Your four-legged, furry friends are a part of the family; there’s absolutely no doubt about that. Taking them along when you relocate to another country seems only logical from a human perspective but perhaps your pet’s own emotional state is worth a little extra consideration. Animals aren’t able to handle stress and upheaval the way we are – they experience all of the action without understanding the reasoning behind it.
Misty-eyed reminiscences over spirited games of fetch and wrestling matches on the carpet are unavoidable but that isn’t all there is to it. Your most loyal friend deserves more consideration than that. There are a few difficult questions you need to ask yourself before committing the Fluffster to a stressful crate-environment for the long and arduous journey:
Is your pet susceptible to panic attacks when stressed?
Is your pet at the right age to deal with dramatic upheaval?
Are you dealing with an “at-risk” breed?
Are you moving to a country with stringent quarantine laws?
Does your destination country have restrictions on which animals and breeds may be imported?
Your Pet’s Needs Come First
Pets who are too young or too old, dogs in particular, are ill-equipped to handle overly stressful situations. It is a simple and painful truth. Similarly, animals with severe health problems are also at risk for serious complications. Unfortunately, it is necessary to consider re-homing your beloved friend before the move. While it may be painful for you to deal with the separation, a loving, local home could be the best fit.
Pet breeds that are susceptible to breathing problems and heat exhaustion may not be able to accompany you to your new home. Bulldogs, Terriers, Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Boxers are just a few of the dogs that are unable to travel under extreme stress. Similarly, Himalayan and Persian cats may also need to be re-homed locally before the move as they are unable to deal with the stress of relocation.
Only Deal with Experts
If you are certain that moving your pet is the best choice, it is absolutely necessary to deal with an expert pet relocation company. Virtually every pets-in-transit horror story you have encountered is the result of poor planning and a misguided DIY attitude.
A reputable pet relo company will always be registered with the Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA). If a company is unable to provide you with their registration details, it is probably best to move on to someone else. IPATA is made up of veterinarians, pet taxis, freight forwarders, customs brokers, major corporations and similar establishments with a deep commitment to the welfare of travelling animals.
Pet relocation professionals are able to keep a finger on the pulse of international quarantine requirements; ensuring that your pet is in perfect condition for the move. These companies also work with airlines to ensure that pets are kept safe and calm when in transit, eliminating any dangers that could arise.
Import Requirements and a Mountain of Paperwork
Planning your pet’s relocation is no less complicated than your own. In fact, it might be a little more complex with all the additional paperwork involved. Import regulations vary from one country to the next and it is therefore important to communicate with your relocation agent every step of the way. A handful of countries do not require your pets to be quarantined at all, provided they have received all the necessary inoculations. Other countries have lengthy quarantine periods that last for several months, both before departure and after arrival.
Often, quarantine boarding facilities are fully booked for months in advance. Be sure to check your furry friends into their new lodgings well in advance lest you risk having them travel under even more stressful circumstances. One saving grace is that many countries offer what is known as a “home quarantine” which may save your pet from 6 months in a not-uncomfortable but not entirely homey boarding kennel.
Crate-Training is a Necessity
As a concerned pet owner, it stands to reason that you would want your beloved friend to travel with you in the cabin. While there are a few airlines that permit this style of travel, the overwhelmingly disappointing fact is that most animals are required to travel in the cargo hold.
The area in which your pet will be housed for the duration of the flight is always climate-controlled and pressurized. However, there is only so much the airline can do to keep your pet calm when in flight. The rest is up to you. Crate-training your pet is an absolute must. Spend several months getting your pet used to a crate environment, slowly lengthening the duration of time spent in the container. Your pet needs to be convinced that the crate is a safe environment in order for there to be less stress on the day of your move.
Happy Homing is Possible
With the right pet relo company on board, you will be able to transfer your pet from one end of the globe to the other without too much stress. The eventual happiness of a successful reunion is more than worth the effort.