You know what? The end of last month actually marked my one year Englandiversary!
And here’s to what will hopefully be many more 🙂
But you know who hasn’t been here for a whole year yet? These two.
They’ve only been here since February. I thought it would be a good idea to come over ahead of them, live on campus for a few months while I got to know the area a bit, then find a flat we could all live in together. As you can see, I did eventually manage that. But, despite meticulously organizing all of the necessary paperwork and making arrangements ahead of time, the process of getting them here still ended up being kind of annoying. And by “annoying,” I mean a nightmare.
The Pet Travel Scheme in the UK is easy enough, in theory, to understand — the major points being (if you’re coming from a “listed” country):
1) Get your fur-baby microchipped before getting them vaccinated against rabies
2) Wait at least 21 days after the day of the rabies vaccination to let your pet travel
3) Get hold of a pet passport or a third-country veterinary certificate for your pet
4) Complete a declaration stating that you don’t plan on selling/transferring ownership of your pet once you get to the UK
5) If you’re bringing a dog, he/she must have had a tapeworm treatment no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours before entering the country
And, last but not least,
6) You must use an “approved transport company and an approved route” to bring your pets over, unless you’re traveling from Ireland (in which case I guess you’re allowed to be shady AF)
All of the information and documents you need can be found on the Pet Travel Scheme website. However there are things you should probably know, no matter where you’re moving to, that won’t be on the website. So, friend to friend, I’ve got some tips of my own for you.
1. Make sure the person who’s helping you from your home country is someone responsible and trustworthy.
My cats stayed with a friend of mine while I was over here on my reconnaissance mission. She did research on her end (even though I offered to do it) to find a good vet to take them to, she got their microchips and rabies shots done, and generally looked out for them like they were hers, which I appreciated. This is a time-sensitive process, so (unless you just want to handle it all yourself) make sure you choose someone you can count on as your point person.
2. Make sure your vet is properly accredited.
Part of my nightmare was down to the fact that when I went back to the US for my cats’ final check up and to get the rest of their paperwork filled out, it turned out that the vet my friend had been taking them to was not qualified to fill out all of the paperwork (despite assuring my friend that they were). Not all veterinarians have experience with international pet travel, so make sure the one you’re working with knows the process and is certified to complete the necessary documents so you don’t have to rush to find another vet at the last minute.
3. Do EXTENSIVE price comparisons between transport companies!
THE MOST EXPENSIVE part of this entire process is the cost of pet travel from point A to point B. I can’t tell you how many airlines and pet shipping companies I got quotes from. In the end, my cats and I flew on different airlines because mine was far too expensive. You and your pet do not need to travel together, and if you’re looking for the best deal, you probably won’t. Find the company with the best reputation and rate. For me, British Airways was the winner in the end (so maybe give them a call first 😉 ).
Moving your furballs abroad can be a hectic process, but in the end it’s all worth it when you’re
screaming at them to stop running around at 3AM cuddled up with them on the couch. Now your new home can really start to feel like home 🙂