So I found out pet moving can be very stressful and full of paperwork, especially if you’re importing a dog into a rabies-free country, ie. Singapore. This is not the first time little Pretzel has relocated, but I absolutely do not remember going through such stress importing him into Hong Kong from Canada. I remember staying up late to work out the time zone difference to call the fishery department of HK to ask about the application procedure, and the long wait on the phone for the cargo department of Cathay Pacific to pick up so I can reserve a seat for Pretzel, but not all the medical steps involved like I have to do in HK to satisfy the Singapore authorities. AAAAAHHHHHH, ACCCKKKK!!!
Since a third of Singapore population is made up of expatriates, it might be useful for others thinking of relocation to plan with plenty of time ahead! I also recommend getting a professional pet export company to help with the move, especially since moving the human is already plenty of stress. The most important thing to note is to plan at least 3 months ahead for the dog. The dog needs to prove rabies antibody in the system, so after getting the rabies shot, you must wait 1 month before doing the antibody test. For me, the struggle came when I realized not every country in the world conduct rabies test. I seriously thought it would take a maximum of 5 business days to get the blood results. Nope! The blood needs to be courier to the UK to conduct the rabies test, which pushes me back at least another 3-4 weeks. There are only 3 countries in the world that test for rabies and they are the US, UK, and Japan; so unless you’re relocating from those countries, expect one month before the blood test be returned to the vet and you can proceed with other vaccinations.
There seems to be a big trail of paperwork from the Singapore authorities as well, which you cannot request and sign for your pet until you have received the rabies test. I have heard if you are doing it personally instead of through a pet immigration company, it can take quite awhile and lots of followup with the authorities before an import license can be granted. If you have a pet immigration company to represent you, they could get the license and all the paperwork completed within a week, so you can finalize the flight for yourself and the pet.
I have chosen a pet export company to help me out, it seems very professional, and the service fees seem quite fair to me. The company will personally pick Pretzel up and bring him for his all his shots and blood work, that would save a lot of time for me and I know all the necessary shots have been implemented. I’m flying the same flight as him on Cathay Pacific, so I can pick him up in Singapore while he’s being examined by vets at immigration. The best part is there will be a car that drive me and the dog to the airport in HK and to my new home once I am in Singapore.