Relocating pets

Moving a cat or dog to Portugal is generally quite straightforward but there are several things that you need to do in advance. For more exotic pets, things are more complicated.

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The first thing to do is make sure that you are allowed to take your pets into Portugal in the first place. Thankfully, EU Pet Passports and the Pet Travel Scheme make moving pets around the EU relatively straightforward.

EU Pet Passports can be issued by any authorised vet in the UK; these prove the health of your pet as well as the fact that it has been micro-chipped. The cost of the passport as well as the necessary vaccinations (including rabies) usually adds up to around £125-200.

Once your pet has a passport, it can travel under DEFRA’s Pet Travel Scheme, which allows the pet to move between the UK and Portugal without being quarantined. Check with DEFRA for full details of which animals are covered under the scheme click here.

When it comes to carrying the pet to Portugal, you have a number of options. Some airlines allow the transportation of pets, but members of expat forums frequently report being scared away from this option on the grounds of cost. For some sensitive animals, the experience of flying may also be distressing.

For this reason, many new expats bring their pets by road, or by road and ferry. Both the Eurotunnel and the Santander ferry allow for the transportation of pets, and both options allow you to stay close to your animals throughout the journey. Depending on your shipping arrangements, you can take this opportunity to bring personal possessions in your vehicle as well. If you transport pets in this way, you must ensure that you have your Pet Passports and originals of all of your vaccination certificates for your arrival in Portugal.

The final option is to use a pet relocation service. Many companies run frequent services from the UK to mainland Europe and typically charge from £250 to £400 for cats and dogs.

Once you have your pets with you in Portugal, it is wise to consider any cultural differences. Although attitudes are improving, in some rural areas you may be surprised by the fact that cats and dogs are treated more as animals than as pets. Groups of wild cats and loose dogs are a common site in Portugal, so it is wise to assess the local environment before giving your pets too much freedom in their new home. You may also find that ticks and fleas are more of a persistent problem, especially if you have pets mixing with less cared-for local animals.

However, thousands of animals live wonderful lives in this country and you’ll probably find that, after a period of adjustment, they come to enjoy the warm climate and slow pace of life just as much as you do!

When moving abroad or buying overseas property, using a currency exchange specialist rather than a bank to transfer your money could save you thousands. Smart Currency Exchange can help you do this – for more information download their free guide by clicking here.


Further reading for Buying In Portugal

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Viewing Guide

Finding the right property can be a challenge. What do you need to think about early on?
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Hidden Costs

The price of the property as listed is never the price that you will end up paying. There are a host of other costs.
Read more...

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Legal Matters

Buying a property in Portugal has very different legal requirements to the UK.
Read more...
 

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Currency Zone

Did you know that you could save thousands of pounds when emigrating by using a currency specialist?
Read more...