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Moving overseas with pets

Pets are an important part of the family, and you're sure to want to bring yours with you in a move abroad. Our guide to moving pets overseas offers tips and advice to make the transition easier for you and your pet.

Moving overseas with pets

If your pet is an integral member of the family and you’re planning to move overseas, it will be important for you to bring your four-legged friend with you.

A big move can be traumatic for the whole family and especially the animal in question, but there are a few simple steps you can take to streamline the process and move your furry friend with ease.

What’s best for the pet?

As a beloved part of the family, the concept of leaving your pet behind may be heart breaking, but it's important to consider the welfare of the animal first.
If your pet is very old, relocating could be exceptionally stressful. Climate is another important consideration, as sensitive pets may struggle to adjust well to extreme temperatures. It's also worth considering whether you will be able to provide the love and attention your animal deserves once you arrive in the new destination.

Talk it through with your family first, and consider what is best for your pet. If the idea of relocating your pet is not in its best interests, find a trusted friend or family member to take care of it while you're away, or consider kennels as an option. The international pet and animal transportation agency is a good place to visit for advice.


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Pet passports

If you do decide you can't live without your pet, just like humans your furry friend is going to need a passport. To obtain a pet passport, your animal will first need to be microchipped and have a rabies vaccination at least 30 days before departure.

You will then need to ask your vet for a Fit To Fly certificate as close as possible to your departure date. Dogs will also need a tapeworm treatment. Your vet will then issue your pet with its very own passport.

Pet transportation

Pet passports are standardised throughout Europe, so moving in the European Union is fairly straightforward. Travelling further afield can be more complicated and so hiring a pet transportation service for long haul travel is advisable.

A pet transportation service will also help with paperwork, flights, custom clearance, and veterinary requirements.

Happy traveller

Once the relevant documentation has been obtained, all you need to do is ensure your pet is happy. You can obtain natural remedies to calm anxious pets from most vets. Then remember to provide your furry friend with a familiar blanket and a toy so they feel more relaxed during the journey and make sure you have some of their favourite food upon arrival.

page last updated June 2018

Please note: as we are awaiting information about the UK’s exit from the EU, this information is only correct up to 31st October 2019. As soon as we have more information, we will update these pages.


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