Moving to Australia – Part Six

So Far in the Moving to Australia Series.

  1. In Part One you have the idea.
  2. In Part Two you decide on the basis of your application having looked at the various Visa options.
  3. In Part Three we looked at the paperwork and using a MARA approved Migration Agent.
  4. In Part Four you agreed the basis of your application with your migration expert.
  5. In Part Five you needed to Prove It!

Before we start looking at part 6, this is probably a good time to look at our timeline so far.

Beginning of January 2006 – We had the idea, we decided we wanted to live in Australia.
End of March 2006 – Having been messed around by our first chosen migration expert, we decided to choose a different one.
Early April 2006 – First meeting with our new migration expert in which we decided the basis of our application.
Beginning of May 2006 –  Put in the skills assessment application.
Early July 2006 – The relevant assessing authority accept the skill.

Part 6 – Don’t Forget the Dog!

When we parted in part five, I had explained that my wife’s job assessment had been accepted. As you can now see from the timeline above, that happened at the beginning of July 2006. I want to talk to know about a part of our process which may well not be a part of yours. In fact in our household, this was probably step number one according to my wife.

Can we bring our dog?



Baggy, our Chocolate Labrador was nine years old when we started the application process. So he was no spring chicken. Frankly, I was up for leaving him behind. Apparently, that’s not how it works. In fact I get the distinct impression my wife would have rather left me behind than the dog.

Exporting your dog to Australia is not a cheap process I can tell you. How do you like this? Three one-way tickets to Australia – two adults (me and the wife) and one child (our daughter) aged 3 – £1,365.00. One one-way ticket to Australia for one dog, (Baggy), in a wooden crate in the hold, £1,910.00. You probably think I’m joking. I wish.

The whole process to bring the dog out was over £3000! I reasoned that we could have bought two brand new dogs when we got here that would have been younger, fitter and stronger and we would have still had change. But it really doesn’t work like that.

18 months on and I have to admit, bringing Baggy here was the right decision. It is great having him around and on a very serious note, when you arrive in a new country thousands of miles from your friends and family, then it is nice to have mans best friend still by your side.

Baggy loves it here too, it’s almost like he has a new lease of life. Perhaps it was that month in prison (quarantine), that has made him appreciate things more. I’ll tell you about quarantine in another post and also about the day we picked him up. But I’m sure if we hadn’t have brought him over, my wife would never have come to terms with that. And I can’t explain how much him being here has meant to our daughter. I am sure it helped her get through the dark times that I explained in my post about Elizabeth.

So, the bottom line is if you have a dog (or cat), bring it! Don’t worry about the cost. You may feel numb as you pay it, I did. But the numbness has gone, but the dog is still here.

Go to Moving to Australia Part 7

For a full chronological list and brief description of all the posts in this series about how I moved to Australia, please visit my page How to Move to Australia.

Thinking of Exporting Your Pet to Australia?

As many of you know, my wife Karen formed a company called Dog Walks Pty Ltd back in 2008 to help pets and their owners through the quarantine experience.

Sadly, her Dog Walks team can no longer physically visit your pets or walk your dog in quarantine. Rule changes by the Australian government have put an end to that which effectively 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…

Update: Quarantine rules have changed a bit, see…

Visa Assessment Service
{ 114 comments… add one }
  • Greg September 1, 2018, 4:40 pm |

    Hi Bob I have two Rottweilers and don’t want to leave them behind. I’m planning to move to Australia from South Africa.

  • Srishti October 23, 2017, 3:58 pm |

    Hey, can we import my darling Nick (German Shepherd) from India to Australia. We need to shift to Australia in next 6 months. But people have told me GSD is not allowed in Australia. Is that true?

    • BobinOz October 23, 2017, 7:21 pm |

      GSD’s are allowed in Australia, they are not a banned dog in this country in any way as far as I’m aware. The process is a bit tricky coming from India, you can find out more about it on my page about Bringing Your Pet to Australia.

      Be sure to click on the link to the cat – dogs section to find out more about the process.

  • Ms Taurus July 7, 2017, 10:42 am |

    Hi Bob! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience! It’s always good to hear it from first-hand. I am planning to moving to Australia and am wondering if it is advisable to bring my 10 year yorkie! There is no way I will leave him behind 🙁 He is too precious to me! He is healthy and energetic, but still we are talking about a 9-hr flight… Have you come across similar cases? What would be your recommendation, apart from speaking to my vet which I will definitely do 🙂
    Thanks again!

    • BobinOz July 7, 2017, 7:48 pm |

      We brought over our fat and lazy, 10-year-old chocolate Labrador who got even lazier in the UK when it got hotter than around 23°C. So we had concerns about him, spoke to our vet as well, he told us he would be fine.

      He was, survived the journey and lived for four more glorious years in Australia and he learned to love the heat. Australia would have been a sad place without him, so yes, I would definitely bring your dog along, he is not too old, and he will breeze the flight I’m sure. Good luck, Bob

  • SillyPeople December 11, 2016, 4:16 am |

    You bunch of idiots will pay this for information that can be found on australian government pages? Don’t be silly. Those informations are free!!! You retards.

    • BobinOz December 12, 2016, 6:55 pm |

      What an incredibly stupid comment from a very small minded and insulting person. Books have been the foundation of knowledge for centuries and will continue to be so, in spite of the internet. The internet is full of free information, but lots of it is bad advice, like your comment.

  • lea villani June 15, 2016, 9:16 pm |

    Hi Bob
    I eared about the global price, and even is the quarantine is the most important cost of the project to bring my 2 cats in Australia from France, I would ask you if maybe you eared about someone who tried to reduce the flight costs: Do you think it is possible to bring (in cabin) the pets in Nouvelle Caledonie island which is French. And then, use an import company to Australia in order to reduce the import costs?
    Thank you for your advice

    • BobinOz June 16, 2016, 9:34 pm |

      I’m pretty sure you can’t take your pets in the cabin, no matter where you come from. The only way to reduce the cost is to shop around, but I don’t think anybody does it for cheap.

