Moving to the USA with Pets

There’s a lot to think about when relocating to another country, and if you are planning to take a pet with you, this can make the process even more complicated. As any pet owner will confirm, pets are cherished members of the family, so having them with you is crucial. If you are moving to the USA and planning to take your pet, this is easier than you might expect, but you nevertheless need to prepare. Here are the main things to consider:
The basics
Generally speaking, moving to the USA with a pet is relatively straightforward, although requirements can vary depending on the state. Rules and restrictions tend to be less rigorous than in European countries but it is advisable to check what is required at an early stage.
There is no duty payable on dogs, cats and, bizarrely, turtles that are imported into the USA, but other animals may incur a charge. Pets will be examined for evidence of diseases transmittable to humans as soon as they arrive in the States and birds must be quarantined for at least 30 days upon arrival.
Requirements and vaccinations
As the UK is rabies-free, there is no official requirement for your pet to be vaccinated prior to arrival in the USA. However, many states insist your pet has a rabies vaccination and you will need to do so before a pet passport is issued anyway.
The government offers guidance on getting a pet passport on its website, and your vet will be able to adviseyou, but in essence, in order to apply for a pet passport you will need to:
• Get your pet microchipped.
• Make sure they have had a rabies vaccination at least 30 days before you leave.
• Request a Fit to Fly certificate from your vet as close to departure as possible.
When to travel
The US imposes restrictions on when your animal can travel if the temperature is particularly high or low. Depending on your end destination, the temperature can vary greatly so make sure you choose your time of travel carefully. Travelling outside of temperature-restrictive periods will give you a wider choice of airlines and may mean you do not require an acclimatisation certificate for your animal.
Creature comforts
Pets travel in specially approved areas on passenger aircraft in which they have space to stand, sit, lie down and turn around during the journey. All animals will be checked, fed and watered at regular intervals.
A long flight can be a stressful experience for an animal, so it is important to make your pet feel as comfortable as possible. Take a familiar item for them to have close by during the flight. There are also a number of natural remedies you might want to try such as pheromone spray or rescue remedy to help calm canine or feline nerves.
Returning to the UK
As long as your pet had a pet passport issued prior to departure and has had a rabies blood test, they should be able to return from the US without having to go through quarantine.
If you are considering moving to the USA, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry  to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you. For more details about Cadogan Tate’s specialist international removals services from London, click here.
Information correct at time of publication.