Taking Pets to Australia

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Pet Relocation Guide

provided by Airpets Heathrow

Relocating to Australia should not be the reason to give away your family pet. Pets are happy to live wherever their owners are and moving them is relatively easy.

It may seem a daunting prospect, with health checks and a long haul flight but more than a million pets fly safely world-wide each year. Australia has grown to be one of the most popular destinations for people emigrating and as a consequence it is necessary to plan well ahead when considering taking your dog or cat as space in the livestock hold is limited.

Australian import regulations involve an import permit, microchip, annual vaccinations (omitting leptospirosis), 3 blood tests (dogs only), spray and worm prior to departure along with a health certificate. These requirements can change periodically.

Flight & Destination Information

Pets travel comfortably in the livestock hold of direct passenger flights. Australia bound pets must spend 30 days in well run government quarantine kennels. Quarantine stations are situated in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Onward forwarding arrangements can be made through the kennels to other destinations in Australia. Perth and Melbourne quarantine stations have limited space so ensure you give enough notice to reserve a place for your pet's stay.

Air Kennels

Pets travel in IATA approved air kennels, large enough to enable the animal to stand, lie and turn around. Pets to Australia must travel as manifest cargo and the air freight is calculated on the volume of the air kennel and not the weight.


Tranquilisers should not be given to pets prior to flying in the pressurized conditions of an aircraft and could cause an adverse effect on the animal. They soon settle down to the journey and fall asleep.

Feeding & Care of pets in Transit

Animals should not be fed immediately prior to a flight to avoid soiling their air kennel. All kennels have water containers which are refilled during transits. Line the kennel floor with absorbent bedding such as Vet Bed or lots of shredded newspaper.

Together with your vet, employing the services of a recognised pet travel agent helps to make the whole process a seam free operation. Airpets at Heathrow are the UK's leading pet travel agent and offer a complete export / import service to and from the UK world-wide. Being based at Heathrow, their kennels at Willowslea Farm is an ideal base for pets to rest before embarking on a long haul flight or dealing on the spot with any problems that may arise from delayed flights.

Exports from the UK

Airpets Services include:
  • Arranging flights, Documentation, Veterinary Requirements
  • Providing IATA Approved Air Kennels
  • Boarding for as long as necessary, grooming
  • Collections throughout the UK
  • Delivery to the flight and arranging final spray and worm/health certificate

Imports into the UK from Australia

Airpets Services include:
  • UK Pet Travel Scheme - pets may be collected from Heathrow
  • Board for as long as necessary
  • Complete any remaining quarantine period of PTS
  • Delivered by road or air throughout UK

For all enquiries Airpets recommend that you visit the export/import pages on our web site www.airpets.com and complete the online forms. This ensures that they receive all the relevant details necessary for the shipment of your pet and facilitates a quick response. Our team of experts will then be on hand to personally guide you through each stage.

Airpets Heathrow
Willowslea Kennels
Middlesex TW19 6BW
(2 Mins J14 M25 - junction for Heathrow cargo)

Tel: 01753 685571
Fax: 01753 681655
Email: info@airpets.com
Web: www.airpets.com