If you’re planning a vacation or moving a pet to Australia, you’ll have fun! There are a few things to consider before you set out. If you travel to a new environment, your animal may react to allergens, plants or insects.
In warmer countries, the animal may be endangered by animals such as snakes, turtles and spiders. Before traveling, consult a veterinarian in the region you are traveling to and be aware of the potential risks of parasites and recommendations for vaccines or medications.
Recent data show that 62% of Australians are pet owners. Our most popular animals are dogs (38.5%), cats (29.2%), fish (11.8%) and birds (11.8%). Some of us prefer more farm-type animals like horses, goats and sheep. People are used to travelling with pets, but you need to follow the right procedures. If it is too much, or your pet does not fit well with what you want to do, or where you want to go, seriously consider leaving with friends, family or in kennels.
Road and public transport with pets
Approved assistance animals are accepted on most public transport in most regions of Australia. Animals can be transported by bus, ferry, city rail and taxi if they are enclosed in a box, basket or other container in accordance with the transport regulations of the State in which they are located.
Like humans, some cats and dogs get sick on car journeys. Although medications can help, we recommend getting your pet used to the car by taking it with you on a few short trips near your home. Australia has some great places to visit by road, and taking your pet is an option for your road trip.
Traveling by plane for pets
If you arrive by plane, the animal must be thoroughly checked by a veterinarian and cleared for travel. Dogs and cats are usually carried with a load (except guide dogs which are allowed in the cabin). Sedation is not normally a good option because high altitude side effects can be unpredictable. Most birds settle down well in a dark gondola and seem to be calm in the dark of the hold with the quiet hum of the engines.
Some airlines allow cabin trips. Call Virgin Australia, Qantas, KLM, United Airlines, Air Canada etc. to see what they allow and what arrangements they make for pets.
What you need to know to bring cats and dogs to Australia
Cats and dogs can be imported into Australia under strict conditions to minimize the risk of biosecurity. Dogs and cats entering Australia from abroad must be in the quarantine facility for at least 10 days. The cost is at least USD 2,000 per pet.
Animals lose their healthy status as soon as they leave Australia, which prevents them from returning in the short term. Animals can only return to Australia from “approved countries”.
The Australian Government website is a place where you can learn about the details, dramas and bureaucracy of getting back home from foreign lands with dogs or cats.
You must look for accommodation that clearly states that pets are allowed. Don’t gamble. The breed and type of animal will usually be required and a deposit or fee may be charged.
Please note that dogs are not normally allowed when you rent a house.
If the request is denied, don’t be offended in busy times such as Christmas, Easter and school holidays. Traveling with animals in Australia requires some planning. You need to do your research and make sure you follow the rules and regulations in each state in which you travel. Australia is an animal-friendly country, so don’t worry!