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Old 06.07.2012, 03:26
WestSideSuperMom WestSideSuperMom is offline
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Re: moving to switzerland with a dog

We moved here a month ago with our 5 yr. old Aussie/Lab mix. We had also moved to London from the US with her several years ago so I'll second all advice I've read so far and offer the following:
- I'd recommend using a vet in the US that has experience with preparing a dog and the many forms involved in importing a dog to the country where you are moving.
For example, the UK requires 6 months of blood work to show the dog is free of rabies to avoid mandatory 6 month quarantine. As spoken of earlier, there is a strict sequence for administering shots, the chip, etc. all of which must be documented properly.
- I found the Swiss bvet website helpful and they answered my questions promptly (and in English, danke!)
- You must also carefully read the airline requirements for the USDA stamp date. On the day of her London flight, Continental told us they required the USDA stamp be sooner than the UK requirement. Because the UK requires deworming the day prior to export, we were able to suffice the airline with a written statement of good health from the vet who had seen her the day prior faxed to the Cargo office. On top of that, they were not satisfied with our crate and made us go buy a larger crate for the flight. I'd recommend going to the Cargo office, they are not conveniently located so good to know where you'll need to bring your dog, and have them pre-approve your crate. We had a better experience this time with United.
- Both times we delivered our dog to the Cargo office in the US and had a service meet her, check her through customs and deliver her to our new residence. We used Ace Pet Movers for the import pick up at Zurich airport. Because there are a limited number of spaces for dogs on flights, she flew a day before us. Ace processed her at the airport, sent a lovely picture of her in a wildflower field upon arrival, boarded her for one night and delivered her to our new residence on the day of our arrival. Brilliant. Both trips her transport was twice what ours was but if you have a large breed dog, the crate will not fit in a taxi.
- Both flights I attached a plastic folder on top of her crate with a printed label outside clearly showing her name, flight #, our contact info and destination address. This was a recommendation of our vet when we moved to London. There was a set of paperwork for each check point on her journey so authorities could easily process her and hold any records they required.
- Even though we had a UK/EU compliant chip and she was imported to Switzerland with no problems, we had to get a Swiss chip to get her registered here. This was 165 additional CHF. She's on Royal Canin food and each medium size bag is 65 CHF.
- We did not have to attend any classes
-We are here for a contract through my husband's company. Our moving company required our permit papers in order to process our container at the Swiss port and Ace Pet Movers required them as well. Even though a reputable firm was handling the processing, our permits were delayed and we had to delay our move 6 wks. My husband's work start date did not delay so he had to fly back frequently to do fingerprints, etc. required as our permits were processed. All food for thought if you do secure work over here.

Having experienced nationalized health care through the NHS, I like the US system of being able to choose your own provider. We had very good experiences with the NHS, including the natural delivery of our son with mainly midwifery care. It can be argued that it is care that ppl need, not insurance, but we came to fully understand that because we lived in a good borough and paid high taxes, good services followed. I'm not sure how it goes in the countryside. That's how it is in the city. We chose to keep our US insurance going while we're here this time, they offer international coverage. Even with proof of this coverage, we did have to purchase insurance through our city gemeinde here as well.

They call America "The Land of the Free" for a reason. Keep researching and you'll find we have it pretty good. You don't have to purchase the Obama Health Insurance. You'll pay a penalty tax for choosing to remain uninsured and pay out of pocket when you require medical care.
Best of luck!
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