Moving with a dog abroad is no easy task! Learn how we moved our dog from Houston, TX to Macau, China using an International Pet Shipping service.
In early 2020 we announced our family was moving to China. One of the most important parts of our move was figuring out how to get our dog Barkley moved with us! I spent countless hours researching and ultimately we decided to use an international pet shipping service.
Our journey was further complicated by A GLOBAL PANDEMIC! Moving with a dog abroad is hard enough without this added complication! Because it is such a long flight from the US to Asia, even in normal times, there weren’t options for flying with our dog IN the plane. The only way for Barkley to enter Hong Kong was as cargo. By the time we were able to move Barkley, there were only TWO flight options out of the US.
Our first option was out of Dallas which is a short drive from Houston BUT it would have taken Barkley through Europe, would have been a lot more expensive, and would have been nearly 40 hours of travel! The second option had Barkley fly out of California, with a flight straight from LAX to HKG but I had to get him to California.
This was in early March, right when things in the US were getting bad. So I masked up, packed my disinfectants and hand sanitizers, and flew Barkley to California. He was able to fly in the cabin with me as my ESA (Emotional Support Animal). Barkley did a great job on the plane! I had to quarantine for two weeks when I returned to Texas from California but it was worth it!
After arriving in California on Thursday, Barkley was picked up by All Paws Express and was taken to Kennel Club LAX. He stayed overnight and the next day was taken to his final vet check so he was ready for his flight on Saturday!
Barkley did such a great job on his journey abroad! He flew in cargo from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. We weren’t able to put anything in the kennel with him for safety reason (no toys, collar, etc), but he had a pillow in the bottom of his kennel so it was comfy for his long nap, a water bowl on the cage door, potty pads just in case, and they let me leave a worn t-shirt with him so he’d have familiar smells on his journey for comfort!
After a 16 hour flight, Barkley made it to Hong Kong but his journey wasn’t complete! He was picked up by ReloPaws and spent the night in Hong Kong. We were so happy to get photo updates and see our happy boy! The next day he was taken to the ferry to get from Hong Kong to Macau. One boat ride later he finally arrived in Macau!
He was picked up and brought straight to Eric! He was happy to see him and excited to explore his new home! He’s settled in nicely and is enjoying living with Eric in China! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to move because of immigration restrictions but I’m glad Barkley is with Eric!
We figured out that moving abroad with a dog would have been IMPOSSIBLE without help from an International Pet Shipping service. We worked with Pets With Passports to move our dog overseas and it was the BEST decision. They made a very stressful process easier and guided us every step of the way.
Make sure your dog has an ISO-certified microchip.
Get an original rabies certificate: the vaccine must have been administered more than 30 days from the day of departure but within the last year.
A country-specific health certificate should be filled out by an accredited veterinarian (within 10 days of the flight).
All your documents require a USDA certified endorsement.
You also need an import permit (You're required to be in the country at least one week to request this.)
Each country has different requirements, and some require quarantine upon entry (luckily Hong Kong and Macau don’t!) If you’re looking into moving abroad with your dog, we totally recommend using an international pet shipping service. While the price is steep (it cost us $5,000+), leaving our dog behind was not an option!
View our collection of travel related posts!