29 January 2020 | Life with your best friend

It’s Overseas We Go – With Pet In Tow!

So you’ve decided to pack your bags and make the great trek abroad to settle in another country. While the prospect of embarking on a new adventure is an exciting one, the thought of leaving your pets behind can be devastating. The good news is, with careful preparation, planning and education, you can take your furry family across the seas with you. First, think carefully before you make the decision. How will the trip affect your pet? Where are you moving to – is it suitable for a pet? And second, do your research. The rules and regulations determining whether you can immigrate with your dog or cat vary depending on your country of destination.  

Listed below are some of the steps that you will need to complete before emigrating with your pet:

  • The first step is to contact the consulate of the country you are moving to, to get any specific requirements that need to be met for that particular country. Do this as early as possible as some countries require a number of tests and check-ups over a few months prior to arrival to avoid quarantine.
  • Ensure your vaccinations are up-to-date and that you have the certificates to prove it.
  • South Africa is considered a high-risk country for rabies, so it’s imperative that you have your pet vaccinated against rabies and have the documentation to prove it.
  • Ensure your pet is in good health. Insist on a formal letter from your veterinarian in this regard. Some countries require a few trips to the vet to ensure a clean bill of health.
  • Be aware that certain countries require your pet to be quarantined for a period of time to be monitored for any diseases.
  • It’s a good idea to create a “pet passport” containing all documents necessary for immigration, and travel in general. Even if you think a document or certificate is not important, put it in the pet passport – you never know when you might need it.
  • It is also imperative that you find out well in advance what the airlines’ specific requirements and restrictions are. You will need to purchase a crate for transporting your pet, which will also have to meet certain requirements, plus you will need to show all the relevant documentation on check-in.
  • Relocating your pet is a costly undertaking. Make sure you know the costs in advance so you know what you’re in for.

  Tips for travelling with your pet

  • As mentioned above, planning is the key. Know the airline’s policies with regard to transporting your pet and come prepared so there are no nasty surprises.
  • Do a few practice runs with your pets in the crate, to get them used to it.
  • We suggest you wear a backpack and pack as light as possible to keep your hands free for handling your pet in the airport.
  • Don’t feed them a big meal just before the flight, it might make them sick.
  • Keep him or her as calm as possible (try the Regal Stress and Anxiety Remedy), and always keep them on a lead.
  • Ensure they have access to food and water for the duration of the trip.
  • Put an item of your clothing in their crate with them. Your familiar smell will calm them immensely.

  Once you’re at your destination

  • If your pet needs to be quarantined, you’ll need to abide by all the restrictions and regulations.
  • Remember, your pet will be in a strange environment and might be unsettled at first.
  • On arrival, take them for a walk; first around the house and garden, and then around the neighbourhood – always on a lead – to familiarise them with the area.
  • Make sure they know where their food, water and sleeping area is.
  • Keep them inside or under strict supervision until they have settled in.

Sure, there might be a lot of paperwork, stress and admin involved in moving abroad with your fur-kid, but rest assured, the rewards will be well worth it! Have a look at www.pettravel.com for detailed information on emigrating with your pet.

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