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Importing Dogs to New Zealand [2020 Fees, Requirements & Processes]

Importing dogs to New Zealand can be a complicated process. The country has strict conditions that must be met in order to successfully import dogs to New Zealand. The requirements vary, depending on which country you are traveling from. Generally, your dogs will need a microchip, rabies vaccination, other vaccinations, parasite treatments, vet health certificate and import license. On top of that, you will need to organise a health inspection upon arrival, and may need to organise your dog to stay in New Zealand Pet Quarantine. 

In this article, we will guide you through the process of importing dogs to New Zealand, and breakdown the strict and complicated entry requirements, depending on where you are traveling from.


What is a New Zealand Pet Passport?

New Zealand does not have an official ‘Pet Passport’, however it is a term used to describe the documents that are required to bring your dog to New Zealand. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your dog in customs. Essentially, a pet passport demonstrates that your dog is fit and healthy to travel. For a New Zealand pet passport you will likely need microchip documents, vaccination records, parasite treatment records, veterinary health certificate and import license. However, your New Zealand Pet Passport will vary depending on where you are traveling from.


What is the process of importing dogs to New Zealand?

The process of bringing dogs to New Zealand is as follows:

  1. Research – the process will depend on where you and your dog are traveling from. Therefore, ensure you are aware of the specific requirements for bringing your dog to New Zealand. It’s also important to check that your dog is allowed to be imported to New Zealand, as they have very strict rules prohibiting some dog breeds from entering. See banned breeds section below for more information.
  2. Visit the vet – most dogs will require a microchip, vaccinations, parasite treatments and a rabies blood test. However, the requirements vary depending on your home country. Please note you will likely need more than one visit to the vet, for a rabies titer test and parasite treatments which need to be done closer to the time of travel. We will go into more detail in the requirements section below.
  3. Book your travel – if quarantine is required, try to book a flight that takes you to directly Auckland or Christchurch, where the quarantine centers are.
  4. Organise quarantine (if necessary) – if your dog requires a stay in New Zealand pet quarantine, you must reserve them a spot. We will go into detail in the quarantine section below.
  5. Apply for an import permit (if necessary) – you will need to apply for an import permit or import license before importing dogs to New Zealand. The permit will take up to 10 working days to obtain, and is valid for 30 days from the issue date. We will go into more detail in the import permit section below.
  6. Book an inspection for your dog – you will need to book this at least five days before the animal’s arrival, or earlier. You will be liable to a fee if you do not do this in advance. You must email the form to ozdogsandcats@mpi.govt.nz.

What are the requirements to import dogs to New Zealand?

The requirements for importing dogs to New Zealand depends on where you are traveling from. The requirements usually include the following:

  1. Pet microchipping
  2. Rabies vaccination
  3. Additional vaccination, tests and treatments
  4. Rabies blood test (Rabies Titer Test)
  5. Import permit and health certificate

The entry requirements depend on which of the following country categories you are traveling from:

Category A (rabies-free): Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Singapore and Vanautu. The Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Island, Saipan, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Western Samoa are also recognized as rabies-free by New Zealand.

Category B (controlled-rabies): United States & Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Argentina, Bahamas, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus,  Czech Republic, Denmark,  Finland, France, Germany, Gibralter, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah & Sarawak only), Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Netherland Antilles, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay and US Virgin Islands.

Category C (undetermined risk of rabies): All countries not listed in Categories A and B.

PET MICROCHIPPING

When importing dogs to New Zealand, they must be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 pet microchip that is a 15 digit and non-encrypted.

A microchip is a small chip about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted just under your dog’s skin in between its shoulder blades. Each microchip holds a unique number which can be detected by a microchip scanner. 

You will just need to visit your local vet to have your dog microchipped. You can also do this at some dog charities which may offer the service for free or at a discounted price.

This should be the first step you take. This is because your dog’s microchip must be implanted before its rabies vaccination is administered, otherwise the vaccination will not count. We will discuss the rabies vaccination in detail in the next section.

Your dog’s microchip number must be present on all documentation required to enter New Zealand. Your veterinarian must scan your dog’s microchip before any tests or treatments required to enter New Zealand.

RABIES VACCINATION

Dogs residing in and entering from Category A countries do not require a rabies vaccination. However, it is a requirement importing dogs to New Zealand from all other countries (Categories B and C). 

If you are travelling from the following countries, your dog will NOT need a rabies vaccination:

Category A (rabies-free): Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Singapore and Vanautu. The Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Island, Saipan, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Western Samoa are also recognized as rabies-free by New Zealand.

