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Relocating to a new city is a stressful experience. Add pets into the mix and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Moving pets internationally needs a bit of planning and you need to carefully consider a few things, such as your pet’s wellbeing, regulations of the country you are moving it to and the airline policies, before you start the process.

“Start planning for the relocation of pets as soon as you know you’re moving,” says Tim Nanjappa, Global Relocation Accounts Manager at the Dubai Kennels and Cattery. “Contact companies that specialise in pet relocation and ask them about the procedure months in advance.”

He adds, “While some countries accept pets as accompanied baggage, others require pets to be imported only as manifest cargo. So you’ll have to check into that before taking a decision.”

Most countries, however, require animals to travel in a box. Ensure you get all the information about the container or kennel from the airline before purchasing one for your pet.

“Airlines also have their own policy about travelling with a pet, so make sure you take all the factors into consideration when it comes to traveling with pets internationally,” says Nanjappa.

However, if you’re apprehensive about handling the relocation process on your own, reach out to a professional service provider.

There are many companies in the UAE who offer stress-free pet-moving services, handling everything from the documentation and flight reservation to kenneling, worldwide clearance and the delivery of pets.

“Send your pet only through an accredited company, who is a member of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA),” suggests Simone Percy, Managing Director at DASA.

“Prior to moving, ensure that your pet is microchipped, vaccinated and has all the relevant health certificates.”

Next, you need to obtain an export permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), which is required to book the flight, points out Nanjappa.

Moving is very stressful for the pet so you must prepare him in advance for the big move.

“Speak to its vet for a fitness check-up, especially if your pet is elderly or has special health concerns,” says Nanjappa. Speaking to the vet will also help you know the steps you can take to make the travel stress-free for the animal.

“Imagine sitting in a box for hours. The high altitude also makes them feel fatigued, dehydrated and gives them sore muscles,” says Dr Elizabeth Thomas, veterinary surgeon, Pets Oasis Clinic.

“Accustom your pet to the crate you will be using weeks in advance. Exercise your pet lightly before and after travel and hydrate him on arrival,” suggests Dr Thomas.

— The writer is an intern at Gulf News Commercial Publishing