Relocating With Pets: 6 Steps To Ease The Moving Process

Whether by choice or for a job, deciding to make an international move requires a lot of forethought, research and planning. And if you have pets to bring along with you, then the workload will surely double. As we’re amid a global pandemic, travelling is not a feasible option for now since most countries are still imposing travel restrictions. Even so, conducting research now is a recommended choice of action. By researching and planning with your pet’s best interests in mind, you should be able to make the relocation process easier on both of you.

Moving abroad with your pet is not a task to leave until the day before as it can be a lot to take on. It is recommended to source for a relocation service that can help guide you in this process for a smooth relocation. To get started, take note of the necessary steps below so you can ensure your furry friend can get to their new home safely.

 1. Research the pet import laws

Regardless of where you’re moving to, you need to learn all about the rules and regulations that are concerned with moving your pets to your new home country. Some countries might have stricter pet import laws than others. You’ll also need to be familiar with general guidelines like the type of vaccines required and if your pet needs to be microchipped.

 2. Get advice from your veterinarian

Your vet is one of the most useful lines of contact as they’ll be able to convey any type of concerns that involves your pet making the long flight as well as helping you get your pet ready for the trip. If necessary, they might prescribe medicine to soothe your pet’s nerves during transit and also ensure that it’s up to date on all the vaccinations and health requirements required by the country you’re moving to.

 3. Prepare all the necessary documents

Once your pet has been vaccinated, get a letter from your vet indicating that your pet has been cleared for travel. In addition, prepare all the documentation requirements set by your airline and country of relocation. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so have multiple copies on hand with you and if necessary, ensure that they’re all signed or certified.

 4. Plan the timing well

Similar to your own visa processing, the process for getting an approval to move your pets internationally can be excruciatingly long as well. For countries like Japan, it can take as long as 180 days. Meanwhile, if you’re moving to Auckland, you will need to allow 20 working days for your import permit application to be processed, and your cat or dog will only be cleared for entry into New Zealand when it passes final veterinary inspection after a minimum of 10-days quarantine. Do your research thoroughly as knowing the timing helps you plan better. This allows you to have a timeline that you can adhere to and ensure your pet is able to travel with you at the same time.

 5. Start introducing the crate to your pet

Now is the perfect time to get an airline travel crate for your pet if you don’t have one on hand. Once you have it, start acclimating your pet to it. This process may take some time, as not all pets will adapt to their crates immediately. A tip is to create strong, positive associations with it by telling your pet that it’s a safe place.

One way to encourage your pet to familiarise themselves with the crate is by luring them with treats into the crate, before introducing their favourite blanket or toy in there too. Crates may seem restrictive to humans, but they can be an area of comfort to your pets. It all depends on the effort you put into getting your pet to warm up to being in the crate, especially since they’ll be in it for a prolonged period during the flight.

 7. Check your airline’s guidelines

Before you start booking your tickets, call the airline you plan to travel on or check their website to find out about their guidelines on travelling with pets. Airlines might have additional rules for travel in which the country you’re moving to does not have. And different airlines have different crate specifications, so it’s best to check with them. If your pet is under a certain weight, you can find out if arranging to have them fly in-cabin with you is possible. In such cases, they’ll usually stay in their carrier under the seat in front of you.


The advice above is catered more for cats and dogs, but it can apply to other animals as well. If you’re moving with a less common pet like a bird or reptile, then make sure you research on the travel and import requirements specific to your animal.

Moving pets abroad with you is not an easy task, nor is it less stressful for both human and animal. Aside from ensuring the maximum comfort for your pet to prepare for the travel, don’t overlook your own needs as well. To lighten the load, enlist in the help of a reliable international mover. Give us a call for any moving-related enquiries, and we’d be happy to advise you accordingly to your needs. We remain operational with our international relocation services to help deliver your shipments and support your moving needs!

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