Eleven Tips to Help You Safely Transport Your Pet to Australia

If you are thinking of moving your pet to Australia, I suggest you first get an idea of what’s involved in this process so that you don’t get hassled mid-way. The most important fact that you need to remember is that the entire procedure can be an expensive one and requires that you navigate through a few controls and restrictions. I will briefly guide you through the various stages involved in moving your pet to Australia and, hopefully, save you time, hassle and money.

1. The most important thing to do first is to confirm that your breed is allowed in Australia (certain dog breeds like Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Pitbull Terrier are refused entry) and also whether your pet’s age permits it to travel.

2. Microchipping your pet will be the next step you take. This needs to be completed before you apply for an import permit. The microchip must be identified by any ISO compatible reader like a Trovan or Destron.

3. Apply and obtain an import permit – this permit is usually issued only for six months.

4. After obtaining the permit, the next step you need to take is to book your pet into a quarantine station for a specified time frame. Issuance of the import permit is no guarantee of space in the quarantine station. Quarantine regulations are strictly followed in Australia. Without this, the import process stands incomplete. You also need to take efforts to find out a government authorized Veterinarian, an official veterinarian and authorized government laboratory.

5. This next step is a very vital part of the entire process. This involves procuring the required veterinary documents from the government approved laboratory and veterinarian. Your pet must not have been under quarantine restrictions in the 30 days before export. These documents play a pivotal role in moving your pet into Australia. Hence exercise great attention in this entire exercise to make it completely fool-proof.

6. The next step is booking transportation for your pet. There are certain specified airports through which your pet can enter Australia. Your pet should be booked in an IATA approved container as ‘manifested cargo’. If trans-shipment is required while travel, prior permission must be sought from the quarantine authorities in the country of trans-shipment.

7. Within a fortnight before departure, all regular vaccinations must be given.

8. If your pet is a dog, then it needs to undergo some more tests for additional canine diseases within 30 days of export.

9. Within 4 days of export, you need to complete a pre-export inspection and get your pet passed in this certification.

10. Finally, after all the above formalities have been completed, you seal the animal in the shipping container and check it in with the airline. If you are unable to travel with your pet, you might avail the services of many animal transport agents who will do the needful in your absence.

11. On arrival in Australia, your pet will be moved to the quarantine station the costs of which are bearable by the importer and are to be paid before the discharge of your pet from the station.

I have shared the above information to ensure that your entire pet-moving process is hassle-free and your pet joins you in your new home as soon as possible.

  • Site Admin

    Written by Mark

    As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia.

    Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assitance, Getting Down Under.

    If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Forums


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    1. Hi Mark
      Do you know of any way to still send pets from UK to Aus without using an agent without using an agent? We have two large dogs, and have found that Heathrow & Gatwick will no longer deal with the public (I am told they used to). We are travelling with our son and wondered if there was any way to use our 90kg combined luggage allowance to help reduce the costs of flying the combined 40kg dogs and their containers (obviously they would need to be on the same flight as us). All thoughts and tips gratefully receieved…and great blog Mark – THANKS!

      • Megan, I’m sorry that I missed this post when you originally made it.

        Did you get sorted? I’m thinking the only way to get around this might be to still deal with a pet agent to do the final booking (for a small fee) but do everything else yourself.

        If all the pet carrier has to do is make some phone calls and fill in a couple of forms I’d like to think the costs should be substantially smaller.

        A little crazy that the airports won’t deal with the public any longer.

    2. Hi Mark,
      Great blog :)
      We’re moving in October with our two big dogs and two cats. We’re emigrating from Ireland but are actually bringing the pets to the UK to send them from there.
      Heathrow won’t deal with the public – not sure if they used to, but they now make you go through pet transport agencies. Our quotes have ranged from £8,500 to £4,700 so I’d advise people to do lots of research.
      Wish us luck renting with our four!

      • Hi Skye
        I’d be really interested to hear if you found a way of sending your 4 without using an agent or of any cost saving measures you came across? We have two large dogs, and have also hit the barrier of finding that Heathrow & Gatwick will not deal with the public. We are travelling with our son and wondered if there was any way to use our 90kg combined luggage allowance to help reduce the costs of flying the dogs (obviously they would need to be on the same flight as us). All thoughts and tips gratefully receieved…and great blog Mark – THANKS!

      • Hello, Skye I was very interested in finding that you saved on the cost of bring your large dogs to Australia, i have recently received Residency and I also have two large dogs that I couldn’t bare to think of leaving them behind. It seems so expensive, seems someone is cashing in on pet lovers. i’m hoping you can advice me on the cheapest and safest why to bring them without breaking the bank.

        I am also Irish, and Immigrating from here.



      • Hi David. I don’t think so. You’d be looking at a pretty substantial (and troublesome) series of boat journeys if you were going to go via this route.

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