Taking the Dog to Australia.

It’s been a while since I posted one of my Australia and New Zealand magazine articles here on this blog. Or, to be more precise, it’s almost 2 months since I reprinted my sixth contribution to the magazine which you can read in my post called How to Completely Change Your Life!

So, about time I printed another one. This article appeared in the magazines “Winter” edition, which came out around Christmas time.

Here’s a photo of the top of the magazine article, clearly you can see me along with a picture of my trusty dog, Baggy, on the right.

NOT BaggyExcept that’s not my dog! This is my dog…..

Baggy

The magazine used a Chocolate Labrador from the dog modelling world instead of a picture of my slightly more greying old boy, who is now just a tad over 13 years old.

But using the image of a strange and unknown dog is very suitable in this case, as you’ll see when you read the article.

Article 7 – Taking the Dog

So, you’ve done all of your research and you’ve decided that Australia is the place for you. So you take a deep breath and decide “yes, I’m going to go for it!”

But hold on, what about the dog? What are you going to do with Scooby Doo? Well, of course you’re going to take him. He’s part of the family. He’s a good boy. Good boy Scooby Doo! You’ve got to take him, you love him very much.

Yes, you better had love him very much, because that love is about to be sorely tested. Vets fees, kerching! Microchipping, kerching! Import permit fees, kerching! Quarantine accommodation, kerching! Exportation service fees, kerching! And then there is the cost of the flight!

Booking a flight for Scoobs is, kind of, the last thing on the list. By the time you get to this stage, generally speaking you will already be numb. The sort of numbness you get when sitting in the dentist’s chair after an injection. You know it should hurt, but you just can’t feel anything.

You’d be numb because by now you’ll have spent something like £1200 or £1300. Now you’re booking flights. Here’s what happened when we booked ours.

One way flights for me, my wife, our daughter and double baggage, total weight around 260 kg, £1351.60.

And now the dog. Yes, one Baggy (that’s his name), just 35 kg. No baggage, not even any hand luggage, no in-flight meals, no breakfast at The Savoy before departure. Just one, one-way ticket, £1923.50. Outrageous!

So all in, you could be looking at around £3000 depending on the size of your dog. Do you know how many new dogs you could buy with that kind of money? Apparently it doesn’t work like that. But was it worth it? Of course! Remember, you are leaving everything behind; family, friends, relatives and so much more. Don’t leave the dog behind. You will regret it.

Your dog will have to spend 30 days in Australian quarantine. Dogs get through it just fine. We can say that with some authority because my wife now runs a company called Dogwalks which offers dog walking, dog care and dog treats in Australian quarantine. She has helped hundreds come through.

That said, this is what happened to our dog when he’d finished his stint “inside”. He was flown from Sydney to Brisbane where we went to collect him from the airport.

After handing over the paperwork we were asked to go stand one side of a wire fence opposite the storage warehouse and wait for Baggy to appear. Then, after a couple of minutes, out he came, being pushed in a crate.

My wife and daughter were so excited to see him, they were shouting out to let him know we had come to get him. “Baggy! Baggy!” But he really wasn’t responding. As he got closer we noticed he was shaking and his coat looked dirty. He actually looked to be in a terrible state. He had gone from being a cool laid back dog to a physical wreck in just one month of quarantine. And he didn’t even recognise us!

By the time Baggy was in front of us, my wife was shaking too as she kneeled down at the cage and tried to touch him through the holes. “Oh my God what have they done to you!” she cried. She was a broken woman.

Until I said “Karen, it’s not our dog.” Then I looked at the bloke, he looked at the ticket attached to the crate and said “Oh, sorry.” Seems there was another Lab, same age, same size. Who’d have thought it?

He went back and got Baggy, who was just fine. And now, so was the wife.

It’s been a while since I posted one of my Australia and New Zealand magazine articles here on this blog. Or, to be more precise, it’s almost 2 months since I reprinted my sixth contribution to the magazine which you can read in my post called How to Completely Change Your Life!

So, about time I printed another one.

Here’s a photo of the top of the magazine article, clearly you can see me along with a picture of my trusty dog, Baggy, on the right.

anz pic

Except that’s not my dog! This is my dog…..

The magazine used a chocolate labrador from the dog modelling world instead of a picture of my slightly more greying old boy, who is now just a tad over 13 years old.