      • jane August 5, 2016, 7:46 pm |

        definately NO pets in the cabin

  • Keshini April 5, 2016, 12:42 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    My husband and I want to take our 15 month German Shepherd to Australia from Sri Lanka. My country is not in the approved group of countries. Do you have any information or advice on the process we would have to follow?

  • Shirlee February 9, 2016, 1:53 am |

    Anyone brought a cat and a parrot (African Grey) over? If so, any advice would be great (as in how long do they quarantine cats and parrots) and the likely costs. I know there is a section to buy a book to see costs, but I am hoping someone else on here might know off hand?

    • BobinOz February 9, 2016, 8:40 pm |

      You will find some useful links on my page called Bringing Your Pet to Australia. Costs vary, it depends where you are coming from. Not cheap though, as you’ll see if you read some of the comments made by others on that page and some of the pages you’ll find links to.

    • Aneesa May 18, 2016, 8:18 pm |

      Hi Shirlee. Did you manage to arrange for your parrot to be relocated? I have heard that birds are not allowed to be imported form any country except New Zealand. Please let me know as I am also looking to bring my african grey parrot with me when I relocate.

  • Charlie February 1, 2016, 11:45 pm |

    Does anyone know what brand of dog food is fed at the quarantine facility? I’d ideally like to change my dog’s diet before we leave to avoid any upset stomach she might suffer. Any help would be fantastic. Thank you.

    • BobinOz February 2, 2016, 8:09 pm |

      Under the old system, before everything was centralised to Melbourne, they always used to use Advance dog food, puppy, adult, and adult weight control. I’d be surprised if they have changed that, because Advance is an Australian made food and is one of those high quality ones, like Hills, it’s not available in supermarkets but, I think, mainly from vets.

      If anybody knows anything different, we’d love to hear it.

  • Grizelda December 18, 2015, 11:01 pm |

    My parents would like to immigrate from South Africa ( modimolle in the Limpopo region ) to Bunbury Western Australia. They want to bring their beloved 2 foxterriers with them. How much would it be to aproxamitally to import their dogs
    Thank you

    • BobinOz December 19, 2015, 7:34 pm |

      I have no idea what the costs would be for your parents, they would have to telephone for quotes themselves. You can get more information about this on my page Bringing Your Pet to Australia and it may be worth you checking out the comments made there to see what other people have paid.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Kenza November 16, 2015, 11:05 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Me and my family are interested in moving from Canada to Australia and we have a very loved (and utterly spoiled) pooch named Bella that we could never leave behind. Like many others, our main concern is the dog’s flight and time in quarantine, more so than the price.
    Do you know if the quarantine time from Canada to Aus has also gone down to 10 days? And if we flew to New Zealand first and stayed there for a week or so, and then flew to Australia, would that reduce or eliminate the quarantine at all?
    I find your sight very helpful! Keep up the great work.

  • Marina Cooper September 7, 2015, 3:01 am |

    Hi there! I was wondering if you could PLEASE help me?!! I am an Aussie been living over in UK for 16 years. Now have husband and 3 kids. In 2012 we moved the family back to OZ. We took with us our two sausage dogs and very very sadly had to leave behind our English Bulldog 3 yrs old behind with a lovely family. The only airline that would fly her was Air Canada and after much painful diliberation we decided the with all the stops ect rect it would be too much and left her very reluctanly with a lovely family. Cut to 2015 and we have come back for work reasons. A week ago we got a call from the family saying they were devastated but due to one of them battling an illness could not look after our bulldog anymore and would we be able to take her back as they heard we were back in UK. Absolutely!!! But elation turned to sadness when I rang our pet carrier who transported our other dogs ( who now live with Mum in OZ ) and was told no airline will fly bulldogs out of UK. Seeing as we are going back to Oz in the next year I am devastated to think we would have to re home her again. I am trying to find sea options that may transport pets. We just can’t leave her behind again. Do you know of any other option please!!!!!

    • BobinOz September 7, 2015, 11:37 am |

      My wife used to work with the Australian quarantine stations, albeit 18+ months ago, she saw many bulldogs being flown in.

      However, rules may have changed since then, but may I suggest you visit the IPATA website and look for one or two approved pet exporter local to you and give them a call? If any airline is still flying bulldogs out, they will know.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Bob November 13, 2015, 1:12 am |

        Qantas will fly Bulldogs from UK to Australia and have just received permission to land pets out of hours, so we can fly bulldogs now

        • Marina Cooper November 16, 2015, 1:39 am |

          Thank- you so much for this!! Also i am sorry I did not see your previous post – you replied straight away in Sept so thanks so much!.

          I contacted the pet travel agency soon as I read the new info from you and Qantas are starting a trial very soon so it is looking good as there is a real demand for this now.

          Once again thanks so much!!

          • Jessica March 29, 2017, 8:44 am |

            What was the final outcome with your bulldog? My husband and I are looking for all kinds of solutions with our 6 year old bulldog. As you know, they are very high maintenance, I’m nervous about her being on the flight from USA to Melbourne and staying in quarantine with god knows what the quality and quantity of food (I cook for her every night), she also suffers from fear based dog aggression so I am not sure what the facility is like/what conditions she will be under. We are debating whether or not to leave her. My worst fear is that she will be under too much stress/die alone/abused etc. Looking for other options, cruise ship etc. Would be greatly appreciated if you could update what happened with your squishy baby.

  • Jeya August 12, 2015, 6:21 pm |


    I am relocating from usa to melbourne, australia for job reasons. I have 3 dogs ( Doberman, Siberian Husky, Border Collie). Can I bring all 3 dogs with me? What is the limit pls?

    Thk You

    • BobinOz August 13, 2015, 7:01 pm |

      As far as I am aware there are no limits on the number of dogs you can bring into the country, but you might want to check with the local council, depending where you are moving to, to see if they have any restrictions on how many dogs you can own.

      Most councils are okay with people owning three dogs, especially in low-density dwelling areas, but other councils may require that you get an extra permit, so it would be worth checking that out. Cheers, Bob

      • Jennie wynn February 1, 2016, 5:42 am |

        I would love to come to oz but it would break my heart to not see my fur baby for a month would I be able to volunteer at quaranteen so I could still see him?

