A Guide to International Pet Relocation


Pets, like humans are members of the family and have requirements, that need to be considered when planning an international pet relocation. The international pet relocation should be carried out in a smooth, secure, and timely manner to facilitate easy assimilation into the new environment. Unlike humans, animals need more time to adapt to a new place. Remember, it is the pet owner making the decisions, not the animal. The pet relocation has to be done with care so as to avoid a frightful experience for the pet.

Check origin and destination country regulations surrounding exit and entry of pets

Pet export and import rules and regulations vary greatly from country to country. Most international destinations are known to be extremely strict about pet export and pet import – the European Union makes a distinction between commercial and non-commercial pet imports, and further distinguishes imports from third world countries.

Pet owners should request all information on pet export and import regulations such as the rabies classification of a country and biosecurity health hazards for various species. This information is easily available but planning and researching months prior to the pet relocation is the best way to go forward.

Ensure the pet has a scanner-compatible microchip

A pet microchip is an integrated circuit placed under the skin of an animal. It is a painless procedure for pets and contains an identification number. The microchip is an easy way to identify the pet and pet owner details in case the pet is lost.

Find a comfortable travel crate

It is true that some pets experience discomfort and stress while traveling. When travelling by air, pets are accommodated in temperature controlled cargo hold.

An IATA (International Air Transport Association) standard travel crate can ensure animals are comfortable and safe during air travel. While it makes sense to invest in a budget-friendly travel crate, it should not come at the cost of the comfort and safety of pets. Pet Owners should ensure it caters to the needs of the animal being transported and is in compliance with IATA regulations.

Schedule a meeting with the pet’s veterinarian

Before relocating, a visit to the vet is paramount. Most of the veterinarians are familiar with necessary documentation required for international pet relocation.

Pet owners should ensure their pet has fulfilled all health requirements before entering a country. If there are any lapses in this process, customs and quarantine authorities reserve the right to refuse entry into the destination country and seize the pet. By working with a vet and professional international pet relocation company, pet owners can stay informed about tests, vaccinations, paperwork, and inspections required to move the pet internationally.

Assess living conditions in the destination country

Animals may develop severe allergies after relocating to a new country. The new environment may sometimes be incompatible with their pet’s needs.

Although there is a plethora of international pet relocation information available on the Internet, relocation experts or individuals who have relocated their pets are the best sources in such situations. Their guidance can be easily facilitated through social media or by contacting international pet relocation companies.

Ensure there is complete clarity on all details regarding the move

Fulfilling all requirements to import a pet to Australia takes at least six months or more– an animal must have a microchip and rabies vaccinations. Furthermore, the pet must undergo blood tests at prescribed stages post which, relocating pet will have a waiting period of 180 days from the date of blood sampling to enter Australia.

Each country has its own rules and planning well in advance will help avoid unnecessary hassle. Although experienced international pet relocation companies can provide for or facilitate a smooth international move for pets, it is advised that pet owners be well-informed and proactive every step of the way. It may be daunting to comprehend all the international pet relocation rules and regulations, but having a better understanding will easily avoid additional complications.

A completed pet vaccination booklet, travel crate, and clear understanding and planning of the pet’s relocation can help pet owners experience a smooth and successful relocation – for themselves and their pets. After all, pets are family aren’t they?