But using the image of a strange and unknown dog is very suitable in this case, as you’ll see when you read the article.

Article 7 – Taking the Dog

So, you’ve done all of your research and you’ve decided that Australia is

the place for you. So you take a deep breath and decide “yes, I’m going to

go for it!”

But hold on, what about the dog? What are you going to do with Scooby Doo?

Well, of course you’re going to take him. He’s part of the family. He’s a

good boy. Good boy Scooby Doo! You’ve got to take him, you love him very

much.

Yes, you better had love him very much, because that love is about to be

sorely tested. Vets fees, kerching! Microchipping, kerching! Import permit

fees, kerching! Quarantine accommodation, kerching! Exportation service

fees, kerching! And then there is the cost of the flight!

Booking a flight for Scoobs is, kind of, the last thing on the list. By

the time you get to this stage, generally speaking you will already be

numb. The sort of numbness you get when sitting in the dentist’s chair

after an injection. You know it should hurt, but you just can’t feel

anything.

You’d be numb because by now you’ll have spent something like £1200 or

£1300. Now you’re booking flights. Here’s what happened when we booked

ours.

One way flights for me, my wife, our daughter and double baggage, total

weight around 260 kg, £1351.60.

And now the dog. Yes, one Baggy (that’s his name), just 35 kg. No baggage,

not even any hand luggage, no in-flight meals, no breakfast at The Savoy

before departure. Just one, one-way ticket, £1923.50. Outrageous!

So all in could be looking at around £3000 depending on the size of your

dog. Do you know how many new dogs you could buy with that kind of money?

Apparently it doesn’t work like that. But was it worth it? Of course!

Remember, you are leaving everything behind; family, friends, relatives

and so much more. Don’t leave the dog behind. You will regret it.

Your dog will have to spend 30 days in Australian quarantine. Dogs get

through it just fine. We can say that with some authority because my wife

now runs a company called Dogwalks which offers dog walking, dog care and

dog treats in Australian quarantine. She has helped hundreds come through.

That said, this is what happened to our dog when he’d finished his stint

“inside”. He was flown from Sydney to Brisbane where we went to collect

him from the airport.

After handing over the paperwork we were asked to go stand one side of a

wire fence opposite the storage warehouse and wait for Baggy to appear.

Then, after a couple of minutes, out he came, being pushed in a crate.

My wife and daughter were so excited to see him, they were shouting out to

let him know we had come to get him. “Baggy! Baggy!” But he really wasn’t

responding. As he got closer we noticed he was shaking and his coat looked

dirty. He actually looked to be in a terrible state. He had gone from

being a cool laid back dog to a physical wreck in just one month of

quarantine. And he didn’t even recognise us!

By the time Baggy was in front of us, my wife was shaking too as she

kneeled down at the cage and tried to touch him through the holes. “Oh my

God what have they done to you!” she cried. She was a broken woman.

Until I said “Karen, it’s not our dog.” Then I looked at the bloke, he

looked at the ticket attached to the crate and said “Oh, sorry.” Seems

there was another Lab, same age, same size. Who’d have thought it?

He went back and got Baggy, who was just fine. And now, so was the wife.

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{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Jeremy March 10, 2016, 6:54 pm | Link

    Hi there. Thanks for the article on animals. I have a 5 year old Chinchile cat and I cant leave him behind but in rands it sounds heavy considering the exchange rate is 13 to 1.

    I have a question about cars. I see they are telatively cheap but I have an A3 Audi 2010 model with 40000 on clock. Its still brand new and was made and still meets aa standards. Airbags and carbon release. What is the catch. If I bring it with I dont mind paying 10000 aus cause its emaculate and like I said low to no milage where as a decent ride below year 2000 would cost the same. Any ideas where to start asking so I dont get any surprises. Your input would be appreciated

    • BobinOz March 11, 2016, 4:49 pm | Link

      I have never fully looked into the process of importing cars, but I know a few people who have and all have all decided against doing it. Is not just the shipping fees, I believe there is an import tax and also a safety compliance hoop to jump through.

      To find out more, I suspect you would need to be talking to a car import export company.