If you are travelling from the following countries, your dog WILL need a rabies vaccination:

Category B (controlled-rabies): United States & Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Argentina, Bahamas, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus,  Czech Republic, Denmark,  Finland, France, Germany, Gibralter, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah & Sarawak only), Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Netherland Antilles, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay and US Virgin Islands.

Category C (undetermined risk of rabies): All countries not listed in Categories A and B.

When importing dogs to New Zealand, you must have a valid rabies vaccination supported by official vaccination records. All current vaccinations and boosters must be recorded. Furthermore, your dog microchip number must also be recorded on all documentation.

Dogs must be at least 3 months old at the time of vaccination.

If this is your dog’s first rabies vaccination or its previous vaccination had expired at the time of the booster, it must be administered between 6 and 12 months prior to entering New Zealand. However, the 6 month rule does not apply i your dog is receiving a booster and the previous rabies vaccination was administered within the previous year.

All dogs traveling from categories B and C will also need a rabies titer test, also known as a rabies blood test. More information on this in the rabies titer test section below.

ADDITIONAL VACCINATIONS, TESTS & TREATMENT

As well as the rabies vaccination, dogs may also require additional vaccinations to enter New Zealand from all country categories. All vaccinations should be valid for the entire post-arrival quarantine period. Furthermore, dogs may need to be tested and treated for parasites and other conditions. 

Dogs may require the following tests, vaccinations and parasite treatments prior to traveling to New Zealand:

  • Babesia Gibsoni – your dog must be treated for Babesia gibsoni within 16 days of travel if you and your dog have ever traveled to or lived in South Africa.
  • Brucella Canis – dogs entering New Zealand from all countries except Australia must be tested for Brucella Canis. Treatment for Brucella Canis must be administered at least 16 days before travel. If testing positive, your dog will not be permitted import to New Zealand.
  • Canine Distemper – if your dog is originating from an area that is known for outbreaks of canine influenza, such as the US or Canada, your dog must be vaccinated against the virus.
  • External and internal parasites – if you are bringing a dog to New Zealand, they must have 2 treatments against internal and external parasites within 30 days of entry. The second treatment must be at least 2 weeks after the first treatment, and within 4 days of travel for internal parasites and within 48 hours of travel for external parasites. Treatments must be efficient against fleas, ticks, nematodes and cestodes.
  • Heartworm – all dogs over the age of 6 months must be tested and treated for heartworm within 30 days of travel.
  • Leptospirosis – dogs entering NZ from all countries except Australia must be tested or treated for Leptospirosis.

Your dog cannot be given clearance to enter New Zealand if ticks or fleas are detected on arrival or in the quarantine facility. If ticks and fleas are found, you have 3 options. At your cost, your dog will need to:

  • Be transported to an approved quarantine facility for treatment or testing;
  • Returned to its country of origin (if permitted); or
  • Be euthanised.

You must also check the requirements for the specific New Zealand quarantine center as these may vary. Vaccinations can include any of the following:

  • Canine distemper
  • Infectious canine hepatitis
  • Canine parvovirus
  • Canine parainfluenza
  • Kennel cough (Bordetella bronchiseptia)
  • Canine influenza (from some countries)

RABIES BLOOD TEST (RABIES TITER TEST)

If traveling from country categories B and C your dog will need a rabies titer test, also known as rabies blood test. The rabies blood test ensures their rabies vaccine has provided your dog with adequate levels of the rabies antibody.

If you are travelling from the following countries, your dog will NOT need a rabies titer test:

Category A (rabies-free): Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Singapore and Vanautu. The Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Island, Saipan, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Western Samoa are also recognized as rabies-free by New Zealand.

If you are travelling from the following countries, your dog WILL need a rabies titer test:

Category B (controlled-rabies): United States & Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Argentina, Bahamas, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus,  Czech Republic, Denmark,  Finland, France, Germany, Gibralter, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah & Sarawak only), Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Netherland Antilles, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay and US Virgin Islands.

Category C (undetermined risk of rabies): All countries not listed in Categories A and B.

A licensed vet will need to take your dog’s blood at least 30 days after receiving their rabies vaccination. Their blood sample must then be sent to an approved lab for testing. Their blood results must show at least 0.5 IU/ml of the rabies antibody in your dog’s blood in order to pass.

The test must of been completed between 3 and 24 months before entering New Zealand.

All of your dog’s rabies vaccinations must be kept current once the titer test has been completed.

