Moving with your pets? Questions to ask

vulnerable native breed dog waiting outside the coffee shop

Your pets are like family, so you want to make certain that they’re well cared for throughout the relocation. With preparation, planning and affection, you can help your pet through the process and happily adjust to a new home. Check out our top 5 questions to ask before moving your pet: 


Can my pet physically handle the move?  

Pet safety is paramount. If your pet is not considered a service animal, and if traveling by air, they will likely be transported in the pet cargo portion of the plane. These areas are temperature regulated but can be extremely loud and stress-inducing for your pet. If your pet isn’t in the best of shape, through illness or extreme age, they may not be able to handle long-distance travel as well as a younger pet. Only you and your vet can make this assessment.

When travelling by plane, every pet flies in a temperature controlled, oxygenated and pressurised environment, just like in the passenger cabin. The International Air Transport Association’s Live Animals Regulations are the leading standards for transporting animals on commercial airlines, and their sole objective is to ensure all animals are carried safely and humanely by air.

Have I allowed enough time to prepare for this move? 

The timing involved in planning your pet’s relocation depends on the destination. Many pet relocation companies generally require at least 30 days’ notice to arrange your pet’s travel plans, due to the availability of flights and vaccination, health and even some quarantine requirements.

For some countries such as Australia and New Zealand, the wait time can be extensive, so it is best to plan your pet’s move at least 6 to 7 months out. For other countries or when moving domestically, the wait time is typically less than one month.

Speak to one of our expert pet relocation partners to learn more about the import requirements and time involved.

Can I afford to bring my pet with me? What are some of the costs to relocating with a pet?

Many variables determine the cost of moving your pet such as size, weight and where your pet is moving from and to. When moving internationally with a dog, cat, or other kinds of pets, you need to budget for (these prices are estimates and are not to be confused with an issued quote):

Costs before your move: 

  • Microchipping
  • Vaccinations, blood tests, and treatments – depending on the required vaccinations and treatments and your pet health insurance plan (if any)
  • Health certificate certified by a veterinarian – depending on the number of tests required. There will be additional fees if the certificate has to be translated and notarised at a consulate
    Import permits (if needed)
  • Customs clearance – if you’re moving to a country that requires pet quarantine, like New Zealand or Malaysia, you will also have to pay the fee to keep your pet at the quarantine facility
  • Pet carrier – depending on the size and brand

Transportation costs:

The cost of flying a pet overseas can be as low as USD50 when the pet travels in the cabin and as high as USD1,500 when the pet is transported in the cargo hold. Typically, the cost of transporting a pet by air is directly based on the dimensions of the carrier – the more space the crate takes up, the higher the price.

Once again, pet shipping costs are based on the type of pet and the distance to the destination country. However, the actual price to move your animal friend to your new overseas home will be greatly affected by the specific pet import requirements of your new country.

Is my pet eligible to travel to my destination?

Rules vary, so check the animal import laws of your destination country. Some countries don’t allow certain species, some breeds are banned from entering certain regions and some regulations depend on the country of origin, etc.

Be aware of all the relevant regulations – not only import restrictions, but also required documents and vaccinations, quarantine periods, microchip requirements, etc. This allows you to make an informed decision about your pet and to be able to prepare properly if you decide to take your animal friend with you.

Is the duration of my move worth the hassle to myself and my pet?

In a perfect world, you could ship all of your belongings and then bring your pet along with you, with no hassle or stress. But, the world of pet relocations can inevitably be stressful. And we get it. You want your pet with you, they’re a part of your family.

If you’re only relocating for a short time, it might be worth it to recruit a friend or family member to keep your pet while you are away. Although it’s always hard to be away from your furry companion, this option could save you time, money and stress for your pet.

If your time frame makes sense to bring your pet, the recommendation is always to start the planning process as soon as possible.

Welcoming your pet to your new home

Your pets are family, so make sure they are cared for and treated well throughout the move. Choose a company that specialises in international pet transfers, is a member of IPATA (Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association), and has expertise in customs, registrations, special travel requirements and medical regulations. Crown Australia works with our pet relocation partner Jetpets to ensure your pet is moved safely and comfortably.

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You can choose between a guided live video consultation “Smart Consult” with one of our moving experts or a self-service video option. Either choice will provide us with everything we need to know to accurately assess and prepare your moving quotation.

Crown Worldwide (Australia) Pty Ltd 2024