Even before the United States formally became a country, Americans were involved in international affairs – traveling to far continents for political reasons, to conduct business and see the sights. More than two centuries later, that has increased exponentially. It’s not at all unusual to meet American families who have relocated – pets and all – to almost any foreign country.
If you’re in the military or the Foreign Service, there are government services available to advise and assist with your move. Many companies that operate internationally and often relocate personnel also offer moving assistance. However, these services do not include relocating family pets – and that’s a good thing, because your dog, cat, or other pet is far too precious to be treated like a piece of furniture. Besides, for most families an overseas move is a DIY adventure.
So, what about your beloved pet(s)? You could take on the job of researching and procuring all the documentation, flights and related accessories required for international pet travel. But hiring a professional pet transport company makes a lot more sense. And, since this is your family pet we’re talking about here, you’ll want to carefully vet the pet transport team you choose. Asking these questions will help you make the best choice.
Every documentation detail matters
You have to follow the rules absolutely. If anything is missing or wrong, countries have the right to reject your pet, quarantine him even if quarantine is not normally required, or worse. But here’s the tricky part – every country has different requirements for importing pets.
Some require an import permit, but many do not. Many allow you to use the USDA APHIS Form 7001 health certificate, though some countries have their own health certificate you must use. (In this case, you may need the 7001 anyway, because airlines often have their own documentation requirements.) All countries require rabies immunization, but beyond that any required tests, treatments and/or vaccinations can vary tremendously.
For example, if you’re headed to the Philippines, your dog or cat will need:
- An import permit
- The above-mentioned Form 7001 health certificate
- An ISO compliant RFID microchip
- Current rabies vaccination
- Vaccinations against distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, and leptospirosis (for dogs), or
- Panleukopenia, calicivirus, feline leukemia, and herpes (for cats)
The microchip could be your pet’s most important documentation
No matter where in the world you are headed, our experts at Pacific Pet Transport strongly recommend registering your pet’s microchip with Global Pet Register. As long as you’re living within the United States, in the event your pet gets lost, any vet or shelter can get your contact information by scanning his microchip. This doesn’t work so well if you’re half way around the world.
Global Pet Register is the only microchip database that functions worldwide. So by registering your pet with them and providing your new contact information, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that if the unthinkable happens, you and your pet have the best possible chance of being reunited.
Learn the local petiquette
Pet ownership is on the rise all around the world. But local customs, laws, and attitudes toward pets can differ significantly from one country to another. We like to call that petiquette. Learning the local dos and don’ts will make you and your pet welcome new neighbors. For instance, many Muslims believes dogs are inherently unclean. So if you’re moving to the UAE or another part of the Middle East or Southeast Asia, not everyone will want to greet or pet your dog.
This article explains how you can help your dog or cat adjust if you’re relocating to Singapore. You’ll find lots of helpful information and tips like this in our PacPet blog, whether you’re moving to Japan, the UK, a European country, Brazil . . . you get the idea.
One thing you’ll need for sure no matter where you land is a new veterinarian for your pet. Here’s how to find a vet in Australia – one you and your pup or kitty will both love.
Pacific Pet smooths the way for globetrotting pets
There’s no such thing as an easy international relocation. For most families, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it can feel scary. Families in military or government service who move regularly get used to it, but those with pets know how complex pet travel can be. When you team up with our experts at Pacific Pet, you can offload the burden of documentation and all the other necessary details onto our capable shoulders.
You’ll be plenty busy planning the rest of your move, but you’ll have priceless peace of mind, knowing your furry companion is in loving hands and looking forward to the safest, most comfortable journey possible.