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The Ultimate Guide to Relocating with Pets

Updated: Jul 14

Are you thinking of relocating with pets? Moving abroad is one thing, but moving with pets requires next-level planning! Pets aren’t just an extra form of luggage but are a huge part of the family. It’s only natural that you’ll be stressed out trying to figure out how to take your pet with you safely.

But don't worry, you've come to the right place! In this pet relocation guide, we'll help you understand how to handle your pets’ emotional well-being, health and safety concerns, what travel documents you need for your furry friends and even pet transportation tips and pet moving tips.

Being prepared and knowing what to expect when moving with pets is essential, that’s why it is best to have a pet relocation checklist in advance and make sure you gradually ease your pets into it.


Read on to get the best pet travel tips and answer any concerns to help you move smoothly with your little ones.

1. Relocating with Pets: Preparing Your Pets for the Move

couple preparing for a relocation with their pet dog with boxes and their dog

Starting early will give you the time to make sure you have everything prepared for your pets. Especially if you’re already busy with the move abroad, packing and sorting all your paperwork out, it’s important to factor in the essential aspects needed to ensure your pets are ready for the move, too.

Here are a few things you need to do to prepare your pets for the move:

Visit the vet for a check-up and update vaccinations

In most cases, your vet will be familiar with any vaccinations needed for travel, but you can find your country-specific vaccinations here. Most countries will require a vaccination against rabies which should be completed at least 21 days before the move.

Obtain necessary travel documents and permits

Just like you, your cats and dogs will need to have their very own travel document to be able to fly. For every country and sometimes even airline, the requirements will differ, so be sure to check the pet travel requirements for your destination country here. Don’t forget that a permit or visa could also take up to 6 months to obtain depending on the country.

Many countries now also require your pet to be microchipped and if they already have a microchip in place, then the data must be updated. Otherwise, you could face a hefty fine! You can check microchip laws and regulations by country and pet here and get your head around international pet relocation requirements.


Start getting your pet comfortable with the travel crate

If you don’t already have a travel crate or carrier, it’s time to do that now. The sooner you get your hands on one, the more time you give your pet to get familiar with it and feel comfortable towards it. Make sure you check airline and country guidelines for crate requirements as each airline will require different sizes for specific pets.

Not all pets will be fond of their travel crates straight away, but it is your job to try and create a positive atmosphere and vibe to encourage them to use them. This will help them recognize it as a safe place and ease their emotional anxiety.

Here are a few tips to create a positive bond with your pet’s crate:

  • Provide treats and meals in the crate.

  • Leave their favourite toy there.

  • Add a blanket to make it more comforting.

  • Encourage sleep or nap time within their crate.


2. Planning the Move: Best Practices for Moving with Pets

woman travelling with pet dog in a travel crate

Call the airline

The first thing you need to do once you’re set on a pet-friendly destination is to get in touch with the airline. Each airline will have different options and guidelines when travelling with pets internationally and it will be useful to get an idea of specific requirements such as crate and carrier sizes, documentation and paperwork and any other things you need to bring to make your travels with your pet a lot easier.

Find a pet relocation service

If you feel this is all too much and you’re worried about missing any important information that could put your pets at risk, you can always find a pet relocation service. Many moving companies also offer pet relocation services as part of their international moving package or even as an additional service.

Find out how they can make the entire process easier for you and if there’s anything you’re missing they can help you with. You can always find out more by contacting CMG support here and they'll put you in the right direction to make flying with pets super easy.

Here's a few things to keep in mind when considering a pet relocation service:

  • Travelling with pets can be super expensive. Your pet will need vaccines, a plane ticket, permits, pet-friendly housing and other costs that will add up.

  • Check credentials. After all, you're leaving a family member in their hands.

  • Ask for exclusions or any additional costs you'll have to pay when you receive an estimate on pet relocation costs.

Research pet-friendly accommodations

Unfortunately, not every accommodation will be welcoming to pets. Be sure to ask your temporary accommodation if they allow pets and if not, what the options are. Otherwise, it’s time to find pet-friendly housing that will welcome your little one with open arms. Don't leave these things to the last minute or you can end up being stuck in a rut with nowhere to stay. To be ready, you should create a pet resume with all the valid vaccinations your pet has taken and be ready to pay extra for pet deposits.

3. Moving Day: Reducing Pet Anxiety During a Move

A huge part of preparing pets for a move comes with getting them comfortable with boxes and packing and making the entire process come gradually for them. Just like you did with the crate, when packing with pets, you should include them in the process. Have them around when packing, create a friendly and positive environment and even give them tasks to do. By involving them in the process, you'll ease the stress that comes with long distance moves with pets.

Pet relocation checklist

Having a pet relocation checklist will help you stay organized, positive and provide the reassurance that your pet needs. Here are a few things to include in your pet travel checklist:

pet relocation checklist

Keeping your pet calm

Moving day with pets can be a lot to take in, especially for your pet. That's why it is best to create a safe space for them and keep them away from all the action. You can do this by putting their crate, favorite toy and comfort blanket in a separate room away from all the chaos. Just be sure to check in on them every once in a while and give them the reassurance and love they need to reduce pet anxiety during a move.

  • Keep their routine as consistent as possible to ease the anxiety.

  • Keep comforting items accessible such as blankets, toys etc.

4. Settling in: Getting Your Pet Acclimated to the New Home

settling into new home with dog

Settling pets after a move can take some time. But remember, there's no rush. Just like you were preparing pets for a move, you need to ease into the relocation process and take your time acclimating your pet to a new home. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Start by introducing one room at a time and getting them familiar with it.

  • Use interactive toys in each room to create a safe and friendly environment.

  • Unpack gradually and keep your pets away from the chaos.

  • Keep your routine consistent.

  • Create a safe space for your pet with all their comfortable belongings.


A stress-free pet relocation is possible when you plan ahead and are ready to conquer any obstacle that comes your way.

Once you're familiar with the legal requirements and health and safety measures that need to be taken when relocating with pets overseas, you'll be ready to focus on your pets well-being and ensure you know how to reduce pet anxiety during a move.

Safe travels and enjoy the new chapter of your life with your pet by your side!

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