The Wheaton Blog

What Do I Need to Do to Move My Pets Abroad?

April 10, 2020 | International Moves, Moving Guides & Tips

Moving with a pet can be a surprisingly complex procedure. In addition to everything else you have to prepare for during your move, you also need to make sure your pet is safe, comfortable and cared for. Moving a pet internationally is a whole additional dimension of consideration and work on top of that.

Unfortunately, moving abroad with a pet is more complicated than merely making sure your furry friend is comfortable during the move. You’ll also have to make sure you have the right paperwork and that you’re following the laws of your new home by bringing your pet with you. And then you’ll have to make sure your pet is safe and cared for. It’s an involved process, but we can help you through it. Here’s what you should know about bringing a pet overseas, and how to get started:

What paperwork do I need to bring a pet overseas?

The specific paperwork and certification you’ll need will depend on the kind of pet you have, the country you’re moving to, and the country you’re coming from. No matter where you’re going, however, you’ll probably need:

  • A certificate of pet’s health from a licensed, accredited veterinarian. You’ll need to have your vet create, sign and date this certificate within ten days of your departure. The certificate must confirm that the animal is healthy, safe and ready to move.
  • A signed certificate of vaccination for rabies. For nearly all international travel, you’ll also need a signed certificate proving that you’ve vaccinated your pet that is no less than a month and no more than a year old.
  • Flight reservations. You probably don’t plan on using a steamer ship to travel overseas like people did a century ago. That means you’ll be going on a plane and bringing your pet on the plane with you. Research airlines that have pet policies that align with your needs. If you have a dog, make sure its breed isn’t banned on your airline… or in your destination country for that matter.

Remember: this isn’t an exhaustive list of what you’ll need. To make sure you have all the paperwork you need to transport your pet safely and legally, you’ll have to do specific research regarding your new home. Look into things like import permits, USDA endorsements, emergency contact information, microchips, international health certificates, and proof of tapeworm treatment. Read about other mover’s experiences to see what they needed. Ask questions as you think of them!

How can I prepare my pet for the stress of travel?

Once you know how to logistically move your pet, you have to figure out how to help it emotionally handle the process. You never want to cause undue harm to loved ones, including your pets! Here are things you can do to help them better deal with travel:

  • Prepare them to understand their travel crate far in advance. Don’t unwrap and open up a travel crate the morning you plan on moving your pet. Introduce it to its travel container months in advance. Give it time to become used to the crate and its smell. You can use treats to help train them to associate their travel carrier with comfort, too.
  • Prepare them physically. Make sure your pets’ nails are trimmed, their hair is brushed, and they’re comfortable the morning of your move. Decreasing the potential for physical distress as much as possible can help you maintain their calm during travel.

Whether your beloved pet has fur, scales or feathers, they belong with you wherever you go. Even if where you go is across the ocean. By following the tips listed above and getting all your paperwork in order, you’ll go a long way toward making sure your pet is cared for on your long move.

For assistance with everything else related to that long move, you can get in touch with Wheaton. We offer the international packing and moving services needed to help anyone make their next big move easier – guaranteed.

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