10 Tips to Move Abroad with a Dog

A family cuddling their dog

Planning to move abroad? You might have received an incredible opportunity that you cannot pass. One of your key concerns may be your pet, which you need to move along with you. Moving a pet to another country can be tricky as several factors are involved.

For starters, the country you plan to relocate to should be pet friendly. Secondly, considering you have a pet, you will have to figure out many things, like your travel plans and the type of accommodation you will need. Your options may start to become limited once a pet is involved. 

This does not mean it is not possible to move with a pet. Your dog is, of course, a part of your family, and it is impossible to leave them behind; hence here are a few tips that will make this transition easier for you and your furry friend.

This post is part of our expatriate life series

1. Learn the Rules of Owing a Pet Abroad

Every country has some pet policies that you need to study. While a few countries are pet friendly, and you will have no issues, a few others maintain stringent guidelines, which you must carefully understand, such as band breeds or dog walking bylaws. This may affect your decision on where to move abroad with your dog.

2. Carry all The Pet Basics

When you go to a new place, it will take some time to figure out where you will find the essential pet supplies. It only makes sense for you to carry a few items in your luggage, such as your dog’s favorite toys, a bag of dog food, professional dog shampoo, and grooming brushes.

Once you settle abroad, you will slowly understand where you can get pet supplies and restock later.

3. Understand the Climate of the New Place

If you live in a freezing place and own snow dog breeds like a husky, you should not consider moving to a warmer home with the dog. This will cause extreme discomfort to the dog.

Study the climate condition of the new place you plan on shifting to and learn if your dog can lead a healthy life there. If not, then better opt for re-homing your dog with your relative, which might be a hard decision, or plan a move to somewhere your pet can adjust easily.

4. Microchip Your Pet

Another essential requirement of several countries is micro-chipping the pet. If you have not done it, you must get it done immediately. Also, knowing that your pet is micro-chipped will give you peace of mind as there are better chances your pet will be returned to you if it wanders off.

5. Speak to Your Vet

Your pet will travel for several hours, and the entire move can be a hectic experience. You have to book a vet to get a complete body check-up conducted for the pet.

When you land in a new country, you will take some time to find a new vet. Hence, before you leave, get all tests done to get the pet’s health certificate. You need to show a fit certificate of the pet to let your pet travel with you. This is not just required as a formality; you also do not want your pet to get sick during the travel.

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Also, different countries have different laws. A few of them let you bring your pet across the border only when they have passed certain medical checks first. Carrying a vet certificate about the pet’s health is a must.

Your vet will also advise you on how to make the dog’s journey easier. Especially if you are flying the dog to a new country, you will get a few tips to keep the dog stress free.

A vet giving a dog its innoculations

6. Get all the Dog Vaccinations Updated

When you travel with your dog, they will ask you for all the dog’s vaccination certificates. The dog needs to be vaccinated before entering the other country. These documents need to be kept handy with you throughout the travel.

7. Plan How Is Your Pet Traveling

Most probably, you will be flying your pet. If you own a large breed dog, you will have to prepare the dog for it. Buy a crate into which your dog fits. Train the dog to be comfortable inside the crate; getting used to it can take a few weeks to several months.

8. Decide the Airlines

If it is a long flight, you must ensure that the airlines you choose will let you fly with the pet. Reach the airport several hours before to get things sorted for your dog.

The captain or an airline official may need to give the crew the go-ahead before your dog gets boarded on the flight. As an additional precaution, request the air hostess to inform the captain that there is a pet in the live cargo section. These few traveling hours may cause anxiety in your pet; hence, you must keep your pet calm.

9. Organize a Pet Relocation Service

If you decide to go through a pet relocation service, you must do enough research to find the most reputable company and get it booked. Get it done as soon as you know your travel dates, giving them enough time to secure the needed paperwork.

You are trusting them with your dear pet, ensuring they are legit and have enough reviews. Do well research and only proceed if you are convinced about their business and feel comfortable handing over your pet to them.

10. Choose the Right Accommodation

Once you reach the destination, you must ensure that you have decided upon accommodation where you can board your dog. You will be in transition for a few weeks, which should not affect the well-being of your dog. Hence, ensure you plan these things well ahead.

The Bottom Line on Moving Abroad With Pets

Once you make a move, be patient around the pet. This change is significant for the dog, and you may see some behavior changes. Adjusting to the new place may take a few weeks or months. Try to make the transition as smooth as you can.

Avoid leaving your dog alone for many hours until it gets comfortable in the new home. Create your dog’s own area in the house, setting up its bed and old toys so that something smells familiar, keeping your dog calm.

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a family sitting on the floor surrounded by moving boxes and their dog - titled tips for moving overseas with your dog
A dog inside a moving box image title overlay Moving Abroad With Your Dog

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