Checklist for Moving Abroad with Pets


Specialists in pet travel into and out of the UK.
Get an Export Quote Get an Import Quote

golden labrador wearing a bandana sitting in the boot of a car with a suitcase

Moving abroad is a thrilling adventure filled with excitement, new experiences and opportunities, but for pet owners, it can also be challenging and overwhelming. Moving abroad with pets requires additional planning and preparation to ensure that their journey is safe and stress-free. From navigating through lengthy import regulations to finding pet-friendly accommodation, the process of moving abroad with pets can be daunting.

However, with careful research, help from pet transport service providers, and a well-prepared plan, it’s possible to make your pet’s relocation a seamless transition. In this blog, we’ll explore how to move abroad with your furry friend and make the transition as smooth as possible!

Step one; researching where you will live

Chances are, you already have somewhere in mind or have chosen where you will be moving to. Either way, research is crucial!

You will want to find out where the most pet-friendly towns and cities are and what local amenities they have for pet owners, such as dog parks and vets. Alongside this, it is essential to check what vaccinations and permits you will need to organise for your pet’s transport so you don’t encounter any nasty surprises at border control! Your pet transport service provider should be able to assist you with this.

Step two; visit your local vet

The next step in your move will be to pay a visit to your vet to find out what vaccinations your pet already has and which ones need to be carried out before you travel.

Check whether your usual vet is an Official Veterinarian (OV) because this is often needed for travel paperwork, and if they are not, they should be able to give you the contact details of an OV. When moving abroad with your dog, cat, or another animal, you will need the correct import permits signed by your OV.

Step three; choose a pet-friendly airline and book tickets

Not all airlines allow pets to travel, so make sure to do your research and choose a pet-friendly airline.

The airline will need to be informed before you travel, so they can make the correct arrangements, so give them a call and ensure you have everything in order for your move. You will usually be required to pay an additional fee for your pet, so consider this.

Step four; get packing!

When moving abroad with pets, you will need to pack their things, as well as yours.

To ensure you don’t forget important things, make a list of everything you will need including:

  • Documents and paperwork
  • Collar and name tag
  • Leads and harnesses
  • Toys
  • Food and water bowls and your pet’s favourite food
  • An IATA-approved travel crate

Step five; get your pet ready for the flight

For your pet, flying can be stressful, as it is not something they are used to. However, you can do a few things to minimise their distress.

When you have purchased a travel crate for them, try and get them used to the crate by leaving it out in the home, somewhere where they can access it easily. This will give them the chance to explore the crate themselves and get accustomed to it. On the day of travel, you can place something that smells like home in the crate, such as a towel or blanket. This will give your pet comfort during the journey.

Leave plenty of time between feeding and take-off to keep your pet comfortable throughout the flight. Also, take them on a nice long walk to stretch their legs and let them go for a toilet before the journey begins.


We hope this blog has helped you to begin to plan what you need for your big move! If you are planning on moving abroad with pets and need some help, get in touch with TailWings. We provide dedicated pet transport services and can help you plan your journey from start to finish.