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Immigrate with your pets! 4 steps you need to know

Immigrate with your pets! 4 steps you need to know

As a responsible owner, when leaving Hong Kong to move to another place, it is common to bring your pet along. Dealing with immigration procedures can already be complicated for most people, and bringing a pet along for immigration adds another layer of complexity. Different places have different requirements for pets entering their borders, so it is important to prepare in advance when bringing a pet for immigration. The following will provide a detailed explanation of the four things that owners should pay attention to when bringing their pets for immigration, in order to be well-prepared for the process.

Step 1: Check the entry/immunization requirements for pets

1. Microchip Requirements

Microchips can help identify a pet's identity and are divided into two types: AVID and ISO. The Hong Kong government requires dogs to be implanted with AVID microchips, while ISO microchips are internationally recognized and are generally used for pets entering and leaving a country. For example, if an owner wants to bring a pet to immigrate to the UK, not all UK airports have AVID microchip machines, so it is more secure to implant an ISO microchip.

2. Pet Vaccinations and Preventive Shots

In most countries, it is mandatory for incoming animals to receive a valid rabies vaccination. For example, when bringing a pet to immigrate to Canada, it is important to note that the Canadian government requires cats and dogs aged 3 months or older to be vaccinated against rabies before entry. If the pet has already been vaccinated within the past year, an "immunization certificate" from the animal hospital where the vaccination was administered must be obtained before pet immigration.

3. Deworming

If an owner wants to bring a pet to immigrate to the UK, the pet must undergo deworming within 24 to 120 hours before entering the UK and obtain a veterinary certificate.

Step 2: Booking Pet Travel Accommodations

Different airlines have different restrictions on which pet breeds are allowed on board. It is important for owners to carefully consider this before immigration. For example, Cathay Pacific Airways prohibits the transportation of short-nosed or flat-faced breeds of cats and dogs. There are three main categories for transporting pets to another location: "checked baggage," "cargo," and "private aircraft." The most common method chosen by owners for pet immigration is "checked baggage." Pets are transported as checked baggage and can arrive at the destination on the same flight as the owner.


Step 3: Preparing for Departure

Before immigrating with a pet, the pet must obtain a health certificate issued by a qualified veterinarian. Most countries require the certificate to be issued 7 to 10 days before entry. The document should clearly state the owner's information, pet's microchip number, animal breed, vaccination records, and other relevant information to prove that the animal is fit for air travel.

Step 4: Preparing for Takeoff

Before immigrating, owners can train their pets to become familiar with the environment of the travel crate at home. For example, they can let their dogs become accustomed to the crate at home. Prior to boarding, owners should also avoid giving their pets excessive water and ensure that they have relieved themselves to minimize the chances of the pets soiling the travel crate during the several hours of travel.

Pet Immigration Cost Reference

The service fees for pet immigration services on the market range from HKD 8,000 to HKD 40,000. Different pet immigration companies have different service scopes and prices. Pet immigration companies can provide services such as administering the necessary vaccines and microchips for pet immigration, assisting with immigration documents and booking flights, and some companies even provide airport shuttle services. If owners are familiar with pet immigration, they can handle the process themselves.

Learn more about Vetopia's essential products for pets traveling by plane

When immigrating with pets, it is also necessary to bring enough supplies. In addition to choosing an appropriate size international airline crate and lining it with pet pads, owners can also place towels, their own clothes, or toys that their pets are familiar with in the crate to keep their pets warm and provide a familiar scent. Visit Vetopia to purchase these essential items!

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