Relocating With Your Pets


When thinking about an international move, it can be hard to figure out how you’ll get your most precious family members – your pets – to their new home. We spoke to Mike Gays, managing director of premium pet travel company Global Pet Relocation, to find out how it works in practise.

It seems so complicated taking my pets abroad, where do I start?

It can be a daunting process even learning what the requirements are of the country you’re moving to. Your first port of call should always be your vet – make sure your pet has a clean bill of health to travel, their microchip is working, and their annual vaccinations are up-to-date. The next step is to investigate your different options for the trip. These can differ so much between destinations, the type of animal, and how and when you’re arriving. This is where you’ll really find value in speaking to a professional animal transport company like Global Pet Relocation.

Why use a pet relocation company?

Simply put, you’re employing someone with years of experience in the industry to save you the stress of managing the move yourself. We handle every aspect of the planning, such as documentation, flight reservations, vet visits, and bookings for luxury boarding facilities if needed. We only use trusted airlines and drivers that we’ve worked with for many years and who have an excellent track record of safety and animal welfare. The biggest hiccups are almost always to do with incorrect documentation or understanding of the requirements – you want a company that can make the journey as smooth as possible and ensure excellent care of your pet until you’re reunited.

What are owners’ biggest worries?

Safety and welfare of their pet is always number one, and it’s also our greatest concern. Every owner wants to ensure their pet receives the utmost care and to keep the experience as low-stress as possible, as do we. All our staff are pet owners themselves and some have experience of moving abroad with their cats and dogs to the United States and the Caribbean. We know first-hand that it can be a worrying time and we’ll always arrange the safest and most straightforward option for your pet.

How do I get my pet ready to travel?

Once your pet has booked their first-class travel, they’ll need a final health check with your vet. We’ll send out a sky kennel in advance of travel to give your pet a chance to get used to it - we’d suggest offering a treat or placing their dinner in there! It’s important not to change your pet’s food close to their departure date to avoid an upset tummy. We don’t recommend sedation for animals for safety reasons, but you can have as much liquid sedation as you like!

Which destinations do you have expertise in?

Global Pet Relocation offers a door-to-door service from anywhere to anywhere in the world, so we’ve handled relocations in over 200 countries. Our most common destinations are North America, Asia and Europe, including Switzerland. However, we specialise in places where local regulations and practises can be more complex, such as the Cayman Islands, Mauritius, India and China.

And finally, what’s the most unusual pet you’ve moved?

We primarily move dogs, cats and small animals, although we can assist with any kind of pet other than exotic animals. This was much to the displeasure of one client, who had booked their ‘cat’ to be picked up from their Manhattan apartment. Upon our arrival it turned out to be a fully grown tiger – sadly, we couldn’t help.


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