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Moving Pets Abroad – A Handy Guide

Even moving your pet a few streets away or to a new town can be stressful for both the pet and the owner. So moving abroad and taking your pets with you can be even more of a stressful time! Here’s our 5 top tips on Moving Pets Abroad.

Check the Rules

Unfortunately not all pets are accepted equally across the world. Some rely on your country of origin to as a guideline on what pets can legally enter the country. In most countries all species of dogs and cat are accepted, however most Islamic countries have strict laws against cats and dogs, or in fact having any pets at all.

In order to get a rough idea of your destination’s pet regulations we’d suggest visiting petrelocation.com which is full of country specific guidelines on taking pets abroad. To get the up to date country rules for importing pets, we’d suggest visiting the countries consulate online and having a look there for their most up to date import rules.

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Assess the Environment

There’s no point in taking your dog abroad with you if there’s not a vet within 100 miles of your new home.

Assess the local community, does the place you’re renting accept pets? What are the animal care facilities like? For example Japan’s vets are extremely busy in comparison to ours and it’s very hard to get an appointment even a week in advance.

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Create a Timeline

Many countries require a period of quarantine before your pet is allowed to enter the country, and this normally happens well after you’ve moved into the country.

A pet passport is a must, but some countries require a very high standard of stringent medical tests too. So understanding each countries own process allows you to create a timeline for your pets and when you need to start or speed up the process.

Again, in places like Japan where there a lot of cats and dogs, it takes at least 6 months to get an animal into the country. A dog or a cat must be microchipped, have been vaccinated and have had numerous blood tests with a 180 day waiting period following the last of the blood tests.

So if you’re only planning to live in a country for 6 months you might be better leaving your pets at home.

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Contact Airline or Shipping Agent

Although there are no international standard guidelines for transporting animals internationally, many airline have their own rules and regulations about pets on board.

Contact a representative from your chosen airline and ask them about their rules and regulations on transporting animals. Remember if you’re doing a layover or catching a connecting flight, other airlines rules may be different so be sure to double check with them before flying. For example their are little rules going from Tokyo to Los Angeles, but if you’re flying from Los Angeles to Tokyo the rules are entirely different.

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Get a Pet Carrier

The majority of airlines require any animal carrier to be approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). However, if you can’t find an approved one most airlines will actually rent you one directly.

As one would expect, each of these carriers are designed to fit your specific breed of cat, dog or animal. However, if you are hiring a pet carrier from an airline, expect to pay considerable transport, handling and holding fees.

It’s definitely not as easy to take your pet abroad as it once was, but with the rise of the anti-vax movement, ensuring your pet is disease free and fully vaccinated is the only way to guarantee your pet will be joining you on your new adventure.

For more information on pets abroad or moving abroad give us a call or drop us a message today.

*not an approved pet carrier!

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