Here is what you need to know about relocating your pet

Here is what you need to know about relocating your pet

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Crown Relocations has put together their top questions for you to consider before relocating internationally with the furry members of your family.

Can my pet physically handle the move?

If your pet is not considered a service animal, and if you are travelling by air, they will likely be transported in the pet cargo portion of the plane. These areas are temperature regulated but can be extremely loud and stress-inducing. If your pet isn’t in the best of shape, through illness or old age, they may not be able to handle long-distance travel as well as a younger pet. Only you and your vet can make this assessment.

Have I allowed enough time to prepare for this move?

The timing involved in planning your pet's relocation depends on the destination. Many pet relocation companies generally require at least 30 days’ notice to arrange your pet’s travel plans, due to the availability of flights and vaccination or quarantine requirements.

For some countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, the wait time can be much longer, so it is best to plan your pet's move at least six to seven months ahead of time.

Is my pet eligible to travel to my destination?

Rules vary, so check the animal import laws of your destination country. Some countries don’t allow certain species, some breeds are banned from entering certain regions, and some regulations depend on the country of origin, for example.

Be aware of all the relevant regulations - not only import restrictions, but also required documents and vaccinations, quarantine periods, microchip requirements, etc. This allows you to make an informed decision about your pet.

Is the duration of my move worth the hassle to myself and my pet?

If you’re only relocating for a short time, it might be worth it to recruit a friend or family member to look after your pet while you are away. Although it's always hard to be away from your furry companion, this option could save you time and money and could save your pet the stress of travelling.

If it makes sense for you to bring your pet, the recommendation is always to start the planning process as soon as possible.

Does my pet need a passport?

If you’re moving to Europe, you’re going to need a pet passport (almost all countries in the world accept a pet passport). This passport details all the vaccinations and treatments your pet has received and includes a description of your animal friend and your name and contact information. To secure a pet passport, you need to prove your pet has been microchipped and vaccinated for rabies. Your vet should be able to issue your pet passport.

In addition to a passport, it is important that you obtain an international health certificate for your pet. An international health certificate for your pet is critical if you plan to take your pet abroad, and usually includes the name of the pet, age, country of origin, breed, and colour, as well as the owner’s name, contact information, and address.

Some non-English speaking countries also require that the health certificate be translated into the language of that country.

Are there global standards for pet relocations?

Most reputable pet relocation companies are members of the Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA).

IPATA is an organisation of pet transportation professionals: local pet taxis and veterinarians, major corporations, freight forwarders, and customs brokers. Because of IPATA’s standards for membership, affiliates can safely coordinate door-to-door service for the most precious of cargo: our pets!

International requirements vary from country to country, so working with a quality pet relocations company that is up to date on the latest import requirements is critical.

What are some restrictions on importing pets?

Certain countries restrict the types of animals that can be imported and exported. For example, Switzerland does not allow animals with docked ears and tails into the country without proof that the owner of the pet is moving to Switzerland.

Import and export policies get thorny when dealing with exotic pets, such as wild birds protected by international trade laws. This is due to the fact that, if the owner ever needs to move the pet again, they need to demonstrate that the animal was brought into the country legally.

Your pet, safely at your new home

After all the stress of moving, pet owners are happiest when their pet arrives safely at their new home. Through careful planning and open communication with a pet relocation agency, your pet will travel safely, soundly, and in accordance with the laws of your new home. Pet owners around the world will agree; their house is not a home until their best friend is resting beside them.

Crown Relocations

Moving can be both exciting and daunting. Crown Relocations has been helping people relocate internationally for over fifty years, offering support for all the logistical and emotional needs of you and those moving with you. Download their guide to help you relocate with confidence, so you can start living as soon as you arrive. 



Daniela Stoyanova

Daniela Stoyanova is a Moving Consultant for Crown Relocations.

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