So What's Involved In Taking Pets To Australia?

Moving dogs and cats from New Zealand to Australia is a pretty simple process, although it can be a rather pricey one.

The goods news is that, unlike moving to Australia from other countries, there is no quarantine period for cats and dogs arriving in Australia from New Zealand. Your pet will be free to go as soon as it is unloaded and cleared through customs.

The cost of shipping your pet to Australia varies depending on their size and weight, the pet transport company you use, whether or not you choose to do some parts of the process yourself and where you are taking them in Australia. As a very rough guide, it costs about $800 to move a cat to Australia and between $1000-$2,500 for a dog.

These days you can’t book your pet onto an airline yourself. You need to use a registered pet transport company to arrange your pet’s move. MPI has a very useful list of all the registered pet transporters in New Zealand. Most will provide a quote free of charge.

Pet Transportation Companies

We’ve read good things about these pet transporters:

Pet transporters offer a range of service levels, so this will also affect how much you pay. For example, a premium service might include taking care of every part of your move, including picking your pet up from your home in New Zealand and organising delivery to your new address in Australia (or to a kennel or cattery).

On the other hand, a no-frills service might require you to deliver and collect from the airports yourself and take care of the vet check and paperwork.

8 Steps To Taking Your Pet With You To Australia

Here’s a quick guide to what’s involved in moving your pet to Australia:

  1. Before getting started, make sure your pet will meet Australian requirements. These aren’t very stringent for NZ pets, but there a couple of things to note - the breeds that aren’t allowed in Australia and the restrictions on exporting dogs younger than 8 weeks or still nursing, for example.

  2. Find a registered pet transporter. They will run you through the process of moving your dog or cat to Australia and the different service options available. It’s a good idea to get quotes from a number of different pet transporters to ensure you get best value for money.

  3. All pets need to be microchipped. If you are sending a dog to Australia, you’ll need council registration and vet records showing it has lived in NZ continuously. If you don’t have all these records, you will need to get a blood test screening it for diseases. This takes a week or so and costs about $300, so make sure you do it well in advance of your move date.

  4. Purchase (or hire from your pet transporter) an approved cage from a licensed provider. There are strict rules and regulations on the cage appropriate for the size and weight of your pet.

  5. Find a local Justice of the Peace / Lawyer / Policeman to sign part of the Owner's Statutory Declaration (which you will get from your pet transporter or vet) saying that the details of your pet’s history and travel plans are true.

  6. Find an approved vet to provide the export certification for your pet and complete the rest of the declaration.

  7. Have the approved vet examine your pet within 72 hours of shipment to ensure it is physically fit for the trip. Your Vet will also need to treat the pet for ticks, fleas and worms at this final appointment.

  8. Collect your pet in Australia. Pay the landing fee of about $100 at customs (if it’s not included in the pet transporter’s service) and take your pet to your new home!

Tip: Ask your pet transporter about flight times and try to ensure your pet arrives in Australia during business hours. This makes it faster to clear customs and easier to arrange dropping it off to a kennel/cattery if necessary.

Still have questions about taking your pets to Australia? Check out our discussion forum where you can ask questions that can be answered by us and other readers.