Moving Your Pets Overseas
When you decide to relocate to a different country, it can often lead to a lot of stress on you and your family. For a lot of people, this includes their furry little friends. Traveling with a pet can be a daunting task. You never really know how they are going to react, and, in the case of international travel, you have to make sure that you have all of the correct paperwork so they can come with you. So before you make that trip, keep some of these things in mind.
The first thing that you should realize, is that many countries have very strict regulations on pets that are being imported into their country. An ecosystem can be a delicate thing, and disrupting it can have huge environmental implications. Also, some countries may have different feelings on what is considered to be an appropriate pet. Exotic or potentially dangerous pets may not be allowed, and also keep in mind that they may have a different definition of what is exotic or dangerous from you. If your pet is acceptable, they will want to know that they are healthy, and have all the necessary vaccinations. They will require documentation from a licensed veterinarian, so make sure you get those documents. To go even further, your new country may require that your pet has been microchipped. With advancements in technology, this is a painless process for your pet, and is a good idea even if it is not required, just in case your pet gets lost. Contacting the American consulate in your new country should give you a good idea what is required for you to transport your pet into your new home.
After Getting Clearance
Once you have cleared your pet, you will have to make preparations to make sure that they move runs smoothly. As mentioned above, taking your pet to a veterinarian is always a good idea. This way you can ensure they have any prescriptions that they may need, their vaccinations are up to date, and that they are generally healthy enough for international travel. You will also have to buy a carrier that is both large enough to house your pet, but is also comfortable for them over a long period of time. Lining it with soft material like blankets or towels will prevent them from having to stand or lay on cold hard metal. Giving them a toy that can keep them occupied is great for their overall well-being. Make sure that the carrier has a door that can be secured, without your pet being able to open it on their own, and that they cannot chew through the material of the carrier. The last thing you want is for them to escape mid-journey, which could lead to them getting hurt or even killed. And of course, make sure that it is properly ventilated so they have enough air to breathe.
If you are flying to your new destination, contact the airline that you are using and find out their regulations for pets. Every airline is different, so you should not assume that a rule will be the same from one airline to the next. Most of the time, smaller pets are allowed with you in the cabin, provided that they can be stowed under your seat, while larger pets are treated as cargo. But you will want to find out any container requirements before you go out and purchase one. You will also need to find out their regulations on feeding your pet. The USDA has its own requirements regarding pet travel, but most likely you will be spending several hours on a plane, so taking steps to make sure your pet is fed and healthy is extremely important. If you are worried about how your pet will react on the flight, you do not want to sedate them with medication. It may seem like a good idea on the surface, if your pet sleeps through the flight there will not be any problems. The problem is, high altitudes has a strong effect on certain animals, and adding medication to that can be disastrous. Last, contact your airline earlier rather than later. This way you can make sure that your pet will be allowed on the flight with you.