Traveling to Australia with your pet during a pandemic...
If you are reading this, chances are that you are relocating or returning to Australia soon with concerns about what it is going to be like to relocate your pet to Australia.
Many borders are closed during the pandemic and inbound flights are few, leading to added complexity (More information on board restrictions can be found here). In Australia, all pets must arrive directly into Melbourne. However, Melbourne is not accepting international passenger flights at this time, instead they are being diverted to other cities. If your pet is already in transit, the Australian government is looking into viable alternatives such as cargo flights, which are currently still landing into Melbourne Airport.
During this time of tight border restrictions, flights into Australia are limited and mainly intended for returning Australian citizens. For non-citizens, very few exemptions to travel are being granted. If you are a pet owner waiting for the green light to start your relocation, it’s very important to be aware of the current rules and regulations. The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is responsible for the importation of animals and is updating their information frequently here.
Start crate training your pet well ahead of their travel date and have a blanket or small personal item that smells like you to pop in the crate with your pet. This will help them to remain calm during their flight as they will feel at home in their crate.
Once international flights are accepted into Melbourne again, all pets relocating to Australia will need to be on a flight into Melbourne. Even if you are moving to Perth, your pet is required to transit through Melbourne. It is not possible for your pet to enter Australia on a flight to Sydney and then travel domestically to Melbourne.
Covid-19 has meant that with the limited flight options there is also a built-up demand for places at the Post-Entry Quarantine Facility in Mickleham near Melbourne, Australia. This is understandingly frustrating for many Australian's trying to bring their 'furrbabies' home. We recommend using a professional pet carrier and even more so during these times. Our pet carrier partners are currently working diligently to assist our customers and doing everything they can to prioritising those with imminent travel and accommodate each customers dates and timing as they can. To manage expectations from the outset, it may not be possible for you and your pet to travel on the same aircraft.
As we all know, air travel causes dehydration and it is no different for your pet. Older animals can suffer badly which can cause problems. One solution is to train your pet to drink water from a drip bottle which can then go into the container as they relocate to Australia.
While you are waiting for confirmation of travel you must make sure that any import permit is in place and that you have covered all requirements such as microchip, parasite treatments (both external and internal) and any other necessary procedures to be performed by your vet. See here for the steps to be covered.
The country your pet is departing from will determine what needs to be covered. Group One and Two counties are considered rabies free and Group Three are considered countries which are not rabies free. To find which group you belong to see here.
Assuming that your pet is healthy all should go smoothly, how ever, sometimes a pet develops a medical condition after the import certificate has been granted. In this case, check with your vet if it is safe for the pet to travel and notify your pet carrier or local authorities, so they are aware and if required can assist with making sure your pet is being adequately treated in quarantine.
It’s also important to know that relocating a pet to Australia is a costly exercise. If you're using a Pet Carrier they will discuss these costs with you. If not please ensure you read a breakdown of costs can be found here.
Finally, once you arrive in Australia (Welcome!) and are self-quarantining, you will need to find a property to rent where the landlord is willing to take a pet. Many landlords can be very particular about this. Elite Woodhams Relocation specialises in finding suitable rental properties in both regional and metro areas of Australia and can provide a virtual home search while you are in quarantine or an accompanied home search once you are able to view properties. Our relationships with property managers is second to none.
Should you have any questions on your pet relocation, need some help in choosing a pet carrier, or assistance in finding a pet friendly home in Australia contact us.