A Quick Guide to Taking Your Pet Abroad with You



Becoming an expat means starting a whole new life abroad, but there are many parts of your old life that you’d probably like to bring along for the ride. Many expats want to bring their pets with them. If you’re interested in letting them move with you, here’s a quick overview of everything you need to know.

Decide Whether the Move Would Really Suit Your Pet

Firstly, think long and hard about whether the move abroad would really be in your pet’s best interests. You might not be able to spend as much time with them if you’re heading out for work and need to commute more, or you may be moving over specifically so you can travel. It also helps to check whether your pet will feel at home in the local climate.

Gauge Their Ability to Fly Safely

Your pet will usually have to be drugged and then placed in the hold of the plane during the flight over. Before you go, make sure you speak to your vet to understand whether your pet will actually be healthy enough to fly. Older animals can find the process particularly hard, and some breeds of dogs that have short snouts, such as Pugs, will usually be unable to fly due to breathing concerns. While you’re with your vet, ask for a certificate of health that you can present at immigration when you reach your host country.

Check the Local Laws

Unless you have a particularly exotic pet, you’ll probably have no issues keeping it in your new country. However, you should make sure to check all laws and regulations concerning the importation of animals to the new country, as well as any concerning the exportation of pets from the United Kingdom. These rules can change fairly regularly, so don’t rely on information you saw a year or two ago.

Additionally, be aware of the fact that some countries, including Japan and New Zealand, require a quarantining of cats and dogs for a certain period, and it will be up to you to cover the cost.

Bring the Right Certificates

Finally, make sure you bring all the right paperwork. You should have veterinary certificates to show that vaccinations are up to date and that any deworming treatments have been carried out.