Preparing Your Pet for an International Move

Preparing Your Pet for an International Move – a photo of a dog’s head stuck through the car window

Moving to a new country is an exciting adventure, but it can also be a stressful experience, especially when you have a furry friend by your side. Just like humans, pets require careful planning and preparation to ensure a smooth transition during an international move. This article provides essential tips to help you prepare your pet for the journey, ensuring their safety, comfort, and well-being throughout the process.

Research pet import regulations and requirements

Before embarking on an international move with your pet, it is crucial to take good care of them and familiarize yourself with the import regulations and requirements of your destination country. Each country has its own set of rules governing the entry of pets, including specific import permits, vaccinations, and quarantine protocols. Start by researching government websites or consulting with a pet relocation specialist who can guide you through the process and help you meet all the requirements.

Visit the veterinarian

A trip to the veterinarian is an essential step in preparing your pet for an international move. It is also essential to obtain a health certificate and any other required documentation that may be needed for customs clearance upon arrival. Here are a few tips about vet check-ups for a pet before an international move:

  • Schedule a comprehensive health check-up for your pet with a trusted veterinarian.
  • Ensure that your pet is up to date on all vaccinations required by the destination country.
  • Discuss any additional vaccines or treatments necessary for travel, such as rabies vaccinations or parasite control.
  • Obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian, which may be required for customs clearance at your destination. Also, you should consider getting pet insurance for the move.
  • Address any underlying health concerns or conditions that may affect your pet’s ability to travel comfortably.
  • Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on how to keep your pet calm and comfortable during the journey.
  • Discuss any specific requirements or restrictions of the destination country regarding pet health and quarantine protocols.
  • Obtain copies of your pet’s medical records, including vaccination records, to carry with you during the move.
  • Consider obtaining a microchip for your pet if they don’t already have one, as it can provide a reliable means of identification during travel and at your new location.
  • Follow your veterinarian’s advice on managing your pet’s diet, exercise, and any necessary medications leading up to the move.

Remember, it is essential to consult with your veterinarian well in advance of your international move to ensure that your pet is in good health and meets all the requirements for travel.

Choose an appropriate pet carrier

Selecting the right pet carrier is crucial for your pet’s safety and comfort during the journey. Ensure that the carrier you choose complies with international airline regulations and provides adequate ventilation. Consider the size of the carrier, ensuring that your pet can stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. It is recommended to introduce the carrier to your pet gradually, allowing them to become familiar with it before the move. This will help reduce anxiety and stress during travel.

Help your pet adjust to the crate

Getting your pet accustomed to the crate or carrier is essential for a successful international move. Start by introducing the crate gradually and associate it with positive experiences. Place treats, toys, and familiar bedding inside to make it inviting for your pet. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as rewards and praise to create a positive association with the crate. Additionally, practice crate training in the weeks leading up to the move, gradually increasing the duration of time your pet spends inside.

Plan your pet’s travel itinerary

When planning your pet’s travel itinerary, consider choosing pet-friendly airlines that have experience with international pet transportation. Confirm their policies and procedures regarding pet travel. Whenever possible, opt for direct flights to minimize stress and travel time for your pet. Additionally, check for any layover or transit requirements and ensure that the airports have appropriate facilities to accommodate pets.

Hire professional pet relocation services

When preparing for an international move with your pet, it can be highly beneficial to consider hiring professional pet moving services. These specialized services have the expertise and experience to navigate the complexities of pet relocation, ensuring a smoother and less stressful transition for both you and your furry companion. Experts from suggest entrusting the process to professionals who are well-versed in international pet transportation regulations, documentation, and logistics. They can provide invaluable guidance on the specific requirements of your destination country, including import permits, quarantine regulations, and necessary vaccinations.

Pack essentials for your pet’s journey

To ensure your pet’s comfort and well-being during the journey, pack essential items they will need. Bring an ample supply of their regular food, treats, and any necessary medications. Familiar bedding, toys, and comfort items can help reduce stress and provide a sense of familiarity during the journey. Don’t forget to pack a leash, collar with identification tags, and necessary grooming supplies for your pet’s well-being throughout the travel period.

Prepare your pet for the new environment

Transitioning to a new environment can be overwhelming for your pet. To ease the adjustment process, gradually introduce them to their new surroundings. Set up a familiar space with their belongings, such as their bed, toys, and food bowls. Stick to a routine as much as possible, including feeding and exercise schedules, to provide stability and comfort during the initial days in the new country. Patience, love, and reassurance are key to helping your pet acclimate to their new home.


Preparing your pet for an international move requires careful planning, research, and consideration of their well-being. By familiarizing yourself with the destination country’s import regulations, visiting the veterinarian, choosing an appropriate carrier, and helping your pet adjust to the crate, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. 

Properly planning your pet’s travel itinerary, packing essential items, and providing a familiar environment in the new country will further support their well-being and help them adapt to the new surroundings. Remember, seeking professional advice and support when needed can make the process easier for both you and your beloved pet. With the right preparations, your international move can be an exciting adventure for both you and your furry friend.