        • BobinOz February 1, 2016, 9:10 pm |

          No, I’m pretty sure they do not use volunteers. Quarantine is only 10 days now anyway, assuming you are coming from a country that qualifies for that, so it’s not so bad.

  • Simon Mills July 11, 2015, 1:17 pm |

    Hi Bob
    Thanks.yes, I am not totally convinced yet that I am correct but have asked my exporter in Hanoi to verify everything carefully. I think Aus have updated their regulations and NZ are likely to follow soon. Here is a quote from the Aus press release.

    November 8, 2013
    We are pleased to share that some of the requirements for importing a dog into Australia have changed.

    One of the key changes is a reduction in the minimum post-entry quarantine period from 30 to 10 days. This is not only great news for your pooch, but great news for your wallet!

    The new import conditions will apply to dogs and cats (except those exported from New Zealand) imported into Australia on, or after, 3 February 2014. From 2 December 2013 you will be able to apply for an import permit under the new import conditions.

    The policy review concluded that an increased emphasis on offshore preparation is an effective and practical approach to achieving Australia’s appropriate level of protection, affording a reduction to the period of post-entry quarantine.
    The review determined that the risk of rabies could be managed offshore by a combination of vaccination, laboratory testing and export country approval, instead of requiring 30 days minimum post-entry quarantine.
    The specified post-entry quarantine period, of 10 days minimum, is to manage the risk of a number of external parasites and associated vector-borne hazards of biosecurity concern.
    Apart from the reduction in quarantine time, there are a number of other changes.
    cheers Simon

    • BobinOz July 12, 2015, 8:41 pm |

      Yes, hopefully your exporter can verify everything, I hope it all works out well though. Cheers, Bob

  • Simon Mills July 7, 2015, 11:24 pm |

    Hi Bob
    It would be easier to go direct from Singapore to NZ if NZ brought in the same new laws that Aus has. see my comments above. So I can send our dogs to Singapore for 30 days then onto Aus for 10 days then direct to NZ with no quarantine or licence required. If I wish to bring the dogs from Singapore to NZ they have to spend 6 months in Singapore.

    • BobinOz July 10, 2015, 8:50 pm |

      I asked my wife about this, she would be surprised if New Zealand’s regulations were stricter than Australia’s, but she doesn’t keep up with the NZ rules at all and she hasn’t been following Australia’s rules for over a year now. My advice would be to doublecheck this information with the pet exporter you are going to be working with to make sure this is true.

  • Simon Mills July 2, 2015, 1:19 pm |

    Hi Bob
    I have spent many hours researching and writing letters but are still no clearer re bringing our two golden retrievers from Vietnam to New Zealand via Australia.The reason for via Australia is that Aus’ regulations seem to be more relaxed than NZ and we can import directly from Aus to NZ. However as Vietnam is non approved I understand I need to relocate the dogs in an approved country for a period of time, such as Singapore. can anyone help re the period of time required in Singapore. I have been told 6 months by some agencies and 30 days by others. I am feeling confused. Any help would be gratefully received.

    • BobinOz July 2, 2015, 8:46 pm |

      Well my wife isn’t an expert on this Simon, but she does know quite a bit about it, she thinks your dogs would need to spend six months in an approved country before moving on down under.

      She really doesn’t see the point in going to Australia first, not if your final destination is New Zealand, because as far as she is aware there would be no advantage to that and Australia’s regulations are not more relaxed at all, if anything it might be the other way round.

      So might be best if you check out the relevant New Zealand website about importing pets to find out directly from them what the process is. Good luck, Bob

      • Simon Mills July 3, 2015, 12:01 pm |

        Thanks Bob. I got this reply from

        The Australian import conditions require you to move your dogs to the approved country at least 4 weeks prior to intended date of export. Please note that the approved country may have its own import conditions on the importation of dogs, hence you must contact the government agency in Singapore to verify the required time your dogs must stay in Singapore.

        Very different messages from different agencies. I will keep trying. I have an exporter in Vietnam who is trying to sort it out for me too. Very difficult to make arrangements when the regulations are so unclear!

        • BobinOz July 3, 2015, 9:51 pm |

          Yes, that’s the Australian government, but what do the New Zealand government say?

          • Simon Mills July 4, 2015, 2:11 pm |

            They said
            “Yes you can import into Australia and import from Australia into NZ.”

            I further asked if NZ was going to bring its policy into line with Australia’s which seems logical as you can import with no licence or quarantine from Aus to NZ and I got this answer.

            “Unfortunately I’m unable to clarify at this stage whether we will be adopt the Australian policy for import from non-approved countries. Reviewing our current policy is part of the larger review of the cat and dog import requirements that is currently taking place. I’m hoping to have the review completed by June 2016 but I’m afraid I can’t give any guarantees about the policies that will be adopted or a definite timeframe at this early stage.

            Kind regards


            Wendy Newsham | Senior Adviser, Animal Imports”

            • BobinOz July 6, 2015, 8:07 pm |

              I’m getting a little confused now Simon but I still can’t see the advantage of going to Australia first with your dogs when your ultimate destination is New Zealand. So I’d be looking at how you can comply with the regulations to export your dog directly to NZ.

  • Joanne July 2, 2015, 8:04 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for this forum it is brilliant, I m about to start the process to Australia with my weiner dog from the east coast of USA my issue is I know they seal the container once it leaves my home thats such a long journey does he get to relieve himself at some point or must he stay in that crate for the duration of the trip to Sydney, also can I visit him when he arrives at the quarantine station?


    • BobinOz July 2, 2015, 8:03 pm |

      Just to clear something up first Joanne, when you say ‘container’, you don’t mean the thing where all your furniture goes do you, because dogs certainly don’t go in there 🙂

      As I’m sure you know, they go in a crate in the aeroplane and yes, they do stay in that crate for the duration, but they do put paper down in case of any accidents.

      Bad news about the visiting as well, the quarantine station doesn’t allow visitors any more since it moved to 10 days instead of 30.

      You will find more information and more useful links on my page Bringing Your Pet to Australia.

