When would you need to quarantine an animal?

Relocating overseas, whether by choice or for work, is a big decision that requires quite a lot of forethought and planning. Things get even more complicated when you have furry friends to take with you. Moving with pets internationally is a lot tougher than moving with them domestically, and it’s stressful for both humans and their pets.

The good news is that if you do your research (which you’re doing now) and plan properly, you should be able to make it easier for both yourself and your beloved pet. If the thought of quarantine is something that concerns, then learning what is required and following the rules is the first step to easing your mind.

There are countries that require quarantine no matter what. However, in some cases they will waive or reduce quarantine time if your paperwork is in order. Therefore, it’s certainly worth ensuring that all your documentation is ready.

Here’s what you need to know about the quarantine requirements



The rabies-status of each country

Quarantine gives officials a chance to look for numerous health problems, but rabies is the biggest concern that drives quarantine requirements.

Every country in the world has been split into three categories relating to rabies; rabies-free countries, rabies-controlled countries and high-rabies countries. Before you relocate your pet internationally, you need to be aware of the rabies-status of your furry friends origin country, along with the destination country.

The rabies-status information can get quite complicated, but we will try to summarize it for you here:

  • Rabies-free country to just about any other country: they can enter without quarantine and minimal paperwork.
  • Rabies-controlled country to another rabies-controlled country: there may be certain requirements, such as; current rabies vaccinations, your pet should be microchipped, and you may need an import permit for entry.
  • Rabies-controlled country to EU country: A pet-microchip is required for all EU countries. You will also need a veterinary certificate, current rabies vaccinations, and sometimes tapeworm treatment certificates.
  • Rabies-controlled country to high-rabies country: Paperwork is minimum and you will probably just need the correct pet passport and occasionally an import permit.
  • High-rabies country to rabies-controlled country: A blood titer test will usually be required and your fur baby should have a microchip.
  • High-rabies country to high rabies country: Pet passport forms are required and maybe an import permit.
  • High-rabies country to rabies-free country: There are some countries that do not permit pets from high-rabies countries. Others may require blood titer tests to prevent quarantine. But, there are a few countries that make quarantine mandatory, even if your pet is coming from a rabies-free destination.

Countries that quarantine pets on arrival usually require proof of a rabies vaccine performed at least six months before they arrive. Even countries that don’t have a mandatory quarantine period need a health certificate and rabies vaccination certificates.


Country specific quarantine

Many countries have strict regulations pertaining to international pet travel. No matter where you’re going, you should contact the embassy of that country to confirm pet travel regulations and quarantine rules.

Here’s an overview of the requirements for some of the most popular countries that travelers relocate to with pets:

  • Canada: Cats and dogs can come into Canada for any period of time without quarantine from any country. However there are a few requirements and exceptions (rabies-status being one of them).
  • Australia: There is a list of rules and regulations for pet travel to Australia. When your pet arrives in Australia, they will immediately be taken to the Quarantine at Mickleham Facility. The quarantine period is for a minimum of 10 days.
  • New Zealand: Cats and dogs can be imported only from approved countries. If arriving from any country other than Australia, you’ll need an import permit and your pet will be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days.
  • United Kingdom: All pet dogs and cats can come into the UK from any country in the world without quarantine if they are in line with the rules of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).


Research import requirements

Different countries have different rules and requirements, and therefore you will need to research the import requirements through the Ministry of Agriculture of the country to which you’re moving to find out if quarantine is necessary.

If quarantine is required, you will want to find out as much as you can about procedures and the facility to ensure that you have all necessary documentation in place. This will help to avoid any issues and subsequent delays in having your pet released.

Each country incorporates its own rules with regard to live imports. These are aimed at keeping diseases and invasive species out. All countries need basic vaccination certificates and formal proof that your pet is in good health.


Other things to consider

If your pet has a layover that exceed 2 hours or will be changing airlines, you need to consider quarantine requirements of countries in which they must clear customs. There may be additional requirements in these countries.

Also, keep in mind that quarantine rules and regulations can change at any time. So always make sure that you are working with the most up-to-date information.