If you are considering moving abroad with your pet, deciding if you should bring your pet with you is a complex decision. Much depends on where you are moving. Is it possible to import a dog or cat there? Are some breeds restricted? What is the process? What do you need to do to bring your pet back home with you if you are going for a finite stay such as a temporary work placement?
Within Europe, we have the pet passport scheme, and it is critical to follow the complicated procedure precisely. You also need to consider the culture of your future home. Is it pet-friendly or will it be impossible to find a rental that accepts pets? What is the standard of veterinary care? What hazards would your pet face there in terms of disease, poisonous snakes, insects, or other dangers? And of course, your individual pet is an important factor. Is it a young pet who a friend regularly minds while you travel, and would that friend take the pet? Or it is an elderly animal with complicated medical needs? Deciding to take an indoor-only cat is an easier call than choosing the best option for a cat who is used to being outdoors daily.
Once you’ve made decision to bring your pet and determined it is indeed possible to do so, you still have a lot of work ahead. First, you need to understand the local laws about pet ownership. You also need to learn if your pet will need a new microchip, if you can reregister his existing microchip with the local database or if microchips are not used in that country. Finding a vet in advance is a good idea, especially if your pet has any ongoing medical issues or is a senior. One good way to get local information is to find online groups for pet owners in that country on Facebook or another platform.
Helping Your Pet Settle into a New Home
Whether you are moving near or far, getting used to a new home can be difficult for your pet. Both dogs and cats are creatures of habit. They love routine and familiarity. So keeping daily life as consistent as possible will help them. Try to keep to their regular schedule for feeding and walking as much as is possible. Making a little extra time to groom and play with your pet can reassure them that despite the changes, all is well and they are safe.
Bringing some familiar things from home will also help your pet settle in. Normally, it makes sense to wash everything you are packing, but for your pet’s sake, try to keep one blanket or towel from their bed unwashed. The familiar smell will comfort them when they arrive in your new home. Shipping their toys and grooming tools is not only comforting to them, it ensures you have them. They might not be easy to replace in your new location! Changing food abruptly can upset their stomachs. If possible, ship a month’s supply of their regular food and bring a smaller amount with you. They will relax and settle in faster if they start out with their normal food. After a couple of weeks, you can start to gradually transition them to a new food.
Moving abroad is hard on pets, but usually it is not as hard as losing you, their beloved owner. They’ll need some extra love and patience as they adjust to their new home, but you might find having them at your side makes the transition easier for you.