International Pet Moving TIps - Relocating live animals internationally is a complicated process and requires specialized knowledge of import and export documentation, veterinary procedures, timing, airline policies, travel crate requirements, quarantine, boarding accommodation, proper animal identification & more.

To learn more about your destination country, please visit our interactive world map or the Search By Location drop down menu on the left navigation tool bar. This information will allow you learn more about your country's import rules, local guidelines and possible advice from others who have moved their pet there.

To make sure you have all the right information, your first step in planning an international trip with a pet should be to contact the consulate, of the destination country, for your pet's importation requirements. Some countries require a lengthy quarantine, others have more rigid standards and some only accept pets at certain airports within that country.

The most important thing to remember is just like human travel, pets also need additional documentation in order to enter its desired country. Each country is different, as they all require their own documentation when accepting pets.

When you contact the consulate, you may want to ask some of the following questions:


  • Are there any special restrictions for pets being imported into your country?

  • What documents are required to import my pet?

  • Are there any age restrictions regarding the import of my pet?
  • Are any special vaccinations or tests required for my pet?
  • Are there specific country restrictions?
  • Are there any country/local holidays during or around the time of my planned trip?
  • Are there any special quarantine requirements for a pet being exported or imported?
  • Are quarantine facilities available on the planned arrival date and station?
  • How will my pet clear customs?
  • Do I need to be present in order for my pet to clear customs?

Most foreign governments have some form of quarantine or health requirements for arriving pets, so it is essential to ascertain exactly what those regulations are for your destination. You must also allow for the likely expenses that are involved- and these can add up.

After learning about your country's import requirements, your next step is to find an airline that will work with you: Contact the airlines that fly to your proposed destination, select one and then check with them to confirm that they will accept your pet on the day and flight that you prefer. Take this time to learn more about the airline's pet policy and how they handle the pets when in their care. This will allow you to learn more about them and to see if your date works, or how you can work around their flight times & possible restrictions.

On the day of travel, as soon as you get on the plane, ask a flight attendant to confirm that your pet is on board. That way, if there's been any mix-up and it has not been loaded, you have a better chance of getting something done about it. Some airlines will allow you to carry small pet carriers with you in the main cabin, but only if it will fit under the seat in front of you.

Every animal moving internationally will require a lengthy list of health requirements and you will need to visit your Veterinarian prior to the flight. We suggest that your Veterinarian be consulted well before your departure date, to make sure they are accredited in giving International Health Documents and that they have the prior experience you are looking for.

Your Veterinarian will give your pet a full check up and advise you on any potential problems and can also assist you with questions or concerns that you may have. Make sure you have all the required import & export documentation ready for them to complete. Many countries may require you fill out a certain Health Certificate or additional document you must obtain from them directly.

Food and Water: Limit food intake the day before travel: Although they may initially disagree, your animal's potential for a comfortable trip can be increased by limiting their prior food intake. Prepare your pet for its journey by reducing the quantity of food the day before flying. Since dehydration is the number one problem for live animals during transit, we recommend purchasing Hydration Gel for your pet(s) trip. This will give them the proper source of hydration they need.

Make sure to walk your dog before you go to the airport and before check in, which should be 1-2 hours before the flight.

Your Pet(s) Travel Crate: Equip your pet's carrier or crate with the vital necessities: The big day has arrived! While your pet is out of your sight and care, make it as easy as possible for airline staff to care for them. Your animal's travel crate must meet the airline's standards and be large enough for the pet to lie down comfortably turn around and stand freely in. Mark the crate with "Live Animal - This side Up" and include your name, address and telephone number. At least two water bowls attached to the door, filled with Hydration Gel and dried food must be attached to the top of the carrier in case there are any flight delays. Your pet's travel crate must have ventilation holes on all four sides.
While you can make all the arrangements yourself, nothing is worse than having your pet impounded or lost because of an oversight or lack of knowledge. Please make sure to check and double check all requirements and contacts for your destination country.


PetRelocation Team




Back to top