Moving Overseas With Your Pet

Posted on 05/06/2014 ~ Categorized as Retire
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dhalbert@escapeartist.com

As the lead inbound marketing consultant and web designer, Don Halbert practices what he preaches and enjoys living, working, playing and investing abroad in Costa Rica.

Moving Overseas With Your Pet

There’s nothing like the comfort of a having your dog or cat around you, especially if you’ll be living abroad.  When planning to take your furry friends overseas, you’ll want to ensure that you do everything possible to make the transition and early days as easy and stress-free as possible.  With a little knowledge and a few practical tips, your pet will barely notice the change as long as the food bowl stays full.

The first thing you need to research is if you’re even allowed to bring foreign animals into your new country of residence.  Very few countries these days completely prohibit outside pets, but some may require a quarantine period to ensure the health of the animal for entry.

Most countries will require some sort of vaccinations or vet certification for your critter.  These range from a simple bill of health statement to a barrage of shots to keep them healthy when abroad.  This will vary greatly depending on the country, so do your due diligence and talk with your vet to get all of the necessary paperwork and vaccines ahead of time.

Be warned now: flying with your pet will probably be the most stressful part of moving overseas with them.  First, you’ll need to book your flight on a pet-friendly airline.  Some companies will only transport pets domestically but not internationally.  Depending on your pet’s size you’ll have to decide if they’ll be in the cabin or crated in the cargo.  Usually, any animal less than 20 pounds can fly under the seat in the cabin.  This is absolutely the best choice if possible since you’ll be with them the entire time.

Naturally, this might not be an option if you’ll be bringing your Great Dane with you.  In that case, they’ll be flying in the pressurized, somewhat climate controlled cargo of the plane.  If your pet has any health concerns, talk with your vet to see if it is a good idea to tranquilize them for this part of the journey or not.  Additionally, before you show up at the airport with Fido, verify with the airlines that you’ve got the right paperwork and allow yourself at least two or three hours ahead of time, especially if they’ll be flying in cargo as this could be a separate company at a different part of the airport that you’ll have to negotiate.

Once you get into the country with your pet, get familiar with your local vet.  Talk to them about local parasites and issues you could have as your furry buddy assimilates to their new surroundings.  They’re your best ally in keeping your pet healthy, happy, and safe when living abroad.


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