be easy to measure an animal and get an accurate size crate for them. If you have any doubts regarding the size of your pet, it’s recommended to purchase a large size crate. This will give enough space to your furry friend and help them to breathe easily.

Purchase a pet travel insurance

Unfortunately, your pets may fall sick or an accident may happen with them at any time, so you must obtain travel insurance for them and save yourself from a heavy loss.

A pet health insurance will cover the following elements:

  • Injuries
  • Illness
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Medications
  • Hospital stays
  • Surgeries

Some of the pet insurance plans may provide you with a vet direct pay plan which will make the reimbursement procedure much more simple.

What’s Next?

By now you should feel confident about moving with your pet internationally. Alternatively, you can hire a pet relocation service that will successfully move your furry to its new destination and take away your stress to a great extent.

Moving with your pet to a new country will require you to make a lot of advanced preparation, but having them with you in the new house will be worthwhile. When you will try getting settled in a new place, they will be a good source of comfort and they can also be the reason for you to go out for a walk and meet new people in the new country.

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