IMPORT PERMIT & HEALTH CERTIFICATE

To import dogs to New Zealand from Australia and Norfolk Island, you do not require an import permit. However, if traveling from all other countries, you will need one. 

If you are travelling from Australia or Norfolk Island, your dog will NOT need an import permit.
If you are travelling from the following countries, your dog WILL need an import permit:

Category A (rabies-free): Bahrain, Barbados, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Singapore and Vanautu. The Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Island, Saipan, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Western Samoa are also recognized as rabies-free by New Zealand.

Category B (controlled-rabies): United States & Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Argentina, Bahamas, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus,  Czech Republic, Denmark,  Finland, France, Germany, Gibralter, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah & Sarawak only), Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Netherland Antilles, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay and US Virgin Islands.

Category C (undetermined risk of rabies): All countries not listed in Categories A and B. [/box]

An import permit will show that your dog is qualified for traveling to New Zealand. Your dog’s veterinary health certificate will be part of your import permit.

Upon arrival in New Zealand, customs officials will need to see a valid import permit, with a veterinary health certificate completed by an Official government veterinarian in the country of export.

If you are importing dogs to New Zealand from the US, the certificate must be endorsed by your local State USDA office. Additionally, if you are traveling from Canada, it must be endorsed by your local CFIA office.

How to apply for an New Zealand Import Permit?

There are two different application forms for a NZ Import Permit, depending on which country you are traveling from (check country categories here):

You must apply for your import permit at least 10 days prior to the date you need the permit to confirm your flight. If an application is not provided 10 working days in advance, you may be charged a late fee or have your application declined. If the application is declined it will need to be resubmitted with an updated entry date.

To prevent delays in processing your application, you should attach all of the following required documents and email to animal.imports@mpi.govt.nz:

  • A completed application form that applies to the category of country your dog will be exported from
  • A copy of your quarantine booking confirmation letter

Once approved, your import permit for New Zealand will be valid for 30 days.


What dog breeds cannot be imported to New Zealand?

It’s important to be aware that sadly a number of “fighting” breeds are not permitted within New Zealand. At present the following breeds are banned:

  • American pit bull terrier
  • Brazilian fila
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese tosa
  • Perro de Presa Canario.

This prohibition does not apply if your dog is:

  • registered under the Dog Control Act 1996 (NZ Legislation)
  • a guide or hearing dog
  • a companion dog

How long does it take to import dogs to New Zealand?

The process of importing dogs to New Zealand can take between 1-12 months to complete. This depends mostly on where you are traveling from.

If you are traveling from a Category A country the time scale will be shorter. This is because dogs will not require rabies vaccinations or rabies blood tests. However, if you are traveling from a country in Category B or C it will likely take you longer to import your pet to New Zealand as they will not only require a rabies vaccination, but a rabies titer test too.

The most timely steps of importing dogs to New Zealand, are getting your dog’s rabies vaccination and their rabies blood test results back. This will apply if traveling from a Category B or C country.

If your dog has been, or will be vaccinated for the first time, and you are traveling from a Category B or C country, then you will need to allow at least 10 months:

  • If your dog has had their first rabies vaccination, or if their booster vaccination has expired, you must wait 6 months before traveling. See rabies vaccination section above for more info.
  • If you are traveling from a Category B or C country, your pet requires a rabies titer test. You must wait at least 3 months after your dog’s rabies vaccination before taking its blood sample. See rabies titer test section above for more information. It can take up to 30 days to get your pet’s blood test results back.

Furthermore, the process of getting an import permit can be lengthy. 

The majority of permit applications are processed and decided within 10 working days. However, in more complex cases, the process takes longer. Additionally, you will need to organise quarantine before applying for your import permit for New Zealand. See quarantine section above.


Will my dog need to stay in New Zealand pet quarantine?

Dogs traveling from Australia or Norfolk island will not be subjected to New Zealand pet quarantine. However, dogs traveling from all other countries will be subject to at least 10 days in quarantine upon arrival. 

Don’t worry, quarantine isn’t as scary as it sounds. Pets will have great caretakers and special food/medication accommodations if your dog needs it.

There are three New Zealand pet quarantine centres, two in Auckland and one in Christchurch. Please see contact details listed below.

You must organise quarantine for your dog, before applying for your import permit, if required. There are many forms which need to be filled out and signed by you:

  • Registered breed declarations to confirm your dog is not a dangerous breed
  • Value declaration to confirm your dog is not going to attract import duties
  • Customs import declaration

Once you have booked the quarantine space, the quarantine station will give you a letter to confirm the space – you will need to keep this letter safe as you will need to show it to customs officials upon entry to NZ.

