Moving with pets

You want to take your beloved pet when you move abroad? No problem. We are happy to support you with the organisation of the transport in connection with your move. With this guide we would like to share with you the experience of moving with pets that we have gained in our daily business.

Basically import and immunization requirements are subject to constant change. We must therefore emphasize that these guidelines do not claim to be exhaustive. Please ask for the latest information about your country of destination. Our advisors or your vet are happy to help you further.

For further information, addresses and tips about moving with pets, please also check the internet which offers a wealth of information.

When you plan your move, take into consideration that there might be “heat embargo” in the summer time. On extremely hot days, airlines refuse to transport pets.

Moving with your pet

Relocation is not only a special experience for people, but also for pets. Their move must be well planned and prepared – particularly when the new domicile will be abroad. 

Pets are sensitive and when their owners are stressed, they notice it instinctively. In their own interest, owners should be very patient with their pet friends and companions, and try to reduce their own stress in order to pass on as little stress as possible to the animals. Stressed animals make a move unnecessarily complicated.

PDF-guide: Moving with pets

Detailed information on moving with pets

With this brief guide we would like to share with you the experience of moving with pets that we have gained in our daily business.

 download PDF-guide

Important things to do

We will give you a brief overview of the most important things to do before, during and after the move. We must emphasize that these guidelines do not claim to be exhaustive, but we hope that the information compiled here will give you some ideas.

overview of the most important things to do

Moving abroad

People who intend to move abroad with their pets should keep in mind that many countries have quarantine and health provisions for pets. This applies, for example, to the antibodytiter test for rabies which must have been done more than six months before entry into a country. Pet owners should also contact the appropriate embassies or consulates – if possible, several months before the move – to get information about the relevant import regulations for pets. We advise pet owners to study these regulations carefully. Otherwise they may risk their pets not being able to move with them and having to be left behind. Useful questions to ask at the consulate:

  • What restrictions for pets does your country have?
  • Which documents do I have to obtain and submit to the authorities?
  • Are there age limits for pets?
  • Does my pet have to provide certain vaccinations or tests?
  • Are there specific national restrictions?
  • Which specific quarantine provisions must be adhered to?
  • Will there be quarantine areas when the pet arrives?
  • How will the pet be checked and treated at the customs?
  • Does the pet owner have to be present during the control?

Further country-specific information

The countries of the European Union have standardized their regulations for the importation of pets. These stipulate that dogs, cats and ferrets must have a pet passport which is a blue document with the yellow stars of the EU and it includes the entry of the valid rabies vaccination. The EU member countries also require that pets need to be identified by microchip.

In addition, some countries in the European Union have more stringent regulations in place in order to prevent rabies. There, health certificates from the veterinary official or the vet are compulsory. The quarantine period may also differ from country of destination to country of destination.

Certain breeds of dogs, which are usually classified as so-called fighting dogs, may not to be taken to certain countries. And when moving with exotic animals, it may be necessary to register these animals with the authorities in the new country of residence.

Also good to know: Some countries do not allow the importation of pets if these animals have been in certain other countries within a period of six months before the move. Customs authorities give detailed information upon request. If necessary, pet owners should make inquiries at an early stage. They should also avoid travelling to those countries in which a stay might later possibly cause problems in other countries.

Usually, the vet knows all about the required vaccinations and other steps that need to be taken. The internet also provides detailed information on www.europa.eu or on the website of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Germany (www.bmelv.de).

By the way: The United Kingdom is currently extending its Pets Travel Scheme to include the United States of America and Canada. Once this extension comes into force, pets no longer have to be held in quarantine. This is subject to the conditionthat the pets have been tested and do not suffer from rabies and that the pet owner can present an import permit.

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