Relocating overseas requires careful and timely planning. International movers have to contact companies to help with loading and transporting household items, cars—and what we'll be covering in this post— pets.
To help make your new location overseas feel like home, you're going to want to bring your animal friend(s) along. Even though moving pets abroad comes with more hoops to jump through than transporting animals domestically, you'll have an easier time with the information we provide.
Since we've been placing such a hard emphasis on being prepared to ship your pet overseas, let's go over some preliminary steps and answer some essential questions to point you in the right direction.
What's the Cost of Moving My Pet Overseas?
Several intricacies are going to impact the overall cost you incur moving your pet overseas. Door-to-door pet relocation is the most expensive service due to the convenience of a company delivering your animal directly to you. Transporting your pet internationally will cost the most money compared to domestic travel, and the type of animal you move will either lower or raise your overall cost.
Here is a quick list of airlines that provide international pet transport services and the average costs for checking a kennel:
- American Airlines—$125 per kennel
- United Airlines—$175 per kennel
- Delta—$150 per kennel
Does It Matter Which Country I'm Importing My Pet To?
The short answer is yes. It's essential that you research laws the country you're moving to has in place regarding pet importation as there isn't one standard set of guidelines. Common problems movers relocating abroad can run into is their new country, not allowing certain types of animals or animal breeds.
Certain countries require that imported animals undergo a mandatory quarantine while others need your animal to be microchipped. Microchips are a permanent ID for your dog that goes underneath the animal's skin.
You might be wondering how big microchips are with an image of a large, intrusive chip stuck in your dog. The truth is these chips are no bigger than a grain of rice. One requirement you should prepare yourself to meet is making sure your animal's vaccinations are up to date.
Do I Need to Consult My Vet?
Consulting your vet is one of the most critical steps to take when preparing to ship your pet overseas. Your vet is going to be the go-to source for vaccinations, diagnoses, and can provide you with your animal's records.
Setting up a consultation appointment with your vet will allow them to evaluate your pet's current health and voice any concerns with your animal traveling overseas. Typical concerns a vet might have is an animal traveling with pre-diagnosed medical conditions, old age, or current sickness.
Even if your animal deals with conditions such as anxiety or restlessness, it's possible that the vet can provide medication that will help ease physical and mental stress that can occur during travel.
Are There Pet Relocation Services?
Yes. Pet relocation services exist to help make sure you follow all of the correct guidelines for moving your animal overseas, which can be stressful and time-consuming when done alone. Owners of pets often feel nervous about the idea of sending their beloved animals overseas. The employees of pet relocation services work to ease international movers' worries by sharing positive case studies of their work and offering other vital forms of advice.
You can even hire a pet relocation service to do all the planning and work for you.
How Far Do I Have to Plan to Move My Animal Overseas?
The further in advance you start planning to send your animal overseas, the better. Planning to move your pet abroad tends to be a lengthy process, and the time varies depending upon the region. As you research and receive consultation on what types of steps you have to move your pet internationally successfully, note how long each step will take.
One risk you run with last-minute planning is having to leave without your pet and being forced to wait for them later while you make proper arrangements. Your pet can also become subject to a quarantine period if you don't plan properly. Making sure your animal's vaccinations are up to date usually is enough to help your pet skip mandatory quarantine.
Do I Need to Contact the Airline I'm Booking Tickets With?
We recommend that you call the airline you plan on traveling to speak on behalf of your pet. Through a phone conversation with the airline, you'll be able to go over guidelines and options that you may not have previously known.
Since most animals travel overseas by crate, going over crate size specs and requirements will help you be fully prepared. If your animal is under a certain weight, you may be able to travel with them by putting their crate under the seat. Delta is an example of an airline that allows birds, small dogs, and cats to fly in the cabin provided the owner follows proper regulations.
While people looking to move their pets overseas focus on researching rules and regulations with the country they're moving to, they may not be aware of additional airline requirements. A phone call can help lay everything out.
How Can I Best Prepare My Pet for International Travel?
Besides making sure your pet's vaccinations are up to date, crate training your animal is a great strategy to prepare for the journey ahead. There are crates explicitly designed for air travel, so make sure you're selecting the right crate to train your pet.
Start making your pet feel comfortable in its airline crate by placing blankets, treats, and other items within the space that create a positive association for the animal when moving overseas.
Are All Pets Allowed to Travel Overseas?
Whether your pet is approved to travel overseas depends on the country you're going to and their regulations. Some countries don't allow certain pets. If you've discovered that your pet can travel to the country you're moving to, the next step is to evaluate health, travel, and quarantine requirements.
Let's end with some final tips for moving your pet overseas.
What General Risks Are There When Sending Your Pet Overseas?
Elderly pets are at a higher risk when it comes to traveling overseas due to the potential stress involved with the journey. Pets with anxiety disorders run the risk of hyperventilating during travel. If your pet is at risk, talk to your vet about possible solutions.
How Do I Choose the Right Pet Carrier?
You must select the right carrier for your flight as airlines have strict requirements to meet the standards of IATA (International Air Transport Association). Calling an airline representative can help you gain insightful information on selecting the right carrier for your breed. While some airlines offer you the opportunity to rent a carrier, we recommend purchasing a carrier to train your pet in advance.
How Do I Provide Proper Documentation?
One piece of advice people occasionally overlook when shipping their pets overseas is having multiple copies of the proper documentation. Possessing adequate documentation is essential when it comes to smoothly completing the process of sending your animal overseas.
If you have multiple copies of documents, you'll be more organized and ahead of the curve.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.