 

NEW ZEALAND PET QUARANTINE CONTACT DETAILS

Auckland Quarantine Limited
235 Brookby Road, Rd 1, Manurewa 2576
Auckland
New Zealand

Proprietor Graeme Bell
Telephone 09 216 6012
Email info@aucklandquarantine.co.nz
Website www.aucklandquarantine.co.nz

Pethaven Quarantine Services
71a Homestead RoadRD1 Pokeno
Auckland
New Zealand

Proprietor Mrs Robyn van den Brink
Telephone +64 9 233 6301
Fax +64 9 233 6302
Email pethaven@xtra.co.nz
Website www.pethavenkennels.co.nz

Qualified Pet Services
150 Airfield Road
Takanini
Auckland
New Zealand

Proprietor Carol O’Neill
Telephone +64 9 299 9539
Fax +64 9 299 9539
Email qualifiedpetservices@gmail.com
Website www.qualifiedpet.co.nz

Canterbury Quarantine Services Ltd
Highfield Road
Aylesbury
PO Box 23158
Christchurch
New Zealand

Proprietor Mark and Karen Bayliss
Telephone +64 3 318 1279
Fax +64 3 318 1289
Email wumba@xtra.co.nz
Website www.canterburyquarantine.co.nz

How much will it cost to import dogs to New Zealand?

Bringing pets to New Zealand can be a rather expensive process which varies depending on where you and your dog are traveling from. The total cost broken down into the following fees:

  • Vet fees – microchipping, vaccinations and treatments varies on your vet practice fees and home country.
  • Airline fees for shipping a pet – varies widely depending on size and weight of your dog, and airline.
  • Border inspection fees – fee breakdown below.
  • Import license – fee breakdown below.
  • Quarantine fees – fee breakdown below.
  • Government endorsements – varies depending on home country.

BORDER INSPECTION FEES

In most cases, when arriving in New Zealand your dog(s) will be inspected at the border. This is to determine whether a dog should be cleared or directed to a New Zealand pet quarantine facility.

For inspection of your dog there are 3 rates. The applicable rate is dependent on the country from which your dog has arrived and whether or not your dog requires a veterinary inspection.

Country of origin Fee for each dog (excl GST) Fee for each dog (incl GST)
Dogs that do not require veterinary inspection $49.61 fixed fee $57.05 fixed fee
Dogs that require a veterinary inspection $186.30 per hour $214.25 per hour

If your dog is directed to an MPI-approved New Zealand pet quarantine facility and you must pay the hourly veterinary inspection charges, listed below.

In some cases, you may be charged an additional fee. This is the case if your dog requires additional treatments.

Veterinary inspection charges

Below are 2 types of hourly rates that you may be charged, depending on which country your dog arrived from.

Hourly rate for veterinary inspectors * Fee (excl GST) Fee (incl GST)
Veterinary inspectors inspecting or monitoring live animals, including dog, from the EU or Switzerland $94.38 $108.54
Veterinarians inspecting or monitoring dog from all other countries (within normal working hours) $186.30 $214.25

*Hourly rates also apply to waiting times.

Travel charges

If the MPI inspector has to travel to a transitional facility, travel charges may apply:

Travel charges (distance travelled) Fee (excl GST) Fee (incl GST)
Zone 1 – up to 4km from base $34.86 $40.09
Zone 2 – more than 4km to 10km from base $70.75 $81.36
Zone 3 – more than 10km to 25km from base $109.24 $125.63
Zone 4 – more than 25km to 50km from base $149.19 $171.57
More than 50km from base Hourly rates, plus a mileage charge of $0.67 a kilometre. Other travel-related costs may also apply. Hourly rates, plus a mileage charge of $0.7705 a kilometre. Other travel-related costs may also apply.

If the veterinary inspector is called out after hours, or on a public holiday, other charges may apply.


IMPORT PERMIT FEES

Application fee Fee (excl GST) Fee (incl GST)
  • Permit to import  dogs from rabies-free countries (category 2)
  • Permit to import dogs from countries or territories where rabies is absent or well controlled (category 3 countries plus cats or dogs arriving on boats)
$191.95* $220.74*

* If processing your application takes longer than one-and-a-half hours, additional time will be charged at an hourly rate of $102.27 excluding GST or $117.61 including GST.