  • Sílen Cremonese December 3, 2014, 10:05 pm | Link

    Hi, Bob.
    I was so disappointed when I’ve found out that I couldn’t move my little dog to Oz. I’m from Brazil and there are two South America countries that are allowed to move their pets to Oz: Chile and Argentina. I don’t think Brazil is so different from them. Do you know if is there any way to ask them to review the law so they could maybe include my country in that list?
    I was thinking about waiting for a while, before I try to get Australia visa. But I won’t give up my dream.
    Thank you.

    • BobinOz December 4, 2014, 2:30 pm | Link

      I think it’s unlikely I’m afraid, I’m not sure how they set their rules but I would imagine changing them is quite a lengthy process.

      I’m not sure how it could work for you and your dog, I think what usually happens in cases like this is that your dog would need to spend some time in a country that is on the list before moving on to Australia.

      There are useful links on my page about Bringing Your Pet to Australia.

      Good luck, I hope you find a way.

      Bob

  • Sharon August 21, 2014, 4:56 pm | Link

    ….but what was wrong with the poor dog that you thought was Babby?

    • BobinOz August 21, 2014, 9:48 pm | Link

      Two things I think Sharon, 1) he was a very old dog and 2) he was mightily confused as some rather excited people were jumping up and down and shouting “Baggy, Baggy, we’re here!”

      Poor old boy was thinking “Who the heck is Baggy? And who are these strange people?”

  • Pinky Labog December 12, 2013, 3:52 pm | Link

    I just find this blog amusing hahaha!
    and plus you get to know what to expect if you want your pet
    to go with you .

    • BobinOz December 13, 2013, 2:07 pm | Link

      It was even funnier being there Pinky, I can tell you 🙂 anyway, glad I made you laugh.

  • David Grant September 17, 2013, 10:22 pm | Link

    Dear Bob,
    I have a 10 year old Golden Retriever who had tick fever when she was a puppy. We are planning to move to Australia soon, so we had a preliminary blood test carried out by an approved lab (Sing Govt AVA) and she has tested positive for Ehrlichia Canis using IFAT at 1:40.

    We have heard that a course of strong antibiotics may result in a negative test, but the information is fairly anecdotal.

    Do you or your readers have any info on this?

    Best wishes, David

    • BobinOz September 18, 2013, 12:48 am | Link

      Hi David

      No, I don’t, sorry. I’d go with whatever your vet says, but of course if any of my readers know something about this, maybe they can help you out. Anybody?

    • ding December 23, 2014, 3:23 pm | Link

      Hi David,
      Did you dog make it to Australia? I have the same issue with my 7 years old terrier.

      Regards,
      Ding

      • JK July 5, 2015, 2:14 am | Link

        Hello Ding,
        Did your terrier make it to australia??

        JK

    • gaurav June 10, 2016, 9:50 am | Link

      Hi David,I ve a 5 year old golden retriever who is positive for e canis.I ve left him back home with my father and moved to Adelaide.He is currently on 6 weeks of doxycycline and I am hoping the titre comes down.But the Vets are not confirming the same.Just wanted to know your comments on it to get some hope that titre count actually comes dowm

  • Andrea Byrne-Gul May 23, 2013, 4:49 pm | Link

    Hi there, my family and I are considering moving from Dubai to Sydney and I have been reading up on the quarantine time for our two dogs, The UAE is in category 4 just like the Uk but it says there is quarantine time of 180 days on their website not the 30 days stated adove, can you clarify, because if my two dogs are in for that long I doubt we will move at all, thanks in advance. Andrea

    • BobinOz May 24, 2013, 7:03 pm | Link

      Apparently, according to my wife who runs Dogwalks, it depends when you have done your RNATT tests which are for rabies. If you time it right, your dog will only stay in quarantine for 30 days, but if you haven’t timed it right or not done it at all, then the amount of time in quarantine increases according to when you did do the test or to 180 days if you haven’t done it at all.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Marie May 15, 2013, 3:53 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you so much for the wealth of information on your website. We just got back from a 4-week vacation in Australia, and we loved it so much, we’re looking into our options to move there.

    I have a quick question – you may not have the answer, but maybe you’ll be able to direct me to a reliable source of information. You talk a lot about bringing dogs over, but not cats. My (14 year old) cat only took the plane once, when I moved back to Europe from the US. I got to take him in the cabin with me, and he was terribly stressed. I can’t even imagine what it would be like for him to be in animal cargo, especially for 20+ hours. Do you know if bringing him over in the cabin would even be an option? I wouldn’t even mind buying him a seat!

