Moving with furry family members

Last year, due in no small part to millions spending much more time at home, there was a dramatic increase in pet adoption. As we return to global mobility, what will people need to consider when it comes to their new furry friends?

In most cases, a healthy dog or cat can travel to an overseas destination. Many countries require you to obtain a health certificate for your pet prior to importation. This document certifies that your pet is disease-free and lists all of the vaccines your pet has received. It also includes your pet’s age, breed when relevant, and microchip information. Be sure to keep your pet’s veterinary checkups and immunizations up to date and follow your veterinarian’s advice regarding microchipping.

While going through the procedure of importing your pet to a country, be sure to monitor your home country’s re-import regulations. Prior to departure, you may need documentation from your home country that your pet originated there. If your pet will be in quarantine in a destination country, visit the animal periodically to reassure it, and to maintain your bond.

In some cases, it is more appropriate for a pet to remain behind. For example, if the pet is old or ill, if it cannot be imported into the destination country, or if its living conditions would be too affected by local climate or restrictions, it may be more suitable to find someone to look after the pet during your assignment.

It’s also important to be aware that there are services who can do a great job of supporting your pet travel and caretaking needs around the globe.  Relocation can be a series of overwhelming, stressful and complex processes. Ensuring your pet’s smooth transition through the process will also help your own peace of mind!

Living Abroad’s International Relocation Center reports provide in-depth local information about traveling and relocating with pets.

Written by Erin Fitzgerald, GMS, Product Manager