Top Tips for Expats with Pets


Top Tips for Expats with Pets

Many people see their pets as fuzzy, cuddly children (who don’t answer back or try to put them in a home). When you consider your pets family members in this way, moving overseas without them just isn’t an option – but moving a pet abroad comes with its own difficulties.

If you’re hoping to take Rover, Fluffy, or Sam the Spaniel abroad with you make sure you do your homework and find out about every stage of the animal emigration processes, from vaccinations to pet passports and quarantine.

To get you started we’re continuing our ‘Top Tips’ series with a look at top tips for Expats with pets.

Yay or Neigh?

Before you take any steps towards organising pet transportation and passports, really consider whether moving your pet overseas is in their best interest. You may not be able to bear the thought of moving without them, but for older pets or animals with health issues all the upheaval and stress of relocating can be harmful. Really consider whether your pet is up to the journey. If the answer’s no, finding them a new home is probably for the best. If no friends or family are able to adopt your animal try and arrange re-homing them at least a month before you’re due to move. That way you can check up on them and feel confident that they’re settled before you leave the country.

Pet Passport

Louie the Labrador won’t be going anywhere without one of these bad boys, but they can be expensive and time consuming to obtain. If you’re living within the EU the DEFRA website will provide all the information you need to submit a passport application, but be sure to read all the information closely and make enquiries about anything you aren’t sure on.


As the rules regarding animal emigration (what animals are allowed to be brought into a country, how long they have to be quarantined for either side of the journey, etc) differ from country to country make sure you look into specific, up-to-date laws for the nation you’re moving to. If in doubt contact your local embassy and they may be able to help you access the right information.

Vaccinations, blood tests and micro chipping

In order to transport your pet you’ll need to be able to present the results of a recent blood test. You’ll also need to find out what vaccinations are required so you can get them done well in advance (make sure you have documented proof of them). And, as animals sometimes run away when in new surroundings, micro-chipping your pet is essential.


When moving overseas taking out comprehensive health insurance is obviously crucial, and pets need their own insurance too. As it can be quite pricy it pays to shop around for the best deal, but make sure your pet’s protected.

The Expat Hub
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