Pet Travel Topics: Tips for Moving Home Again
How to Keep Pets Travel Ready
Many people who choose use PetRelocation's services are making a one-time only move that satisfies a lifetime goal to to live abroad. Many others (those moving for a job or military relocation, for example) have plans to someday return home. For these pet owners, it's a good idea to look into the travel requirements for their returning country well in advance, as they're often trickier than expected.
It's a pretty straightforward process to leave Australia, for example, but returning is another story. It takes a few months to prepare for entry into this rabies-free country, and even if your dog or cat was born and raised here, once you leave, your pet is treated no differently than any other.
According to the Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), "When your cat or dog is exported from Australia it immediately loses its Australian health status. This means you might not be able to bring it back to Australia at short notice." If you know you'll probably be coming back to Australia, it's recommended that your pet receive a rabies vaccine and Rabies Neutralizing Antibody Titre test before you leave.
That's just one example, but no matter what, if you plan to move back to your home country it's a good idea to research the situation ahead of time. Here are our tips for preparing for an eventual return to your home country:
Talk to your specialist.
The easiest way to get the scoop is, during the first move, to tell your Pet Relocation Consultant that you're planning to move home someday and ask them for some tips. Rules may change between now and then, but we're happy to outline the current process for you and offer our advice.
Stay up to date on all vaccinations.
This is a good idea for all pets, of course, but you may need to meet certain specifications regarding rabies shots if you're planning to enter a rabies-free zone like Australia or the UK.
Double check the rules.
Pet travel rules can be altered overnight, so research carefully before taking anything for granted. Check now but check later, too, because you never know what changes time will bring.
Don't put the crate away.
If it was a battle to get your dog or cat accustomed to the travel crate, don't let your previous training go to waste. Instead of putting the kennel in the attic or garage, keep it around so that your pet will remain familiar with it.
The more you know, the easier your future moves will be. Happy traveling and remember we're here if you need us!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in July 2011 and has been updated with new information.