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • BobinOz May 15, 2013, 11:04 pm | Link

      Hi Marie

      Thanks, glad you like my website.

      I’d be really surprised if you were able to take your cat in the cabin, I’m actually already surprised that you could do so in a flight from the US to Europe. Anyway, I don’t know for sure, so maybe you would like to check out this page on my wife’s website…

      http://dogwalks.com.au/our-partner-companies/

      … all the pet carriers she mentions are recommended, maybe you could give one a call and find out if it’s possible for you to take your cat in the cabin.

      Good luck!

      Bob

      • Marie May 17, 2013, 5:30 pm | Link

        Thank you Bob! Yes, looking back, I’m quite surprised they let me take Minou on board with me. But then again, maybe they could tell I would never have it any other way and didn’t bother arguing!

        • BobinOz May 17, 2013, 8:33 pm | Link

          That’s crazy! When I was a kid, about five years old, we had a cat and its name was Minou, are you French by any chance? Anyway, maybe you can try that trick again, just walk on the plane with your cat and don’t take no for an answer 🙂

          • Marie May 17, 2013, 8:48 pm | Link

            Haha, yes, I’m French! But I got the cat in the US, so I didn’t think anyone would ever know that I just called my cat… “cat”. Until I moved back to France. Endless embarrassment since :-p

            I was actually wondering last night what would prevent me from taking him on the plane. Then I remembered that they x-ray our carry-on – can you imagine the security woman’s face!

            • BobinOz May 19, 2013, 7:02 pm | Link

              I think Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services (AQIS) might be a bit miffed if you simply carried your cat through customs, they generally like to check them for a while, just to make sure they are not carrying some deadly or contagious diseases 🙂

              But I’m sure Minou will be fine, plenty of cats go through this process without problems.

  • rob February 12, 2013, 7:39 am | Link

    hi there i may be moving to sidney and i have my dog duke mini snouzer hes about 9 yrs old and im just afread he my life but its scares me that he may not like the 30 day stay at the facility and i have questions like can i see him every day can i walk him hes been threw alot my partner passed a wile ago and he was there to see it so now he more attached to me then he whas just want to make shure he can handle the move wish i new more thank u tho ur artical gives me somewhat of a idea

    • BobinOz February 12, 2013, 9:52 pm | Link

      No, I’m afraid under current rules you can’t see him and walk him every day, you can visit twice a week and additionally walk him twice a week, both by appointment only. You are allowed 30 minutes of walk time.

      Dogs do survive it though, so I wouldn’t fret too much, and when they get out they just love it here in Australia 🙂

  • Lisa February 9, 2013, 5:00 am | Link

    Thanks for the great insight Bob. I’m ready to book ticket from Minneapolis to Perth, but quarantine in Canberra has told me that the port of entry is where our dog must stay. Very hard to get from Minneapolis to Perth without going through east coast of Australia. If I go through Auckland, and avoid east coast her time in crate will be at least 40 hours. We could quarantine her in Sydney and fly Minneapolis to Dallas, Dallas to Sydney with a refueling stop in Brisbane. Will quarantine call the Brisbane refueling first port of entry or because she stays on the flight till Sydney, they will call first port of entry, Sydney. Then we can fly her across when quarantine finishes in Sydney. I’m a nervous wreck doing this to her.

    • BobinOz February 11, 2013, 4:31 pm | Link

      I don’t see that they would, but if they do class Brisbane as the port of entry, there isn’t a quarantine station here for your dog to stay in. I think your safest bet would be to clarify the situation with Canberra, I can’t really answer on their behalf.

      I can understand you being nervous though, my wife was worried sick about our dog, but it all worked out in the end for us, I’m sure it will for you too.

      Cheers

      Bob

  • Isel April 13, 2012, 12:08 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, thank you for the article, it’s of great help. Im just wondering, I find all sorts of information about costs and paper regulation for the dog, but no information about the actual journey. Who can tell me more about the trip itself? I want to take my dog from Spain to Sydney and te flight is about 38 hours. How’s my dog supposed to survive that? Who, when and where will be taking care of him?

    • BobinOz April 15, 2012, 12:49 am | Link

      Your dog goes through some kind of process after you have dropped him off at your designated dog exporter offices.

