Can I Take My Pet Overseas When I Teach English Abroad?

It may be possible to take your pet with you when you teach English abroad. It will depend on several factors such as the country you are moving to, the requirements of the local authorities, and the type of pet you have.

Teaching English abroad can be an exciting opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture and gain valuable experience but for pet owners, the decision to move overseas can be more complicated. Many pet owners wonder if they can bring their furry friends with them when they embark on their teaching journey.

In some cases, you can take your pet with you overseas. However, there are several things to consider when weighing whether or not to move overseas with your pet, and the points below should be considered.

Can I Take My Pet with Me while Teaching Abroad?

Yes, it may be possible to take your pet with you when you teach English abroad, but it depends on the country's regulations, your pet's breed and type, and the necessary paperwork and arrangements for travel. Research the requirements of the country and consult with a veterinarian and travel agent for guidance. Alternatively, you may consider leaving your pet with family or friends or finding a pet-sitting service while you're abroad.

Watch International TEFL Academy (ITA) grad Courtney Hall talk about her experience teaching English in Costa Rica with her pet:

What are the Requirements for Bringing a Pet into a Different Country?

While it may be possible to take your pet with you, there are several factors to consider:

1. Check the country's requirements for bringing pets into the country

Some countries have strict regulations regarding the import of pets, and you may need to obtain permits and certificates for your pet's vaccinations and health records. Additionally, some countries may have quarantine periods that your pet will need to complete before being allowed into the country.

Different countries have different requirements when admitting a pet, so be sure to check with the consulate of that country to read up on the admission process.  Click here for a full list of foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S.

2. Have all the necessary documents for your pet

This may include a health certificate from your veterinarian, a microchip, and proof of up-to-date vaccinations.

3. Find out how to get your pet to the destination

This may involve flying them with you or shipping them by boat or train.

4. Make sure your accommodation allows to have pets

Many apartments and rental houses do not allow pets, so you will need to find a place that is pet-friendly.

5. Be prepared for additional expenses

International travel with animals will incur additional costs. Costs will vary depending on the type of pet, length and mode of travel and the requirements of the country to which you will bring the animal when you teach English abroad.

This may include the cost of airfare or shipping, the cost of veterinary care, and the cost of food and supplies.

traveling with pets when moving abroad

6. Do what's best for your pet

What type of pet do you want to take?

What type of pet are you thinking of bringing with you when you teach English abroad? The more exotic, the more unlikely you will be able to travel with it. Also, airlines will have different policies for transporting different animals and many nations have different restrictions for different types of animals. 

Travel can be stressful on animals

International flights can often be very long and stressful for both humans and pets alike. Owners should consider whether or not they can or should sedate their pet for a long international flight.

Travel is more difficult for older pets

How old is your pet? The older the pet, the less likely it will adapt to the dramatic change involved in moving abroad.  On the other hand, younger pets have more energy and require more exercise.  In the case of dogs, the opportunity to walk your dog as frequently as needed may not arise right away when starting a new job teaching English abroad. 

Will your pet be happy?

Finally, the biggest thing any pet owner needs to consider is if your pet really wants to move around the world when you teach English abroad. The bond between a pet and its owner can be one of the strongest relationships in one’s life, but in many cases, English teachers realize that the best course of action is to find a friend or family member to care for the pet while they teach English overseas.

Considering the majority of people who teach English abroad only do so short term (1-2 years), this proves to be the best option for many English teachers. 

teaching English abroad with a pet TEFL

Additional Info

Check the following resources for additional information about bringing your pet with you while you teach English abroad:

US Embassies and Consulates: article on taking your pet abroad:

Expat’s manual on taking your pet abroad:

Expat’s manual on shipping pets abroad:

International Pet Import Requirements:

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