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You and your pet

Most pet owners regard their animals as members of the family. Including them in a move to another country or leaving them at home can be a very difficult decision. The primary consideration should be what is best for the animal. The animal's age and the climate of your destination country are factors to be considered. In some cultures, attitudes can be very different. Animals that you look upon as beloved pets may be regarded differently in your new home country and conditions and attitudes may not be pet-friendly. Owners of rental housing may not permit them. Animal-threatening diseases such as rabies or leukaemia may be common, or admission procedures may be extremely rigorous. There could be very strict documentation, immunization, and quarantine requirements. Most countries require some form of health certification and other documentation to accompany incoming pets.

Therefore, the first step in deciding whether to take your pet with you is to thoroughly investigate the situation in your country of assignment. Contact the consulate of your destination country and your transportation carrier for the most recent and complete pet- entry requirements and details of transportation conditions, including information about translating any required certificates. Companies that specialize in transporting pets worldwide can also provide country-specific information. In addition to data on necessary health certification and other entry requirements, pet movers provide travel kennels that meet government and airline standards, air-cargo routing and reservations, pickup and delivery at the destination, and pre-flight boarding and port of entry services.

If you are not using a pet-moving company, contact the airline or carrier that will be transporting your pet. They should be able to provide you with country-specific, pet-entry requirements, as well as their own regulations that may vary from the general rule. The airline regulations often are not as strict if you are travelling on the same plane with your pet, whether your pet is in the cabin with you or being transported in the baggage compartment.

Some employers include pet-moving expenses in corporate relocation programs. Out-of-pocket expenses may, in some countries, be tax deductible for employees of companies that do not cover these costs.

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