Expatriate Living – Can I Take My Pets With Me?

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Pets have become so entrenched in American culture that millions of dollars each year are spent on pet related products. More than the financial significance of this is the reason why. Our pets have become a part of the family, and in some families actually act as substitutes for having children. So, when you start thinking about a move abroad, you naturally are concerned about your pets.

In fact, your pet may be so important to you that whether you move or not depends on whether he or she can go with you. I am certainly not an expert on cat and dog expatriates, but the subject is worth considering. So, let’s consider it.

Basically, there are two areas to consider for importing your pet to your new destination:

Specific country requirements

There is no one answer here since each country has its own specific regulations as to the import of animals. If you have a pet other than a dog or cat, the regulations may even be more stringent. The one thing you particularly want to avoid is a long quarantine period. Your pet will not want to be away from you for an extended period of time. If the country to which you plan to move has a long quarantine period, I would either look to a country which doesn’t or look for a new home for my pet.

It is best to check with immigration in the destination country to get specific rules. Among the European Union Countries, a scheme has been developed to facilitate transport of animals between them. The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) was originally developed for use by the United Kingdom to allow pets into London from other countries without a lengthy quarantine process.

This Pet Travel Scheme simplifies the requirements for traveling between participating countries and provides for basic requirements common to all participating countries. For example: for dogs, cats, and ferrets, this includes a microchip implant with basic ID information; a rabies vaccination and certificate; rabies test results; and certain documentation letters and certificates from an accredited veterinarian. The program now has been expanded to include countries in other parts of the world. You can check with your proposed country to see if they participate.

Airline or other carrier requirements for transporting your pet to its destination.

Having determined the country requirements is irrelevant if you can’t get them to the destination. For example, some U.S. airlines won’t fly 寵物移民英國 animals to certain countries even if the destination countries allow entry. Some will not fly animals during the hot summer months. And, There may be restrictions at the destination country. Some countries only allow pets to enter at a specific airport. This could change how you set up your itinerary.

In general, let’s say that you probably can take your pets with you, although certain caveats apply. Some countries allow pet entry, some don’t. Some have stricter requirements than others. You may have to jump through more hoops at some destinations, but ultimately, once the legal and logistical factors are determined, it is all up to you. Is it worth the effort, or would your pet be happier staying where he or she is now but with a foster home? It may all be determined by your emotional ties to your pet.

Lamar Ross is an author, educator, photographer, internet entrepreneur, and international traveler. He has a special interest in training individuals for expatriate living and providing information on unique travel destinations. He has lived in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and India and has traveled extensively in 29 different countries. He speaks both English and Spanish fluently and has a basic ability in several other languages.


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