Moving with a pet in the U.S. is not as simple as you might think, but it’s an entirely different world if you are planning an international move and want to take Fido along. International moves are incredibly stressful on pets and there is no guarantee that you can even bring your beloved pooch or cat with you to some countries. Here’s what you need to know about international moves with your pet.
Work with a Company That Offers Pet Relocation
You’ll be working with an international moving company anyway, so make sure that the partner you choose offers pet relocation services. You also need to ensure that your pet is completely current with all of his or her shots (and any special vaccinations required by the new host country). Understand that even if everything goes perfectly in the beginning, your pet may not be allowed to board the plane. Aggressive, excited or even elderly pets can be denied boarding.
Know the Country’s Rules
Each nation has specific requirements regarding pets coming to their shores. This runs the gamut from accepted/banned animals to quarantine and customs regulations. You can pretty much plan on your pet having to spend at least a few days in quarantine on arrival, regardless of medical history. Know what rules and regulations apply in your country of destination.
You’ll be flying, but while you are comfortably seated in the cabin your pet might have to be somewhere else in the plane. The most common arrangement is “live cargo”, which means your pet will ship in his or her carrier in the plane’s live cargo hold. Some smaller pets may be able to fly in the cabin if the carrier fits under your seat. Other times, you may have to arrange “unaccompanied cargo”, which means your pet will ship from the point of origin after you’ve arrived at your destination.
Choosing Your Airline
There may be any number of airlines serving your destination, but you will probably find that your choices are much more limited when it comes to those that accept pets, or accept pets during the time of year you will be traveling. Start your search well ahead of time.
Moving internationally with your pet is not impossible, but it can be a real challenge. The information above should give you a good starting point, but remember that every situation differs depending on the destination, the available airlines, the time of year, the type of pet and a great deal more.