If you’re moving your pets to the United Arab Emirates, you may be a little confused or overwhelmed by the requirements. You don’t have to be! The UAE is a regular destination for the PetRelocation team. We’ve put together a simple guide to help you stress less!

Requirements for Importing Pets to the UAE


Dog owners, please be aware that the United Arab Emirates does not allow all breeds for import. If your pet is a pit bull, mastiff, tosa, rottweiler, doberman pinscher, canario presa, boxer or a mix of any of the breeds mentioned, you will not be able to move them to the UAE with you.

Gunee, schnauzer relocated from US to UAE
Gunee moved to Dubai with our assistance in 2016


It’s important that your pet meets the following vaccination requirements:

  • Microchip: Your pet must first have a microchip implanted. Unlike other countries, there is flexibility regarding the type of microchip your pet can have. Both ISO and AVID microchips are allowed. However, ask your veterinarian to double-check that the microchip can be found and read before taking the next steps. 
  • Rabies vaccine: It’s time to get your pet vaccinated against the rabies virus. He or she should be at least 12 weeks old at the time this vaccine is given. 
  • Other general vaccines: Dogs will need the DHLPP (distemper, leptospirosis, hepatitis, and parvovirus) vaccine while cats will require the FVRCP (calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, panleukopaenia, parvovirus). 
  • The rabies titer test blood draw: We have discussed the rabies titer test previously. This can be done once the rabies vaccine is at least 21 days old. The earliest your pet can leave for their new home is 12 weeks after the blood draw.
dachshund mix dog moves to dubai
We moved Riley to Dubai in 2017 (and then back in 2019!) 

in the meantime... 

While you wait for your 12 weeks to pass, there are a few more steps. Firstly, you must apply for an import permit. If you have hired PetRelocation to assist with the move, we will apply on your behalf.  Please note that the import permit can take anywhere from three days to two weeks to obtain and is valid for one month from the date of issue.

Next, start crate training your pet. As we’ve discussed, the UAE only allows pets to arrive into the country as manifest cargo. This means it’s important to start acclimating your pet to their travel crate early and practice often.


For export from the United States to any foreign country, your pet must have a country-specific health certificate issued by a USDA-Accredited Veterinarian. This health certificate must be sent to your state’s USDA office for endorsement.

A few suggestions:

  • Ask your veterinarian if they have the proper USDA accreditation. Failure to do so could result in extra time and expense associated with additional appointments and testing.
  • Make sure you know which USDA office to send your paperwork to after it is issued. You may need to make an appointment for an in-person appointment depending on your timeline. 
  • Your pet must be treated with both internal and external parasite treatments within 14 days of travel. Before you schedule this final veterinarian appointment, make sure your vet knows the requirements and has these treatments in stock. 
  • The health certificate cannot be older than 10 days old at the time of departure. Make sure to arrange this appointment within this timeframe.

If you follow this timeline and ensure that all the vaccines and tests are done in the right order and with the correct timing, your pet should have no problem relocating to the United Arab Emirates with you.

 Burj Al Arab in Dubai

Do you think you might need a helping hand in moving your pet to the UAE (or anywhere else in the world)? Let us help! Contact us to set up your consultation today!


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