You’ve probably noticed by now that pet relocation is pretty difficult to generalise about. Apart from the EU, no two countries have the same set of regulations, so we thought it would be helpful to be a bit more specific. We’ve focused on some of our most popular expat destinations and listed the key requirements for your pet.

Click on the links to find out more about the pet relocation regulations in the following countries:

01 | Australia
02 | Canada
03 | France
04 | Germany
05 | New Zealand
06 | UK
07 | USA

Moving a pet to Australia

Aussie regulations are strict, to say the least. For a country that has been badly damaged by many invasive species from Europe and Asia, it’s no surprise they’re so careful today. 

Our key bit of advice when it comes to moving your pet to Australia is to give yourself time – a lot of it. Dogs and cats are currently the only species of animal allowed into Australia.


It’s the rabies vaccine that really takes time. Dogs and cats must have a rabies vaccine at least seven months before they move to Australia, and they also need a Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT) to check that it’s worked. But here’s the big one: your dog or cat will not be allowed to enter Australia until 180 days after the RNATT. So you’re looking at over one year of preparation before your pet can actually enter Australia.

Your pet also needs micro-chipping (before the rabies vaccine) and checking for ticks. The list gets even longer if you want to bring your dog; they need treating against Brucellosis, Leishmaniosis, Ehrlicia canis, Leptospirosis, nematodes and cestodes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to pronounce them – just treat your dog against them. We’ve heard that moving to Australia often causes dog owners to decide they want a cat instead.

Animal import permit

A disease-free animal still needs permission to enter the country. This is where the Australian import permit comes in. Get everything correct and the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) should approve your request and issue your pet with a permit. This costs $480 (AUD)   for one animal and a further $240 (AUD)   per additional animal.


Finally, your pet needs to get through quarantine. The minimum legal stay is 10 days, but you can normally expect it to last at least 30 days.  Australia’s only quarantine service is in Mickleham, Melbourne so you must fly your pet into Melbourne Airport. There’s a long list of different fees for the quarantine:

  • $33 (AUD)   entry per animal 
  • A daily rate of $29 (AUD)   per animal 
  • $30 (AUD)   document clearance per animal 
  • $30 (AUD)   per 15 minutes of veterinary examination per animal 
  • $1,200 (AUD)   post-entry quarantine (PEQ) charge 

The typical 30 days in Australian quarantine for one animal will probably cost you at least $2,200 (AUD)  . Add this to the permit costs and you’re looking at nearly $3,000 (AUD)  .

Moving a pet to Canada

Canadians are more than happy to let domestic animals into their country. Just make sure you prepare your pet so it can meet the requirements at the border.


Like the USA, Canada has its own list of countries it considers to be rabies free, and the same rules apply regarding rabies vaccinations (see above). The UK, Australia and most of Europe are considered rabies free by Canada. Microchips are not required but they are recommended.


Canada doesn’t like to keep pets from their owners, so quarantine isn’t really a thing here. However, if your pet is showing obvious signs of illness or disease then it will be quarantined.

Moving a pet to France

If you want to bring your chienchat or any other animal to France then the regulations are pretty easy to follow. They’re also extremely similar to the rules in Germany, as both countries are in the EU. If you’re coming from any other EU member state then you can use a pet passport, but if not then you’ll need a standard animal health certificate.


It doesn’t matter what species of animal you’re bringing; it must be at least 12 weeks old before it can travel. All animals need a rabies vaccination and it has to be applied at least 21 days before the travel date. If your pet is coming from a country with a high incidence of rabies than you’ll need to plan things a bit more in advance, as it will need a Blood Titer Test one month after being vaccinated and then have to wait a further three months before it can fly. Once again, all pets need microchipping before the rabies vaccination takes place. Treating your animal against things like ticks, tapeworms and heartworm are recommended but not compulsory.


Just like in Germany, your pet will avoid quarantine if it meets all the requirements. Any signs of serious disease, though, and the animal will be whisked away until they’ve sorted it out (at your expense).

Moving a pet to Germany

Germany, the land of the hundesteuer! This means ‘dog tax’, and you’ve got to pay it if you own a dog in Deutschland. You can avoid the tax if you have an assistance dog, a rescue dog (you are exempt for one year) or by simply owning a cat.


Your pet needs a rabies vaccination to come to Germany. It must take place no less than 30 days (and no more than one year) before the travel date. A microchip is also mandatory and this has to happen before your pet gets vaccinated. There is a handful of diseases that all EU countries suggest you should vaccinate your dog or cat against, but you can do what you want with these suggestions. We think it’s pretty wise to follow them and your pet will probably agree. As with the UK, the five-day and five-pet rules also apply (see above).


