How to Bring Your Pets to Australia

How to Bring Your Pets to Australia

In bringing dogs and cats to Australia (no other pets are currently allowed, unfortunately) begins with planning and ensuring your pet has an implanted microchip and a rabies vaccination. If arriving from the United States, you’ll need to work with a USDA accredited vet to complete several steps, one of which is completing and submitting a FAVN report form.

The following documents are required to clear health and quarantine:

  1. You must submit the following with your import permit application, Rabies vaccination and rabies neutralizing antibody titter test declaration’ form, RNAT test Laboratory Report, A letter from your veterinarian detailing the condition(s) – for animals with ongoing medical condition(s). Original documents are not required to complete the import permit application
  2. Part of the application for a permit to import disability assistance dogs. The importer must provide details of the nominated address where the dog will undergo quarantine surveillance in Australia, and accept the terms of quarantine surveillance for when the dog arrives in Australia.
  3. Importing your pet to Australia is largely determined by the country your pet will be coming from. Australia groups countries into four separate categories: Group 1 (New Zealand, Norfolk Island, and Cocos Island), Group 2 (approved rabies-free countries or territories), Group 3(approved countries or territories where rabies is absent or well-controlled), and Non-Approved Countries.
  4. If the dog has never been vaccinated against CIV, two vaccinations must be given. The interval between the two vaccinations may vary according to the brand of the vaccine. Ask your preparing veterinarian for advice. If the dog has been previously vaccinated against CIV, ensure the vaccination is given no more than one (1) year and no less than 14 days prior to export.
  5. Dogs must be identified by a microchip that can be read by an Avid, Trovan, Destron or other ISO compatible reader.

Australia has a highly favorable animal health status and is free from a number of cat and dog diseases. In order to protect this status, cats and dogs entering Australia are required to undertake a period of quarantine on arrival. This quarantine period allows the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) to monitor the animal’s health and become aware of any disease concerns prior to the animal’s release into Australia.

All pets will spend at least 10 nights in Australia’s approved government quarantine facility upon arrival in Australia. Female pets must not be more than 3 weeks pregnant nor be suckling young and must be eligible for the minimum 30 days in Australia quarantine at time of export. AQIS operates three animal quarantine stations that are equipped to accommodate cats and dogs: Eastern Creek Quarantine Station (Sydney, New South Wales), Spotswood Quarantine Station (Melbourne, Victoria) and Byford Quarantine Station (Perth, Western Australia)

To bring cats and dogs to Australia, they must meet all of the AQIS import conditions prior to export. This is to minimize the risk of exotic diseases being introduced into Australia. Australia is free from many animal-related diseases found in other parts of the world.

Space in the livestock hold of aircraft is limited so book with your airline of choice well in advance. Pets must travel in International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved air kennels. Getting your pet used to the kennel prior to the flight can help make them feel more secure during the flight and Sedatives are not recommended – speak to your vet if you have concerns about how your dog or cat will cope with the flight.

Moving to Australia with your beloved pets has become much easier since a shorter quarantine period for domestic animals was introduced in Australia in February 2014. If your dog or cat is healthy and tick free you can expect to be reunited with them after only 10 days of their arrival in Australia.


For more information:

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858 Canberra City ACT 2601, Australia

National office:
Phone: +61 2 6272 3933
Call us from overseas: +61 3 8318 6700

General inquiry: 1800 900 090 or + 61 3 8318 6700 (from outside Australia)

Australian Business Number (ABN)

ABN 24 113 085 695