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Moving Pets to the USA – transporting dogs and cats

Posted by By Kirsty Parsons - November 11, 2014

If you’re about to start a new life abroad and emigrating to America, then chances are you’ll be considering moving pets to the USA too.But how easy is it to get them to your new home? And what do you need to do to make it happen?

Bournes International Moves can help with moving pets to the USA and provide pet transport and relocation as well as international removals services for your household goods and will guide you through the whole process, but here's a few things to consider.

5 tips for moving pets to the USA

  1. Pet Passports: As with humans, your dogs or cats will need to have their own form of passport to travel on. You can obtain these from your vet, but make sure you do so in plenty of time prior to traveling. If, for whatever reason you don’t or can’t get a passport then don’t panic – you can substitute this with an International Health Certificate. Again, this must be provided by your vet, be printed on their headed paper and produced at least 10 days prior to flying. Most airlines require this piece of paperwork over any other in order to allow your pet to fly so do check with them first, although the majority will still allow your pet to travel without this as long as their passport has been stamped by the vet.
  2. Rabies vaccination: While the UK is generally considered a rabies-free country, some parts of America are incredibly strict when it comes to disease control. Therefore it’s always advisable to make sure your dogs, in particular, are vaccinated for rabies at least 30 days before travelling and that you have a certificate to prove this.
  3. Microchip: This is more a requirement for EU-bound travel - and it’s incredibly unlikely that your pet will get lost in transit - but for peace of mind, make sure yours have microchips containing the correct information. Once you get to your destination, make sure that once you’ve registered your pets with a new veterinary practice, you alter the contact information on the chips accordingly.
  4. Prepare you pets: Whether or not it’s your pets’ first time travelling, it’s a good idea in the run up to the move to get them accustomed to the crate or carrier they’ll be travelling in. Put a few toys in there and let them wander in and out – and maybe even sleep in there – to try and reduce their anxiety on move day. However nervous your pet might be on the day, DON’T be tempted to give them a sedative; altitude can affect how medications work and can be extremely dangerous. When it comes to feeding and watering pets, your airline or pet transportation company should be able to give you guidance on what it recommends for the length of your flight, but you’re generally advised to use your discretion.
  5. Temperature: The time of year you’re travelling to the US may have a big impact on the ability to bring your pet; airlines can be very reluctant to transport your pet if you’re moving during a period of particularly hot or cold weather in the US. This is purely for your pets safety in adjusting to such a drastic temperature change, so you must check with your airline first. If you’re flying with an American airline, they may still let your pet fly but will require an Acclimatisation Certificate first.

Find out more about Moving Pets

Find more general info on moving to the USA where you can also get a quote for removals to the USA including a quote for moving your pets.

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