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Tips For A Hassle-Free Relocation Of Pets

Updated on: 07 February,2023 05:50 PM IST  |  Mumbai
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The most important leg of the exercise is choosing the right airline that permits AVI cargo booking and then booking the pet as AVI cargo or as accompanied baggage. This service enables travellers to check in and collect their pet at the passenger terminals of their flight's departure and arrival airports.

Tips For A Hassle-Free Relocation Of Pets

A recent post by a pet user inquiring about his immediate transportation needs got me into thinking. On a minute analysis, pet migration continue to be one of the most searched topics, even in this age of information overload. It made me ponder on the factors and hindrances involving pet travel and their safety.

Pet parents are often apprehensive about the ordeal of traveling with their pet, even if they dread the idea of keeping them in foster care. All pets are different and the plan to move the pet must be made keeping in mind the pet’s requirements. Planning should begin well in advance based on whether the travel is by road, train or flight. Even today, not everyone is aware of the factors and things to bear in mind while making this travel plan – which apparently involves much more than just booking a flight or a train.

Factors to consider while planning your pet’s travel

First, choose an experienced relocator who has the knowledge of rules and regulations for moving pets in India and abroad and is accredited with the International Animal and Pet Transportation Association and IATA.

Secondly, a visit to a licensed and accredited veterinarian before the travel date to obtain required travel forms and necessary tests like pet blood titer test is key. It is essential to get a ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate from the vet just before your travel date and the pet’s vaccination booklet has to be up to date.

Thirdly, invest in a good IATA-compliant crate for travel. These are recommended for both domestic and international travel. One may either rent or buy an accurately sized crate and train the pet to move inside it.

Fourthly, depending on the pet's flight schedule, kenneling/boarding may be necessary depending on the origin, layover or destination city. Transport, pickup, check-in, and custom clearance of the pet as well as delivery at the destination will be taken care of.

Travelling locally with your Pet

While the above factors hold true for both domestic and international travel, there are few services that may ease your tension when you move locally. Many relocation firms have pet boarding services for pets’ temporary stay. Professional pet escorts are also available for rail coordination who also help at airports for AVI (live cargo) cargo booking.

Additionally, some relocation companies provide premium services for the domestic relocation of pets where a trained professional travels with the pet by train or by air to avoid any kind of hassles.

Travelling internationally with your pet

The most important leg of the exercise is choosing the right airline that permits AVI cargo booking and then booking the pet as AVI cargo or as accompanied baggage. This service enables travellers to check in and collect their pet at the passenger terminals of their flight's departure and arrival airports.

The international transportation mandate has many documents and processes and many pet relocation companies offer the paperwork as a service. From processes and documentation services related to AQCS, India (Animal Quarantine and Certification Services) and DGFT, India (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) for import permits wherever applicable, to other travel documentation such as health certificates, import permits, export permits, and so on, as required by the country. You must make a note of all the necessary paperwork that is required by the airline and the destination country prior to the pet’s travel date, including any endorsement.

Travellers may also opt for International pet boarding services for ‘holding time’ requirements.

There are also cab services for door- to - door relocations in many countries.

Another way to ensure safe travel for your pet is to hire a professional pet escort service as part of which a trained professional travel with the pet.

Besides, one should go for IATA compliant pet crates, hardware, pee pads, water bottles, microchips, and all equipment necessary for the pet to travel internationally.

Mandatory norms to follow while migrating your pet to India

Pet travel to India necessitates extensive documentation and a lengthy process. Partnering with an experienced pet travel partner can help make the import process easier and less stressful.

Pet microchipping for their safety

It is required that all pets travelling to India have a 15-digit ISO-compliant, non-encrypted microchip implanted under their skin. The microchip has a unique identification number used by airlines and customs officials to identify your pet. Once implanted, the chip can be scanned, and the information stored on it can be accessed by animal shelters, vets and other organizations that work with lost or found pets.

Necessary documentation

  • Before entering India, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) and a health certificate for the pet from an authorised person or Animal Quarantine Station are required.
  • An authentic Rabies vaccination certificate with the microchip number, vaccination validity and the inoculation date must be provided.
  • Veterinary Health Certificate completed by an accredited veterinarian stating that the pet is free of diseases such as Rabies, Tuberculosis, and Leptospirosis.
  • The pet owner must have an ‘E’ Employment Visa or an OCI certificate. Alternately, a proof that the owner is a citizen of India who is returning from an overseas assignment with his pet.
  • A license from the Indian Directorate General of Foreign Trade is required when pets are being relocated to India for a short period (tourist visa) or ownership change.


It is mandatory to vaccinate the cat or dog to be relocated with rabies vaccination between 30 days and one year before boarding. Vaccination against diseases like hepatitis, parvovirus, distemper, parainfluenza and leptospirosis for dogs and FVRCP which includes Feline Pan Leukopenia and Feline Enteritis for cats should be given.

Miscellaneous things to consider

  • There is prohibition for dogs coming to India for breeding or commercial purposes.
  • Pet owners with a short visa or tourist visa are not allowed to bring their pet with them.
  • A pet owner is allowed to relocate a pet with him/her if he/she shows that their stay in India is for employment purpose and is a transfer of residence.
  • The pet to be relocated to India must be of an age above 3 months.
  • Unaccompanied pets like dogs and cats are not allowed to relocate to until their associated owners make their residential transfer to India.
  • Relocating pets to India is limited to two dogs and cats. To import reptiles, birds, and other pets, special authorization must be obtained from the Director General of Foreign Trade.
  • Pet cats and dogs must arrive in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad or Kolkata.
  • Upon arrival, the quarantine officer will examine all pet dogs and cats. If they show signs of illness, they will be moved into a quarantine centre for further testing at the pet parent’s expense. They are usually advised to stay at home for 30 days in quarantine.

These are few important things that a pet parent must keep in mind before planning the next trip with their pet to ensure a safe and stress free transit.

Authored by: Rahul Pillai - Relocation and Moving Expert

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