Moving A Pet Overseas? Here Are Some Important Considerations

Bringing a pet along when you relocate internationally tacks some additional complications on to an already long-winded process. However, devoted pet owners will no doubt enjoy the idea of exploring their new home with their beloved four-legged housemate. 

Moving a pet overseas takes research and planning. The process differs depending on which country you are moving to, so the exact regulations will vary depending on your unique situation. 

All of the following need to be considered before the expatriation of an animal companion is complete:

  • Consulting with the consulate- One of the most important sources of information on relocating a pet internationally is the national consulate of the country to which you are moving. You need to make sure that you can relocate with your pet. Dogs and cats are almost always fine, but there may be restrictions on more exotic pets. You can also find some general information using online resources like
  • Talking with your veterinarian- Hopefully, your veterinarian knows something about international pet relocation. Your vet may be important in the process, because most countries require a certificate of health from pet owners moving from abroad with a pet to ensure that the animal does not have any contagious illnesses. 
  • Considering facilities in your new home- Will you be able to properly care for your pet in your new home? Make sure that you will be able to arrange for the proper food, veterinary care, and habitat once you've relocated with your pet. 
  • Quarantine requirements- Some countries have quarantine requirements that involve keeping your pet under observation for a certain period of time to clear the animal of any contagious diseases. For example, dogs relocated to Australia or New Zealand typically must be quarantined for a period of 10 days before they are released. 
  • Finances- It's not cheap to relocate internationally with a pet. You will not only have to pay for your pet's transportation, but you will also have to pay for a pet-safe cargo container and any necessary vaccinations or certificates. 
  • Getting there- There are typically three options for relocating a pet from one country to another: bringing the pet on the plane with you, booking a separate flight, or shipping the pet. Depending on the airline, it may not be possible to bring the pet along on your flight. It's usually cheaper to book a separate flight for a pet or work with a commercial shipper so that you are charged a cargo rate rather than an excess baggage rate. Contact an international relocation company for additional information.