Jet Set Pets — things to know when relocating talent with 2, 4, 6 or eight-legged friends (and legless ones, too)
Crossing continents can be daunting for assignees. But what if the move includes beloved pets? To many they’re as important as any member of the family. To some, more so.
In this edition of Reloverse, we explain how Global Mobility and HR professionals can ensure people and their pets are relocated and reunited with care—as they work, live and thrive in new places around the world.
Know the rules
Most countries have their own unique rules and regulations which are subject to constant change. So, it’s important to know the conditions of entry for animals including health certificates, proof of vaccinations and often periods of quarantine. There are a lot of great expat blogs online, but much of the information can be outdated–so it pays to do your research or pick a trusted pet relocation partner. The penalties for not following local laws to the letter can include pets being denied entry or even seized.
Crates and carriers
Understanding how animals are transported is important. It’s likely your assignees’ pets will be placed in carriers or crates for extended periods, in unfamiliar surroundings with new sights, sounds and smells. Often, they travel separately, increasing anxiety. Most pets can be gradually introduced to similar crates for short trips in the home country before relocation, reducing potential stress.
Once they’ve reached their destination, assignees need to acclimatise their pets to their new environment. This can be physical considerations such as temperature and humidity, or simply a matter of different patterns and routines (pets get jet lag, too). Maintaining consistent sleep, exercise and feeding times normally means animals adjust within days. For dogs, it’s also useful to take them for walks to the same place each day, at the same time, to build familiarity.
A significant challenge for your staff relocating with pets is finding suitable housing, particularly in one of the many property hotspots. Not all landlords or property owners allow pets, and if they do, there may be restrictions on the number, size, or breed of animals. An option can be to use pet-friendly hotels or temporary accommodation which are harder to find and require more advance planning.
Food and care
Language barriers can also pose a challenge when it comes to buying at pet supply stores or visits to the vet. Changes in diet can make the transition to a new country more difficult—but it’s easy for assignees to research local pet foods online, which are often the same except the brand name they’re sold under.
The price of pets
Finally, it is essential to consider the cost of relocating your assignees’ pets. International pet travel and insurance can be costly, and even short-term quarantine is expensive in certain countries.
Fruzina Hodson, Destination Services Support Manager at Santa Fe Relocation says “In my experience, I’ve found that moving to a new place with pets can be effortless and stress-free if you plan and prepare well. You need to consider your pets’ specific needs, like their health and dietary requirements to keep them safe and healthy during the move. With careful planning and patience, you can relocate with your beloved pets hassle and complication-free”.
Tips for relocating with pets
- Research the entry requirements and regulations of the country assignees are moving to.
- Plan housing choices far ahead and ask talent to be flexible on initial accommodation options.
- Advise that pets can be prepared for travel by gradually introducing them to their carriers or crates for short trips.
- Research local pet stores and veterinarians ahead of travel and consider possible language barriers.
- Budget for additional expenses associated with transporting pets and keeping them happy and healthy.
Relocating to a new country with pets can be challenging and stressful, but with proper planning and preparation can be made easy. We can help you with daunting import requirements, finding suitable housing, preparing your pets for travel, maintaining a regular routine, and budgeting for expenses. Remember, moving to a new country with pets can be a rewarding adventure, and with the right mindset, can be a positive experience for all involved.
If you’re looking for an expert partner that understands people and their pets, we would love to support you and your teams. Simply drop an email to email@example.com and we’ll get back to you.