Bringing Your Pet to Australia

Can I bring my pet dog/cat/rabbit?

Rabbit? No! Australia is not keen on rabbits, but they definitely are a pet loving nation with dogs and cats at the top of the list. Thousands of pet owners bring their dogs and cats with them when they migrate to Australia, dogbut….

Is it a good idea?

We brought our pet dog Baggy with us, but it wasn’t cheap. But had we left him behind, we would have paid a bigger price. My wife and daughter both dote on him and, in the early stages, it can be quite tough adapting to your new Australian surroundings.

You’ve said goodbye to your friends and family, you’ve left your hometown, your children have had to leave their friends and their school behind, so if you can help it, don’t leave the dog behind (or cat!).

All dogs and cats coming into Australia need to spend a period of time in quarantine. Quarantine is run by AQIS, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. They, in turn, are part of the Department of Agriculture and they are all part of the Australian Government.

How long your pet will spend in quarantine depends on which country you are coming from, but, for example, it’s just one month 10 days (for qualifying pets as of March 2014) when coming from the UK.

To find out more…..

Visit cat-dogs

…which covers cats and dogs. For other pets…..

Visit all imported livestock

I regret to inform you, that at the time of writing, spiders and snakes cannot be imported into Australia. Perhaps it’s because we already got some. Hehe!

Thinking of Exporting Your Pet to Australia?

When we brought our dog with us, we arranged for somebody to go in to the quarantine station to see him regularly and take him for walks. But it wasn’t easy to organise. Since we’ve lived here, my wife started a company that did do just that called Dog Walks Pty Ltd.

The company was established in the middle of 2008 and she has made hundreds and hundreds of dogs and cats very happy. We have now closed the DogWalks Gallery, but we used to have literally thousands and thousands of pictures of smiling doggie faces on display.

Sadly, her Dog Walks team can no longer physically visit pets or walk dogs in quarantine. Rule changes by the Australian Government put an end to that which now means…

  • No visits
  • No exercise
  • No treats
  • No idea what the facilities are like inside quarantine
  • No photographs
  • No updates (even telephone calls to quarantine staff are not allowed)
  • No playtime
  • No toys
  • Absolutely no contact whatsoever

ebook_coverA scary prospect for a loving pet owner, for sure. In fact the whole process of exporting your pet from beginning to end is quite daunting. To help you though, Karen has written a guide, to find out more please visit Dogwalks for more information, see…

More Useful Links:

You can read Baggy’s Story here.

…and even more about Baggy here.

I also have a post about rabbits in Australia.



Warning! If you are bringing your own pet, you’ll want to know how much it costs. Sit down before reading this, is a bit of a shocker. This is how much it cost us to bring Baggy to Australia.

Also, be sure to read Pravdaseeker’s comments below about how much it cost to bring his to dogs over from the USA.

Buy or Rent Property in Australia
{ 285 comments… add one }
  • Scott Watson April 25, 2016, 8:32 pm | Link

    Hi Bob
    Quick Question for you, How was Baggy after the long Flight? My wife and I are planning on relocating to OZ from UK and taking our cat and dog but im just worried encase the flight traumatises them? thank you

    • Leanne April 25, 2016, 10:49 pm | Link

      Hey Scott
      We brought 6 back to Perth from Mauritius via KL via Singapore via Sydney quarantine which was a very long trip for them all but I was impressed with the care they were given – especially the 11 year old dog and the very nervous freaked-out-by-everything cat by the Singapore quarantine and Sydney quarantine staff (& we were lucky enough to have a couple of Bob’s wife company’s staff visit the girls as well).
      I think the pets deal with things far better than we think they will. It is a long trip from the UK but they will probably sleep for the majority of it.

    • Sean Bennetts April 26, 2016, 7:26 am | Link

      Hi Scott,
      Pets seem to cope with the export much better than the humans I think. They shouldn’t have a problem and depending on the airlines you use they are usually extremely well treated on the flights and stop overs.

      Please be aware that you will be looking at from 9 to 6 months of preparation before you can export them, so its probably a good idea that when you know what date you want to relocate to Oz that you contact a transport company for details about what you need to do. If you would like to do most of it yourself and make it less expensive, then Petmoves Import Consultancy can do a personalise import plan to Austraila for you allowing you to do most of the process yourself and paying far less for the export over all, it will also give you the time frames that specific things need to be done before you and your pets leave. You can find out more about Petmoves Import Consultancy at:


      • BobinOz April 26, 2016, 5:07 pm | Link

        Scott, it’s not really a question I can answer, we were still in England when he arrived at quarantine in Sydney. We had him flown to us from Sydney into Brisbane 30 days later when we had arrived.

        All I can tell you is he looked fine, fit and healthy, the 30 days in quarantine didn’t seem to have done him any harm at all.

      • scott May 1, 2016, 1:59 am | Link

        thanks sean, I had a look on the link and I went to get a quote but for some reason it wont let me progress because it doesn’t recognise my postcode.

        • Sean Bennetts May 1, 2016, 12:58 pm | Link

          Hi Scott,
          Ohh…Thanks for that, I’ll get that fixed for you. We sometimes forget in Australia that not every country uses simple numbers as Postcodes, so thats probably what the problem was. I have organised for that to be fixed and it should be done in the next couple of hours to allow Letters and symbols as well as numbers. Thank you for letting me know. Alternatively you can email me personally with the information if you like.


    • scott May 1, 2016, 2:04 am | Link


      • scott May 2, 2016, 2:16 am | Link

        hi sean,
        I will try again and see if it works, I have also sent an email through the (contact us) tab on the website if that’s any help.


  • Tess April 17, 2016, 10:17 pm | Link

    Hi! currently looking at bringing our 7 month old beautiful lab boxer mix from portugal to australia, and looking for the quickest way to do this as we desperately want to go home but cannot bear to leaver her, am i correct in reading that you must wait at least 180 days after she has the rabies test done before she can come to australia? even though she has resided in the portugal for 6 months (since birth). Thank you

    • BobinOz April 18, 2016, 5:51 pm | Link

      Yes, that’s the way I understand it as well. It’s always best to get the information direct from the government’s website though, their information will always be the most up-to-date.

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