The Germans are very reasonable over there; your pet does not need to be quarantined if it meets all the requirements and shows no signs of disease.

Moving a pet to New Zealand

Ironically, New Zealand has strict regulations for every country in the world except Australia. Other than cats and dogs, the only permitted species of animal are rabbits from Australia, guinea pigs from Australia and chinchillas from Great Britain. Yes, we think it’s weird too.


After being microchipped, you need to vaccinate your pet against rabies. This must be done at least six months (and no longer than twelve months) before the travel date. Your pet must have a rabies blood test (RNATT) at least three months before it travels, and it also needs treating against internal parasites and ticks. Once again, there’s a pretty long list of diseases that your dog needs testing for, and it’s the same as Australia’s (e.g. Leptospirosis and Brucellosis).

Animal import permit

Unless your pet is a cat or a dog, it will need an import permit to enter New Zealand. The permit costs $220.74 (NZD)  , irrespective of which country your pet is from.


Every new animal that arrives in New Zealand is inspected in order to determine whether it needs to be placed in quarantine. You have to pay for the inspection of your pet, with fees ranging from $32.42 (NZD)   for animals from EU countries and $214.25 (NZD)   for animals from non-EU countries. Even if your pet passes the inspection, it needs to go into quarantine for at least ten days, but if it fails then it could be taken away for much longer.

A failed inspection also means you’ll have to pay for your animal to be ‘monitored’, and hourly fees range from $108.54 (NZD)   to $214.25 (NZD)   depending on whether your animal is from the EU or not. There are quarantine facilities in Christchurch and Auckland, so you must fly your pet into one of these airports. You also need to ensure you have notified an official veterinarian in New Zealand about the arrival of your pet at least 72 hours beforehand.

Moving a pet to the UK

The UK loves its animals. If the Queen kept five corgis in Buckingham Palace, then you should be allowed to bring your pets with you. Thankfully, there’s a proper system in place and there won’t be any problems if you do everything right.


The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows animals (dogs, cats and rabbits) to enter the UK without needing to spend any time in quarantine, as long as your pet’s coming from a country that’s a member of the scheme. The listed countries include all EU nations and many countries across the world, such as the United States, Australia and Japan.

All pets need a rabies vaccination, a microchip, a rabies antibody blood test, tick treatment and tapeworm treatment. It’s a long and expensive list but you’ll face longer and more expensive things if you don’t follow it properly.

Remember: your pet needs micro-chipping before the rabies vaccine, and the vaccine needs to happen at least 21 days before you travel to the UK. The EU also has a ‘five day rule’, which means that you must travel to your new country within five days of your pet’s travel date. If you leave it any longer then your pet will be viewed as a commercial import and you’ll have to pay all sorts of import permit fees.

The maximum number of pets you can bring at any one time into the UK is five. If you want to bring more than five then you simply have too many pets.


If you’re coming from a country in the PETS and you’ve done everything right then your pet won’t be placed in quarantine. Pets that fail inspection will be placed in quarantine for 21 days, while pets that come from non-PETS nations will need to go into quarantine for four to six months. The costs will come out of your own pocket; it’s about £200 (GBP)   per month for cats and £300 (GBP)   per month for dogs.

Moving a pet to the USA

Compared to Australia and New Zealand, most pet regulations around the world are generally less strict (hooray). If you want to bring your pet to America, here’s what you need to know.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) require that all animals be ‘healthy’ before they enter the US. Most animals need vaccinating against rabies before they travel to America, but the CDC actually have some fairly relaxed rules when it comes to dogs.

If your mutt is coming from a ‘rabies free’ country and it has lived there for at least six months, it doesn’t need a valid rabies vaccination certificate. You just need to get a certificate signed by a vet confirming that your pet’s home country has been rabies free for at least half a year prior to travel. The list of nations that the CDC considers to be ‘rabies-free’ is generously long, and you can read it on the CDC website. Microchips and rabies blood tests are also not required. Unsurprisingly, things are even easier for cats; it doesn’t matter where they’re from, they don’t need a valid rabies vaccine.

However, we should mention that all pets are subject to thorough inspections upon arrival in the States, and they might be turned away if they bear any evidence of disease. So, if you want to be cautious we recommend giving your pet all the treatments before it travels.


Quarantine is generally avoided by most pets coming into the States – except birds. They need to spend a minimum of 30 days in quarantine after they have arrived. 

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