Travelling with your pets can be a stressful experience if you don’t know what to expect or what to do.  Many people decide to engage the services of a pet relocation company, which can assist with the whole process from pre-departure to arrival at your new home.


I have relocated with Manfred and Ruby many times, including from Australia to the UK and then from Australia to the UAE. They’ve also done a few domestic trips within Australia.  They are extremely well travelled and every time I have travelled I have used the services of a pet relocation company.


The following provides a very general outline of the considerations.  Every country will have its own specific requirements so you must research those that are particular to your departure and arrival ports.  Unless you are very familiar with the required processes and paperwork, I would encourage people to use the services of a pet relocation company.

How to relocate your pet

Every relocation will require careful thought and planning as if you miss one essential stage your beloved pet may not be able to leave or enter a particular country.


Some key considerations and paperwork involved may include the following but please check these for your specific countries, or engage a pet relocation specialist.

  • International airfares and booking fees – these can be considerable depending on the airline and time of year you are travelling and travelling to/from Dubai is generally expensive anyway.
  • Travel crates – you will be required to purchase (or hire) international IATA approved crates.

– You can put a favourite toy or item in the crate but bear in mind that all items may be removed (and destroyed) by customs and quarantine.

  • Export/import permits and customs arrangements – requirements will all be country specific. The following link outlines the Import Permit requirements for pets entering the UAE as provided by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change & Environment.https://www.moccae.gov.ae/en/our-services/animal-wealth/permits/import-permit-pets.aspx
  • Pre-export veterinary schedule – this will include various vaccinations and other procedures, depending on the country you are traveling to.
  • Pre-export boarding – you may need to consider this if particular vet work is required, or if you need to depart prior to your fur baby’s departure.
  • Arrival quarantine – this is mandatory for some countries (like Australia) and may not be required in others. Unfortunately, there is not one source information for quarantine and country requirements. Professional pet relocation companies must call the Embassies and Consulates to obtain the latest requirements for each shipment.
  • Pick up and drop off arrangements at both sides – again, this will depend on your own travel arrangements. For peace of mind you may want to book this service in so you can focus on the many other aspects of your travel arrangements.
  • Weather considerations – make sure you consider the weather at both ports during your intended travel periods. There may also be travel restrictions for certain breeds of dog during the UAE summer.  Also bear in mind that your pet could be delayed in transit depending on the travel routes and weather at each point.When I brought Manfred and Ruby from Australia to the UK they left in 40-degree weather and arrived into a snow storm!  I had intended to collect them at Heathrow airport myself but with the pending storm I engaged the pet relocation company to add this service as well.
  • Pet passports – a pet passport is a document that officially records information related to a specific animal. It will contain the name, breed, age and microchip number related to that animal as well as a record of all vaccinations and other treatments required in relation to a relocation.

Considerations when using a pet relocation company

  • Do your research – there are many companies out there providing this service so only use an accredited company.
  • Review their website.
  • Ask for references, there are also many forums online and you may have friends who have relocated with their pets so also ask around your own networks.
  • Ask for details of the steps involved and associated costs so you won’t be surprised.

Which pets can be brought into the UAE?

Owners of exotic and dangerous pets were required to surrender their pets to the authorities before July 2017. The complete list of dangerous pets and dangerous dogs is in the Appendix of the Federal Law No. 22 of 2016.  There is an official list of Banned Breeds in the UAE.

How much does it cost?

The cost will depend on a whole range of factors, including the following:

  • The countries you are travelling to/from as each country will have its own particular requirements in terms of paperwork, vet work etc.
  • How many pets you have and their size/weight.
  • The airline you travel with as different airlines have different requirements.

We won’t include cost averages here as it really is important to get a quote based on your own specific arrangements.  It doesn’t cost you anything to get a quote and you can probably receive it within a few days to a week so will be better placed to understand both the cost and the timelines involved.

How long does the process take?

Again, this will depend on a number of factors but will be primarily based on the country you are travelling to as each country has particular paper work and vet work requirements.


For example, all pets travelling 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. You are not permitted to export your pet to Australia within 6 months of that test result so you therefore start your count back from this 6 month point for all other necessary vet work and processes.

What other considerations are there?

Crate training can help your pet prepare for a flight.  If your pet is already comfortable spending time in a crate this will be one less stress for you both.

Additional resources can be found in Resource page of Other Fur-Stuff.


Kirsty Kavanagh from Pawsome Pets has kindly provided the following articles which contain information about the pet relocation process.


Paws of Wisdom – General Readiness For Travel


Pawsome Pets



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Check out our Pet Relocation Service Directory for a list of relocation companies.