NEW ZEALAND PET QUARANTINE FEE BREAKDOWN

You must contact individual quarantine facilities for their fees and charges, as these vary.

The New Zealand pet quarantine stations are as follows:


What airlines allow flying a dog to New Zealand?

Most airlines allow flying a dog to New Zealand. However, depending on the airline you fly with, pet policies differ.

When flying with a dog, it’s important to check airline pet policies before booking any travel. Different airline’s have different rules for flying with dogs, including which dog breeds are allowed, the size and weight of dogs that are permitted, and the number of dogs they allow. Fees also vary between airlines.

Most airlines will allow dogs to fly in the cargo section of their planes, in a climate controlled, comfortable pet zone. Although some pet owners think this will be stressful for their dogs, it can actually be a lot calmer than flying in the cabin.

Some airlines will allow dogs to fly int he cabin with their owners, but generally only small dogs that weigh under 8kg are permitted. This is because dogs must fly inside an airline-approved carrier that fits under the seat in front of their owners.

For a list of airlines that allow dogs to fly in the cabin with their owners, check 13 Airlines That Allow Flying With Dogs In-Cabin [2020 Prices & Policies].


Guidelines for Dog Carriers

If you are flying to New Zealand with a dog, it is important that you use a dog carrier that is approved by your airline. Different airlines have different pet carrier policies, which often vary between aircrafts and routes. Check that your pet carrier is approved for your chosen airline, aircraft and route. 

The rules and regulations have been set out by International Air Transport Association (IATA) ensure that dogs are comfortable when travelling. Thus, inside their travel carriers, dogs must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in their kennel (without touching any side or the top of the container).

Please note that anything that travels with your dog will be destroyed on arrival in New Zealand (such as bedding, toys or clothing)

The rules for pet carriers also vary depending on whether your dog will be flying in the cabin or cargo area of the plane.

If you are travelling in the cabin with your dog, then you will need to ensure that it fits under the seat in front of you. This is why only small dogs weighing under 7-8kg are permitted in the cabin.

Furthermore, airlines often require that your dog must be obedient to your commands and must behave appropriately in public. Thus, he mustn’t bark or growl at other passengers or staff. If your dog does not behave in an appropriate manner, some airlines may transfer him to the cargo hold at an additional cost, or refuse to transport him all together. Some airlines require a consent form to ensure your pet is flight-ready.

For a list of airlines that allow dogs to fly in the cabin with their owners, check 13 Airlines That Allow Flying With Dogs In-Cabin [2020 Prices & Policies].

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Preparing your dog’s crate

On the date of travel, your dog must be in its crate and must travel with the following:

  • import permit (issued by MPI)
  • the original Model Veterinary Certificate A signed, endorsed and dated
  • the original Model Veterinary Certificate B signed, endorsed and dated
  • if the dog has medication, a copy of the prescription and declaration (if needed)
  • any other documents as required by the airline

The crate must:

  • Be clean, dry and free of pests
  • Only have inert bedding – straw or hay bedding is not permitted

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Can I take my puppy to New Zealand?

Yes, puppies at least 3 months old, traveling from Category A (no-risk rabies) countries are permitted to travel to New Zealand. However, dogs must be at least 7 months of age to be permitted to enter New Zealand from any other country. Dogs must be 3 months old to get their rabies vaccinations. You must then wait at least 3 month before getting your rabies titer test, the results of which can take around a month to get back in longer cases.

Can I take my dog to New Zealand with an EU Pet Passport?

Your dog can travel to New Zealand with an EU Pet Passport, however there are additional conditions to be met. You will need to apply for an Import Permit and organise your pet to stay in quarantine on arrival. Your dog may also need additional vaccines, treatments and a rabies titer test. Please refer to the requirements section above.

Can I take my pregnant dog to New Zealand with me?

Possibly. If your dog will be under 42 days pregnant at the time of arrival, yes. Any dogs further in their pregnancies, will not be permitted. If your dog is pregnant, you will need to provide a veterinary certificate to show how far in their pregnancy they are.


Bottom Line

So, importing dogs to New Zealand can be a complicated process. It is particularly complicated if you are traveling from a country other than those listed as a Category A (no-risk of rabies) country.

If you haven’t been put off, just be sure to familiarise yourself with the conditions you need to meet to bring your dog to New Zealand.

Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare for your trip, even up to 1 year in more complicated cases! If this process seems too complicated, you can always get in contact with special pet travel agencies.

Hope you have found this helpful. Happy travels!

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