So far in our Australia Pet Travel Spotlight series we've discussed a couple of the big challenges associated with moving pets here—Australia pet quarantine and why it can be expensive to move pets to Australia.
Depending on where you're starting, you may have another big hurdle to overcome. Direct travel to Australia is not possible from countries categorized as “non-approved,” so if you're starting in a place not considered rabies free or low rabies, you'll have to take additional steps before bringing your pet to Australia by first traveling to an approved country and completing some requirements there.
Though not impossible, this can be a confusing process for any pet owner to understand. Read over these frequently asked questions for further explanation and contact us if you're ready to start working on your move plan.
Is my country approved or non-approved?
Here is a list of approved and non-approved countries for pet import to Australia.
My country of origin is not approved. What do I do now?
At this point you'll want to find out as much as you can about Australia's rules and regulations so that you can start to build a feasible plan and timeline.
Consider reaching out to a pet travel professional. With so many details involved and with so much at stake, you may want to hire someone to guide you in order to make sure you avoid mistakes and delays.
When choosing the approved country to which you'll need to travel through, consider that country's import rules and the logistics that might work best. With cases like this, we often recommend importing your pet to the United States to complete the requirements due to its relatively simple import rules.
How long will this process take?
Realistically speaking, the preparation process will take at least 6 months and probably longer once your interim travel is factored in. The earlier you start to plan and understand all the moving parts, the smoother the process will be.
What kinds of challenges should I prepare for?
The steps involved in the Australia pet import process must be carried out in the right order and according to the right timeline. For example, pets must be implanted with a microchip before any other steps can begin. You also want to make sure your vet paperwork is properly filled out, dates and microchip numbers are accurately recorded, and you'll need to book your quarantine reservation at the right place for the right time (here is more information about Australia's quarantine facilities).
How much will this cost?
Costs will vary depending on several factors, but you'll need to add up all plane tickets, vet visits, government endorsements, boarding, and quarantine fees. Here is a look at the costs of Australia pet travel. Adding another section to the trip (flying to the United States from your home country, for example) will add to the overall cost, of course, so be sure to factor those expenses in as you plan your budget.
Will my pet be safe?
This is a two part international journey that will involve several hours in the air and culminate in 10 days of quarantine, so we do recommend talking to your vet about any concerns you have and perhaps asking for an in-depth health screening to identify any underlying issues that might come into play. Generally speaking, fit pets make better travelers, hydration is important, and it is essential that you choose a pet friendly airline for each leg of the trip.
As with all pet travel, there are some risks involved, however in our experience traveling to Australia from a non-approved country is safe for pets (especially under the guidance of pet travel professionals). Here's a real world example of two dogs and a cat who moved from Brazil to the US to Australia and handled the trip quite well, and here is a closer look at why pet travel is much safer than most people realize.