Making the decision to move abroad can be very exciting, but there are also lots of things you need to consider first. If you have a pet, there are plenty of wonderful pet-friendly destinations you could move to; the challenging part is actually getting them there.
Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, lizard or anything else for that matter, there is so much to think about when relocating with a pet.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at seven important things you need to consider when moving abroad with a pet. This will help you to pick the right destination and to make the move as smooth and stress-free as possible for both of you.
1. Your pet’s health
First and foremost, you need to think about whether your pet is fit and healthy enough to make the move. If you have an older pet or one that is already unwell, uprooting them and making a move might not be the best idea right now.
But regardless of whether or not your pet is old or ill, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet for a check-up before making the decision to move anyway. They will be able to inform you of any risks or potential illnesses your pet might encounter along the way.
They can also advise you on how to make the journey more pleasant for your pet. If you’re worried that they might become overstressed, you might find that there is medication you can use to help calm them down on moving day.
2. Rules and regulations
Different countries have different rules and regulations when it comes to taking pets into the country and letting them live there. For example, in some countries, you are required by law to have your pet microchipped, so if you haven’t already, you might want to get this done before you leave.
What’s more, some countries require that your pets spend some time in quarantine before they can go home to your new. This can be upsetting for some people and their pets, so think carefully about this.
It’s always a good idea to do thorough research into the rules and regulations for pets in your chosen country before making the final decision. This way, you can make sure you prepare effectively, and you won’t end up facing any trouble or upset once you get there.
3. How you’re going to transport your pet
You need to put some serious thought into how you’re going to transport your pet to its new home. This will, of course, depend largely on where you’re moving to.
If you’re travelling internationally, then you will have to consider booking your pet on a flight. This means you need to choose an airline that allows you to travel with pets. You also need to find out if they can go in the cabin or if they’ll have to be put in the hold.
If you’re worried about taking your pet on a plane, there might be other ways to travel. Depending on where you’re moving to, you might wish to take the train or drive to your new home. This makes it much easier to let your pet travel with you.
Alternatively, you could use a specialist pet transportation service. This can be a lot less stressful for you and your pet, as long as you choose a reputable company. That way, your pet can be collected and dropped off at your chosen time and location.
4. Travel documents
You might be required to get certain documents in order for your pet to travel. These might be documents showing their vaccination status, microchip, etc., so get these ready as soon as possible.
It’s also a good idea to gather any documents you need for the transportation of your pet. For example, if you’re flying, you might need to print tickets and relevant information. Plus, some countries require pet passports before they can enter the country, so you need to make sure you get these where necessary.
You should also consider travel insurance for your pet; this may be a legal requirement in some countries but is always advised regardless.
5. The costs
Moving your pet abroad won’t be free, and you may incur several expenses along the way, such as vaccines, buying crates, paying for the transportation of your pet, etc. Therefore, you need to make sure you have the budget behind you to pay for your pet’s travel and care.
It’s also a good idea to have a bit of money aside in your savings just in case there are any surprise costs or any issues arise on the way. Hopefully, this won’t happen, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
6. Your pet in transit
Before you make the move, you need to think about how your pet is going to travel. If you’re flying, your pet will need to be in a crate or carrier, and you need to make sure you choose the right size. It needs to be safe and comfortable for your animal, especially if it’s going to be a long journey.
If you’re travelling by car or on the train, you might still want to think about how you can make your pet comfortable and safe, be that a crate for the car, a blanket for them to sit on, maybe even a seatbelt clip and harness to keep them in place while driving.
Plus, if you have lots of luggage/belongings with you, make sure there is plenty of room for your pet, so they don’t end up cramped or in a dangerous position.
7. Preparing to travel
Finally, in the build-up to moving day, it’s vital that you have prepared yourself and your pet for the big day. This might mean different things for different pets, but it’s a good idea to make your pet as happy and comfortable as possible.
Make their crate or carrier comfortable with a blanket and some home comforts. For a cat or dog, it might be nice to leave an item of your clothing in with them, so they feel safer and more relaxed. If you’ve been given any medication to calm them, be sure you give them the right dosage at the right time for maximum effect.
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