“Should We Vacation Internationally with Our Dog?”
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Cocker Spaniel
From: New Zealand
We are planning to go to England for four months and wondered if it was possible to take our dog with us. We're leaving in June and returning to New Zealand in September.
Thanks for contacting us, we'd be happy to discuss your options with you. First, be aware that when crossing international borders with pets, you need to research and meet the stated requirements for each country. Going to England would mean meeting UK pet import rules and then following New Zealand import rules when you come back.
Both countries have very specific requirements, and New Zealand in particular (because it is a rabies-free country) asks that pet owners complete a series of strict steps. Pets moving to New Zealand generally start preparing about six months ahead of their planned arrival date (here's the checklist from the official New Zealand government site), so theoretically you would need to have started already if you were planning to enter New Zealand in September. Coming from the UK, your dog will need to spend 10 days in New Zealand quarantine upon arrival, as well.
As you can see you're facing quite a bit of paperwork and several vet visits for a four month vacation, and reconciling the UK and NZ steps would take very detail-oriented planning (not to mention a substantial amount of money to cover flights, health documents, etc.). You'll also want to think about how your dog will fare undertaking two long airplane trips and then completing the quarantine stay upon your return.
Considering all this, you'll probably decide that it's a better idea for your dog to stay with a trusted pet sitter during your trip. Domestic travel or travel within the EU is realistic for many vacationing people and their pets, but crossing back and forth over international borders like New Zealand is much more complicated and may not be a feasible option.
It's always advisable to talk to your vet when making big travel decisions, and if you'd like to speak to one of our relocation specialists, you're welcome to give our office a call at 1-877-PET-MOVE or fill out our quote form. We understand the desire to keep your pet with you all summer, but in reality it's important to think about what's possible, and most importantly, what's best for your dog.
Good luck with everything, and let us know if we can be of further assistance!