Moving Overseas with Your Pet

You love your pet, but you also want to travel the world. Fortunately, it is possible to do both! The first step is to plan ahead and ensure that the country you are traveling to allows pets and that they have the proper documentation. If not, you may need to spend an extended amount of time in a quarantine facility before being allowed entry into your destination country.

Some countries have specific requirements.

Before you move, it’s important to find out about the specific requirements of your destination country. This will help ensure that your pet can enter the country with no problems. Some countries may require pets to be vaccinated for rabies (or other diseases), microchipped, and have a certificate of health issued by a veterinarian. Other countries may require only an import permit, which is usually free and available online at the animal control office website or through their embassy or consulate in Australia.

It’s also worth noting that some countries will not allow animals coming from overseas unless they receive an up-to-date rabies vaccination within 30 days of entry into that country.

Payment of customs fees is required.

After your arrival in the foreign country, you must pay customs fees at the airport. You will be given a receipt that shows how much you paid, so make sure to keep it with you at all times while traveling abroad. If you are traveling with multiple pets, such as dogs and cats, there may be an option to pay your customs fees in bulk rather than individually.

Medical documentation must be carried with you.

You must have appropriate medical documentation for your pet with you when traveling internationally. The rabies vaccination is the most important document, and it must be current. If your pet has been vaccinated against distemper or other diseases, these vaccinations will also be noted on this form.

If your pet is elderly or has any other health conditions that require extra care, it’s a good idea to bring proof of those medical tests along with you as well. If your dog is over 7 years old and has not had a heartworm test within the past 6 months (or within 24 months if in an area where heartworm disease is common), then they should have one done before leaving home. Cats are not susceptible to heartworms but may need their last FIV/FeLV test within 12 months of travel. If there’s any question about whether or not these tests should be performed by a veterinarian close to departure date—and plenty of vets will tell you they don’t need them—then err on the side of caution and get them done anyway!

Personally going through customs with your pet.

It is important to check that your pet has the proper paperwork and vaccinations before you leave for the airport. Make sure you have:

  1. A valid health certificate from a veterinarian, dated within 10 days of departure.
  2. The original or copy of the airline-approved travel kennel with proper documentation showing proof of purchase.
  3. Ensure there are no tears or holes in the kennel and that it has been cleaned thoroughly inside and out before leaving home (no food or water bowls should be inside). The pet must be wearing a collar with identification tags issued by an approved agency (not just homemade tags made out of yarn) at all times while being transported by air.

Prepare for your pet to stay at a quarantine facility until given clearance.

Quarantine laws also vary by animal species: some countries have no quarantine period for dogs or cats but do require one for other animals (like ferrets). Other countries have different rules depending on how old your pet is: puppies and kittens are often allowed into certain destinations with shorter waiting periods than elderly pets or those who have been previously vaccinated against rabies in their home countries. Additionally, certain breeds may be restricted from entering certain countries due to their perceived danger level (e.g., pit bulls).

Plan ahead when traveling internationally with your animal.

Next, you should research and contact the country’s import requirements to find out what they are specifically looking at when it comes to bringing an animal into their country. For example, France requires that all dogs must be microchipped before entry into its borders; this rule was put into place after an outbreak of rabies occurred among French canines several years ago due largely in part due to lack of identification among dogs entering from other countries.


The most important thing to remember is that safety and security are top priorities. The pet must be in a kennel, which can be rented at the airport, and you must personally go through customs with your animal and present the proper paperwork and vaccinations to the inspector. If you are traveling to a country with a quarantine period, you must prepare for your pet to stay at a quarantine facility until given clearance. Have questions about traveling internationally with your pet? Contact us at Go Travel Tails via live chat or by email at! We have personal experience with traveling overseas with our dogs and can help you understand the process. Good luck!

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