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Travelling with Pets in Australia: What You Should Know

Travelling with Pets in Australia: What You Should Know

We were all the audience in the case against Johnny Depp and then wife, Amber Heard for illegally bringing their dogs to Australia during the filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean. The rules applying to pets are nothing unusual, and all countries in the world have them in place to control the animal migration, sickness and mixing of species, as well as illegal trade and smuggling of protected and rare species. The regulations are not that complicated, and though it may require time and money, you can be on the road with your companion and together enjoy all sorts of wonders.

To make it more comfortable for you and your best friend, and to help you go through the rules as painfully and efficiently as possible, we have created a list of tidbits you may find useful.

Travelling inside the country

Australia is a country with beautiful landscapes which would be a shame not to experience together with your cat or dog. This option is perfect because not only will you save money on pet-sitters or boarding, but you won't have to separate from your furry friend. So, to keep your pet safe and sound during the travels, as well as not to break any rules and regulations, you must be aware of all requirements when it comes to travelling in Australia.

Pets are not allowed in national parks, so place your pet with your family, or dog or cat boarding while you’re away. Dangers from snakes, ticks and livestock are real and imminent so make sure that your pet is kept safe or that it won’t wander off and chase the animals. For example, if your dog runs off to somebody else’s property and harasses the livestock, the owner has the right to stop your dog. Another thing to keep in mind here is that livestock animals are not timid and they tend to defend themselves, which means they can injure your dog.

Hotels probably won’t be any problem since the number of pet-friendly establishments is growing by the day. This is because Australians love having pets and enjoy taking them with them on the trips. Some hotels go as far as to pamper you and your pet in style, just like you're both having a spa day. Before going on any trip with your pet, take them to the vet and check their health. Just in case of an emergency, look up all the vets in the area you're travelling to, so you can have one handy if your pet starts feeling unwell. There are tick and flea treatments which will protect your pet for up to 3 months, so make sure you also take care of that.

Travelling with Pets in Australia: What You Should Know

Entering Australia from another country

There are several things you must do before you embark on the trip with your pet. Certain dogs are not permitted entrance into the country, namely American Pit Bull, Perro de Presa Canario, Japanese Tosa, Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro. The laws don’t apply to cross breeds or mixes. If your pet doesn’t meet the requirements, they will be sent back home.

Your pet must have received the rabies vaccination, and that immunisation must be active when the pet arrives in Australia and during their stay. All cats and dogs are required to have the rabies titer test which is valid for 24 months. Cats must receive vaccination against feline enteritis, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus which must be valid for the entire stay of your pet in Australia. It is recommended that you vaccinate your dog against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Para-influenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica which are valid during the entire stay. Dogs coming from the USA must receive the vaccine against canine influenza, while those coming from Africa must receive treatment for Babesia Canis. Unvaccinated puppies and kitten are not allowed in the country.

Make sure that your pet is microchipped with the appropriate 15-digit pet chip which is in working order and entered in all documents. Dog and cats must be treated for internal and external parasites before entering Australia. All pets must be placed in the 10-day quarantine upon the entry, and you should make reservations in time. Other animals which are not allowed to enter Australia are fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, turtles, snakes, lizards, mice, spiders, pigs, chinchillas and ferrets. Pigeons are permitted, but house birds can enter only from New Zealand. Horses are allowed only from certain countries.

Travelling with Pets in Australia: What You Should Know

In the end

There’s no better way to experience a place than with someone you share your life with. Every pet owner knows how important their animal friends are to them, and how much they would miss them while travelling. So, if there is any possibility to have your best friend with you, then make sure you know all the conditions you have to meet to have them by your side.


Leila Dorari is a freelance writer from Sydney. When taking a break from writing, she is either window shopping or exploring new ways to make her life more meaningful.



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