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Taking Your Dog Overseas

Taking Your Dog Overseas

Posted on 26th February 2018

Dogs and Cats white background

A loyal companion usually makes travelling infinitely easier to handle, but for big international house moves, arranging for your dog to come with you can prove more stressful than without. It’s not just stressful for you, though, it can be an ordeal for your pooch, too.

In this article, we’re looking at some of the things you’ll need to think about when planning an overseas move with your faithful four-legged friend.

Know the requirements of your destination country

Countries will differ when it comes to the pet relocation process. Many will share a similar process, but some have their own specific requirements that you’ll need to be aware of. For example, if you’re moving to Australia, your dog will have to spend 10 nights in the Mickleham Quarantine Facility in Melbourne on arrival. This arrangement could easily mean drastic changes to your plans, so make sure you’re prepared.


Your dog must be fitted with a microchip before travelling outside of the UK. This should be the first task on your checklist, so make an appointment with your vet if your dog hasn’t already been microchipped.


The transmission of disease is the main fear when it comes to international pet travel, and your dog will need rabies vaccinations before they can travel abroad. You’ll also have to keep your dog up to date with booster vaccinations. Talk to your vet about the vaccination process well in advance of your move.

Pet passport

Moving within the EU means your pet can become part of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). Countries in the EU – and other ‘listed’ countries – follow the same process, making it more efficient for you and you dog.

Once the microchip and rabies vaccination has been sorted, all that’s left is to obtain the right travel documentation. Your vet will be able to issue an official pet passport, allowing ease of movement to and from EU and listed non-EU countries. Some countries may require their own documentation, permit or veterinary certificate, so ask your vet or check the regulations of your destination country.

Entering the UK from abroad

Without PETS, your dog will have to undergo a blood test 30 days after its rabies vaccination, before waiting three months before gaining access to the UK. With PETS, this is no longer necessary – unless you’re travelling from an unlisted, non-EU country.

One thing your dog will require before entering the UK is tapeworm treatment. Have this performed by a vet between 24 hours and 120 hours before your planned UK arrival time.

Travel prep

Here are a few things you’ll need to think about to ensure a safe, comfortable and stress-free journey for you and your dog:

  • Pet-friendly airline – Research airlines and their attitudes towards pets. Dogs are commonly transported, so there shouldn’t be too much difficulties here. Still, finding an airline that feels more accommodating, or offers a wider range of travel options for animals will give you peace of mind, and make the journey much calmer for your dog.
  • Kennel/container – Picking the best doggy travel container is a challenge in itself. Of course, you’ll need to find something that fits the size regulations of your airline, but the comfort of your dog is also a must. Once you find something to your liking, get your dog acquainted to it well before the journey. That way, they won’t be scared or anxious when the door is locked. It’s also a good idea to put a familiar blanket and toys in the kennel before the trip, to make the flight that bit more enjoyable.
  • Other vet treatments – While rabies is the most significant vaccination requirement, you can also ask your vet to carry out other treatments in preparation – tick treatments, for example. Talk to your vet for any additional medication or procedures that might be necessary – or advantageous – for the country you’re moving to.


Whittle International Movers take care of your international shipping requirements, meaning you can focus on keeping your pet safe and sound throughout the journey to your new overseas home. We tailor every move to your needs, with a fully supervised, managed service to ensure the secure shipment of all your possessions across Europe and beyond. For more information on our overseas removals services, contact us today.

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