      I’m not 100% sure what they do, but I believe dogs are sedated for the journey, loaded into a compartment in the hull of the aeroplane, a bit like baggage, although you’ll be pleased to know they have access to air.

      In reality they probably have a better fight than us humans. They get to the airport, get sedated, fall asleep, dream about chasing rabbits or whatever, and then wake up in Australia.

      • Georgina Whelan January 26, 2013, 5:52 am | Link

        I read recently that dogs aren’t allowed to be sedated during flights. I can’t remember why though. Must be horrible for them though to have to lie in their own wee/poo for hours.

        • BobinOz January 30, 2013, 8:13 pm | Link

          I think you are right, they cannot be sedated, but I think they are prepared for the flight somehow to reduce the possibility of them needing a wee or a poo.

  • Miranda January 9, 2012, 3:40 pm | Link

    Bob I’m just wondering– I’m about to make the move to OZ from the U.S. with my little girl (dog) in tow. You didn’t expand that much on the state of your (correct) dog, Baggy, besides saying that “he was fine”. What have you seen/heard/experienced of the mental state of the dogs after being in a month-long quarantine? I can’t imagine doing this to my dog if she would become emotionally distressed by the experience. Was Baggy acting completely normal?? Has he had any issues since then? Thanks

    • BobinOz January 9, 2012, 10:33 pm | Link

      There are five stories about Baggy, if you search for him by name you should be able to easily find them all.

      Sadly, Baggy passed away last year, but he was 13 1/2 years old. A good innings for a chocolate lab. If you read those other stories, you will see that he really was fine, he coped with quarantine very well.

      Most dogs do and I can say that with some authority. My wife’s authority actually, she runs a company called DogWalks who walk dogs whilst in quarantine and also give them some TLC.

      Check out her website by clicking here on dogwalks and you will see more about what she does. Make sure you visit the gallery to see thousands of pictures of smiling dogs.

      Good luck!

  • BobinOz February 23, 2011, 9:06 pm | Link

    No, I think the other dog was actually fine. He was old, so he probably was naturally like that.

    But if you look at it from his point of view, he’d recently travelled thousands of miles in an aeroplane. Then spent a month in “prison”. Then he’d spent more time in another aeroplane. And finally he was wheeled out and push towards three strange people who insisted on calling him “Baggy”!

    I think we would all be a bit dishevelled after that.

  • Theresa February 22, 2011, 10:14 pm | Link

    I remember this story the first time you emailed me, I wonder what happened to the dog, it would have benefited from ‘Dogwalks‘ loving attention perhaps??

  • BobinOz February 21, 2011, 9:23 pm | Link

    Hi John

    I can understand your frustration, but it’s not just British dogs that can get in here more easily. AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) assess each country and decide on the quarantine period they feel is safe. They are just trying to protect Australia’s borders.

    For most of Western Europe, the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden etc, pets have to spend just one month in quarantine. Same for the USA and Canada. But some eastern European countries, as with Africa and South Africa have to spend six months and sometimes seven in quarantine.

    It’s nothing to do with European Union and its not absurd. It’s done for a reason. Australia does not want to import any serious diseases that so far have not reached this country.

    Nothing to do with British at all.

  • John February 20, 2011, 10:45 pm | Link

    It is good to bring in Australia a dog as long as it is british “resident”. We were very upset when we knew that dogs from a third countries are not alowed into Australia if they were not british “residents” for at least 6 month. They offered us to take a dog into UK carantine and hold it here for 6 month before bringing it down under. That is a total absurd. Not to mention the cost of 6mo carantine. And we even belong to European Union (Lithuania)-there is no borders and legislation is the same as in UK, but Australia is for dogs only from UK. It’s very very very sad.

    So if you are not British, forget about your dog.

  • Liv February 17, 2011, 4:17 am | Link

    Hi Bob

    Think I first read Baggy’s tale in the mag but it made me giggle anyway reading it again. Does your wife deal with immigrants of the feline variety too? Or Do you have a recommendation of someone who does?

    Thanks!

    Liv.

    • BobinOz February 18, 2011, 6:52 pm | Link

      Still makes me laugh just thinking about it. Yes, my wife does look after cats aswell. Check it out on her website, she has a cat cuddles page.

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