Moving Abroad with Pets

Moving Abroad with Pets

We understand that moving overseas is an emotional experience that often sees you leaving behind loved ones, which is why taking your pet with you can seem like such an attractive option. However, moving abroad with your pets requires careful planning and consideration to ensure that your furry (or feathery or scaly) friend is travelling in comfort and safety. Likewise, you’ll also need to conduct some research into what import laws you need to follow in your new country. While there is always a risk involved in moving your pets overseas, the reward of having a familiar animal companion with you in your new home is definitely worth it for some people.

Meeting Import Requirements

When moving overseas, each country will have different import laws regarding pets, so it’s important that you do your research before planning to take your pets overseas. The main concern that countries have with imported pets is whether or not the animals are carrying around any diseases – particularly rabies. Given that Australia is considered a rabies-free country, this shouldn’t be an issue, but you will likely still need to provide evidence of your pet’s vaccination history so that they can be deemed safe for entry.

Another way to help streamline the import process is to implant your pet with a microchip. This is a small device that is usually planted between the shoulder blades of your pet and which contains that animal’s health records and owner details. Implanting a microchip is a largely painless process and will help you prove your pet’s health eligibility when you arrive in your new country.

Depending on the country you are moving to, you may also need to apply for a pet passport or health certificate. These can be acquired by taking your pet to the vet and getting it tested for any diseases or parasites that would jeopardize its chances of getting into the country. You may also need to apply for an import permit for your pet so that it can legally enter the destination country.

Travelling Safely

When choosing an airline to move your pet, make sure you research which companies have the best reputation for safe and responsible animal transportation. Certain airlines have more pet-friendly policies than others, and you’ll obviously want to make sure that you book your pet on the same flight as you.

Moving Abroad With Pets: How Have The Rules Changed Due To Covid? - Expat  Focus

Other factors that you should consider include what time of day you choose to fly. As your pet will likely be in the carrier section of the aircraft, try to avoid the middle of the day in summer or the middle of the night in winter so that your furry friend won’t be flying through extreme temperatures.

You should also talk to your vet before you travel to get advice and potential prescriptions on any anti-anxiety medication that your pet should take during the flight so that they don’t suffer from too much distress.

And finally, make sure your pet has a full water tray in their crate prior to the plane taking off. They won’t receive any food or water during the flight, so a healthy supply of water will keep them well hydrated through their travels.


Moving abroad with your pets is a time-consuming process that places a lot of stress on both you and your pets. However, if you plan and prepare well in advance and follow the advice of vets and animal relocation experts, you’ll give your pet the best chance of reaching their new home, safe and sound. Afterall, international moves are always difficult, so bringing your animal companion along for the ride is a risk worth taking if it means you can complete the journey together.