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The JK Moving Blog

Moving abroad with pets: A guide to international pet relocation

moving abroad with pets - puppy in a box

Moving with pets can be stressful – in addition to your own relocation needs, you also have to think about the needs of your furry family members. International pet relocation can be more challenging, as there is more to consider when making the move, including rules and regulations for importing animals and the costs associated with doing so.

It’s important to plan and do your research to make sure your pet is safe and happy during the move. Here are some tips and advice for moving with pets internationally to help make the process smoother.

Know the destination country pet import guidelines

Each nation has pet import regulations. You will need to learn the requirements of the country you’re moving to, including vaccinations, microchips, health certificates, and quarantine rules.

Regulations vary from country to country. For instance, some countries may require your pet to be vaccinated against certain diseases before entry, while others may require that an animal have a microchip. Additionally, some countries may have quarantine requirements that must be met before an animal is allowed entry.

Be sure to check with the country’s embassy before traveling with your pet to make sure you are aware of all regulations and requirements. You may need to acquire a pet passport or other documentation to ensure your pet is allowed into the country.

Update your pet’s vaccines

If you’re planning on taking your pet overseas, they’ll likely need a current rabies vaccine. Further vaccines and rabies tests may be required, so it’s best to talk to your vet to make sure your animals meet the requirements of the destination country.


international pet relocation - microchippingIf you’re taking your pet abroad, we advise microchipping to ensure your pet’s safety and identification, even if it’s not mandatory. Microchips must meet ISO Standard 11784.

Microchipping is an easy way to permanently identify your pet. It’s a quick procedure where a microchip, as small as a grain of rice, is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. It’s painless and takes just a couple of seconds.

The chip contains all the necessary information about you and your pet, such as your name, address, and phone number. This information is stored in a database, so if your pet ever gets lost or stolen, it can easily be traced back to you.

Pet transport timeline

When it comes to transporting your pet overseas, it’s always best to start planning well in advance – often as much as one to three months in advance. If your destination is a rabies-free country like Australia, then you should give yourself even more time – up to six months. So make sure you plan your move date and create a timeline that works for you.

Travel crates

Make sure you get an airline-approved travel crate that’s the right size for your pet. Get them used to it as soon as you can so they won’t be too anxious during the trip. It’s quite easy to do.

Start by placing the crate in a familiar room. Put a few of your pet’s favorite toys inside and some treats. Leave the door open so they can come and go as they please. Spend some time playing with and petting them while they are inside. This will help them become more comfortable and create positive associations with the crate.

Once your pet is comfortable with the crate, start closing the door for short periods as you give them treats. Slowly increase the amount of time you leave the door shut, but never leave them in there for too long. When it’s time for the trip, make sure your pet has fasted for a few hours before leaving and has gone to the bathroom before entering the crate.

Place a familiar item such as a blanket or toy inside with them to give them something comforting to focus on during the trip.

Taking your pets with you when moving can be an overwhelming experience. Moving internationally is an even bigger challenge as there are lots of rules and regulations to consider for importing animals. Use this advice to help make your whole family’s move overseas as stress-free as possible.