Relocating to a new country is an exciting yet challenging experience, especially when you have a beloved pet to consider. At Pet Moves, we understand that your furry friend is a part of your family, and ensuring their safe and comfortable journey is a top priority especially when considering an international pet move. Moving your pet from New York to London involves careful planning and adherence to various regulations. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process smoothly.

Understanding the Requirements

Before embarking on this journey, it’s crucial to understand the legal and health requirements for moving your pet from the United States to the United Kingdom. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Microchipping

Your pet must be microchipped before or at the same time as their rabies vaccination. The microchip must meet ISO standards and be readable by a microchip scanner.

  1. Rabies Vaccination

Your pet must have a valid rabies vaccination. This vaccination must be administered after the microchip is implanted and at least 21 days before travel.

  1. Pet Passport or Health Certificate

A USDA-accredited veterinarian must issue a health certificate, confirming that your pet meets all the necessary health requirements. This certificate is valid for 10 days from the date of issue.

  1. Tapeworm Treatment

Dogs must receive tapeworm treatment by a veterinarian 24-120 hours before entering the UK. This is not required for cats or ferrets.

  1. Airline and Crate Requirements

Ensure your pet’s travel crate meets the International Air Transport Association (IATA) standards. Additionally, check with your chosen airline for any specific requirements or restrictions they may have.

Choosing the Right Airline and Travel Arrangements

Selecting the right airline and making proper travel arrangements are critical to your pet’s comfort and safety. Here are some tips:

  • Pet-Friendly Airlines: Choose an airline with a good reputation for pet travel. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are popular choices for transatlantic pet transport.
  • Direct Flights: Whenever possible, opt for direct flights to minimise stress and reduce the risk of complications during layovers.
  • Booking in Advance: Book your pet’s travel well in advance to ensure availability and to allow time for any necessary arrangements or paperwork.
  • Comfort and Safety: Ensure your pet’s crate is spacious enough for them to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Add familiar items, like a blanket or toy, to help reduce anxiety.

Preparing Your Pet for Travel

Traveling can be stressful for pets, so it’s important to prepare them for the journey:

  • Vet Visit: Schedule a vet visit to ensure your pet is healthy and fit for travel. Discuss any concerns and get advice on keeping your pet calm during the flight.
  • Crate Training: Help your pet get accustomed to their travel crate by letting them spend time in it before the journey. Use treats and positive reinforcement to create a positive association.
  • Exercise and Hydration: Ensure your pet gets plenty of exercise before the flight to help them relax. Keep them well-hydrated, but avoid feeding them a large meal just before travel to prevent discomfort.

Arrival in London

Upon arrival in London, there are a few more steps to ensure a smooth transition:

  • Customs Clearance: Your pet will need to go through customs clearance upon arrival. This process includes checking their health certificate, microchip, and vaccination records.
  • Pet Reception Centre: London Heathrow has a dedicated Animal Reception Centre where your pet will be cared for while customs formalities are completed.
  • Settling In: Once you’ve cleared customs, take some time to help your pet adjust to their new environment. Provide familiar items and maintain a routine to make the transition easier.

Why Choose Pet Moves?

At Pet Moves, we specialise in making pet relocations as stress-free as possible. Here’s why you should trust us with your pet’s move:

  • Premium Service: Our pet chauffeur service puts you and your pet first, with the highest standards of care with advice and support from door to door.
  • Family-Run: At Pet Moves, we’re all animal lovers ourselves, so we’ll treat your pet as if they were a member of our own family.
  • Comfortable Travel: Your pets travel by your side or on your lap (you decide!) with plenty of space to relax and enjoy the journey.

  • Flexible Options: After your flight together, we’ll chauffeur you to your door in London, or Paris, to airports and stations or anywhere in between.


Moving your pet from New York to London can be a complex process, but with careful planning and the right support, it can be a smooth and successful experience. At Pet Moves, we’re here to help you every step of the way, ensuring your pet arrives safely and comfortably in their new home. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist with your pet’s relocation. Let’s make this journey a positive adventure for you and your furry friend!