While Australia has strict quarantine laws about bringing animals into Australia., the good news is that if your domestic pet is considered healthy and free of ticks, the quarantine period is only ten days provided you’ve organised everything before arriving.

The key to bringing your pet into Australia is organisation. You will need to complete all necessary paperwork provided by the Australian Department of Agriculture and comply with any conditions that they set. These conditions will vary depending on which country you are moving from and are designed to protect Australia’s livestock from diseases like rabies (which Australia is currently free from)

To help you with the process, the Australia government has provided an online step by step guide for various countries to ensure that there are no unnecessary hiccups in the immigration process for your pet. The guide will detail all the permit applications, veterinary visits and quarantine bookings that will be needed. It is important to note that you must apply for quarantine and be granted approval prior to your pet’s arrival in Australia.

Migrants with the exception of New Zealanders will need to complete an import permit application form and pay an application fee. The usual processing time for applications is 20 days. You will also be liable for your pet’s accommodation in the quarantine facility. There are only two such facilities in Australia – one in Melbourne and one in Sydney. Booking in advance is advised.

Transporting your pet via air needs some planning. There is limited space available on aircraft for pets which must be housed in an IATA approved air kennel. Again, it pays to book well in advance to ensure that everything runs smoothly. To make your pet’s journey as comfortable as possible it is suggested that you:

  • Make an attempt to get your pet accustomed to the air kennel prior to the journey.
  • Consult your vet if you are concerned about how your pet will cope with the flight.

If you do intend to bring your pet with you, it may help to get detailed advice from the International Pet and Transport Association website which has a lot of information on pet shipping as well as a list of reputable pet transporters and airlines that do the job properly.

Once you arrive in Australia cats and dogs must be registered with local councils in most states. The cost will vary depending on where you are, what sex the animal is whether it has been desexed or not.

Once you’ve managed to get your pet into the country, you will find that Australia is a very welcoming place for pets. Most public places welcome dogs and there is now a number of dog friendly cafés and bars that can be found in most locations. Locations where dogs are not permitted are clearly marked and Australian councils now require owners to dispose of any animal droppings left in a public place. Whilst there are some owners who ignore this rule you will find most Australian’s do the right things and dispose appropriately.

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