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How Can I Keep My Pet Out Of Quarantine During An International Move?

Published on: April 20, 2022  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel


dog in crate

If you’re concerned about the possibility of pet quarantine because you’re moving internationally, learning what is required and following the rules exactly is all you can do. Some countries require quarantine no matter what, but they may waive or reduce quarantine time if your documentation is all in order. It’s certainly worth the effort.

Although quarantine gives officials a chance to watch for a number of health problems, the big issue that drives quarantine requirements is rabies. Rabies can be transmitted to any mammal including humans. The level of concern varies depending on where you have been living and what country you are moving to. Countries around the globe are divided into three classifications:

  • Rabies-free
  • Rabies-controlled
  • High rabies risk

There are internationally-recognized lists of countries that fall into each of these categories, but ultimately it’s up to each country to set its own rules regarding entry and potential quarantine.

Do take note that just because a country does not typically require quarantine for pet imports, it's still possible for your pet to be quarantined if they are found to be non-compliant. One example of this is the United Kingdom where as long as your pet follows all of the import rules and regulations, quarantine is not required. However, if there is an issue with the paperwork or health requirements, your pet may potentially be quarantined at your expense anyway.

Nonetheless some countries still require a quarantine period even if you’re coming from a rabies-controlled country and can prove your pet is healthy. It’s an extra level of protection for pets, people and wildlife.

Australia, for example, has varying degrees of paperwork and quarantine requirements depending on which country your pet has been residing in:

  • If your pet has been living in New Zealand since birth or direct importation from Australia or for 90 days immediately prior export if it has been imported into New Zealand from any other country, they will not require an import permit, rabies titer test or quarantine.
  • If your pet has been living in a rabies-controlled country such as the USA then they will require a microchip, rabies vaccination, rabies titer test and additional vaccinations and blood testing for dogs. They cannot travel to Australia until at least 180 days after the rabies titer blood sample arrives at the lab and will require an import permit and mandatory 10-day quarantine period.
  • If your pet is coming from a "non-approved country" or high rabies risk country, then they must travel to an "approved", rabies-controlled country for their mandatory treatments and will follow all of the requirements for a Group 2 or 3 country.

The rules are subject to change.

Countries can modify their requirements for documentation, quarantine, etc. at any time, and their official staff may not have the most recent information to give you. You can’t always tell if information you find online is up to date or accurate in any case. With the possibility of quarantine at stake, you don’t want to make a mistake.

You don’t have to figure this out for yourself.

You can be confident you’re doing everything you can to avoid quarantine for your pets if you work with a pet transport company. They know the latest rules for each country, because they ship pets everyday. Some countries actually require you to use a professional pet shipper and your pet must travel as cargo. Aside from all the other benefits, having a third party take responsibility for your pet’s travel arrangements relieves you of confusing, time-consuming preparation.

If you are moving internationally you may not be able to keep your pet out of quarantine. But working with someone you can trust from the time you start planning your move will ensure your pet has proper documentation and that all protocols have been followed to the letter, giving your pet the best possible chance to avoid quarantine or to only spend the minimum required time there.

Starwood Animal Transport has rebranded to Starwood Pet Travel. We are still the same great company with the best team, just now with a slightly different name.