Transport Your Pet Safely: A Detailed Guide to Pet Relocation

Pet with master

Transport Your Pet Safely: A Detailed Guide to Pet Relocation

Safe and Easy Pet Transfer to India

While moving to another country for personal or professional reasons, the transportation of the pets requires special arrangements. It’s an uphill job to plan a pet move and this calls forth the need of a dependable assistance and guidance for pet relocation to India. A lot of factors come into play like safety, friendly approach, special care, comfort and official formalities & documentation. I have tried to create a guide to the process to relocate a Pet to India and for the pet-owners to have a better understanding of the formalities.

dog with bag

Prerequisites for Pet Transport to India

Pet travel requires extensive paperwork and following of many regulations if the relocation is to another country. There are some prerequisites for pet relocation to India as well:
No Objection Certificate (NOC) along with a health certificate of the pet from an authorized person or Animal Quarantine Station in India before entering India. The application of the certificate must be done by the pet’s owner or an agent or owner’s representative.
• An authentic Rabies vaccination certificate showing the microchip number, validity of the vaccination and the inoculation date has to be provided
Vet Health Certificate – filled by an accredited veterinarian that will mention that the pet is not suffering from the diseases like Rabies, Tuberculosis, Leptospirosis or Leishmaoiasis
• There is a prohibition for dogs coming to India for breeding or commercial purposes
• Pet owners with short Visa or tourist Visa are not allowed to bring the 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 being relocated to India must be of an age above 3 months
• Unaccompanied pets like dogs and cats are not allowed to relocate to India till the associated owners are making their residential transfer to India.
• To enter the country, 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
• For dogs and cats, the maximum number of relocating pets to India is 2. Reptiles, birds and other pets need Special Authorizations for import which is issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade
• For entering the Indian Territory, the pet must be microchipped with a microchip containing 15 digits and should be non-encrypted ISO 11784/11785 certified. If it’s not compliant with ISO 11784/11785, the owner has to bring his/her personal microchip scanner

• For pets like dogs or cats that are being relocated to India for short term (tourist visa) or ownership change, a license is required for importing from the Indian Directorate General of Foreign Trade. For pets like dogs or cats entering Indian territory due to ownership changing, a quarantine of 30 days is required in an official quarantine facility in the origin nation

• It is mandatory to vaccinate the cat or dog being relocated with rabies vaccination between 30 days and one year before boarding. Vaccination against the 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

cat at airport

Getting Started with the Documentation

The paperwork/documentation and essential formalities for pet moving to India are:
• If the relocation is occurring from US or Canada to India then a veterinarian (accredited by CFIA or USDA) must fill the Veterinary Certificate for India not prior to 10 days of boarding, the documents must be in English and the authorized officials who take care of the pet import and export have to endorse the form.

The documentation and formalities during pet transfer to India from different parts of the world is time-consuming and confusing sometimes.

Prerequisites for Pre and Post Arrival in India through Flight or Aircraft

• Unaccompanied Pets must not arrive after 30 days (owner’s 1st immigration stamp as shown in the passport after getting the work Visa or spouse/dependant Visa issued) from the arrival of the owner in India
• For accompanied cats and dogs, the relocation to India is done as checked in baggage and for unaccompanied cats and other animals, it is done as Air Cargo
• Till the pet’s custom clearance is done, the owner’s passport will be held post arrival.
• The arrangement of the pet’s arrival should be done in such a way that they reach India on weekdays (From Monday to Friday) between 5 AM and noon
• Domestic cats and dogs shouldn’t be suffering from communicable diseases that are a threat to human health at the time of entering the country, if they are, a thorough checkup by an authorized veterinarian will be needed at owner’s expenses
• Some documents like Animal Health Certificate, health certificate from veterinarian and destination country’s documents will be needed 7 days after the pet is exported

