Practical Tips

What Countries Require Pet Quarantine?

Which countries require pet quarantine

One of the biggest concerns people have when they start to travel with their dog is the chance of a stay in quarantine. Fortunately though, most countries that are popular to visit with your dog don’t require quarantine, at least these days.

However, there are some countries that do require quarantine for many or all pets (or specific steps to avoid it). Make sure you find out further details and take this into consideration before planning to visit these countries with your dog.

Countries Not Requiring Quarantine for Your Pet

Taking dog to Europe

Europe doesn’t usually require quarantine for any pets

Most popular countries for people to travel to with their dogs don’t require quarantine. This includes most of Europe (including the United Kingdom, which previously had a long quarantine period), the United States (except for Hawaii and the territory of Guam), Canada and Mexico.

As I’m from a country that requires quarantine (Australia), many people were surprised to learn that my dog didn’t require quarantine when we headed to Europe (only on our return). It certainly makes it a lot easier and cheaper!

However, do keep in mind that if your dog is unwell upon arrival in a country, they may be required to undergo quarantine. For instance, for dogs travelling to Ireland from outside of the EU a compliance check is required. Failure of the compliance check may result in quarantine.

Why Do Dogs Require Quarantine?

Animals including your pet dog may require quarantine when entering some countries in an attempt to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. This includes transmission to local pets, plus also to local native wildlife.

The majority of countries that require quarantine these days are island nations, that are free of many transmissible diseases including rabies. To ensure that they keep their rabies-free and disease-free status, they require animals entering the country to take steps to ensure they don’t introduce diseases. This usually includes having a rabies vaccine and a rabies titre test, but also often a quarantine period.

Countries That May Quarantine Your Pet

I am aware of the following countries and territories that may require your pet to be quarantined:

  • Australia
  • Fiji
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan

Note that there are likely also to be some additional countries that I have not listed. Always check the latest details for transporting pets to your intended destination. Luckily, the likelihood and duration of quarantine seems to be decreasing in general.

For instance, China recently stopped mandatory quarantine for pets entering the country, assuming that preparation steps, including a rabies titre test for non-exempt countries, have been completed.

Another important detail – some of the above countries, plus a few more like Jamaica, only allow pets to be imported from a short list of other countries. This is another reason to check all details before making plans. 

For more details on the quarantine rules for Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan and Singapore in particular, I have provided an outline below.

Pet Quarantine for Australia

Pets require quarantine in Australia

Australia has a mandatory quarantine period for all dogs and cats to help protect the local wildlife

My home country of Australia requires quarantine for all pet dogs and cats entering the country, except for pets from New Zealand. For both dogs and cats the quarantine period is at least 10 days, in addition to a long list of steps to prepare your pet beforehand.

If your pet is healthy and flea- and tick-free during their quarantine, your pet should be released after exactly 10 days. There is only one quarantine facility in Australia, at Mickleham near Melbourne Airport, so all pets are required to fly to Melbourne to enter the country.

Read more about the process to import a dog to Australia and my guide to quarantine in Australia.

Pet Quarantine for New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand also has a mandatory quarantine period of at least 10 days

The quarantine process for New Zealand is similar to Australia. All pet dogs and cats entering the country, except from Australia, need to spend at least 10 days in quarantine.

There are four quarantine facilities in New Zealand, located in or near both Auckland and Christchurch. Note also that pets can only be imported from an Approved Country, and need to have spent at least the last six months in this country.

Read more about the steps to import a dog or cat to New Zealand.

Pet Quarantine for Hawaii

The Napali Coast

It’s possible to skip quarantine in Hawaii if your complete all the preparation steps on time

Unlike the other 49 states of the United States, there are many extra steps to import a pet to Hawaii, thanks to its rabies-free status, including the possibility of quarantine. However, quarantine can luckily be avoided if you follow the steps for the “5 Days or Less” quarantine program and your pet qualifies for “Direct Airport Release”.

Basically, this involves having your dog vaccinated for rabies and performing a rabies titre test in advance, with the required paperwork sent to Animal Quarantine Station in Hawaii at least 10 days before your arrival date. If everything is received in time and confirmed on arrival, your dog will be immediately released.

Additionally, if you are flying directly to Hawaii from some other rabies-free countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Guam and the British Isles, there are less steps to follow and no quarantine.

Read more about the steps to take your pet to Hawaii and skip a stay in quarantine.

Pet Quarantine for Iceland

The quarantine period for dogs heading to Iceland is one of the longest periods I’ve heard of: a lengthy four-week stay! Not only that, pet dogs are only allowed to arrive during a three-day period each month. There’s also a long list of vaccinations plus blood tests to perform, comparable to those required by Australia.

If you’re re-locating to Iceland permanently, the quarantine is tough but doable. It’s also expensive, with a fee of almost €2000 for larger dogs. However, skip heading to Iceland with you dog for a quick holiday.

Read more about the steps to import pets to Iceland.

Pet Quarantine for Japan

Pet quarantine is generally only brief and a formality in Japan

While all pets arriving in Japan technically have a brief stay in quarantine, this quarantine stay is indeed brief: only up to 12 hours, enough for an inspection. Assuming everything is in order with your pet’s papers and they are healthy, they will then avoid spending up to 180 days in quarantine.

The rules to import a pet to Japan vary depending on the country of origin. If your dog is being imported from Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Hawaii, Guam or Fiji, then less steps are required. Other countries require at least two rabies vaccinations and a rabies titre test. For all countries, you need to notify the authorities at least 40 days in advance.

Read more about the steps to import pets to Japan.

Pet Quarantine for Singapore

Depending on where you’re travelling from, your pet may require quarantine in Singapore

The steps to import a pet into Singapore and whether they require quarantine varies depending on their country of origin. For Category A and Category B countries, no quarantine is required. For Category C and D countries the required length of quarantine is either 10 days, 30 days or longer.

Category A and B countries, which don’t require quarantine, include Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA (Hawaii and Guam only). Dogs and cats from most European countries and the rest of the USA require quarantine.

Read more about the steps to import pets to Singapore.

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  • Reply
    Kaila Smith
    August 16, 2019 at 8:42 am

    Thanks for these great tips!

    • Reply
      August 16, 2019 at 12:21 pm

      You’re welcome!

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