Taking your dog with you when relocating

Published:  22 May at 6 PM
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Relocating expats whose dogs are a precious part of their lives need not be nervous about the process, as many world countries will make both of them welcome.

Expats with much-loved dogs could be forgiven for panicking when it’s time to relocate to another job in another country, but there’s no need to worry.

The practicalities of pet relocation are straightforward if costly, as long as the destination country’s requirements are met. The best way to ensure your furry best friend is well taken care of on the journey is to research every aspect of the transfer, including pet transportation companies, veterinary advice as regards vaccinations and suchlike, import requirements and the lifestyle your dog will have in its new home.

Most of the popular expat destinations are pet-friendly, both as regards importation procedures and pet-related laws. Obviously, proof of a rabies vaccination is essential, with compulsory and extended periods of quarantine should the certificate not be given on arrival. Your veterinarian should be up to speed about worldwide dog health regulations, and will ensure the correct documentation is issued before you and your dog board the plane.

Nowadays, transporting dogs in a special compartment in the plane’s hold is far safer than in the past, and it’s often possible for small dogs to be carried in the cabin with their owners. If Australia is your destination, the procedure for importing your dog can be complicated, involving the issue of an import permit before you arrive. If quarantine is necessary, it’s only available in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, so booking in advance is the best way forward. Once you’re safely in the country, you’ll find a huge choice of dog food, accessories and more as well as good standard veterinary services.

Rabies vaccinations are essential if Canada is your new home, and quarantine isn’t necessary if you’ve arrived from a rabies-free country. Specialist pet shipping services can help you cope with the paperwork as well as ensuring your dog is safely transported. Again, pet-related products are easily sourced and veterinary standards are high. France has the reputation of being the most pet-friendly country in Europe, even although they don’t allow pit bulls to come in! Up to five microchipped dogs can be imported, and shops and restaurants welcome customers’ dogs in specially set up areas.

Norway is a member of the international Pet Travel Scheme, meaning no quarantine if it’s from another member country. Rabies and other vaccinations as well as microchips are mandatory, and give your dog his very own Pet Passport or Pet Travel Scheme certificate. Dogs can travel on trains, some buses and ferries, and there are plenty of pet stores. Overall, most first-world countries have similar requirements, meaning there’s no reason why you should lose your best furry friend when you relocate.
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