      • Clay July 5, 2015, 11:10 pm |

        Just adding my two bits as an FYI … When I brought our lab from Spain she flew with Emirates, meaning that her plane had to pass through Dubai. One thing that gave me peace of mind was the courier took her out to do her needs and stretch her legs before getting on the plane … then the law in Dubai actually states that any animal that traveling a large stretch (I think it was +15 hours) has to stay in Dubai for a certain amount of time. My pet courier rep worked it out so she flew in to Dubai around 10pm and stayed overnight. The good part of this was that I knew that the animal’s welfare was important to them. She was taken out for walks and fed in this time and that the whole flight ordeal wasn’t as tough as it could have been if she was made to fly straight through.

        As to the quarantine, yes she stayed 10 days and we were not allowed to visit in this time. However, after considering this, I feel that this is also to the animal’s benefit. It would be much worse if the dog had seen us briefly only to be left there by herself again … I can’t imagine the sense of abandonment that may occur in this case … and 10 days goes by very quickly, especially if you are jet-lagged for half of that time. 🙂

        All said and done, she seemed to take the flight and her stay in quarantine in her stride and had no problems at all settling in at her new home … in fact, she has settled in much quicker and easier than we have 😀

        • BobinOz July 6, 2015, 8:30 pm |

          Very good point about the visiting/abandonment, even if we had have been able, which we weren’t, to visit our dog we wouldn’t have wanted to for this very same reason.

  • Aseem Lubana June 6, 2015, 2:49 am |

    “BOB” sir its very interesting and a bit sad to hear “Baggy’s” story. Sir i have a Question/Enquiry for u.Sir i am an Indian and I am moving to australia in some months and i have 2 dogs(German Shephard, Cocker spanian) and i am really worried about them as i do not know how i will take them to australia . I really dont know what to do sir and i do not want them to leave them behind because they can’t live without me and i too really can’t live without them. Sir please answer my question?

    • BobinOz June 8, 2015, 7:49 pm |
      • gaurav thakur February 8, 2016, 4:18 am |

        Hi Aseem,

        Did you finally get to take your dogs to OZ,I am from India and moving to South Australia in may,need to take my dog along

        Can you tell me stepwise what all needs to be done.

  • Lena Renwick June 1, 2015, 7:51 pm |

    Australia is my favorite destination! I was there a few times and every single time I fall in love more and more. Last month I decided that it is time for change, it is time to move to Australia with my dog James. Now I am packing the luggage and I hope that James will fall in love with Australia too! Thank you for the helpful article!

    • BobinOz June 2, 2015, 8:47 pm |

      Well, I hope you have sorted out your visa or will you and James be arriving by private jet à la Johnny Depp? 🙂

  • Christy Mason May 21, 2015, 7:46 pm |

    Hello! I am going to move to Australia with my two cats and I am so excited and worried at the same time. They love my apartment and I am afraid that they will be stressed in the new place. Thank you for the nice advices!

    • BobinOz May 22, 2015, 8:45 pm |

      We inherited a couple of cats a few years ago, they were eight years old at the time. We were given them by an old lady who had to move out of her house and go into a flat, so she couldn’t take them with her. They were like her children, she was so upset when she let them go, but she knew she had to find another home for them.

      So those two poor cats had to both get used to a new place to live and being separated from their lifelong owner.

      We brought them home, put them in our house and then we went out for four or five hours to leave them to it, we wanted them to try and settle in without us being around them.

      When we got back, they were lying on the settee, pruning themselves, not a care in the world, and when we walked in they gave us a look as if to say “Who are you? And what are you doing in our house?”

      From that day on those two cats acted as though they’d lived in our house forever, or rather, as they thought, their house.

      I think your cats will be just fine 🙂

  • Chantal March 5, 2015, 11:13 pm |

    Hi Bob!

    I love your site. It is what is keeping me going while we are playing the waiting game. We have only just had our agent submit the VETASSESS so the waiting is going to get worse.

    Nevertheless, no-one can really help me with my question and I was hoping you or your readers/followers can. We are taking 3 of our pets with – sadly the other 3 cats are all over 18 years old and we have made the difficult decision to put them down when the time comes to leave :(.

    So we are taking the 3 young animals, 2 small dogs and a cat. All chipped, all sterilised, all vaccinated up to date. We have spoken to our vet and he will help us with all the tests that are required as he knows the process (but not the timelines, it seems). My question is this: we have heard that one of the rabies blood tests must be done 6 months in advance, at least. Now since we have no idea how long this VETASSESS will take, or if we will even get a VISA in the end, when do we do that test? I don’t want to wait and then find out we will be delayed because of a blood test. I also don’t want to rush and do it then find out we were supposed to wait. Our agent is not really interested in the pet part as that is not her domain, and all the pet relocation services I contact give me conflicting information. I need an educated, real-life answer. Since we are on the topic or real life issues, how on earth do people manage to co-ordinate selling a house with getting a VISA and then leaving? We have no idea how we will manage that…would be great to avoid living with the mother-in-law 😮

    Of course I am going under the assumption that we will actually get a VISA at the end of this…being optimistic. I like being informed and planning everything way in advance – makes me feel like I still have some sort of control.

    Hope you can help or direct me to anyone who can! Thanks!

    • BobinOz March 6, 2015, 6:31 pm |

      Glad to hear my website is keeping you going whilst you play the excruciating waiting game, hope you don’t have to wait too long.

      Which brings me to your question, yes, it is a bit of a nightmare. It’s probably impossible to get the timing of everything right, there’s a fair amount of guesswork and luck involved. For your pets though, you will get a lot of good information if you go to the following webpage…

      Where you will find details about a calculator and a link to it. Fill in the details as best you can, that’s where you will have to use a bit of guesswork, and then you will get some very useful information out of that. Selling the house will be calculated guesswork as well, but to avoid living with the mother-in-law, there’s always the Travelodge 🙂

      Good luck, hope it all goes well.

  • Ed January 10, 2015, 11:03 pm |

    It’s a disgrace, the cost of bringing your pet! They know they’ve got you by the furry dice and you’ll pay up. It’s the lowest form of usury. And these are the governments meant to care for their citizens! All they care about is money! I’m utterly disgusted!
    And I’ll be paying up AGAIN soon when I move back. Some should be warned though. We moved our nine yr old Rottie her and he didn’t las the year,and I’m sure the trip did not do him any favours!

