Tips for Moving with Animals Abroad

Moving abroad is an exciting thing. People who want to leave Germany and start a new life in a foreign country often start planning and organizing months in advance. In particular, if you own animals, such as cats, dogs or small animals, that you want to move with you, it is important that you inform yourself in good time. We have put together a guidebook for you to inform yourself comprehensively about your move abroad with animals. Not only will we tell you what to look for in terms of entry requirements, but we also have valuable tips for transporting your animal favorites for you. Of course, the import and vaccination regulations are not only country specific, but are also constantly renewed. Therefore, this guide does not claim to be complete. Nevertheless, the following article will be a good first clue if you want to move abroad with your beloved pet.

Moving always means stress for the animal - especially at long distances

For every dog, cat and so on every other pet moving is always associated with a lot of stress. The animals are usually closely rooted to their place of residence and leave the familiar territory only reluctantly. If you move abroad, the animals usually have to survive a long journey. Air travel in particular is stressful for pets, so they often respond to nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

In summer, airlines reserve the right not to carry pets on particularly hot days. If possible, place your move in the cooler spring or autumn time.

It is also important that you as a pet owner try to reduce your own stress. The sensitive animal housemates are able to feel the excitement of their people and then also react with stress. Therefore, you should spend a lot of time planning and preparing the move to ensure a smooth turnaround on the actual move day.

Moving Abroad With Pets - These Things Should Be Considered

When moving your pet abroad Please remember that there are special pet health and quarantine requirements in almost all countries. A typical example is the detection test for the antibody titre against rabies. This test must usually be performed at least six months prior to entry. In addition, there are other regulations that vary by country.

Contact the Consulate

As entry requirements vary from country to country, we recommend that you check with the responsible consulate on the current import regulations for animals to inform. Contact the consulate by mail or post. Which questions you should make more sense can be found in the following overview:

  • Are there restrictions on pets in your country?
  • What documents are required and must be presented to the authorities?
  • Are there any age restrictions for the animals? ?
  • What quarantine requirements should be considered?
  • Are there any quarantine facilities available at the time of arrival?
  • How is the pet checked by customs and does the pet owner have to be present during the check?
  • Which vaccinations or tests must pets show?
  • Are there country-specific restrictions?

Be sure to abide by the regulations. Otherwise, you run the risk that you may not take your pet with you abroad, but he must remain in the old homeland.

Special provisions for moving pets within the EU

In the EU there are a few common rules that apply to the importation of animals. According to this, a passport is required for dogs, cats and even for ferrets. The blue document marked with the yellow stars of the EU must have a valid rabies vaccination. In addition, you must mark your pet with a microchip if you wish to take it to one of the EU member countries.

In some countries, it is not allowed to import pets that were six months before moving to other specific states.

Inquire in advance with the relevant customs authorities before moving. If necessary, you must refrain from traveling to the respective countries in the six months prior to your move with your pets. In addition, in some states of the European Union, there are strict rules to protect against rabies. Often a health certificate is required, which must be issued to you by the veterinarian or even the official veterinarian. The quarantine period also differs from one destination country to another within the EU.

Special arrangements apply to Switzerland

If you want to move to a location in Switzerland, you should remember that it does not belong to the European Union and therefore different entry requirements apply. The prerequisites you need to meet are available directly from the Federal Veterinary Office. In any case, you will need a rabies vaccine, an EU pet passport, a microchip and a veterinary certificate. In addition, you must register your animal favorites at Swiss Customs. Dog owners have a duty to register their four-legged friends at the future Swiss residential community. However, this registration is not the responsibility of the owner himself, but the veterinarian.

Some animals are not allowed to be imported

Dog owners must be careful if their four-legged friends belong to a breed commonly known as & quot; fighting dog & quot; referred to as. In some countries, it is not allowed to take such dog breeds. Even with exotic pets, caution is advised: Not always is the import allowed. If they do, the animals usually have to be reported to the authorities at the new place of residence.

The veterinarian is usually well informed

It is best to talk to your veterinarian about the plans you have for moving abroad. He usually knows well what vaccinations your animal companion needs. He may also give you other contact points for the arrangements you should make.

Before moving abroad: Good preparation is the be-all and end-all

What applies before every move with pets applies to moving to the home Abroad, of course, especially: with proper preparation, you can reduce the stress level to a minimum and save yourself and your animal friend unnecessary trouble.

Get the animal into the transport box

If your pet has a long transport ahead, you can with good preparation to keep the stress as low as possible.

If your pet does not know the shipping box yet, you should get used to it in good time. Offer the box in the apartment first as a sleeping place and then practice the transport over smaller distances.

If a flight is due, you should first check with the airline about how and where your pet is housed during the flight. In this way, you can prepare yourself better for the flight and, for example, equip a generous sleeping box with your pet's favorite blanket and favorite toy.

Take the favorite food with

It is also advisable to stock up on your favorite food and bring in to take the new land. Then comes to the stress of the move is not a feed change, which is often associated with stomach problems. After a few weeks in the new environment, your animal friend can then gradually be switched to the usual food there. The same applies to the drinking water: A sudden change of water can also lead to bowel problems. Therefore, we recommend bottling a few bottles of water and gradually getting your animals used to the new water a few days after arrival.

In addition, you can use the following checklist to best prepare yourself for moving abroad with your pets:

  • Are there any specific requirements for certain animals or breeds at your future location?
  • If necessary, provide papers for your animals?
  • If there is a veterinarian near the new place of residence?
  • Is there a sufficiently large transport box available?

Once you have completed all the points in the list, there is no problem There's nothing standing in the way of the moving day.

Tips for the actual moving day

The actual moving day is often stressful. The last boxes are packed, the movers of the moving company are already loading the car and the animals are somewhere in between. It is not uncommon that cats or dogs are overlooked in the scramble and flee the apartment. If possible, you should give care to your animal housemates a few days before moving to relatives or friends. Then they will be spared the entire relocation stress. In this case, the animals are only brought in when the greatest excitement is over. If such a measure is not possible, the animals should be placed in a quiet, lockable room until the last. There is an empty parade box ready to be packed into, just before you leave, to pack the water bowls, the food supply, the toys and other accessories.

Moving abroad with dogs and cats

Cats and dogs are very active. These animals have not only a lot of stress during the move through the long transport, but also in the new home. Be sure to take the familiar furniture with you to the new apartment. This gives the animals more security. Dogs usually get used to the new environment faster than cats. Velvet paws take one to two months to truly arrive in their new territory and consider it their own home. That's how long you should wait to let your cats go freewheeling.

If the temperatures in your new home are significantly lower than in your old home, the animals should gradually get used to the cold so they can make a thicker coat .

If you have more than one dog or a cat, you should remember that the district change can lead to rank-order disputes within the group. Not infrequently, the lower-ranked animals take the opportunity to challenge the head of the group. After a few days, however, the quarrels should have settled again.

Moving abroad with other pets

Relocating with small animals living in a cage or enclosure is often straightforward. The transport itself also means stress, but the animals find their way in the new home better, if they can continue to use their old habitation. Therefore, dismantle the old enclosure or the cage and in the new home again. The actual transport takes place in safe, sufficiently large transport boxes.


Every move involves a change of territory and therefore means a lot of stress for pets. Especially relocations abroad, which are connected with a long transport, should therefore be prepared accordingly well. In addition, depending on the destination country, various proofs, documents and vaccinations are necessary, which is why it is unavoidable to be well informed before moving abroad.

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