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Moving to the UK with dog. Advice on insurance/vet cover please?

(12 Posts)
Lexilicious Tue 24-Apr-18 14:05:05

Hello, I'm shortly to bring my beautiful hound back to the UK from living overseas for a job.

He was found at about 8-10 weeks old abandoned on the street, survived parvovirus, and now he's about 20 months old. We obviously love him lots, and I'm trying not to think about the flight in the cargo hold and how he will have a fairly stressful 12-16 hours without any of us.

I'm on top of the processes for bringing him in like all the vet checks and certification, UK customs, animal handling at the airport, and so on. But when he gets to the UK, do I need to have pet insurance straight away? Do I need a vet payment plan? How do I transfer his microchip registration - presumably at a vet.

Photo attached to encourage you all to tell me how beautiful he is alongside helpful helping...

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Tue 24-Apr-18 14:38:33

There's no legal requirement for pet insurance (though it's highly recommended, and PetPlan is widely considered a good insurer) but there is a legal requirement for an up to date microchip.

There's about 10 different microchip databases - mine is on Identibase, though I think they're all much of a muchness. Do you have a record of the microchip number? When I transferred the ownership of my dog to me on his microchip I just needed that and went directly to the database company - it didn't require a vet's involvement. I imagine if you contact a database they'll be able to sort it out for you.

pigsDOfly Tue 24-Apr-18 14:48:29

Think Avocados pretty much covered your questions. Agree Petplan lifetime cover is good and just wanted to add, as per your instructions, smile that he is indeed a very handsome chap.

Hope the flight isn't too stressful for him, or for you either, come to that.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Tue 24-Apr-18 14:52:36

I brought my large dog back from Greece after some years of having her there. The journey isn't great for them but she survived it and I'm sure your boy will too. What airline are you using? I brought mine with BA but I wasn't overly impressed - I was required to hand her in at Cargo 7 whole hours before flight departure time (and the paperwork and cost were very daunting) and they asked me to provide her with water - we'd used it all en route (5 hours' journey by car in 40 degrees) so I had to insist the airport workers gave her some water. When I picked her up at the Animal Centre at Heathrow, it had been about 11 hours without her. There is quite a delay (takes you ages to find the Animal holding place on the perimeter road anyway) while they wash out the travel cage and give the dog a once-over and some water - apparently the animals all make a mess of their travel cages so these have to be hosed down. Eventually, however, your beloved dog will be brought out to you and all this is soon behind you. Re: microchip - I contacted Petlog and gave them the number of the Greek microchip and my details (probably had to fill in a form that they sent me, I think) and paid them the fee and she was then registered on their database. It is wise to get the pet insurance as you never know when you will need it even with a healthy dog - things happen. Current dog is with PetPlan but haven't needed it yet as she is young and so far ok. I just like knowing that if she breaks a leg or bites someone's dog (!) I've got some cover.

TropicPlunder Tue 24-Apr-18 19:17:51

Very handsome chap! I'm just here in solidarity to say that I'm making a similar length journey with my dog to the uk in a few months time. On balance, she has zero good opportunities in our current country if left behind, and a night on the plane seems worth it so we can all be together for life. We'll fly with klm to Heathrow, so interesting to hear your experience joyful. Only legal things for UK to bear in mind once arrived are the microchip and collar tag I think....insurance not a requirement. Good luck!

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Tue 24-Apr-18 20:05:25

Sorry I forgot to comment on his great beauty grin Tropic makes a good point - you'll need an engraved tag on his collar with your name, UK street address and phone number.

You should also check if there are any vaccinations recommended in the UK but normally given in your current country

choccybiscuit Tue 24-Apr-18 20:20:10

www.petlog.org.uk/recording-a-pet-with-an-overseas-microchip/
This is the link to register an overseas microchip. The fee is £17 and takes 28 days to complete

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Wed 25-Apr-18 12:18:58

I worried about my Greek dog all the way over in the 'plane - had they actually loaded her on? How was she coping with the horrible noises in the hold all on her own (BA will only take one dog per day from Athens to London on a specific evening flight), etc. When we disembarked the 'plane and were going along a corridor, I could see my plane having the luggage taken off and then her cage came down a conveyor belt to where the Animal truck was waiting and I could see her big white rear end and knew she was OK- I was very happy. They are tougher than we think.

Lexilicious Thu 03-May-18 07:31:44

Sorry I didn't come back till now. I have passed on all your compliments to the hound. Thank you thank you, he says.

I will do the petlog microchip transfer pronto. He currently wears an engraved collar tag with our overseas address/phone number. I'll get one done with our UK address/phone and sent to my dad who is picking us up from Heathrow.

After a rather early check in at the cargo terminal, a few hours before flying but thankfully in the night so he should just be sleepy, he'll be on two Lufthansa flights, and I've been told they are very good. I'll be also travelling on his first flight then he has to stay on the ground for a long layover due to some rule abut acclimatisation. I go on to Heathrow ahead of him so I have plenty of time to find the HARC.

TropicPlunder Thu 03-May-18 10:06:11

Let us know how it goes! And good luck with everything

Lexilicious Tue 29-May-18 06:57:57

Hello all! The transfer is complete. My hound is now in Devon with my parents and two girl spaniels. They are getting on very well and new rules are being established, e.g. the girls are allowed on the sofa and bed but we don't want Charlie to pick that up so he is floor based. He is also a lot bigger than the girls so it's wise. And it seems to be working.

The HARC were lovely and James Cargo Services kept me informed about progress all the way through. I was glad I had got a TOR Relief number because that speeded up the customs clearance stage a lot. From landing to reuniting with me was 4h20m.

I did make one mistake though and it was a big one. I had asked local friends here about what crate to use and I had borrowed one from a dog shelter who have moved many large dogs from here to Germany and other places. They were very certain that I didn't need to use the size that his measurements indicated on the IATA rules - it would be better to go slightly under. Well, I got a little lecture about that from the animal control officers and signed a form saying I was not going to put him in that crate again. I was feeling really guilty and worried that they weren't going to give me my dog so I frankly would have signed anything. I didn't even read it actually, for all I know some sort of penalty notice is going to arrive through the post now...

TropicPlunder Tue 29-May-18 07:09:00

Oh wow! Great to hear your experience and glad that you and hound are happily reunited. How was he after the journey? And adjusting to the new place?
Will make sure I get the TOR number, and a massive crate! Sorry to hear about that. I'm currently waiting for an extra large crate. My dog is a slender little thing, but somehow really long when she stood next to the large crate....i think you need to see dog next to/in crate to really know....I would have underestimated ours too

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