Moving Your Pets To Australia

So you have decided to take the big leap and make the move to Australia? Believe it or not, we can totally vouch for it!

If you’re anything like me, bringing your furbaby/s with you is not even a question. These adorable, love-able, life-enhancing little creatures have as much a place in your heart as most humans and they deserve to come along for the ride too….but….how exactly?


Here we cover some of your most pressing questions on moving your pets to Australia:

  • Am I allowed to bring my pet from my country?
  • How long will my pet be in quarantine?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Should I use a specialised pet import agent to help?
  • Are all dogs and cats allowed into Australia?
  • Where to begin?


Am I allowed to bring my pet from my country?

Your country will be categorised into one of three groups eligible to import pets into Australia. These three groups are based around your country’s rabies status. They each have different conditions for bringing pets into Australia.

The groups are as follows:

Dogs and cats from New Zealand and Norfolk Island do not require an import permit to enter Australia. Cats from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands do require an import permit.

Countries: New Zealand; Norfolk Island; Cocos Islands

Group 2 is classified as countries who are approved rabies-free countries and territories. Animals from these countries require an import permit to be eligible for import to Australia.

Countries: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Christmas Island, Cook Island, Falkland Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Kiribati Mauritius, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna

Group 3 countries are described as approved countries and territories in which rabies is absent or well-controlled and animals from these countries require an import permit to be eligible for import to Australia.

Countries: Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Canary and Balearic Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jersey, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Netherlands—Antilles & Aruba, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, the Republic of South Africa, Reunion, Saipan, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland (including Liechtenstein), Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States (including the district of Columbia, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands Remaining

If you cannot find your country in one of the groups above, you will be classified as a”non-approved” country. Animals are not eligible for direct import to Australia but you may be able to go through one of the groups above. Find out more about non-approved countries here.

How long will my pet be in quarantine?

How long will my pet be in quarantine?

Your pet will be placed in a quarantine facility in Melbourne for a minimum of 10 days once they arrive in Australia. There is only one quarantine facility in Australia so if you are planning on moving elsewhere, you will then need to arrange further transport from Melbourne to where you are residing.

The entire process from start-to-finish can take over 190 days and the Department of Agriculture in Australia highly recommends you commence preparations for your animal around 7 months prior to arrival in Australia. The sooner you start organising the process for your pet, the less time they will need to be in quarantine and away from you in Australia.

How much does it cost?

How much does it cost?

There are a fair few vaccinations, checks and permits which you will need to arrange prior to getting on the flight. You will also need to factor in flights and the cost of quarantining in Australia which you also have to pay for.

The minimum cost of quarantining in Australia is $2000 for 10 days. Any extra time will also need to be paid for.

The cost of the flights to Australia will be dependent on where you are flying from. It will also be based on the breed and type of pet you have, as well as the weight and space they will take up. Airfreight is calculated on volume unlike human flights which are a flat rate!

It would be a safe bet to guesstimate between $5000-$10,000.

Should I use a specialised pet import agent to help?

Should I use a specialised pet import agent to help?

The process of bringing your pet to Australia is both lengthy and confusing! For many people (like using an immigration agent) it may prove less-stressful to use a specialist pet agent to handle all the ins-and-outs of the process.

Whilst they may cost more than attempting the process yourself, they will also save you a lot of time and energy!

Some specialist pet importing agents in Australia:

Are all dogs and cats allowed into Australia?

Are all dogs and cats allowed into Australia?

Unfortunately, Australia has strict rules with the breeds of cats and dogs which it lets in. Amongst other reasons, notoriously aggressive breeds are prohibited from entering.

Breeds which are not allowed into Australia include Pit Bull Terriers, American Pit Bulls, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentino and African Wild Cats. Pets must be five generations or more removed from any dog or cat that is not a domestic breed.

Where to begin?

Where to begin?

The best place to start would be to find a list of approved veterinarians who are knowledgeable in the exporting procedure for your current country. It’s important to make sure you find one who is government approved for this work so you receive the right information.

From here, your vet should be able to tell you if your pet is eligible for export to Australia and what the next steps will be!

Alternatively, as above, contacting a pet transport agent may be a great place to start and they can give you a great overview of what will be needed!

For further details of Australia’s requirements and the procedures, there is a wealth of information on the Department of Agriculture’s website here.