What to Know About Importing Dogs and Cats to South Africa

More South Africa pet photos

The first step to organizing pet transport to South Africa is understanding the process and all the necessary requirements. Every dog entering the country must be identifiable via a microchip that is implanted before the rabies vaccine is administered. Other vaccinations or treatments may also be necessary depending on the country your pet will be traveling from.

Bringing a dog to South Africa also requires an import certificate as well as a veterinary health certificate that is completed by an accredited veterinarian within 10 days of export.

To make bringing pets to South Africa easier, be sure to prepare them well in advance. Most importantly, help your dog or cat get used to the crate in which they will be traveling, as this will help to ease their anxiety during the long trip.


Do you need help planning your pet's move?

If you’re ready to learn more about pricing, logistics, and other travel details, get started by completing our consultation form. Our team is ready to assist you!

Request Support

Regulations for Importing Pets to South Africa

Attention: This information is to be used as general guidelines and may not be updated to meet the current requirements. Before you travel, be sure to contact the appropriate authorities for your destination country.


Each pet shall be identified by means of a microchip. No other form of identification is acceptable.The microchip used should comply with ISO Standard 11784 or Annex A to ISO standard 11785. South Africa currently accepts AVID 9 and AVID 10 in addition to ISO. The microchip must be implanted before the rabies vaccine is administered.

Rabies Vaccine

Pets should have a valid rabies vaccination no more than one year old but older than 30 days.

Veterinary Health Certificate

The pet needs to be examined by an official veterinarian within 10 days of export and needs to be found to be free from internal and external parasites, contagious and infectious diseases, and must overall be deemed fit to travel. This test date and the results should be noted on the South African Veterinary Health Certificate required to enter the country.

US Health Certificate

At the same time, a US Health Certificate needs to be issued. This will be required to board the airplane. This document is generally known as the APHIS Form 7001 and is valid for 10 days upon completion.

Blood Tests (for Dogs)

Before dogs can be imported they must be certified free from the following diseases by means of blood tests. The dog's blood can be tested in the country of origin or the sample can be send to South Africa for testing:

  1. Brucella canis
  2. Trypanosoma evansi
  3. Babesia gibsoni
  4. Dirofilaria immitis
  5. Leishmania

If the Veterinary Authorities of the exporting country can certify that the exporting country is free from one or more of the above mentioned five diseases, then the dogs exported to South Africa do not need to have blood tests done for the disease that the exporting country is free from.

Additional Details

All pets must arrive in South Africa via manifest cargo.

An Import Permit is required for all pets -- your PetRelocation Specialist will secure this on your behalf.

Pets must receive a heartworm treatment at the final vet appointment before departure and owners must bring a six month supply of heartworm prevention medication when they move.

No quarantine is required for pets arriving from the United States.

Pet Travel Stories

“We will never use any other relocation service. This company was absolutely amazing. They care so much about the pets and clients. ”

— Esther Pearl

Moving Bulldogs to South Africa: Petunia’s Story

Back to top