Even before we get to the question: what to remember when you’re relocating to another country with a dog here are three things that every dog parent should remember.
- Pet relocation tends to be an expensive proposition. If you’re living outside your home country or likely to travel for long, always budget for pet relocation because abandoning a pet is criminal.
- If you’re unable to handle the relocation process on your own hire a professional agency to assist you.
- Try to make the entire relocation process as stress-free as possible for your dog.
When Dubai dog Shadow moved to Toronto
We believe real-life experiences are the best when it comes understanding the ground realities of relocating a pet. Today’s story is all that, human Ritu Jhaveri and her rescued German Shepherd dog Shadow’s experience of moving from the UAE to Canada.
“Relocating Shadow to Canada from the UAE in a smooth, safe and stress-free manner was a priority for us. So, we decided to hire a pet relocation agency called Jet Set Pet Relocation that made his travel as smooth as possible.”
For most pets and their humans, relocation is often a first-time experience something that can make them anxious, so preparation is crucial.
“With Shadow we followed all the advice that Jessica from Jet Set Pet Relocations gave us in terms of preparation. Since it was our first time, we were nervous. Honestly, it was more for us to prepare mentally and stay strong at the airport for Shadow to feel comfortable and stay calm. I think the most important thing to bear in mind is to stay calm so that your pet feels the same. It was hard; however, it is doable. We were ecstatic to see Shadow arrive safe and sound at the Toronto airport.“
Services offered by pet relocation agencies
Broadly speaking, below is a step-by-step process followed by pet relocation agencies:
- Share the required paperwork needed for pet relocation with humans
- Confirm that the pet’s microchip is working, collect their vaccination book and the human’s passport copy
- Schedule travel and book the flights
- Get the pet’s health check done to for an official health certificate
- Some agencies also offer a full range of travel accessories including IATA compliant standard or exclusive custom-built travel crates, pet taxi service and hotel options
- Head to the airport and start the journey
Budget for pet relocation
As we said right in the beginning pet relocation tends to be expensive. So, its recommended that you consciously keep aside a budget for pet relocation. This will help in avoiding last-minute financial stress.
In this context, Ritu shared a not-so-uncommon experience. “It is sad that many people were surprised that we decided to take Shadow along and spent close to AED8,000 on his relocation. My question to them is ‘would you leave a family member behind’?”
Overall, the rates for pet relocation are indicative based on several variables such as airline policy, travel crate sizes, country-specific rules as well as the breed.
Settling down in a new place
Every dog is different and takes their own time to settle down in a new place and establish a new routine. “That way Shadow has been a very good boy,” said his proud human.
“He didn’t take much time to adapt to our initial Airbnb apartment. It was the size of a matchbox, but Toronto has a lot of outdoor options. Shadow enjoyed going to the dog park thrice a day that was across the street. He straightaway fell into a routine, and we were fortunate that he and we didn’t have to struggle.”
“In a short span of two months, Shadow has experienced many things. He has learnt to travel by train, bus and cars. People here are extremely pet friendly; Shadow literally gets cuddles from strangers every 60 seconds! We also make it a point to be completely equipped whenever we step out. We always carry his water bottle, some poop bags, snack packs and recyclable bowls, his blanket (for taxi travels) and obviously his toys. He loves his new home and that makes us so happy. As I said earlier ensuring his comfort in a new place was a priority for us,” Ritu added.
In summation, what to remember when you’re relocating to another country with a dog?
“I think it’s worth investing in a pet relocation agency. That will take the load off you as things tend to get manic in the last few days with many personal chores to complete. Also, do your research to find out how pet friendly the destination country is and the applicable pet-related guidelines to be followed. It’s also extremely important to register your pet with the local vet, so that you have a go-to veterinary clinic in case of emergencies in a new country,” Ritu recommended.
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How dogs change us
We couldn’t end this article without sharing how dogs change us and why we must be responsible in the way we care for them.
“Shadow is our gift straight from heaven. We adopted him from an animal rescue shelter in the UAE. But here’s the thing, I was petrified by Shadow and everything about him for the first two weeks. I could not handle him, understand him and would not even be in the same room as him. It was only after we got a trainer who helped me get over my fear of dogs that I started developing my bond with Shadow. Over time my confidence grew and within a month Shadow became my best friend. Now I can’t imagine my life without him,” Ritu said.