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How to Move Your Dog or Cat to New Zealand

Ah, New Zealand! Land of... well we aren't sure since we’ve never been! We can tell you there are a lot of native New Zealand dogs because moving your pet to New Zealand can be a long and complicated process. Pets with Passports just finished a New Zealand move reuniting our client with her German Shepherd and we already have a few more in the works for early next year. So- let's talk import rules and requirements and what you should keep in mind when planning to take your pet to Kiwi Country. 

The import rules and requirements are long. Unlike other countries who have had the same requirements for decades, New Zealand’s animal import rules and requirements can change- and change quickly! The newest change is the OVD form (more on that later), but since changes can always come about, a good start is to bookmark the government's overview of all requirements. In a nutshell, dogs and cats will need the following...

Rabies Vaccination 6 months to a year old (booster)

DHLPP and Canine Influenza (another new requirement) for dogs and FVRCP for cats

Rabies TITER test sent to a USDA approved lab for testing

OVD to be completed by your vet and endorsed by the USDA

Internal and External Parasite treatments

Heartworm test (dogs)

Leptospirosis test or treatment (dogs)

Brucella test (dogs)

Babesia Gibsoni (dogs)

New Zealand Heath Certificate Endorsed by the USDA

What this list above does not cover is the extremely precise and tight turnaround for the tests that must be completed for dogs. Some must be done 30 days prior to the move and some 16 days prior. While tests can't be too far removed from the departure date, they can't be too close to the departure date, either, because you need time for labs to run the tests and send the results. It's a VERY delicate timeline. 

Most pets fly domestically from the closest airport to their home to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Once at a West Coast port, pets receive their final health check, a USDA port vet completes all the final paperwork, and your pet is sealed in their crate until they arrive in New Zealand. Dogs and cats fly either on New Zealand Air or Qantas. 

While this is not everything you need to know (that would be a really long, boring blog post), we hope this gives you a little insight into the timeline and rules we follow when facilitating a dog or cat move to New Zealand. Please reach out to us HERE if you would like to know more or receive a quote.

Fun fact: co-owner Sarah once facilitated the move of five cats to New Zealand for one of the producers of the Hobbit movies!

(Could Zack be any cuter? This little nugget moved from Florida to New Zealand when his mom and dad moved there to be professors.)


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