I write a lot about people moving but, I don’t really spend too much time on offering the odd snippet of advice when it comes to pets. This struck me as odd since I have 2 cats that have lived or travelled through at least 5 countries in two separate hemispheres.
I hear the gasps from here but, you should know that I’ve had my two girls since they were 4 weeks old and they’re now 18. You should also know that there is absolutely NO way I would ever move them internationally again. Besides, there isn’t a vet in the land that would give me the necessary paperwork.
What I’m trying to point out is that if you’re just about to embark upon a move to a new country and can’t bear to leave your pets behind (and why would you)? Relocating your animals isn’t as difficult as it used to be, especially if you’re travelling within the EU.
Because of the European Union it has been possible to take your pets with you simply by obtaining what’s called a “pet passport”. Now, this doesn’t mean you just need to get some paperwork, complete it and send it off to the passport office. There are still other things that need to be checked.
You cannot obtain a pet passport without the signature of a vet. In fact, this professional should be your first port of call. Your pet will need a health check and any responsible owner will be happy to do this. You never know what might turn up. For example one of my cats was deemed too heavy to fly! I thought she was just “big boned” but no, she was overweight and by a full 2 kilos!
It took 6 weeks to get the weight off her so make sure you plan well in advance or your whole move could be put on hold. Your vet can also advise you about certain vaccinations they may need and can also talk to you about your travel plans.
If you’re going on a long-haul flight, it’s a good idea to ask your vet about companies that are DEDICATED to relocating pets. This means they don’t get involved in any other type of removal. If you’re travelling from the UK to Europe it’s now possible for your pet to travel with you on the plane. The best idea here is to speak to your chosen airline.
One of the reasons I decided to write about this today is because I was recently talking to a friend who intends to join me here in Spain and she was in tears about having to leave her beloved “Minky” behind. After a little talk with me, she’s all excited again!
Author: Julie Coburn