    • BobinOz January 11, 2015, 1:01 am |

      Ed, I’m really sorry your Rottie didn’t last a year, but the reality is a plane journey does not kill dogs. The average life span of a Rottie, and I haven’t looked this up, I’m going from what I’ve been told, is about 10 years old.

      I just wanted to clear that up because I don’t want people getting scared about bringing their pets here and the journey that entails.

      As for the costs, I couldn’t agree more, it is disgusting. But is not just the Australian government, I am bewildered at why the flights for pets cost so much. Me, my wife and my daughter all flew here for about £1300 back in 2007 inclusive for the three of us, but we had to pay £1900 for our one dog to fly. He didn’t even get a seat, he was in the hold.

      I’m still disgusted about that after all these years.

    • Bianka February 6, 2017, 7:26 am |

      Thank you for posting this. I resent wholeheartedly how the government’s around the world capitalize on your feelings and attachments. You can bring your sick, unimmunized butt or a child anywhere else on the world, but your pet has to go through a concentration camp of unnecessary immunization, emotional trauma, separation anxiety with no guarantees and accountability on the part of those who take your money to follow the “law”. Humans are the worst animals. I have a rottweiler and I won’t travel anywhere from Canada because of that and regardless of the fact that I am sick to my bones from social hypocrisy in which Canadians force themselves to participate in. I have to stay put for awhile and then I hope that I would come across to the place on earth that is not obsessed with idea of exploiting every possibility at the expense of others. Bianka

  • Marcelo November 29, 2014, 3:44 am |

    Hi, Bob,

    My family and I are planning to move to Australia. We are Brazilians and wondered if you know a company that could help us taking our dog to Australia. I think taking him would be great for us.



    • BobinOz December 1, 2014, 5:07 pm |

      No, sorry, I don’t know anyone who is Brazil-based, I only know European and Australian based companies. You will need to search locally and I suggest you try and get someone who is a member of IPATA.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Marcelo December 1, 2014, 10:06 pm |

        Thanks a lot, Bob. I have an Akita Inu and would be saddened if I can’t take him to Australia. Iread your e-book this weekend and loved it.

        • BobinOz December 2, 2014, 5:57 pm |

          Glad you liked the book, as for your dog, you will be able to bring him with you one way or another I think, it’s just a matter of cost and I’m afraid it might end up quite expensive. Good luck, Bob

          • Marcelo December 2, 2014, 9:19 pm |

            Hi Bob,

            I agree that it will be quite expensive to take him, but I guess it will be worth doing it.



            • BobinOz December 3, 2014, 1:33 pm |

              That’s true, leaving your dog behind is not an option, it wasn’t for us either.

  • Clay November 17, 2014, 10:59 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    We are in the process of bringing our chocolate lab to Oz from Spain, and yep, there is certainly a lot of things to do and money to be spent :=) … though I know it will definitely be worth it, especially in helping my son to adapt to his new life.
    One thing I wanted to ask – how long before flight dates were you able to book your flight for Baggy? I’ve just been informed by a pet cargo agency that I can only book a flight 15 days in advance, though am concerned that this is cutting is mighty close and that availability may be a problem. Certainly it is not something I want to be stressing about at that stage as we are preparing for such a big move. I just wanted to know what your experience was to that effect?

    • BobinOz November 18, 2014, 8:38 pm |

      Hi Clay

      I had to ask Mrs Bob about this one, she sorted out Baggy’s transport. She tells me at the time that we came here, which was seven years ago, she wasn’t allowed to make the flight booking herself, it was done through the pet carrier we used. So we don’t actually know how long before departure they were allowed to book.

      She said the important thing is to make sure you have booked your space at Australian quarantine, but on the flight thing, and we’re only kind of guessing here, we think it’s highly unlikely that there will not be any availability as these pets go into the hold and we are sure there’s plenty of room in there.

      Maybe somebody else who has brought their pet over more recently can help with this, if not here, you might like to ask this question on my page about Bringing Your Pet to Australia.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Clay December 10, 2014, 8:44 pm |

        Thanks for your reply, Bob … yep looks like I had to go through a carrier in the end and they all confirm that advanced booking is not possible (despite what the airline say). So I’m putting all my faith in their professional hands and trust that we won’t have any issues. I’ve got the quarantine all booked and paid for, so now just have to worry about the rest of the move 😀 … it will all be worth it in the end. Thanks again for your input and your great blog 😉


        • BobinOz December 11, 2014, 8:42 pm |

          Sounds like everything is falling in place, and it was certainly worth it in the end for us, we love it here. Good luck, hope it all goes well. Bob

  • Hannah October 16, 2014, 4:03 pm |

    I thought it might be useful to add my very recent experience importing my dog to Australia from the US. It was probably one of the most stressful parts of our move and by far the most expensive. We were advised to hire an animal transport company to handle the paperwork and scheduling since it’s quite complicated coming from a rabies invested country like the USA to a rabies free country like Australia. I certainly shopped around when the first few quotes I got were over $5,000 USD. But eventually we went with a reputable company that happened to be on the cheaper end, but still came in at about $4,500. Now this number did not include all the vet visits required leading up to deportation-and there are a lot of them. All in, it was probably another $800. AND we still had to pay for quarantine at a cool $159 a day for ten days plus a few taxes, fees, etc. on this end. That’s about $1,800 for his cement holding cell. So all in, we’re talking $7,000 USD to get our 14 pound italian greyhound across the ocean to be in Australia with us for the next 4 years. We’re very happy he’s here, and not bringing him (although it certainly crossed our mind when we started hemorrhaging money) wasn’t REALLY an option. But we certainly had NO idea it was going to cost as much as it did. The kicker is when we take him back to the US in four years, all we have to do is buy him a plane ticket. No paperwork, no vaccinations, nothing. Apparently they let any old critter into the US. And now we understand why it’s so goddamn hard to get them into Australia in the first place.

    • BobinOz October 16, 2014, 7:46 pm |

      Thanks for the story Hannah, yes, it is extraordinarily expensive isn’t it? Like yourself, we knew it was a lot of money, but leaving our dog behind was simply not an option.

