(239) 344-8959

Get a Quote

How Much Time is Needed to Plan Your Pet’s Move to Another Country?

Published on: August 4, 2023  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

hand petting tan dog

Embarking on an international journey can be a complex and intricate process. When you add the task of relocating your family to another country, the number of details to consider multiplies exponentially. It's crucial to allocate enough time to organize your to-do list and ensure everything is completed on schedule.

Starting the planning process as early as possible is essential, especially when it comes to arranging your pet's travel. Rushing through the preparations will only lead to stress and may result in overlooking important details or making costly mistakes. Moving your beloved pet to another country requires meticulous attention to every aspect, as errors or omissions can have severe consequences.

The amount of time required to prepare for your pet's relocation can greatly vary, depending on many factors. Here are some considerations that will influence the timeframe you need to allocate for your pet's move.

Destination Country

Each destination country has its own unique set of pet import requirements, with varying timelines for when your pet can travel. For instance, in the United Kingdom, it is necessary to wait for 21 days after the rabies vaccination before your pet is permitted to enter the country. However, even if you plan accordingly, there is no guarantee that you will be able to arrange everything within a month, as the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre or airlines may already be fully booked during your desired travel period. On the other hand, Australia has strict regulations that prohibit pet importation until 180 days after the lab has received your cat or dog's blood sample for the rabies titer test. This means that planning at least 7-8 months in advance is a necessity when considering a move to Australia.

Travel Kennel Acclimation

If you're planning to fly with your furry friend, it's important to remember that every dog or cat who takes to the skies must have an airline-approved kennel. To ensure a comfortable and stress-free journey for your pet, we highly recommend purchasing the kennel at least 1-2 months in advance of their big adventure. This will give them plenty of time to become familiar and comfortable with their travel accommodations. It's also worth noting that kennel supply and shipping times can vary, so it's best to avoid any last-minute rushes.

Weather and Time of Year

To ensure the well-being and safety of your furry companions, many airlines have strict guidelines regarding pet transportation in extreme weather conditions. Some airlines have specific temperature restrictions, while others completely suspend pet travel during certain months at certain airports. It is important to note that pets are typically loaded last and unloaded first, minimizing their time on the tarmac. However, despite the crew's efforts to be efficient and pet-friendly, there may still be unavoidable delays on the tarmac. Extreme temperatures pose a significant risk to pets, especially those who are older, have pre-existing health conditions, or belong to brachycephalic breeds known for their snub noses.

These weather restrictions apply to every airport on your pet's itinerary, including the departure city, destination, and any layovers along the way. At Starwood, our pet shipping experts always plan the shortest and most direct routes for your furry friends. However, unexpected weather delays or embargoes can still occur depending on the specific journey and time of year. The more advance notice you have regarding your international move, the better equipped you will be to navigate around these potential challenges.

There are a lot of details to coordinate

Preparing for an international move with your family is no small feat, and the same goes for shipping your beloved pet. There are countless details to coordinate, from researching import requirements to multiple vet visits, paperwork, and ordering a kennel. It can quickly become overwhelming.

And that's not all. Planning which airline to use, booking flights, gathering all the necessary travel documents, and obtaining import permits for your destination country all take time. If you're moving to a country with quarantine requirements, such as Singapore or Australia, you'll also need to give the local departments of agriculture ample notice to secure quarantine space.

With so many factors at play, it's crucial not to risk missing anything or having to travel ahead of your pet due to poor planning. As a general rule, you should start planning at least 2 months before your travel date, including hiring a reputable pet transport company like Starwood. If you're moving to a country with more complex import requirements, it's best to allow at least 8 months of preparation.

So, if time is not on your side, don't worry. Starwood is here to help alleviate the burden and stress of arranging your pet's move, coordinating everything in a way that you may not be able to. Trust us to handle the logistics while you focus on the other aspects of your international journey.

What if you’re short on time?

We understand that time constraints can make it difficult to stay organized, especially when relocating to another country. At Starwood, we offer two solutions to alleviate your stress and burdensome tasks of arranging your pet's move. We not only relieve you of the responsibility, but we also coordinate the arrangements in ways that you may not be able to. While time may not be on your side, we are here to help.

Starwood Animal Transport has rebranded to Starwood Pet Travel. We are still the same great company with the best team, just now with a slightly different name.