Five Tips Before Taking Your Furry Friends on International Moves
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Five Tips Before Taking Your Furry Friends on International Moves

Five Tips Before Taking Your Furry Friends on International Moves

Mobility Trends and Hot Topics

Published: May 4, 2022

At NEI, we believe pets are family too! Here are five tips to consider before relocating internationally with one’s pets:

#1 Meet with your veterinarian

Ask your vet to check on destination requirements for your pet’s vaccinations and quarantine rules. Ask your vet for advice on long flights with pets, microchipping your pet, and obtaining a supply of prescribed medications. It is not recommended for old, anxious, or sick pets to ride in an aircraft’s cargo hold.

#2 Understand travel rules before purchasing tickets

Travelers should call the airline(s) before booking a ticket to confirm carrier/crate limits, weight limits and space for their pet as they may limit the number allowed on a specific flight or not permit any pets on board. It is important to find flights with the fewest stops as layovers can be stressful for a pet.

#3 Prepare and organize all pet documents

Different airline rules and destination country Customs and Imports laws may require pet documentation for vaccinations and a vet’s letter clearing them for travel. Take a copy of your pet’s complete medical records while traveling.

#4 Consider using a professional pet transportation provider

At each client’s preference, NEI can direct employees to pet transportation experts. Fees vary by provider and situation. Most offer comprehensive services to manage the entire process!

#5 Always ask questions

Information received from airlines, veterinarians and pet transport firms can be overwhelming, so ask for clarifications well ahead of travel. NEI has helped many travelers proactively solve their pet challenges.

Examples of When to Make Other Arrangements

Advanced planning is the key to moving with pets internationally. When moving with an exotic or uncommon pet — snakes, birds, fish, turtles, insects, etc. — ensure you check for specific requirements about these creatures. Every country differs on what types of animals may enter. Missing a detail around their transport and laws would be an unwelcome surprise.

Consider these two examples when NEI Account Executives provided advanced pet problem solving for employees contemplating assignments with their pets:

Example 1 – Gerbils: from Canada to the UK

NEI managed the move for an employee going on assignment from Canada to the UK who was concerned about his two gerbils he wanted to take. NEI checked with a vetted pet transport service partner, inquiring about the latest quarantine period in London for gerbils.

When the employee was informed of the regulations, he decided to trust the gerbils' care to a family member while on assignment.

Example 2 – Five Chihuahuas from Japan to the US

A Mexican national and his spouse accepted an international assignment from Tokyo to San Jose, CA.  During a pre-move needs assessment, the NEI Account Executive learned the couple planned to bring their five dogs from Tokyo believing that, due to their small size, it should not be a problem. 

Their NEI Account Executive advised them proactively that relocating five dogs could be a potential issue:  not only are more U.S. municipalities enacting regulations on the number and type of animals a person can keep on a property, but California had even stricter laws that varied county-to-county.  

Research conducted by NEI found the California counties the relocating couple was interested in only allowed two dogs at any given time and more than two dogs required a kennel license.

After NEI and the DSP discussed options with the couple, they decided to take two dogs with them from Tokyo and relocate the remaining three to Mexico to live with the assignee’s parents until the couple’s eventual home country repatriation.

Had NEI not counseled the couple at the beginning, the result could have been much different and they greatly appreciated NEI’s guidance.

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