      I feel your pain because I have felt it myself. The £3000 or more it cost us seven years ago is equivalent to something like $4800 US, so I can see that prices have gone up quite substantially since then despite the quarantine period having been reduced to 10 days from 30.

      I’m afraid we are all stuck with it, I think they realise that leaving our pets behind really isn’t an option and so they charge like a wounded bull knowing we will stump up.

      I hope your move works out well and the expense is all worthwhile in the end.

      Cheers, Bob

    • Romy E November 16, 2016, 6:04 am |


      We are just about to go through this with our Italian Greyhound. I’m so worried about the long flight and quarantine. Do you have any advice? Did you dress the iggy in anything to keep it warm during the flight? Where did you fly to and from?

  • Vincent Koeman April 2, 2014, 2:48 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I want to move to Oz and my girlfriend is willing but with one exception: She has a 2 year old pugalier. I believe just recently the Quarantine has been reduced so with some coaxing I can convince her to get past that. Her main issue is that she said all pets must travel in an unheated cargo hold of aircraft. I want to move there so bad that the thought of chartering a boat from Canada so she can rest assured the dog is not in an uncomfortable way on her journey crossed my mind. Unfortunately I’m not a millionaire… So I guess my question would be: Do you know of a way to get a small dog to Australia in relative comfort? I really don’t know if travel conditions are bad for pets on a long journey like that but if they are in cold cargo holds there is a 0% chance I can move to Oz until that dog dies of old age. I don’t want to wait that long! Thanks for any suggestions/help!

    • BobinOz April 3, 2014, 12:26 am |

      Surely your girlfriend wants the best possible life she can give to her young pugalier? She appears to have concerns about an unheated cargo hold for a few hours, but Canada, isn’t that unheated all the time?

      Wouldn’t she like to see her pugalier running along a golden sandy beach, enjoying the waves, lapping up the heat, rolling around with other pugaliers? Does your girlfriend know that here in Australia we have doggie parks, dedicated parks where dogs go to meet and play, safe from young children. Our local doggie park even hold a doggie Christmas party.

      Australia really is the place to live if you are a dog.

      As for that journey, thousands and thousands of dogs do it each year, it really isn’t a problem, and when they get here they just love Australia.

      Please, don’t let your girlfriend’s spoil her doggies Australian dream. If your girlfriend needs any more convincing, please look through these comments and the comments on my page called Bringing Your Pet to Australia, and look around for a link as well to the Dog Walks Gallery and show your girlfriend pictures of thousands of happy dogs in quarantine having completed the journey.

      See you in Australia soon.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Lynn March 23, 2014, 10:16 am |

    I have never heard of anything so ridiculous in my life. In Canada, the US and Mexico we can freely travel with our pets as long as they have the rabies vaccination. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I would leave my dog in quarantine for 30 day. Join the 20th Century Australia!!!! I guess that job offer can go by the wayside. Not a frickin chance. Ever would I do that to her. As you can see I am completely boggled by the ignorance.


    • BobinOz March 24, 2014, 9:48 pm |

      Sounds like you have had a lucky escape Lynn, if it hadn’t have been for our ridiculous mindbogglingly ignorant rules regarding pet importation (which are in place to protect Australia’s unique wildlife and fauna), then you may just have ended up moving to our backward country.

      By the way, quarantine is now 10 days only and we are currently in the 21st Century.

      Keep up 🙂

  • Mindy Marlow January 24, 2014, 3:10 am |

    Hello Bob,

    I have asked another question under the Visa portion of your blog. I have a feeling I will be asking a lot of questions and I thank you in advance for all of your advice and taking the time to read my questions 🙂 My husband has been offered a job which requires us to relocate to Perth, WA. We have a silky terrier that weights about 6 lbs. he is a rescue and he is the love of my children’s lives. Also my husband who swore he would never get attached to an animal is helplessly in love with him. Me, well, anymore I dont know the difference between him and my kids. I know its overboard LOL Anyway we have been so happy about the move until we discovered what he will have to go through to come with us. I saw a ray of hope when you listed your wife’s business but then was saddened that we will not be in her service area. I have looked into relocation but honestly I dont know where to begin. Can he fly in cargo on the same plane etc???? I live in Raleigh North Carolina US and I am sick about the task of getting him there safe and sound. My childrens hearts would break if anything happened to him. Please help

    • BobinOz January 24, 2014, 7:04 pm |

      Hi Mindy

      Yes, I have just answered your other question. Little point being on the same plane as your dog, you won’t be allowed to see him, he will be isolated, that’s the point of quarantine.

      My wife’s business does cover all areas, although Perth quarantine station has now closed down, so your dog will need to go to Sydney or Melbourne first then fly on to Perth after the quarantine period.

      When you know the arrival date for your dog, get in touch with Karen and she can let you know what she can do

      Cheers, Bob

  • Angela September 20, 2013, 10:15 am |

    Hi, Bob

    Would you happen to remember how long it took for your import permit to be issued after you’d submitted the application?

    I’ve just sent mine off via the eLodgement service, but that may not have been available when you applied.



    • BobinOz September 22, 2013, 8:59 pm |

      No Angela, I wouldn’t, but my wife does 🙂 She tells me it’s quite quick, she thinks we received our permit within a week or two of the application.

      Hope it all goes well, cheers, Bob

  • Jason September 5, 2013, 8:07 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Perhaps you know, or with your wife being in the industry (whom we’re going to be using without a doubt! What a great service!) – whether the proposed changes to the quarantine process, where a country like South Africa would no longer need to do the time in quarantine out of Oz and just the time on Australian soil, seem like they are likely to come in to effect early next year as some think?

    I realise it’s a bit of a “how long is a piece of string” question, but I don’t know Aus politics so no idea how anything works 🙂


    • BobinOz September 6, 2013, 8:06 pm |

      Hi Jason

      Yes, my wife, like yourself, thinks something will happen soon but maybe not until next year. How it will affect each and every country though, we don’t know.

      Whichever changes do come into effect, most people believe there will probably be 3-6 months notice of the changes, just so that people can adjust to them. But that in itself is just a rumour.

