More and more families are picking up sticks and moving overseas for a better way of life with more opportunities for work and education and when an important part of that family happens to have four legs and a wet nose, things can become a tad complicated. If you listen to the naysayers amongst us, you’ll soon be hearing all kinds of horror stories that talk about hideous incidents involving customs, quarantine and even tropical diseases that can have terrible effects on man’s best friend. From my viewpoint, I have successfully moved to several different continents with our beautiful West Highland White Terrier and to this day she is as happy as ever. So if you are in a position where you are being offered the chance to make a similar life changing decision, I urge you to spend a few minutes reading the rest of this short article. You’ll not find any empty promises, nor will you be told any lies. But you will hopefully pick up a few tips that will make that choice a little easier to make.
1. Speak To Your Embassy
Okay, you may have to use considerable effort before you can get some results but it will be worthwhile in the end. We spoke to about a dozen different people before we found a dog lover amongst them. They will be able to help you with drawing up a plan and they’ll certainly make your expectations a little clearer.
2. Speak To a Local
The internet is all well and good, but you will never get better inside information than a local can offer. Ask about vet’s facilities and available animal insurance options. You’ll also need to know about boarding kennels and even pet food. We often take so much for granted and trying to take your Rover for a walk if you live in the middle of Bangkok or Mombasa may be more than you bargained for!
3. Plan, Plan and Plan!
Your loving dog is going to need inoculations and probably lots of them. Rabies is just one that needs to be given over a 6 month period and you need to allow for these timelines when arranging the whole shebang. Just a few days here or there and you may not be able to bring him or her along when you originally planned.
4. Speak To Your Vet
Ensure that your vet is experienced enough to offer sound advice and they should also be able to help with dealing with the transportation issues we’re covering next.
We made the mistake of booking our Westie on the same flight as us because the inexperienced airline employee said it would be just fine. A few days and dozens of phone calls later we found that on most airlines pets are not allowed to be on the same plane as their owners. Eventually we booked a flight that left a few days later but had we not checked, we would have faced some serious heartache at the airport.
6. Pet Carrier Company
These guys can make or break your journey plans and it’s really important to get them involved as soon as possible. The costs of using a pet carrier are fairly substantial so you’ll be best advised to pick the ones who suit your needs the best. They can supply your dog with an approved container and can usually deal with customs on both ends of the journey. Of course you can choose to do the whole thing yourself but we were delighted with the service and would never risk our lovely Westie’s health by cutting corners.
Is it worth it?
There is no way on earth that we could be without our adorable Megan and she has certainly more than repaid the considerable outlay that these logistical manoeuvres have incurred. I think that our pet dogs are one of the family, so ask yourself this – would you leave your family behind?
About The Author
* Phil Hall likes to write about dogs and tarantulas and can be seen at the following sites: http://www.bags-n-aprons.co.uk http://www.wordsbyphil.com
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