Quarantine in New Zealand: All you need to know

Quarantine in New Zealand

If you are planning to relocate or travel with your beloved pet to New Zealand, understanding the pet quarantine in New Zealand is essential. New Zealand is a rabies-free country, so there are many requirements you need to meet to avoid a long quarantine period upon arrival. Pets travelling to New Zealand can only land in Auckland or Christchurch and have to spend a short period in approved quarantine centres. New Zealand has set different rules and regulations for different countries, depending on the country’s rabies status. If you are travelling from Australia, then your pet doesn’t need to undergo quarantine upon arrival.

The Ministry of Primary Industries in New Zealand has specific regulations for pets flying into the country. You need a pet permit to get into the country. If you are travelling from Australia, you will not need a permit, but your pet will be subjected to post-arrival inspection for health issues. New Zealand allows pets only from approved countries, such as Australia, Norfolk Island, Bahrain, Japan, Singapore, Iceland, etc. 

Check out the approved countries list: New Zealand’s Import Requirements

If you are travelling with your pet from a country that is not on the approved list, your pet will not be able to enter the country. The only solution to enter the country is to travel from an approved country. Your pet has to stay in an approved country for at least 6 months.

We have offices in Singapore so contact Ferndale if you would like to use Singapore for the 6 months (180 days) wait in an approved country, we can help arrange boarding in Singapore for you.

Quarantine procedures in New Zealand 

pet quarantine procedure in new zealand

All dogs and cats travelling to New Zealand, except those coming from Australia, must undergo quarantine in an MPI-approved quarantine facility centre from 10 days to 60 days.

When your pet enters the country, they’ll be subjected to a medical examination. If you provide complete and accurate paperwork to the quarantine centre and your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date, they will finish their quarantine period sooner. However, the quarantine time will be extended if your dogs or cats show any contagious illnesses. In the worst-case scenario, your pet may be sent back to your home country, and you will be responsible for the expenses.

Your pet will be quarantined in one of the four approved facilities, and booking for these facilities must be made beforehand. Once you get confirmation from the quarantine facility, you can apply for the import license. During quarantine, MPI officers will check on your pet once a week.

Approved quarantine facilities in New Zealand

Approved quarantine facilities in New Zealand

If your pet is entering New Zealand by air, there are two entry cities that it can fly to: Auckland and Christchurch. There are four MPI-approved quarantine centre in these cities, and confirmation from one of these facilities is vital to complete the pet import process.

Auckland Quarantine 

Located about 15 minutes from the airport in Brookby, Auckland Quarantine is run by professionals and competent staff. The facility houses both dogs and cats. Has three vets on call at all times and 20 workers on location.

Pet Haven Quarantine Sevices, Auckland 

Pet Haven has more than 12 years of experience in handling New Zealand’s quarantine process and import regulations. The facility works closely with MPI to arrange timely visits and arrival and release inspections.

Qualified Pet Services, Auckland

Qualified Pet Services has 20 years of experience in handling New Zealand’s pet quarantine process. QPS offers quality quarantine facilities, and your pet has access to spacious kennels that are divided into a living area and an exercise area. Though your pet will be isolated due to bio-security regulations, there is enough to stimulate during your stay there.

Canterbury Quarantine Services, Christchurch

Located about 25 minutes from Christchurch Airport, this facility has luxury kennels, and a cattery for your pet’s quarantine needs.

These quarantine facilities allow you to visit your pet while they are under quarantine observation. All you need to do is book an appointment and go during visiting hours to spend time with your beloved pet. 

Quarantine Experience

People worry about how their pets will handle quarantine, especially dogs and cats that are not used to separation from family or being outside the home, or have any separation anxieties or medical issues.

However, there are ways to reduce anxiety for pets and pet parents and ensure a smooth transition. Providing familiar toys, bedding, and food can help your dogs and cats feel more comfortable in the quarantine centre. Moreover, regular communication with quarantine centre staff and visiting your pet can provide reassurance during this challenging time.


New Zealand has strict bio-security requirements; issues such as incorrect paperwork, out-of-date and inaccurate tests, and treatments will result in extended quarantine or a delay to their flight schedule prior to arrival, which is not ideal as it will translate to extra expenditure and more time away from your pet. At the very worst, the officials can send your pet back to the home country at your expense if the documentation is improper and the pet does not pass the required health checks. This is why correct pet importation tests and paperwork are so important.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for bringing pets into New Zealand?

To bring pets into New Zealand, you must meet specific requirements, including obtaining a pet permit, adhering to health regulations, and ensuring your pet is from an approved country.

How long is the quarantine period for pets entering New Zealand?

The quarantine period for pets entering New Zealand varies depending on their country of origin. Normally, 10 days is the rule for most pets. However, pets from non-approved countries may require a longer quarantine period of up to 180 days.

How can I reduce the quarantine period for my pet in New Zealand?

To reduce the quarantine period, you should provide complete and correct paperwork, ensure up-to-date rabies vaccinations, and maintain your pet’s health.

What happens if my pet fails to meet the quarantine requirements in New Zealand?

If you don't meet the requirements, the quarantine will be extended for a long period of time, or in some serious cases, your pet could be sent back home at your cost.

Do I need to declare if my pet is taking any medications?

Yes! Before we book your pet’s quarantine stay we need to check with them if the administration of the medications your dog or cat is taking, is possible in their facility. We have seen pets rejected before from some centers due to the pets health medications being deemed too difficult to give, or the individual pet’s health being too fragile. So when bringing a pet into New Zealand, it's important to declare and plan for any medications they are to be taken taking during the quarantine process. This information helps ensure that proper care is provided to your pet while they are in quarantine and that any necessary precautions or considerations are taken into account. Be sure to provide accurate and detailed information about the medications your pet is on to facilitate their safe and smooth entry into New Zealand.

How can Ferndale assist pet owners from countries that are not approved for travel?

We have offices in Singapore so contact Ferndale if you would like to use Singapore for the 6 months (180 days) wait in an approved country, we can help arrange boarding in Singapore for you. We also have decades of experience in sending pets overseas and a Veterinarian on the team, so we can give fantastic updated advice.

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.