Pet Travel

domestic & international


Whether you are travelling within Australia, bringing pets in from Overseas, sending them home or otherwise the following info and links may be of interest to you

Publications you may wish to investigate if driving around the country with your dog or cat are : HOLIDAYING WITH DOGS and HOLIDAYING WITH CATS (both published by Life BeInIt, or the RAA's TRAVELLING WITH PETS

Domestic Travel

For air travel with QANTAS contact their freight carrier Australian Air Express to check current prices and rules for travel. It is usually much cheaper to take your pets with you (or send with a willing friend) as excess baggage than to send unaccompanied. Unaccompanied will have a base cost  plus a per kg cost. You will need a secure container (pet pack or wire crate) to hold your pet during travel. Hiring from the airline can be expensive and we recommend you compare the cost with the cost of purchasing your own to keep, especially for a smaller pet. Airlines have strict rules on the type of crate to be used - check before purchasing or travelling.

If you don't have a crate or want to take all the hassle out of the move, suggest you contact a carrier who will provide transport, crate and delivery. You will find links to some of these carriers in the ads left of this note. 

Note: Pet Travel by The Ghan train (The Ghan) and probably on other trains is not permitted due to the possibility of  extreme temperature conditions. 

Birds may be transported by air in secure containers but should be mostly covered. Nesting boxes with doors secured are recommended (inside a pet pack would work well) or regular cages with blocking material covering the sides and with all doors and the base secured.

standard pet pack

This type of pet pack is suitable for domestic travel for cats and some breeds of dog. Please contact your airline for requirements for dogs over 12kg - it is likely they will need a wire crate for travel..


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International Travel

You will need an appropriate container for your animals. For dogs this usually means a crate big enough to allow the dog to stand and turn around. Your container should be fitted with a water dish inside the door and a funnel outside allowing the animal to be watered en route after the crate is sealed.

Entering Australia... you will need to have your pets in Quarantine on arrival. This can last from one to several  months depending on your pre-travel preparations and country of origin. One month is now quite common after home-country quarantine is enforced reducing stress for the animal and costs for you. Get all your pet's vaccinations and papers set up so that you can retrieve your pet at the earliest possible time. Quarantine is usually in Sydney or Melbourne. See www.aqis.gov.au for information on requirements. Your local quarantine/customs people will need to seal your pet crate - if there is delay involved in travel the seals may need to be removed for the animal's comfort needs. Re-sealing will be at your own  expense. Check timing carefully when planning your travel.

Departing Australia... depending on your destination you may need to have your pet vaccinated for Rabies as much as SIX MONTHS in advance (eg for travel to the UK) even though this disease is not present in Australia. Travel to the USA will probably require a stopover in LA after the long flight. Note: Choose your travel time wisely - your employer may have exemption from the Animal Freight embargo which occurs when temperatures are very high or very low in the USA or you may find there are extra costs involved to travel at these times. The web site for AQIS (www.aqis.gov.au) also carries information about animal departure from Australia.

When last checked, United Airlines was the only US carrier which allowed passengers to take their animals as excess weight rather than charging the freight rate. This is subject to change at any time.

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