Moving to The UAE With Your Pet

Have you ever heard somebody say that their pet is a part of the family? Maybe you’ve heard a friend or family member call a pet their ‘fur-baby’ or even say that their pet is like their child. If you’re going to travel for an extended period of time or move across the world, you can’t just leave a family member behind!

If you’ve ever gone on vacation, you know that it’s hard to be away from your pets for so long. Luckily, bringing your pet overseas isn’t as difficult as it used to be. International pet travel is allowed, although most countries have regulations that you must follow.

No matter the destination, it’s always a good idea to check with the appropriate embassy to confirm pet travel regulations such as the necessary paperwork needed (things like health certificates and documentation). Make sure you leave plenty of time before the trip for medical appointments and planning – you should start the process as soon as possible.

For those of you moving to the UAE, here’s a helpful guide for taking your pet with you!


Veterinarian exam


Steps to take before traveling

Visit your local veterinarian

The first stop should always be your trusted veterinarian!

Informing your vet of your travel plans will help you both to ensure that your pet meets the pet entry requirements for your destination country and of course, that your pet is healthy enough to travel.  This may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Vaccinations
  • Microchips for identification
  • Have a pet passport or third country official veterinary certificate
  • Authorized carrier

Choose the right airline

Some airlines may permit pets to travel and others may not, so it’s important to do some research to find an airline that suits your needs. Some airlines allow your pet to travel in the cabin with you, but many airlines put pets in the cargo hold for the duration of the flight. If you have a preference regarding this, you would want to find an airline that will work with you to make sure you and your pet are both comfortable during your journey.


Requirements for moving abroad with a pet

If you decide to teach or travel in UAE and want to take your pet with you, then it’s time to start looking into all of the requirements.


Pet permit and travel restrictions

  1. Obtain a pet import permit prior to traveling – you’ll need to provide a pet passport & updated vaccination record.
  2. Make sure that you have a proper pet carrier that follows the regulations set forth by IATA.
  3. Research the dog breeds that are banned from being imported into the UAE such as:
    • Any dog that falls under the umbrella term of “Pit Bull”
    • Any kind of dog that is of a ‘fighting’ breed including Mastiffs
    • Any dog mixed with a wolf
    • American Staffordshire Terrier

If you understand the first few steps, you’re one step closer to bringing your pet to the UAE!




Required documents for importing your animal

  1. An original animal passport or vaccination card that includes pet microchip information, date of birth, and treatment records.
  2. A valid health certificate from the exporting country that showcases the existence of a microchip and proof of a health check that can be performed by any local veterinarian.
  3. Your pet will also need a certificate for Rabies Serum Neutralization (RSNT) that has been conducted within 90 days of travel.


The costs of bringing pets to the UAE

Pet importing can sometimes be on the expensive side, but the fees vary between countries. There are multiple fees involved when exporting and importing your cat or dog, particularly in the UAE.

  1. Import permit fee for one pet (cat or dog): 500 Dirhams (Dhs) which can be converted to around $136
  2. Inspection fee for a cat: 500 Dhs
  3. Inspection fee for a dog: 1000 Dhs


Cat and dog


Required vaccinations for cats and dogs

Apart from the well-known rabies vaccination, there are a few more vaccinations that are required before your pet can be given the green light to travel.

Of course, there are different vaccination requirements for cats and dogs, which are listed below.


  1. Rabies vaccine (must be done at least 21 days before arriving in the UAE & animal must be at least 3 months old)
  2. Canine Distemper Virus
  3. Canine Parvo Virus
  4. Infectious Canine Hepatitis
  5. Leptospirosis


  1. Rabies (must be done at least 21 days before arriving in the UAE & animal must be at least 3 months old)
  2. Feline Panleukopenia
  3. Feline Rhinotracheitis
  4. Feline Calicivirus

Other required treatments within 14 days of leaving:

  1. External parasite treatment
  2. Internal parasite treatment

The United States Department of Agriculture’s website has all of this information for you to take a look at.




Penalties for not following these regulations

It’s important to note that there always will be penalty fees in place for not complying with regulations. Paying fines is not in your best interest, so following these steps should be at the top of your priority list. The fine can reach a whopping 5000 Dhs per animal! Your pet will then be rejected (at your own expense) and possibly confiscated on arrival. Don’t let this happen to you or your pet; use this blog to help you import your pet safely and securely!

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