PetRelocation's senior UK sales consultant, Catie Cox, recently shared some pet travel tips in Worldwide ERC's October edition of Mobility Magazine. Read below to learn about the recent changes that have impacted pet travel (or could very soon!) and expert tips for making the transition a smooth one for you and your furry family member.

3 Factors Impacting Pet Travel Catie Cox, Senior UK Sales consultant

1. Brexit

Currently, there are no travel restrictions between the U.K. and EU, but pet travel requirements will potentially change after October. The U.K. is likely to be treated as an unlisted country under the EU Pet Travel Scheme if it leaves the EU without a deal. In this scenario, pets traveling from the U.K. to the EU would have an extended timeline, which includes a rabies antibody blood test and a 90-day waiting period before the pet is allowed to enter. People who want to fly out of the EU rather than the U.K. so that their pets can fly in-cabin will have to plan four months in advance to take advantage of that option. EU pet passports issued in the U.K. will no longer be valid for the EU, and the EU will require a health certificate for entry only. 


Several airlines tightened pet regulations last year, with fewer airlines accepting larger breeds, and the list of what are considered snub-nosed breeds is much longer and stricter, now including certain breeds of cats. Temperature embargoes are also stringent, so even non-snub nose pets have limited options for U.S. domestic air travel when it’s very cold or very hot. Good news: Pet owners traveling with many small dog breeds or cats should not see much disruption.


Earlier this year, China added new requirements for importing pets. Although this did not significantly impact the overall timeline for bringing pets to China, it did add extra steps for pet owners. All of China now requires that pets have a microchip, a rabies vaccination within a year of departure (older than 30 days at the time of travel), a second rabies vaccine, and a rabies titer test. Failure to meet the new requirements will result in a mandatory 30-day quarantine.

Tips for Pet Travel

Here are a few not-so-obvious rules to be aware of:

Proper Crate Sizing

Keep in mind that the internal dimensions of the crate will be smaller than the external dimensions, so the pet will likely need a larger kennel than you expect. Use caution when selecting based on manufacturer sizing standards, which often go by weight and breed. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the crate is tall enough so your pet can stand up naturally and does not have to duck to see out of the crate; wide enough for your pet to turn around comfortably, and long enough for your pet to lie down comfortably with paws extended.


dog in a travel kennel that is a good sizedog in a travel kennel that is not a good size


The EU Five-Day Rule

Since 2014, pet owners must travel to the U.K. and the EU within five days either before or after their pet’s arrival in order to avoid the move being labeled as a commercial shipment. While you can still import your pet that way, the health certificate is different, the timeline for completing the health certificate is much tighter, and the import taxes are higher

Destinations With Longer Import Timelines 

Some moves can be planned and completed in weeks. Others can require the better part of a year. If you’re moving to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, Japan, Singapore, or the UAE, prepare early!


So much great information! Thank you to Catie for sharing her knowledge. Click here to read the whole Mobility Magazine October 2019 issue. 


PetRelocation Team


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