Know how to move overseas with pets

How to move overseas with pets?

So you have decided that it is time to move and you are trying to find the best moving company, going through all of your check-lists. Thinking about packing, how you will adjust to the different culture and similar. While you are doing all that, you need to think about your pet. Moving with your pet can be complicated even if you are going just to another state. But, when you are going to move overseas with pets, then there is something you need to do or your pet will stay behind you. And since moving can sometimes be pricey, you can do your best to find a cheap moving company and deal with that problem.

First steps when you want to prepare to move overseas with pets

Most of the countries have one main concern – potential diseases. They have pretty strict regulations especially for rabies and Avian influenza. Some countries even request you to have blood titer test that your pet is free of rabies. For example, before you start preparing for a move to Japan you need to start the preparation process for your pet more than 180 days before the trip. So, please, take this issue very seriously unless you want your pet to get stuck in quarantine for a quite long period of time.

Microchip and Vaccination

The basic thing that you need to do regardless of your move is to microchip your pet. And you need to check is that chip ISO complaint with the country that you are going to. If it’s not, you will have to bring your own microchip reader. Yes, we know it sounds silly, but let’s be honest – we would anything for our pets even . And when you need to move overseas with pets, this is something that should not slip your mind.

Using vaccines to protect out pets
Vaccination of the pet

The vaccination process is a little bit longer and that is why you need to plan ahead because even if your pet has already received a vaccine against rabies they will need to get another one. And after that one – the pet will have to be revaccinated. As we previously mentioned, some countries – like Japan are requesting a blood titer test and you can only get it certified vet stations. You need to get an international health certificate just to be on the safe side.

Preparing for the trip

Beside regular preparation you will have to double check with the consulate of the country where you plan to go – what kind of import permit do you need? It can vary from country to country- but you guessed it. More paperwork that you need to fill out. If you need one, you will have to fill out more papers once you arrive at your destination. We know, it sounds like a really big amount of paperwork, but when you move overseas with pets and see their joy – that doesn’t have the price.

Choosing the right travel crate

You need to find comfortable and large enough travel crate for your pet. It should be comfortable and at least 4 inches bigger than your pet. That way, they will have a little bit of extra space. And, the most important thing – you need to start crate training so they can feel safe in there. You can use treats, add their favorite toys, maybe even a piece of your clothes so they can feel safe at any moment.


Transport of your pet via plane is not always the best solution, but since you are going overseas it is the best way. The best thing you can do is to try to find a pet-friendly airline company because that will make this whole journey much easier. Of course, there are different types of international transport but we are talking about airline companies since that is the most common way and as we advised maybe even the best possible.

There are some things that you should check with the airline company since they all have different rules:

  • Are small dogs or cats allowed in the cabin?
  • Do they need a hard-sided or soft-sided carrier?
  • Do they have any special health requirements?
  • Are tropical birds allowed in the cabin
  • Ask about temperature and air pressure in the cargo area

Those are some basic questions and it is better to go through them before you buy a ticket. Also, if you have a service dog or emotional support animal check all the requests from the company and fill out all the paperwork on time so they can fly in the cabin with you.

Boarding the plane
Check if pets are allowed on board when you want to move overseas with pets

Preparing your pet

You need to remember that your pet did not choose to move – you did. It was your decision and you need to help them to prepare for this big change. They will probably get anxious when they see that you are packing your home and that things are changing. Be sure to leave their bed and toys and pack them among last things, so they can be the first one to unpack as well.

Before the trip, be sure to cut their nails so they can not get hurt and to double check their health status. Also, you should stop giving them food 6 hours before the trip. If they get really anxious, you can advise with your vet can you give them some medication. Be sure to have some treats with you and some dry food prepared once you arrive at your destination since there is a possibility there won’t be the same food as at home.

Moving day

So, the day has come and you are all packed up and ready to go. Make sure once you get to the plane to advise the crew that there is an animal in a cargo bay. That can make a difference if the captain is aware of that fact. Once you land, check your pet and see if there are any injuries. Make sure to check if it seems okay. However, if you see anything wrong – even if it is a detail visit the vet as soon as possible.

After you arrive, give your pet some time to adjust. Don’t let them wonder on the first day since they can get lost. That is also very important in the airport since your pet will still be very confused by the flight. Keep them on a leash and try to comfort them. Give them some treat or pet them, but they need to feel safe.

We know that you probably are scared about all the regulations and paperwork, and it may seem hard. You are probably worried about the cost as well. To move overseas with pets is definitely not easy. But, trust us – once you arrive at your new home and you see your pet by your side – it will be priceless.  After all, you are their whole life!

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