Moving overseas with your pet
We're sure that for all you animal lovers out there, the idea of leaving your pet behind when you emigrate is practically unbearable. We know that pets can be a big part of the family and that you will do anything you can to make sure that they can join you in your new home.
When planning a relocation, the process of expatriating your pet can be long and complicated. Depending on the age and health of your pet, the stressful process sadly might just not be worth it. There are a lot of strict rules, regulations and time frames involved meaning that you need to be organised to ensure you don't encounter any hitches or even worse, costly fines.
Here are some top tips to follow in order to make sure that things run as smoothly as possible when you move your pet overseas.
1 – Check with the consulate
The rules that apply can vary greatly in different countries so the first thing that you should do to find out what is required of you, is contact the consulate. They will be able to let you know all of the conditions that need to be fulfilled in order for your pet to emigrate alongside you. Whether or not this can happen will often be dependant on what country you are moving from in the first place and what animal or species your pet is. Unfortunately, some species just aren't allowed. By contacting the consulate first you can make sure that you aren't wasting any time or energy unnecessarily.
2 – Assess the living environment abroad
It is a good idea to conduct a little research, visit expat forums, contact friends that live in your destination and so on, to see how easy they found the process and to learn about any problems that they may have encountered. It will be handy to find out about local attitudes towards animals, whether it is possible to find rental properties that allow you to keep pets, what standards of veterinary care are available and how much it costs as well as any health risks in the country that might harm your pet. You want to make sure you move your pet to a safe environment so don't be afraid to ask questions.
3 – Be organised
The process of moving your pet is rife with rules, regulations and time frames that need to be strictly adhered to. The timings of the necessary medical procedures are perhaps the most crucial part, so it is worth working out what needs to be done and when and then creating a time line that you stick to. Blood tests, micro-chips and vaccinations need to be done on the exact days dictated - make sure that you are aware of this. Missing appointments and forgetting procedures can mean that you are fined or have to delay the move so it's best to be organised.
4 – Meet the vet
Try to make an appointment with a vet who is experienced in helping people to move their pets abroad. They will be able to put your mind at rest, tell you everything that you need to do and most importantly, they will be able to lighten the burden on you to make sure that you do everything right.
At this stage, it is a good idea to get the vet to give your pet the once over. They will assess your pets health and provide you with their professional opinion on whether or not they think that the pet will be fine with being relocated. This is particularly important if you have an elderly pet as it might not be fair to put them through the stressful upheaval process.
5 – Work out the best form of transport
If you are transporting your pet to your new home in Europe in your car, you will need to make sure that you have an EU Pet Passport so that you can cross borders easily. Driving is by far the most stress-free way of transporting your pet and will costs substantially less than flying your pet to your new home.
Despite this, if you would prefer to fly your pet, it is worth speaking directly to the airline or contacting an animal carrier to discuss processes and costs. Flying your pet is without a doubt the most expensive method of transportation but if you shop around with animal carriers, you may find a deal that suits you.
Moving your pet abroad can be a little bit of a headache but it is totally worth it to have the most cuddly member of your household with you to help you settle in.
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