Part 2: Moving your pet to the


Part 2: Moving your pet to the USA

It’s not as difficult as you might think.

Part 2: Moving your pet to the


In this three-part series, we will seek the advice of the immigration specialists from Grant Kaplan, as we look at three aspects of moving to the United States.

Moving your furry friends

Once you have made the decision to move to the United States, there will be numerous things to consider. You’ll need to ship your household items, find schools for your children, organise work visas, find somewhere to live, and move your money. You’ll also need to consider how best to move your family pets.

Emigrating with pets is not as daunting as you may have been lead to believe. Also, consider the emotional impact not bringing your pets might have on your family.

If your furry friends are indeed part of your family, we spoke to the immigration experts at Grant Kaplan to see if there are any sure-fire ways to ensure the most cost effective and least disruptive way to get your pets to the US.


Dogs need to have a health certificate stating that they are healthy and fit to fly. Your vet will be able to provide this certificate and it is valid for 10 days from issue.

Your dog will also need a current rabies vaccine, even if you live in a rabies-free country as most US states require this. Additional optional vaccines include: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Para-influenza, Bordetella.

Your dog needs to be more than 30 days old to travel abroad.


Although a rabies vaccine is not necessary for cats, it is recommended. There are additional, optional vaccines to give your cat before travelling. These include: Feline enteritis (also known as Feline panleukopenia or Feline distemper), Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has certain requirements that must be met. Certain states have slightly different requirements, and these should be established well in advance of your move.

Prepare your pet

Always check with the country you are flying from for any export information you may need. Most countries require a government endorsement or a permit that allows your pets to be exported. This may include a veterinary certificate.

Some airlines require some additional paperwork for live animals being transported. Check with your airline what is needed to ensure the smoothest, easiest transition for your pets.

The professionals at Grant Kaplan can help make the move to the US easier and less time consuming and stressful. They have years of experience dealing with people wanting to relocate to the States and will be able to help you each step of the way. Tel +1 561 347 8440 or email