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How to move abroad with pets
Often, when emigrating, it can be inconceivable for some pet owners to want to leave their pets behind. You have to be prepared for what can be a quite elongated process though, particularly if you are planning to live in Australia. Their quarantine laws are very strict as it is a completely rabies free island. Depending on where your pet originates, you can have up to 6 months quarantine although only 30 days of that have to be carried out in Australia itself. The rest can be in the country of origin but this is all dependent on a rabies test on the animal to make sure they have enough rabies antibodies in their blood.
It is worth starting to plan for transporting your pet about 6-7 months prior to your emigration date as there are any things to organize. This can be a lot easier nowadays than it used to be thanks to defined rules between certain countries and sometimes, there isn’t even a need for quarantine depending on the two countries involved in the switch. There are many pet transportation companies that can help with the move and even filling in the customs forms and quarantine requirements.
One of the most important things to plan for are when and where to arrive. Often there will be restrictions on the airports that animals can arrive at and also if they are to be picked up by customs or quarantine stations, they prefer the flights to arrive during working hours, Monday to Friday. For very long flights, stopovers also have to be accounted for. Size and weight are important too as there are restrictions on how big the container for your pet is to ensure safety and comfort. There are guidelines on the IATA website on this.
It is important that you check with your vet and whichever country you are planning to emigrate to as rules and regulations can change at any time but the main things that most countries demand are as follows:-
Inoculations against rabies and tapeworm are the most common, but also the following can be requested too –
for dogs, distemper, leptospira interrogans, canine parvovirus, infectious hepatitis, canine and para influenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough),
for cats, calicivirus , feline enteritis (distemper) and rhinotracheitis .
Additionally, your pet will probably need to have a pet passport and be micro-chipped. You will also need to visit your vet within 7-10 days before you fly so that they can write a letter saying that your pet is well and healthy enough to fly.
As exciting as it is to be preparing for emigration, sorting out the preparations for your pet as early as possible will make things a great deal easier. So, the first port of call should be your vet and the regulations of the country concerned. I hope you and your pet enjoy your new life abroad. If there is anything else you would like to find out about, then please have a quick look at some of my other hubs about emigration.
- 10 practical tips on planning to move overseas
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- If you want to emigrate, which country should you choose and why?
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- My ex-pat experience in Australia
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