Moving with Your Pet Dog or Cat to Australia

by | Wednesday 22nd May 2024

Moving to a new country is undoubtedly an exciting adventure, but it also comes with a handful of challenges, especially if you have a beloved pet to consider. Of course, you don’t want to leave them behind, and so you need to familiarise yourself with the process of relocating them.

If you’re planning a move to Australia and you are wondering how to navigate the process with your furry companion, you have come to the right place. We have taken a look at everything you need to know about moving with your dog or cat to Australia, from the necessary preparations to the steps involved in ensuring a smooth transition for both of you.

How to Prepare Your Pet for a Move to Australia

Australia has strict regulations overseeing the importation of pets, all of which are designed to protect the country from the introduction of diseases and pests. Before making any travel arrangements, it’s important to familiarise yourself with these requirements. Start by visiting the official website of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. This is where you will find detailed information on the specific criteria your pet must meet for entry into the country. Armed with this information, you can begin your preparation by organising any necessary vaccinations, microchipping and health certifications.

Visit Your Vet

vet pet check up for travel

Once you’ve familiarised yourself with Australia’s pet import requirements, schedule a visit to your vet. Your vet will be able to advise you on the necessary vaccinations and treatments your pet will need before travelling to Australia. This may include rabies vaccination, parasite treatments and a health examination to ensure your pet is fit for travel. Your vet can also provide you with any required documentation, such as a pet passport or health certificate, that you’ll need for entry into Australia.

Prepare Your Pet for Travel

Of course, moving abroad is a brand new experience for your pet, and it’s important to prepare them ahead of time. Even though Australia and the UK are similar, there are some key differences between the two. In the weeks leading up to your move, take steps to acclimate your pet to travel. Introduce your pet to their travel carrier gradually, allowing them to become comfortable with the confined space. You could even take short car trips with your pet to get them used to travelling in a vehicle. If your pet is a nervous traveller, consider using calming aids, such as pheromone sprays or supplements, to help reduce your pet’s anxiety during travel.

Understanding Australia’s Pet Import Requirements for Cats and Dogs

Before you and your pets move to Australia, take the time to research Australia’s pet import requirements. It’s not simply a case of organising their travel and waiting for them to arrive, as there are various laws and regulations to adhere to.

dog on beach in Australia

Australia’s Biosecurity Laws

Australia is known for having strict biosecurity laws, aimed at protecting the country’s unique environment and wildlife from diseases and pests that could be brought in from elsewhere. This means that the importation of pets into Australia is tightly regulated to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, such as rabies. When you are moving to Australia with your cat or dog, you need to adhere to these biosecurity laws to ensure the health and safety of your pet, as well as compliance with regulations Down Under.

Vaccinations and Treatments

One of the main requirements for importing pets into Australia is ensuring they are up to date on their vaccinations and treatments. For example, dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies at least 180 days before their arrival in Australia. Pets may also require treatments for internal and external parasites, as well as health examinations to certify their fitness for travel.

Microchipping and Identification

Microchipping is a mandatory requirement for all pets moving to Australia, and it provides a permanent means of identification in case they become lost or separated from you. Your pet’s microchip must comply with ISO standards, and it must be implanted before any vaccinations or treatments are administered. Your pet must also have an identification tag attached to their collar or travel crate, containing your contact information.

Quarantine Requirements

Depending on the breed of your cat or dog, and their vaccination history, they may be subject to quarantine upon arrival in Australia. Quarantine periods tend to range from 10 to 180 days, during which time your pet will be housed in a dedicated facility and monitored for signs of illness.

Import Permits and Documentation

As well as meeting vaccination and treatment requirements, you’ll need to obtain import permits and documentation from the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. This may include an Import Permit for Live Animals and a Veterinary Health Certificate issued by an accredited vet. It’s important to submit these documents well in advance of your pet’s travel to ensure smooth entry into the country and to avoid delays.


Choosing the Right Travel Arrangements for Your Pet

Air Travel

cat in travel crate

Air travel is the most common mode of transportation for pets moving abroad, including from the UK to Australia. When flying with your pet, research airlines that offer pet friendly services and adhere to international pet travel regulations. Choose a reputable airline with experience in transporting animals and inquire about their specific pet travel policies, including cabin and cargo options, pet carrier requirements and any additional fees.

Pet Relocation Services

If you are hoping for a stress free and comprehensive travel experience, pet relocation services offer a convenient solution. These specialised companies handle all aspects of the pet travel process, including flight arrangements, paperwork assistance, vet requirements and ground transportation. While pet relocation services may come at a higher price, they provide peace of mind knowing that experienced professionals are overseeing every aspect of your pet’s journey.

Health and Safety Precautions

Before travelling, schedule a thorough health check up for your pet with a vet experienced in international travel requirements. Ensure your pet is up to date on vaccinations, flea and tick preventatives, and that they are microchipped for identification purposes. Obtain a pet passport or export health certificate from your vet, and research any additional documentation required by Australian authorities. Pack a travel kit with essential items such as food, water, medications, bedding and comfort toys to keep your pet calm and comfortable during the journey.

What to Expect When Your Pet Arrives in Australia

When your pet arrives in Australia, you won’t be reunited with them straight away. There are often quarantine, inspections and assessments to organise before they are released back to you.

relocating cat quarantine

Quarantine Inspection

Upon arrival in Australia, all pets are subject to a mandatory quarantine inspection to ensure compliance with the country’s strict biosecurity measures. Depending on your pet’s health and vaccination history, they may be required to undergo a period of quarantine to mitigate the risk of introducing diseases such as rabies into the country. Quarantine facilities are designed to provide a safe and comfortable environment for pets during their stay.

Health Assessment

During the quarantine period, your pet will undergo a comprehensive health assessment by qualified vets to confirm their health status and verify compliance with import requirements. This assessment may include physical examinations, blood tests and parasite screenings to ensure your pet remains in optimal health.

Release and Reunion

Once the quarantine period is complete and your pet has received clearance from authorities, they will be released from the quarantine facility and reunited with you. This is the moment that your pet’s new life in Australia can begin. It’s important to continue providing your pet with the care and attention they need to adjust to their new environment. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with local pet friendly amenities, such as parks, beaches and vets.

Organising Your Move From the UK to Australia

moving with pet to Australia

There’s a lot that goes into organising a move from the UK to Australia, but United International Removals are on hand to help with the logistics. With our expertise, getting your belongings Down Under is simple and straightforward. Regardless of where in Australia you are moving to, our experts are always on hand to guide you through the removal process. Get in touch to find out more.

Share This