Understanding the Pet Quarantine Process in Australia

pet quarantine in Australia

Planning to bring your beloved pet into Australia? Understanding the details and requirements of pet quarantine in Australia is crucial. Every pet entering Australia should at least stay for 10 days at Mickleham Quarantine Facility near Melbourne. Importing your furry friend involves going through a complex quarantine process that is mandatory for all pets entering the country, including cats and dogs. Australia has strict pet quarantine laws to prevent the introduction of diseases like rabies and to protect its unique wildlife. The quarantine duration is a minimum of 10 days, depending on factors like where the pet is coming from.

The pet quarantine process in Australia can create logistical challenges and anxiety for pet owners. In this article, we will provide an in-depth look at Australia’s pet quarantine requirements, procedures, and tips for making the experience less stressful for pets. By understanding the quarantine rules, processes, and regulations, pet owners can be better prepared when bringing their dogs and cats to Australia.

Why do Pets need to go to Quarantine in Australia?

Dogs need to quarantine

Australia is known for its strict biosecurity regulations because it is an island nation with an isolated environment. The spread of diseases from pets can harm the country’s unique ecosystem and agricultural industry. Here are some reasons why the Australian government has made pet quarantine mandatory when entering Australia:

Wildlife Protection

Australia is known for the presence of unique species (like koalas, Kangaroos, Emus, etc.), which is not found in other countries. Australia has a diverse ecosystem with many unique species of plants and animals. Without the quarantine procedure, various diseases can enter the country along with pets. This is why Pet Quarantine in Australia is compulsory to protect its unique wildlife.

To Prevent Foreign Diseases Like Rabies

Australia is one of the few rabies-free areas countries in the world and has very strict laws to maintain this status. The cats and dogs quarantine in Australia helps to ensure pets are healthy and rabies-free before entering the country.

To Control Pests and Parasites

When pets enter Australia, there is a chance for pests and parasites to enter the country along with them. That’s why in the quarantine facility, pets are treated for pests like worms and ticks before allowing them into the environment and contact with other animals.

To Maintain Public Health

Pets are kept in quarantine facilities to ensure that they do not introduce diseases that can be transmitted to humans. If infected pets are allowed into Australia without quarantine procedures, they can potentially spread dangerous diseases to people through bites or other contact.

To Protect Its Livestock

The livestock industry has a significant contribution to Australia’s economy. Farm animals like cattle and sheep have a high risk of suffering from diseases brought in by pets. That’s why another main purpose of cat and dog quarantine in Australia is to safeguard livestock health.

Pet Requirements for Quarantine in Australia

For relocating your pet to Australia, you must plan well in advance and meet all importation requirements set by the  Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). It includes mandatory quarantine in the Mickleham Quarantine Facility upon pets’ arrival to protect against diseases such as rabies and hepatitis. Some of the essential requirements for Pet Quarantine in Australia are:

1. Microchip

Microchipping is compulsory for all animals before entering the pet quarantine facility in Australia. The microchip used in your pets must be registered with an accepted database. The microchip helps the staff of quarantine facilities to identify and monitor the animal.

2. Import Permit

All domestic pets require an import permit before they make entry to Australia. A valid pet import permit must be obtained from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE).

3. Vaccinations

All dogs and cats must be currently vaccinated against rabies, hepatitis, and other diseases. According to Australian guidelines, the vaccination must be done at least 6 months before arrival in Australia.

4. Parasite Treatment

All dogs and cats must be treated for internal and external parasites prior to entering a pet quarantine facility in Australia. The parasites like worms, ticks, and fleas must be treated for a quarantine procedure.

5. Health Certificate

Don’t forget to include your pet’s health certificate when arriving in Australia. It is required to confirm that your pet is healthy enough and free from any kind of infectious disease.

6. Transport Crate

Your pets must arrive and travel in a crate approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The approved crates prevent injury and escape during transport and quarantine.

Overview of Mickleham Quarantine Facility

Mickleham Quarantine Facility

As of 2024, all domestic pets must stay at the Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) in Mickleham, often known as the Mickleham Quarantine Facility. Since 2015, the Mickleham Quarantine Facility has started to accept dogs and cats for the quarantine. Due to its location near Melbourne, your dogs and cats need to fly to Melbourne International Airport. From the airport, DAWE (Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment) staff will instantly transfer your pets to the facility.

The Mickleham quarantine facility has all the modern amenities needed for your pets, including veterinary examination, floor heating, and exercise fields. It is one of the most advanced pet quarantine facilities in the world. Each pet is kept in a separate kennel with a climate-control feature. On top of that, the highly trained staff are there to offer care and attention to your pets in the Mickleham Quarantine Facility.