      That’s all we know, cheers, Bob

      • Jason September 9, 2013, 10:41 pm |

        Thanks for the info Bob! Much appreciated.

        Here’s hoping for all pet owners!

  • Dee-Dee Lovering September 2, 2013, 10:09 pm |

    Hi Bob, I want to bring my dog and cat (the cat originally came from WA) back to Perth from Berlin, Germany. Do you happen to know a good pet transport company that I could use? Cheers, Dee-Dee

    • BobinOz September 4, 2013, 2:50 pm |

      Hi Dee-Dee

      I checked this with my wife, she knows a lot of dog importers through her business but unfortunately none based in Germany. Best advice though is to choose one that is registered with IPATA.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Ravi August 17, 2013, 3:23 am |

    I’m moving to Australia and really want to take my German Shepherd dog with me. can you please advise. According to the web info, it says a dog coming from sri lanka has to be in a approved country like Singapore or Malaysia for 6 months before you are allowed to bring your dog to Australia.

    really appreciate if you could help me to get in the right direction.
    Thanks and Regards

    • BobinOz August 19, 2013, 12:59 pm |

      Sorry to say Ravi that you are already in the right direction. Sri Lanka is not an approved country and as such your dog will have to spend six months elsewhere before being allowed into Australia. If the website, and I assume you mean the AQIS website says Singapore or Malaysia, then that’s what needs to be done.

      Cheers, Bob

    • Raji Godwin October 29, 2013, 4:18 pm |

      Hi Ravi,

      I was going through the mails and website regarding bringing the pet to Australia from Sri Lanka. In fact I am from Sri Lanka and residing here in Sydney…I desperately want my two dogs to be here… All what I can understand is these dogs entering Oz should be in an DAFF country. But what are the requirements for that country..?
      If you are living in Colombo. contact Pets-V Care at Staples Street ..Dr.Sumith…

      Any progree….let me know..I too will keep in touch. Pls mail me,.

  • cami.a June 11, 2013, 7:59 pm |

    I am a 16 year old native Australian and my mother is an Australian citizen. We have been living in Spain for the past nine years where my mother and stepfather have gotten married. How long would it take for my father to get his visa?
    Regarding pets, are there any quarantine centres in Adelaide sa?
    Also, if the cats are quite fussy would you reccomend sleeping them?

    • BobinOz June 11, 2013, 11:51 pm |

      I’m not sure how long it would take, processing times vary for different visas and I’m not sure how long the spouse visa takes these days. There are no quarantine centres in Adelaide, nearest one for you would be Melbourne.

      I don’t know what you mean by “sleeping them”, do you mean sedating them for the plane journey? Not sure that’s allowed, but you would need to speak to the vet about that one.

  • lisa June 7, 2013, 3:02 am |

    Hi I wana take my 10 year old cat to australia sydney, what’s the quickest and cheapest way around it, I’ve heard I can gt injections or blood test done here in england before, does that save time and money???

    • BobinOz June 7, 2013, 6:26 pm |

      I’m afraid there is no quick or cheap way to do it, but there is a correct way to do it and that is by making sure you have all the right injections done at the right time. Your local Australian approved vet can guide you through the process, you also might like to read my wife’s website where she has some information about this:

      I’m afraid it’s quite costly business, be prepared for a few shocks.



  • Damian April 28, 2013, 12:15 pm |

    Hi Bob, your website is very helpful.
    We are planning on bringing our two dogs from Brazil to Australia. I know Brazil is not an allowed country and we would have to go through a longer and more complicated process. I was wondering if you could recommend an agent that could help us with this process, and provide us with a bit more information about it.


    • BobinOz April 29, 2013, 9:12 pm |

      Hi Damian, glad you like my website.

      You can find out a bit about the process over at my wife’s website, have a look at this page…

      Unfortunately, she doesn’t have any contacts for Brazil, but she does suggest you search Google for “IPATA” take a look to see who they might recommend.

      Hope that helps, Bob

  • ian April 24, 2013, 5:32 pm |

    Hi bob my wife and I are planning to move to aus in the near future as my wife has family out there my dad is a Australian citizen so im going through the process of applying for citizenship by decent my questions are we have dogs we want to take with us we live in somerset can you recommend a pet carrier for us all in if possible also a shipping company for our belongings we are hoping to move early 2014 as soon as every thing is sorted thanks in advance for your help your site is great

    • BobinOz April 24, 2013, 10:32 pm |

      Hi Ian

      Check out my wife’s webpage, she has been working with dogs in quarantine for about five years now, so she’s got to know a lot of the companies. She has a page on her website with a list of all the companies she recommends, and they are genuine recommendations. She knows them all, she has dealt with them. Here’s the page…

      Dogwalks recommends…

      As for removals, have a word with John Mason International, they are very experienced & professional, definitely worth speaking to them and getting a quote.

      Good luck, I hope it all goes well and am pleased to hear my site has been helpful.


  • Natasha Muller April 23, 2013, 7:28 pm |

    Hi Bob
    My husband is in IT and seriously considering immigrating from South Africa to Austrailia, However my biggest concern is my babies, my 3year old Jack russel girl and my 6month old feline son. i have read al your posts and gone onto the webiste to see the quarantine period for pets from SA and there it says 210days!

    I am astounded, i don’t know how they will survive 7months in quarantine…

    I would love to hear your thoughts.

    • BobinOz April 24, 2013, 10:22 pm |

      Hi Natasha

      Yes, it’s a very long time isn’t it? I’m afraid there is no way round it, although, in case you didn’t know, your pets can do up to 6 months in South Africa and then just the final month here in Australia.

      Plenty do do it, and they do survive, but I know how you feel, it’s a very tough decision. Hopefully you have also read about my wife’s company Dogwalks, her team definitely help the pets through this period.

      Good luck whatever you decide


  • Jon March 25, 2013, 2:40 pm |

    No your right, she only spent 30 days in quarentine in Sydney due to us getting all the blood-tests/rabies jabs etc … but the whole process (first blood test etc) had to be done well in advance of us leaving, the whole process (getting jabs etc) was 180 days from first test in the UK (that included the 30 days in Sydney though)

    • BobinOz March 25, 2013, 8:57 pm |

      Thanks Jon, yes, that sounds right. Get all the preparation done properly and is just 30 days in quarantine.

