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Don’t be an expat with an expet.

As expats, we accept that we are living within a transient society and our base is often determined by work. It can be a wonderful lifestyle but along with it, we must expect the unexpected and live with the stresses that come our way.

Being an expat can be isolating at times and many of us seek the companionship of a furry friend such as a dog or a cat, but please be aware of the responsibilities that they bring with them.

It can be very appealing to bring in a stray or abandoned pet as a companion – but if you do – please make them a forever friend. Consider the bigger picture – what’s going to happen when you move on to pastures new?

GVC has a large Pet Relocation Department, that imports and exports pets into UAE, and we often see ‘owners’ struggle with the complexities and costs in shipping their beloved pets. Whilst we can alleviate the complexities, the cost is something every pet owner must factor in, prior to taking on a furry friend.

Cats and dogs give you unconditional love, you provide them with a safe environment where they do not need to think of survival or of defending themselves. Abandoned pets are thrown into a world they don’t understand or comprehend and struggle to survive.

Prepare for your pet, as you would do for yourself in the event of moving (in some cases with a tight turnaround) so you are not contributing to the world of “Ex-Pets”.

1) Make sure your pet is microchipped and has current annual / rabies vaccinations.

2) Research the import requirements of your home country, or of possible future destinations, so that you are prepared.

–    Countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa have strict rules and regulations. Preparation is ‘time bound’ and needs planning months ahead.

–   Some counties allow pets to enter as excess / accompanied baggage  which is a lot less expensive than air freight cargo.

–    Some countries have mandatory quarantine on arrival – which will add significantly to the cost of transport (i.e. Singapore can be up to 30 days, dependent on country of origin).

–   Some countries require your pet to have a rabies serology certificate (validity often between 1 yr. to 2 yrs.). Don’t get caught out, as the minimum time from drawing a blood sample to departure can be 6-months!

–    If you have a snub-nosed pet, please be aware that airlines can place a ‘summer embargo’ on pet travel due to high temperatures.

3) Contact your local pet travel agent for an estimate, so that you know the costs and processes involved and can put money aside for the inevitable move.