Moving your pet internationally


“Furry Friend” is our very cute tuxedo cat.  We adopted her from a rescue centre and she’s being part of the family ever since.  

Moving your pet internationally is pretty complicated and can be a bit stressful.  I would recommend finding a good vet who is familiar with the process. You will need to check the rules on importing animals into your new country.  The rules vary greatly in different countries regarding the import of animals, and these regulations often depend on your country of origin. You will need to find out if you are allowed to bring your pet at all. In some countries, certain species of dog and cat are accepted, while others are not.

I would also recommend finding a pet moving company which you are happy with.  Many airlines require the carrier to be approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).  

Timing is really important, the first time round we were a bit rushed and hadn’t fully understood how long the process could take.  This time round we are a bit more prepared.  To import a pet most countries require a stringent sequence of medical tests and or vaccinations.  You need a record of these vaccinations including the vaccination sticker with batch number to prove exactly what your animal has or hasn’t had.  

Your pet will need a microchip and a pet passport detailing its vaccinations and general health.  You can get both from your vets and you can register your microchip with databases in your new country before you arrive so that if your “furry friend” does get lost she can be returned to you safely.  

As part of our look see visit we took time to visit pet shops and search for vets.  We also checked with our temporary accommodation and potential new landlords whether pets are allowed.  We wanted to make sure we could care for our “furry friend” properly in our new location.  

Airlines have different regulations for transporting animals internationally.  Some airlines allow pets to travel in an airplane’s cabin, provided their cage is small enough to fit under your seat.  To bring our “Furry Friend” to Singapore she had to travel in a specially made crate in the hold of the aircraft.  Which meant we had to pay for the hold to be pressurized so that she could breath during the journey.  Airlines may restrict which flight your pet can take so it’s best to check in advance.  To help our “Furry Friend” get use to her crate we kept it in our living room with her favourite towel and small toys, so she could get use to going in and out.  This helped her to be less scared when it came to the move.  The vet also suggested we spray the crate with feliway which contains synthetic cat pheromones to help reassure cats that they are safe.  
To be able to take your pet abroad with you, most countries require that you get a health certificate stating that your pet is in good health and free of parasites. We have found that this has to be done within 10 days of travel.  Our “Furry Friend” is booked in for hers but im not sure that she’s really looking forward to it!