Bringing Pets To: AUSTRALIA



Our clients are often surprised to learn that the process of importing pets to Australia requires a significant amount of time and preparation. Our team of experts can provide an explanation of what moving pets to Australia from the US looks like, in addition to managing your pet's entire move down under so you don't have to navigate it alone!

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What to Know Before Bringing Dogs and Cats to Australia

Importing Pets to Australia: Requirements and Timeline

A checklist with checkmarks on it

Microchip and Vaccinations

Time frame: at least 210 Days Before Departure

Pets must have microchip identification, and the microchip must be implanted before the rabies titer test is administered. Be sure to obtain certification of the period of validity for the particular vaccinations that you obtain (some are good for two years, others for only one). Pet must be at least 90 days old at the time of the first vaccination.

How We Help with Vaccinations and Vet Records

  • Does your pet have records in multiple locations? Is your veterinarian properly accredited? Are all required vaccinations and test results in line with import and export regulations? There is a lot to consider. We’ve got you covered!
  • Bringing pets to Australia requires multiple tests, which typically result in 4-5 vet visits, all of which we will manage. Our team also provides sample documents to help ensure everything is properly filled out and signed the first time.
  • Our relocation coordinators manage an average of 190 vet visits per month, and stay up to date on regulatory changes so you and your vet don’t have to.

Smiling pug on a beach Bart: US to Australia 2017

Non-Approved Countries and Banned Species

Certain pets and countries of origin may require a different travel plan, or prevent you from moving your pet to Australia.

Only dogs and cats may be imported to Australia at this time with very few exceptions. Also, depending on your country of origin you may need to take some extra steps when moving your pets to Australia.

Do you know how to move from a non-approved country?

  • We certainly can't manage the import of a banned species or breed, but we've helped many clients import pets to Australia from what are known as "non-approved" countries (for example, Brazil). It's a more involved process, but our team knows exactly how to approach it.
  • Not sure if your pet is a banned breed or species? Consult with one of our experts to determine if your pet can be cleared for import!
  • We've helped many four-legged family members make the big trip to Australia, even when their circumstances were a little more complex:
    • Deco and Sprite, who moved from Brazil, a non-approved country.
    • Oliver, whose travel plans were impacted by two hurricanes.
    • And Chipper, who required a reinforced travel crate 
  • Banned dog breeds in Australia include: Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, Pit Bull Terrier, and Presa Canario. Dogs can not be derived from a cross with a non-domestic species, such as a wolf.

Two cats looking up at a camera Monti and Roscoe: US to Australia 2018

Veterinary Credentials

Time frame: before applying for your import permit

Your veterinarian must: check the RNAT test laboratory report and rabies vaccination certificate; complete, sign and stamp the declaration; and ensure the completed RNAT test declaration contains all required information. Ensuring these veterinary credentials are met helps make for a smooth arrival in Australia.

What happens if your veterinarian isn't accredited?

  • Your dedicated relocation coordinator has likely already worked with an accredited vet in your area, or can recommend one.
  • At this stage, we provide detailed templates for your veterinarian and answer any questions regarding the proper completion of the form.
  • It's not uncommon for a client's veterinarian to lack these required credentials for import. However, we can provide guidance with this process if they'd like to become accredited.
  • Did you know about the timeline for the final vet visit? In order to avoid delays, we include this in our service with a veterinarian we know and trust with international travel preparation

Dog looking into the camera Archie: US to Australia 2016

Blood Tests and Other Treatments

Making sure testing and treatments are done on time

All pets relocating to Australia must undergo a Rabies Antibody Titer Test at least three to four weeks after receiving an inactivated rabies vaccination. This blood test, which ensures the vaccine has provided your pet with adequate levels of the rabies antibody, must be reviewed at an approved lab. Dogs and cats must undergo additional treatments and blood tests before departure.

Make sure the strict time frames for testing are met

  • Do you know that if your travel plans don’t align with the timeline of the titer test window, you may need to leave your pet behind with a caretaker? And that only USDA-accredited veterinarians can perform it?
  • Your relocation coordinator will work with your vet to ensure all required tests and treatments are done properly, and within an acceptable time frame, preventing repeat vet visits and keeping your move on schedule.

Required vaccines, tests, and treatments:

  • Leptospirosis - dogs may be vaccinated against Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola as an alternative to testing (we recommend this). This must be a full vaccination per the manufacturer's recommendations and must take place at least 14 days before export.
  • Dogs arriving from the USA or Singapore must be fully vaccinated against the canine influenza virus (CIV)
  • An external parasite treatment must be administered at least 21 days before a blood sample to detect Ehrlichia canis is taken. (dogs and cats)
  • Testing for Brucella canis (Brucellosis), Leishmaniosis, and Leptospirosis (if not fully vaccinated) within 45 days of departure.
  • Internal parasite treatments against nematodes and cestodes (dogs and cats)

Recommended vaccinations for dogs:

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Parvovirus
  • Para-influenza
  • Bordetella

A clean bill of health is one of the most important steps for pet relocation from the USA to Australia. These required and recommended vaccinations not only ensure your pet stays healthy on their journey but also protect pets already in Australia.

Cat looking up Muffin: Japan to Australia (and back!) 2017

Import Documentation

Time frame: approximately 60 days before departure

Australia requires an import permit to bring in pets. This process can take up to two months to complete, so it's important to be prepared.

Avoid paperwork headaches by hiring experienced pet movers

  • Our team will complete and submit your import application, including supporting paperwork, for approval.
  • Depending on your pet's species, breed, or other medical factors, this document can range from 10-14 pages long and take considerable time to complete.
  • It's crucial that the application is submitted with plenty of time, as unanticipated government delays or other setbacks can and has extended this process to almost two months.
  • The completion of this process is required to book your pet's quarantine at Mickleham PEQ.

Dog wearing an Australian bowtie Hudson: US to Australia (and back!) 2017-2019


A 10-night stay is required for all pets in a quarantine facility

Quarantine seems like a scary word, but it's really not! Your pet will be required to spend ten days in a designated boarding facility but will have great caretakers and special food/medication accommodations if needed.

Your pet will be closely monitored to ensure they’re healthy and ready to go home.

What is the quarantine experience like?

  • Quarantine can be booked as soon as an import permit is received.
  • Upon arrival in Melbourne, our team makes sure your pet is booked for and delivered to quarantine, and arranges post-quarantine destination services such as forwarding flights and home delivery.
  • Curious about what picking your pet up from quarantine actually looks like? Check out this Australia reunion video!

Our Australia Team

Meet the people behind your pet's move to Australia! Our pet relocation experts are here to plan and manage every step of a successful journey to Australia (and New Zealand!). We know that pet relocation from the USA to Australia or anywhere else in the world can be stressful. Our team not only loves pets but also knows the ins and outs of bringing pets to Australia.

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