What will the new year bring for you? If it’s something as momentous as an overseas move, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed already. You have to make arrangements for your belongings and get your family organized. Including your pet. Just how do you move a pet to another country, anyway?
These steps will help you turn chaos into order – at least where your pet’s travel plans are concerned.
1. Start right now
Even if you aren’t planning to move until later in the year, things have a way of creeping up on us. You cannot let that happen when it comes to your pet’s travel plans, because some of the tasks you need to complete take time. Months, even, depending on where you’re going.
2. Make a checklist
With so much on your mind, a checklist is the easiest way to ensure you don’t forget something important for your pet’s move. Use a calendar, too, so you can keep track of key deadlines. This is critical, because different components of your pet’s documentation must be started and/or completed within very specific timeframes.
The best part of a checklist and calendar? You can check things off! Celebrating progress as you move toward your move will keep your spirits up (so will spending more time with your pet, by the way).
3. Learn what documentation your pet will need
Every country has its own requirements for importing pets. Your guy will certainly need a health certificate, but he might also need an import permit. He may need immunizations that don’t normally apply where you live now. And he may need a blood titer test – something that confirms his rabies vaccination is working properly in his body. This test takes months, due to incubation time in the lab.
Regardless where you’re headed, your pet will need a microchip. If he doesn’t already have one, ask your vet to do this right away, because the chip’s unique ID number must appear on all your pet’s other paperwork. Since you’re moving internationally, we highly recommend you register your pet’s microchip and your contact information with Global Pet Register. This is the only organization that functions worldwide to reconnect lost pets with their families.
4. Get his travel crate soon
Pets who take to the air must ride in an airline-approved carrier. It’s possible that your cat or tiny dog may be able to ride with you in the plane’s cabin, but don’t count on it. Get a definitive answer about this right away.
More likely, your pet will fly in a special part of the cargo area that is pressurized and temperature-controlled just like the cabin. For that, he’ll need that special crate. You cannot use just any pet carrier. Approved kennels are sturdy and sized to ensure your pet is both protected and comfortable.
Why bother to get it in advance? Because it will be your dog or cat’s home during their journey. They will be surrounded with unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells, but if they recognize the carrier as “theirs,” that will go a long way toward relieving their anxiety. The sooner you purchase the carrier, the more time your pet will have to make friends with it. This is the most important step you can take to help your guy have a positive moving experience.
5. Go pro
It’s a lot to deal with, we know. And, frankly, finding the information you need to orchestrate your four-legged friend’s move can be surprisingly difficult. If you have multiple pets, that can become an issue, too.
Why not let our pet-loving pros here at Pacific Pet handle the details for you? Some countries and airlines require that you use a commercial animal transport company, but even if that’s not the case for you, we can save you countless hours of research, running around, and frustration. We know what needs to be done, and when. We can do it faster and – most importantly – correctly.
Moving a pet to another country is complicated, and it’s all too easy to overlook some detail or make a mistake. When you team up with our team, you’ll have peace of mind, knowing your furry family members are in the best of hands. Don’t you wish we could handle the rest of your move, too?