Taking a pet abroad when families relocate is a key area of concern for many. With pets such as dogs, cats and even ferrets taken overseas you need to be aware of the documentation required and country-specific customs timeframes involved.

With pets separated from their owners for the journey as well as potentially months in quarantine, it’s certainly worth thinking about whether this is a trip worth them taking.

If you are only away for a few months or up to a year, it might be best for them to stay with a caring relative or friend. If you are however emigrating for good, then there may be no option. Where you go, the pet goes too.

So where do you start?

Planning is the key. Research the country you are moving to and find out what the rules and regulations are around transporting pets. If your pet is coming from the UK and going to another EU country, then take a look at the European Commission website which details what is possible.

In general, dogs, cats and ferrets can travel between the two areas, but they will need to have a rabies vaccine, microchip and pet passport or EU Health Certificate.

It is very different in countries such as New Zealand and Australia where importing dogs and cats will involve a quarantine process, which could see you parted from your pet for sometime. In New Zealand for instance, there are a huge number of restrictions on breeds and a list of residency requirements for cats and dogs. It’s worth looking on the Ministry of Primary Industries website to see what is, and what isn’t possible. You’ll also need to check the airport through which the pets can travel and book a quarantine facility, as this has recently changed. This is something they recommend you do well in advance as they can get booked up. Australia too has strict import regulations and cats and dogs (the only pets currently allowed) are required to have an import permit as well as a number of health checks. Look at the government’s Department of Agriculture and Water for more details.

Once the research on a country’s requirements is done, you’ll need to look into how your pets will travel. If you’re moving from the UK to EU countries it may be a case of you driving your pet to the new locations. But if you’re going further afield, a specialist pet relocation service is best placed to help you to decide on how to transport you pet efficiently and with the greatest of care. For instance, taking a pet across America may be difficult in hot summer months as dog’s are not allowed on planes due to the heat.

Other issues worth considering:

If you’re travelling long-haul, pick a pet-safe airline, noting whether they fly animals and the cost. Some airlines have better reputations than others for pet care so take your time to research each properly.

Find an airline approved travel crate and give your pet time to get used to it. Think about the pet’s journey and whether it will need extra water for the flight. Dehydration can be a potential issue if not addressed properly.

Ask your vet to give your animal a thorough health check and think about possible issues.

Choose a pet relocation service that can help with all essential details and red tape. For instance, there is a current 180-210 preparation day wait for transporting dogs and cats to Australia.

Is your pet allowed into the country? There are a number of restrictions on dog breeds in certain areas so it’s worth looking into this before even considering movement.

Once your pet has arrived on terra firma there will again be a number of issues concerning quarantine and collection processes. Make sure to research the criteria via official government websites so you can manage both yours and your families expectations.

If you are considering moving abroad, PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 40 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention. Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.