Pet Restrictions: Things to Know Before You Move Abroad

Kate  @goodmigrations

Moving pets overseas can sound intimidating, but it’s a necessity! From fish to hamsters and from cats to dogs, we consider all members of our scaly, furry, and hairy house guests a part of the family. Moving overseas without our four-legged family members is not an option for many of us. Before boarding your plane (and before even booking the flight), it’s important to know the steps involved in pet relocation when moving overseas and to know which countries have pet restrictions.
Countries with Pet Restrictions

Moving overseas and leaving your pet behind is not an option. They are family after all! Here are three things to consider when preparing to move abroad with a pet:

1. EASY VS. STRICT

Some countries are certainly easier than others when it comes to bringing bring dogs, cats and other animals across the border with you. These are the countries you can count on to have a relatively easy process:

  1. Austria
  2. Czech Republic
  3. Hungary (Fun Fact: dogs are welcome in most cafes and restaurants in Hungary.)
  4. Nicaragua
  5. Switzerland

I hope you like to write. If you plan on traveling to one of the below countries, be prepared to fill out lots, and lots, and lots of paperwork:

  1. Australia
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Jamaica (Not-so-fun Fact: Regardless of the animal or breed, only pets from Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland are allowed entry into Jamaica.)
  4. New Zealand
  5. Vanuatu

2. BREED RESTRICTIONS

What breed of dog is the most banned across the globe? As horrible and unfair BSL are, that would be the American pit-bull terrier. Countries included in the list of banning the pit-bill are as follows: Australia, Ecuador, Malaysia, New Zealand, the territory of Puerto Rico, Singapore, Venezuela, Denmark, Israel, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and in some states across the USA.

Breed Specific Legislation

“What do you mean I’m considered dangerous?”

NOTE: breeds that aren’t pit-bulls but share similar features (think:Cane Corso, English bulldog, bull mastiff, etc.) may also be turned away solely based on the appearance, even if they have an A+ behavior score.

3. QUARANTINE TIMES

Some countries require you to leave your pet in the hands of quarantine specialists for a period of one to thirty days, depending on where you embark.

You should first start off by determining which category your home country (or the country your pet is in) falls into. Countries have been divided into three classifications:

  1. Rabies-free countries (Australia, Iceland, Ireland, Japan…)
  2. Rabies-controlled countries (Belgium, Canada, France, USA…)
  3. Rabies high-risk countries (Columbia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, South Africa…)

Which countries can you expect to quarantine your pets? Rabies-susceptible animals (cats, dogs and ferrets) must spend six months in quarantine in the UK if they do not meet the requirements under the current Pet Travel Scheme. And if you had brought a pet into Australia before 2013, they would have spent a whopping 30 days in quarantine (which sometimes lasted up to 18 months according to this article in the SMH). Now however, the Australian quarantine may release animals to their owners in as little as 10 days. PetTravel.com is a great source to refer to for further information on quarantine times.

 Pet Passport- Pet Relocation

Regardless of where in the world your destination takes you, make sure to complete this checklist first:

  1. Contact the embassy or consulate of the country you’re traveling/moving to and confirm pet travel regulations
  2. Obtain all of the necessary paperwork (such as health certificates and documentation) regarding your pet’s travel
  3. Contact your local veterinarian to ensure your pet is in compliance with foreign health regulations.
  4. Check regulations on bringing your pet back to your home country. Quarantine rules may apply even if your fur friend has only been gone a short time.

If you plan to move abroad with your pet but still have questions… feel free to contact us directly so we can help point you in the right direction.

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