Should I Relocate with My Pet?

When planning to relocate abroad, the impact it might have on our beloved pets is often a concern. With so many factors to consider, you may be finding it difficult to decide what is in the best interests of your pet.

Whilst it does add another level and dimension to the planning process, each year a large proportion of pet owners move overseas with their pets in tow and there are some who opt to leave them with relatives or re-home. Neither is right or wrong, it’s a decision based on your individual situation.

Sometimes the destination we are moving is dictated by a company or opportunity, whilst other times we have full rein on where we will move to. Either way, research into the country’s culture and practicalities of keeping pets there will need to be a vital step in your planning process.

To help you to make a decision that’s right for you, here are some areas to research and consider.


In the UK, there are many landlords who do not accept pets and this can make pet ownership a challenge for renters. As most expats will need to rent for a period of time, how easy is it to rent with pets in your chosen location? If you’re used to a garden, are properties with gardens in your budget?

Pet Culture

In some countries pets are considered royalty and in others they can be classed as food! The pet culture ranges widely across different countries, so ensure you find out what the laws, restrictions and general pet culture is like in your chosen country. Will you be able to provide the same level of freedom and comfort your pet is used to?

For example, in Dubai dogs must be kept on leads and in other countries the prevalence of strays pose risks to pets.


The distance, importation regulations and climate of a given country will have an impact on the potential stress levels for your pet. Countries requiring long-haul flight with stop overs are far more complicated than a ferry ride across the channel. Having to put your pet into quarantine can be upsetting for owners and pets alike.

Look into each element to determine how easy it will be to transport your pet.


Obviously moving pets abroad adds another budgetary consideration. If you’re moving abroad through your company, check to see if they will cover the relocation costs of your pet.

For help and support in this area, do get in touch for a free pet travel quote and for specific information on the pet relocation process for a certain country.

Your Pet

Each animal is different and the stress of relocation can impact our pets differently. Their age and personalities are all factors to consider, as a more anxious or older animal will naturally be more prone to stress.

You know your pet, so only you know how well they will respond to such a change. However, do bear in mind that our cats and dogs can also easily adapt and acclimatise and there are lots of ways to reduce the stress of moving overseas with cats and dogs.

If you pet is an exotic one, then do find out the specific importation laws, as some countries do not allow certain species of animals.

Ultimately, if you can’t imagine life without your best friend, look for solutions and where you can adapt your requirements and planning to best fit the needs of your pet and personal situation. For example, you may consider moving and leaving your pet with a friend or family member while you settle and then transport them over at a later date. There are lots of options available so be open to all possibilities.