There’s isn’t much that can break the bond between a loving owner and their pet. Chewed shoes and scuffed sofas don’t stand a chance. Tumbleweeds of fur and misplaced bathroom breaks make no difference, either. Barks and begging are just endearing quirks. But what about moving abroad?
If you plan on heading to the UK permanently you’ll probably want to take your pet along for the journey. Fortunately, this is a fairly common occurrence, and the UK will happily allow your cat, dog or ferret to accompany you on the trip. What’s important here are the factors to consider when making the move.
Travel stress-free with these five pet hacks for taking your furry friend to the UK.
Know the Rules
Here are the conditions that need to be met for your canine, feline or ferret to enter Great Britain:
- They must be microchipped. This should be done close to the vaccination. Only vets or professionals trained in microchipping are allowed to perform the procedure. An identification number tattoo is an acceptable alternative provided that it’s clearly legible.
- They have a pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate.
- They’ve received a vaccination against rabies and were tested within the last three calendar months (92 days).
- You’ll also need to have blood tests done if you’re coming from an unlisted country.
- Tapeworm treatment is required for dogs and is dependent on some conditions, so check before you travel.
Failing to comply with these rules could result in your pet being placed in quarantine for up to four months or sent back to the country you’ve travelled from. These situations have their associated fees and charges as well, so it’s a good idea to double-check.
Prepare Your Pet
You’ll want to spend some time grooming your pet before heading off. Clipping their nails and brushing their fur will reduce the likelihood of any injuries occurring along the way. A pet that’s well taken care of and groomed can help make their inspection easier.
Keep Them Calm
This is likely a major event for both you and your pet. Taking measures to keep them calm will make the transition smoother and save you from a great deal of unnecessary trouble.
Try to maintain your usual routine as much as possible when packing and preparing for the move, as well as after you arrive. In doing so, your pet will have a better sense of stability.
You can further reduce their stress by bringing a pet carrier into the home a few weeks before leaving. Open the door and place their bedding or some toys inside to encourage them. Ideally, your pet should spend some time sleeping in the carrier so that it becomes familiar to them.
If your journey to the UK involves a road trip and your pet is known to get anxious in cars, consult your vet about ways to make it easier for them. If your vet recommends it, a mild sedative can help them to sleep through the trip. The opposite is true for air travel. Sedatives can lead to problems with breathing and heart function at high altitudes.
Help Them Settle
Being in a completely different environment can overwhelm the bravest of pets. A few reminders of home will bring a much-needed sense of comfort. Their bedding, which you should try not to wash, is a great example. Keep your pet indoors when leaving them unattended, in case they try to return to their original home.
Conversely, dogs will appreciate a regular walk around the neighbourhood. If you have a cat, it’s better to gradually expose them to new rooms over time. Be sure to keep an eye on your pet when taking them out. A surprise vet bill is the last thing anyone wants to deal with when moving to a new country. Granted, you can’t always avoid them.
That’s why pet insurance is a wise investment. Having a policy that covers against any illness or injury can save you in the long run. If you are moving permanently, you can get UK pet insurance quotes online through Everypaw. Access to expert advice from qualified vet nurses comes standard with all of their policies. They can even help cover the cost of advertising if your pet gets lost.
Protect Against the Cold
Weather in the UK might be cooler than what your pet is accustomed to. A simple jacket or sweater, coupled with some paw protection, can prevent shivers and protect against cold surfaces. You can keep their paws moisturized by dabbing on a bit of petroleum jelly. Use a hot water bottle to warm up their bedding.
Being with your pet during the big move will help you get through any challenges that come along the way. Safe travels and enjoy the United Kingdom!