Relocating with pets

Inês and Pedro relocated to Finland from Portugal with their dogs Bilbo and Pippin and cat Duda. We interviewed Inês about their life in Finland and how is it to relocate with pets.

Pedro and Inês decided to move to Finland, because Pedro got an interesting job offer from a company in Espoo, and Inês can work remotely from here. They chose Finland among many countries, because of the interesting company and the safety of the country.

Adapting to Finland

Inês says they were first worried about how they would adapt. “We had heard that Finnish people don’t speak or smile to strangers, so we were very worried about this. But everyone has been super sweet, totally opposite of what we thought!” The climate has been a positive surprise as well. “We love the temperature! Houses are so warm here, so it’s only cold outdoors, and somehow even that’s more comfortable than the cold in Portugal.”

Pedro and Inês also like the general sense of trust and safety in Finland, which can be seen in many little things. “My Portuguese friend was surprised when I told her I want to buy some furniture to our garden – in Portugal it would get stolen, but here our neighbors keep a lot of stuff outside. Here people trust each other and I think this gives better results, as trust creates responsibility.”

The biggest challenge has been the Finnish language, and having to use Google Translator at grocery stores. “However, we have already learnt some Finnish words. It’s not so impossible language after all. We are also impressed by how well everyone speaks English here, which makes life here easy.”

Also the pets have adapted well. In Finland they saw snow for the first time and were a bit shy about it in the beginning. They had been bought clothes in advance, so they were prepared for the Finnish winter.

Relocating with pets

According to Inês, the whole relocation process went smoothly, and the services of the FRS were a great help. Before leaving, the relocation consultant advised how to prepare for the move and what to consider when moving with pets. She also sent the necessary documents and helped to find an apartment.

Most important was the help with registrations, with which, according to Inês, they would have made mistakes and been completely lost without a relocation consultant. Thanks to the consultant, the couple also found a home that perfectly matched their wishes. “Without FRS’s help, relocation would have been a much more time-consuming and stressful process. Relocation services exceeded our expectations, they helped tremendously.”

Inês and Pedro were surprised at how easy it was to find an apartment in Finland where pets are allowed – it’s not so usual in Portugal. The selection of pet food is good in Finland as well. Finland seems to be a pet-friendly country in general, and pets seem to be more common than in Portugal.

Traveling with pets was exciting as the dogs traveled separately from their owners. However, the airline allowed the dogs to travel together, which was important to them, as they are used to being together. This reduced stress and was also cheaper. After the trip, the pets were a little nervous, but adapted soon.

After all, relocating with pets was not difficult at all. In fact, they have made it easier to relocate to a new country: “When everything else changed, familiar routines with pets continued and made us immediately feel at home”.


Checklist for relocating with pets:

  • Get the necessary vaccinations, medications, pet passport, and travel permits from veterinarian prior to travel.
  • Notify the airline about the pets when booking your flight.
  • Make sure your pets have suitable crates, as airlines have special crate requirements.
  • Have clothes for your pets if the climate in the destination country is cold.
  • Be aware of possible quarantine requirements.
  • Check that pets are allowed in the future apartment.
  • Find a veterinarian in the destination country.


Does your foreign employee need help with moving to Finland? Contact us!


More information:

Our services in Finland

International Air Transport Association:Traveler’s Pet Corner


Tags: , , ,