How to transport a dog to another country

transport a dog to another countryMoving overseas can be a hectic and stressful time, particularly when you have to transport a family dog as well.  Each country has its own set of strict rules and regulations regarding dog transport and admittance into the country, so you should be aware of your destination country’s requirements well before departure.  Certifications, licenses, notifications, vaccinations, microchip identification, and approved transport containers are all things you may need to deal with when transport a dog to another country.  Although it may seem overwhelming, rest assured that we will be there through each step of the process to ensure that your dog is successfully transported to their new destination.

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Import Licenses and Certifications

Your dog will require, a zoo-sanitary certificate in order to be admitted into a foreign country.  An Import license may also be required and is normally issued after making an application to the destination country.  Zoo-sanitary certificates are obtained in New Zealand and we will explain the process for each country in detail.   The certificate not only identifies the dog, it also states that your dog is free of diseases and parasites and where applicable up to date on their vaccinations.  We can provide you with the necessary information.


It is always recommended and sometimes compulsory that your dog be up to date on their annual vaccinations such as Canine parvovirus, hepatitis, leptospirosis, and distemper.  Some countries will require your dog be vaccinated against rabies prior to departure.  When a rabies vaccine is required, there may be a waiting period between vaccination and transportation, when we know what country you intend to fly your pet to we can advise what Vaccinations are required.

Banned/Restricted Breeds and Ages

Some countries and airlines do have banned or restricted breeds, these breeds are normally considered aggressive or dangerous by definition or fall into the brachiocephalic category (snub nose). The restriction can apply to both full and cross breeds.

Some countries many also have breeds they define as restricted.  These breeds can only enter the country on a conditional basis, such as being securely controlled and muzzled in public areas.   If you think your dog might be a banned or restricted breed make sure to check the local regulations before beginning any preparations for transport.


Implanting your dog with an ISO (International Standards Organization) standard microchip before travel is normally required.  Some countries will allow the microchip to be non-ISO standard but may require that the shipping agent has an electronic reader that can be used to determine the identification number of the chip.  The microchips issued in New Zealand are ISO chips. If your pet has come to New Zealand from the USA or Hong Kong it will likely have an AVID microchip and may require a new microchip depending on the country you are flying to.


All airlines require pets to be transported in a container that meets IATA (International Air Transport Association) standards.  If you do not own an IATA standard container, we can provide one for you or recommend qualified retailers/brands.  If you have any questions about your dog’s container, please contact us.

Once you have determined the requirements of your destination country and completed the necessary paperwork, you can either get the process started on your own, or allow us to take charge for you.  We will ensure your dog has the proper documentation when necessary and deal with any notifications that are needed.  The only thing left for you to do will be to pick up your dog when they arrive.

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