How to Book Your Pet’s Stay at Mickleham Quarantine Facility

To book your cat and dog’s stay at the Mickleham Quarantine facility, you must first ensure your pet meets all eligibility and health requirements like microchipping, vaccinations, veterinary certifications, and obtaining an import permit. It’s better to contact the facility to request the space at the quarantine facility before 2 weeks of your pet’s arrival. Pet owners can simply book the space by filling out the form from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry after obtaining the import permit.

Be sure to provide all your pet’s import information as well as flight details. Once you finish booking through this form, you’ll get notified of the next steps. Given the complexity of this whole process, the many moving parts, and the possibilities for error, Ferndale normally handles all of these processes for you as part of the pet relocation agent process.

How Long Does Your Pet Need to Stay in Quarantine in Australia?

The duration of quarantine for cats and dogs in Australia depends on the country you are bringing from and your health condition. For Group 1 countries (New Zealand, Norfolk Island, and Cocos Island), there is no need for quarantine and import permits. But if you’re bringing dogs and cats from other countries, they must stay at the Mickleham post-entry quarantine(PEQ) facility for at least 10 – 30 days and up to 6 months. They may have to stay longer if the biosecurity risk increases.

Food For Your Pets in Mickleham Quarantine Facility

food for dogs in mickleham

Mickleham Quarantine Facility understands the importance of proper nutrition for your pet. The quarantine facility provides all pets with a nutritionally balanced commercial dry food appropriate for dogs and cats. Veterinary diets are also provided if needed for animals with special health conditions. At this PEQ facility, their staff appropriately monitors your pet’s food and water intake.

Except for food, your pet’s overall physical health and hygiene are also taken care of. Your pet is regularly exercised and bathed at the facility. You can request the Mickleham Post Entry Quarantine Facility if you want additional peft grooming.

Pet Quarantine Fees in Australia

Putting aside flight expenses, medical treatments, or custom dietary requirements, the estimated cost for quarantine for 10 days per pet is around 1700-2000 AUD. In cases where your pet’s stay exceeds the initial duration at the Mickleham Post Entry Quarantine Facility or your pets need extra services, extra charges will be added.

Can You Visit Your Pet at the Mickleham Post Entry Quarantine Facility?

During the pet quarantine period in the Mickleham Post Entry Quarantine Facility, you are not allowed to visit your dogs and cats. You can only visit your pet during the time of release. Your pets cannot stay even one day more than the required quarantine duration. The pickup time for your pet is between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM on the release day. If you can’t pick up your pet from the PEQ facility at the time, you can always contact a pet transport company to pick them up on your behalf. 


Australia, being a country with unique biodiversity and strict biosecurity measures, gives careful attention when you bring your pets into the country. The main goal of the pet quarantine in Australia is to protect the country’s unique ecosystem from foreign pests and diseases. The Mickleham Quarantine Facility has played a crucial role in achieving this goal. Pet Quarantine in Australia is indeed a complex and lengthy process. Therefore, you can take our help and free yourself from all the logistical challenges of relocating your pets to Australia. Our relocation specialists are always available to guide you in safely moving your beloved pets to Australia while meeting all the country’s quarantine rules and regulations.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do pets need to be quarantined before entering Australia?

Yes, quarantine is mandatory for all pets entering Australia from all countries except (New Zealand, Norfolk Island, and Cocos Island).

How long does my pet need to stay in quarantine in Australia?

The minimum quarantine period for pets entering Australia is 10 days. Sometimes, quarantine may be extended beyond 10 days if additional health checks, test results, or treatment are needed.

Can I avoid dog quarantine in Australia?

No, quarantine cannot currently be avoided for dogs entering Australia. Quarantine is made compulsory by Australia's strict biosecurity regulations to prevent the introduction of rabies and other foreign animal diseases.

Can I visit my pet during their quarantine period?

No, you can’t visit your pet during the quarantine period. You are only allowed to visit them during the pet release time or in an emergency.

What happens after my pet’s quarantine period ends?

Quarantine staff will perform a final health examination of your pet, and if your pet passes all health checks, you can transport your pet to the new home. And if they fail health checks, the quarantine period will be extended.

What vaccinations and health checks are required for pets before quarantine?

Pets must be microchipped, updated on certain vaccinations, receive internal and external parasite treatment, and be examined by an approved vet before entering Australia.

Dr Matthew Murdoch

Dr Matthew Murdoch

Veterinary Surgeon, Director

Dr Matthew is a UK-trained practicing Veterinarian and a globally recognized expert in pet travel who is committed to providing safe and smooth journeys for your beloved pets. His compassion and care for animals are second to none.