man signing on document

Casual Formalities at a Glance and Concerns

Many pet owners are concerned about the formalities related to their pet’s relocation and if it’s their first pet relocation to India then the regulations related to the process are undoubtedly a reason to mull over. There are certain formalities related to Indian pet transport and their import or export procedure. The important points under the regulations include:
Health certificate of the pet should be issued by a veterinary officer who has the authorization of issuing a valid certificate at the origin country
• Passport of the shipper or transporter must be available at the time of customs clearance
• Rabies vaccination certificate is needed for the pet that is being transported and the certificate should not be less than a month old and not more than a year of boarding the ship or aircraft
• For the pet custom clearance, a letter is required from the owner who is authorizing the relocation. Apart from this, for verification of the related documents by a veterinary who will be available at the air cargo complex and for the prior permission from the Indian customs, information of the flight along with a clear copy of the airway bill should be faxed before 72 hours of the pet’s arrival excluding the holidays
• Pet food is subjected to custom duty
The above regulations and documentations are only valid for the pets like dogs and cats. Not all the species are permitted to relocate to India under these regulations and procedures. If the pet is a mammal like a rodent or rabbit or species like reptiles, Amphibia or Invertebrates then under DGFT license, they can be transported as Cargo. Also, these species shouldn’t be under the CITIES endangered species. Other species like parrots or turtles also need special permit if they fall under CITIES endangered species.


• Aged or ill pets may suffer from skin issues or other diseases due to the Indian climate
• It is important to consult pet’s veterinary before moving it to a country like India, where the climate is hot or tropical
• If you are planning to check-in in an Indian hotel after arrival, make sure they allow pets inside since Indian hotels have different rules and regulations in comparison to western hotels
• Make sure you have enough medicines and flea or pest repellent for your pet as you may not get the same products in India in the first place
• Many airlines allow the pets in the cargo area and not in the airline container in the cabin.
• Make sure the kennel container provided by the airline is properly cleaned or sanitized as you can’t guarantee the health status of the pet that has been transferred previously in the container
• Finding the appropriate size of kennel for your pet can be challenging sometimes
• Attaching a tag to the pet with essential information for identification in emergency circumstances is recommended
• It’s okay to provide water to the pet, but feeding them before the flight is not recommended
• If your pet’s veterinary doesn’t recommend any medicine or tranquilizer then don’t go for it
• If possible, arrange your flight’s arrival to India on weekdays so that you get every facility and service available for your pet

pet relocation

A Promise to Care

Utmost care and integrity are needed during any pet relocation. Selecting a shipping and handling company, seek references and ensure they understand the relocation formalities and documentation

Ensure that The Shipper is

• An adept team of relocation professionals and animal handlers
• Can arrange authorized veterinaries for your pet’s check-up
• Will take the responsibility of your pet’s safe and comfortable arrival
• Will offer drop and pick amenities
• Will take care of the formalities and documentation during pet relocation to India from abroad
• Will have a profound understanding of worldwide relocation regulations and formalities
• Can guide you throughout the process

We minimize your effort and stress involved in moving a pet to a different country. You can trust us regarding your pet’s safe and comfortable relocation.

Author :

Rohan Baweja handles move management for IKAN Customers and is an Industry veteran with nearly fifteen years of experience. He can be reached at For more information about our moving services, please visit

Ikan Team

Your Relocation Partner. A Mobility Management company, IKAN Relocations, has been a brand in existence since 1997 .

  • Milton Halder
    Posted at 17:55h, 17 March Reply

    Very nice and informative. Thanks Mr. Harveer for the post.

  • rohit
    Posted at 10:08h, 01 April Reply

    Nice article Rohan – lets connect sometime

  • Diwakar Gupta
    Posted at 15:19h, 04 April Reply

    Very informative

  • Rishabh
    Posted at 15:42h, 04 April Reply

    Moving pets to the country, no need to worry because this detailed article sorts out all your worries !! Applause to Rohan who wrote this article. Cheers !

  • Eugenie
    Posted at 15:57h, 08 April Reply

    Very informative and well written.

  • Raghu Chandra
    Posted at 13:16h, 09 April Reply

    Worth reading and very valuable information

  • Anuroop
    Posted at 11:54h, 10 April Reply

    Very well written and informative. It briefs the entire process in a very precise manner.

Post A Comment