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Emigrating with your dog or cat

If you’re planning to emigrate you’ll no doubt want to bring along the entire family … and of course that includes your beloved dog or cat! However, many countries enforce strict regulations around the “importation” of pets and airlines often impose specific rules regarding the actual transportation of your pet.

emigratie huisdierThe preparations for emigrating with your pet are possibly the most straightforward when emigrating to a country within the EU. In this instance, the only thing that your dog or cat will need is a microchip and a valid pet passport. And if you drive to your new destination, then your faithful friend can even accompany you in the car. The only exception is the UK where they have somewhat stricter pet importation rules. Fortunately the draconian quarantine requirement was abolished some time ago and the need for a costly rabies blood test was eliminated last year. However, your dog or cat does still require proof of an up to date rabies vaccination, administered at least 3 weeks prior to entry. In addition your dog will need a tapeworm treatment, which can be arranged at your local vet prior to departure. Just make sure your vet remembers to stamp and sign the pet passport in the appropriate sections. Click on this link for further information and exact requirements for taking your pet to the UK.

For destinations outside of the EU, the policy can vary widely from country to country. The rules for taking your dog or cat to the United States and Canada for example, are relatively relaxed – your pet must simply be micro chipped, have a valid pet passport and be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to arrival. If you plan to emigrate to Australia or New Zealand however, then taking your dog or cat is slightly more complicated. In addition to your pet’s microchip, pet passport and several other vaccinations, you’ll also need to arrange a blood test for rabies. And that’s not all – upon arrival your beloved pet will be detained in quarantine (for how long depends on your country of origin and the countries in which your pet has travelled during the 6 months prior to your entry). Naturally, there are some significant costs associated with this. Click on this link for more information about taking your pet to Australia and this link for full details about bringing your cat or dog to New Zealand.

Note that many airlines also impose extra requirements regarding vaccinations, in addition to the method of transportation, and that some will expect a signed certificate of health from your vet. Always check the official government website of the country that you are emigrating to, as well as the airline’s website before you make any concrete travel plans. In addition, it’s best to book the ticket for your dog or cat’s flight before your own, because there is only limited room for pets on each flight. For you wouldn’t want your furry friend to arrive in your new home before or after you, would you?!

2 comments on “Emigrating with your dog or cat

  1. Pingback: Frequently asked questions about emigration | Dutch Community

  2. Pingback: Emigration checklist | Dutch Community

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