  • Jon March 25, 2013, 1:19 pm |

    Hi Lauren, I brought my rottweiller over last year, there are some good moving companies that help you with all the paperwork i used Golden Arrow Shippers they were amazing, I had already done a lot of the paperwork before calling them but they will do it for you, and it was only 180 pounds if they had done it ….

    My only comment is you are leaving it a bit late to take the dog, they have to stay in quanratine for 180 days in total but you can do a lot of that in the UK (30 days in Oz) and its expensive to keep them in Oz so I’d do as much back in the UK as possible.

    Golden Arrow picked up my dog from my mums house (she looked after the dog while we set off) and she came out about a month later (due to us being there over xmas and us wanting to get settled before she came over)

    Beware where you go in Oz too when taking a dog, we really struggled to rent. Renting is different over here, the Landlord “picks” the best tenant and they are not too keen on pets (we ended up buying something because we got refused for rent by 5 landlords in 1 day!!!!)

    good luck … if you want more info let me know … we have been here about 6 months now

    • BobinOz March 25, 2013, 2:13 pm |

      Not sure which country you brought your dog from Jon, but dogs coming from the UK that have gone through the correct process only need to spend 30 days in quarantine when they get here in Australia, even without spending any quarantine time in the UK.

      Did you come from South Africa? I know it is six months quarantine from there.

  • Lauren March 23, 2013, 2:44 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I have a maltese cross with a bichon frise.
    Im just asking… Does your dog have to go for a medical examination before being allowed in Australia.
    Im moving with my family in 2 months time and really want to take my dog so bad.
    Is it an easy process?
    Also can a dog be denied into the country by having a ear infection? She gets alot of them?
    Lauren 🙂

    • BobinOz March 25, 2013, 1:07 pm |

      Hi Lauren

      Yes, there is a bit of a process to go through, it’s not particularly easy but it’s also not overly hard. You can read a bit about it on my wife’s website…

      I don’t think your dogs ear infection will be too much of a problem either.



  • Chui-Li Chan February 4, 2013, 6:31 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I got an offer in Australia and really love to bring along my 4 years old cat. He doesn’t have any cert or document as I picked up from the street but he has his vaccinations.
    I would like to find out more about the procedures.

    Thanks and cheers

    • BobinOz February 4, 2013, 8:20 pm |

      Ah, I’ll let my wife answer that one. Check out this page on her website Dogwalks.

  • Jon August 30, 2012, 7:19 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the response. I live in the North West of England, Manchester, I trawled the ex-pat forums and think i might of found a decent company, they are called Golden Arrow, they will pick the dog up from the house and even process some of the paperwork, they are charging £2,800 for this service though, does that sounds reasonable.

    Thanks again

    • BobinOz August 30, 2012, 7:22 pm |

      I’ll ask Karen, she’s out at the moment, she’ll be back in a few hours. I’ll get back to you a bit later.

      • BobinOz August 31, 2012, 12:15 am |

        Well, I told her you were from Manchester, but before I could get to the bit where I let her know who you were thinking of using, she said…

        “Golden Arrow”.

        So, you are already looking at the same company Karen would have recommended anyway.

        The price is reasonable as well, apparently, assuming it does include the paperwork they have to do, sounds as though it does.

        Hope the move goes smoothly.



  • jon August 29, 2012, 3:09 am |

    Hi Bob,

    just out of curiosity who did you use to take baggy to oz … we have passed all the visa medical etc and the dog has passed all its permits and has a quarentine position booked, however i just wondered if you had any good recommendations on a flight company to used?

    • BobinOz August 30, 2012, 7:16 pm |

      Hi Jon

      Who you use largely depends upon where you live as you need to either drive your dog to their kennels or they will charge you to come and pick your pet up. Karen (my wife) has quite a few contacts in the industry now as she runs dogwalks.

      Let me know whereabouts you are and I’ll ask her for a recommendation.



  • Elkie cairns April 22, 2012, 1:35 am |

    Hi bob, my name is elkie from scotland my husband ryan baby emma and i are planning on moving to oz. ryan is a qualified capenter and joiner what evidance do we need to gather for his skills assesment and do we just send it away to the address ive got from immi website and wait to hear back? Thanks for any information u can give us and feel free to give any advice as its so hard to understand everything x

    • BobinOz April 23, 2012, 2:43 pm |

      I don’t know for sure, but if you are sending it to the correct authority as recommended by the government to assess carpenters, yes, it’s probably the right place.

      Gather as much information as you can, it’s in your own interest to prove your husband has the necessary skills. My wife took a couple of months preparing her portfolio for her skills assessment.

      If you need any help, I can recommend my MARA registered migration agent to you.

      Good luck!

  • BobinOz May 2, 2009, 3:15 pm |

    Hi Monique

    Baggy was just fine, the prison thing was only a joke. He breezed through it. If you want a dog, don’t wait two years, get one now. He’ll be fine in quarantine. I just checked the quarantine period from Canada and it is 30 days, provided you go through the correct procedures your end first – vet checks and injections etc. Rules are stricter for dogs coming from Canada.

    Also, if you are coming back to Australia, check this site out. It’s great! But I am biased, it’s my wifes. She started a business helping dogs, and their owners, to get through it. Check out the photo gallery. Lot’s of happy smiling dogs.

    Take care


    • Guy April 16, 2016, 10:59 am |

      Hi there Bob

      Just wondering if you can please provide me some assistance regarding export of a dog to Australia.

      Hope to hear from you soon.

      Many thanks

  • Monique May 2, 2009, 2:04 am |

    I am very interested to hear your experience of importing your dog. I am looking at adopting a dog here in Canada, but I am not here permanently – only approximately 2 years at this stage. So I am researching what I need to do to take my back to Australia or to UK etc.

    How did your dog cope with the plane ride and 30 day quarantine? That is my biggest concern, not the cost. I see that he survived, which is great!! But you describe it as prison, which is not so great…

    Would love to hear your honest opinion and description.


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