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All you need to know about bringing your pet dog or cat to Malaysia

Malaysia is a favourite tourist destination and a beautiful country to be a pet parent. Dogs and cats are welcomed in Malaysia, and the vibrant community has many exciting activities for you and your pet.

If you are planning to travel to Malaysia with your pet, there are several steps to the process. Certain breeds of dogs are not allowed, and your pet needs to fulfil all the pet import regulations to be allowed to travel into the country. Here’s what you should know about pet travel to Malaysia:

Microchip your pet

Microchips are essential to international travel; they help identify your pet correctly and are of great help if your pet goes missing, or is lost.

All pets travelling to Malaysia must be implanted with an ISO compliant microchip. After implanting the microchip, remember to record the microchip number correctly in all your pet’s records.

Vaccinations and blood tests

Pets travelling to Malaysia must be vaccinated against rabies with an approved anti-rabies vaccine between 30 days and 12 months before the date of travel. If your pet is flying from Australia, they will not need a rabies vaccine if they have been living in Australia for more than six months before the date of journey.

Dogs travelling to Malaysia must be vaccinated for the following diseases: canine adenovirus type 2, canine distemper, canine parainfluenza, and canine parvovirus. Cats must be immunised against Chlamydia psittaci, feline panleukopenia, feline calicivirus and feline rhinotracheitis. The vaccinations must be given at least 12 months before the date of travel and recorded in the health certificate with the microchip number.

Dogs and cats flying in from Australia must be tested for Hendra Virus using the Serum Neutralisation Test (SNT) at dilution 1 in 2 with negative results. The test must be done within 14 days of export.

External and internal parasite treatments

Pet dogs and cats must be treated for external and internal parasites between two and seven days of export. The internal parasite treatment must target both cestodes and nematodes, and the external treatment should exterminate all fleas and ticks from your pet.

Make sure your vet makes a note of the name of the drug, active ingredients and date of treatment in your pet’s documents.

Import permit and veterinary health certificate

To enter Malaysia, you will need to apply for an import permit issued by the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (MAQIS). If you are flying in a pet dog to Malaysia, check that your dog is not on the list of restricted and banned breeds. You can apply for the import permit online, or a pet travel agent can do it on your behalf. This permit is valid for 30 days from the date of issue.

Your pet will also need a pet passport or veterinary health certificate that has a record of all the vaccinations and treatments received by the pet before flying. It must contain a description of the pet and the microchip number for easy identification. The veterinary health certificate must be issued by a registered veterinary officer recognised by the government veterinary authority of the country of origin.

The health certificate should state that the pet has been examined by a registered vet not more than seven days before the date of journey, and has shown no clinical signs of ill health.

Banned and restricted dog breeds

Malaysia has banned the entry of some aggressive and dangerous dog breeds. Before transporting your pet dog into Malaysia, make sure your dog is not the list of banned breeds. These dog breeds are on the no-import list and cannot travel to Malaysia.

  • Akita
  • American Bulldog
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Pit Bull Terrier (American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Bull Terrier)

Some dog breeds are on the restricted breed list and are allowed into the country, provided the dog meets specific import conditions. Restricted dog breeds are:

  • Bull Mastiff
  • Bull Terrier
  • Doberman
  • German Shepherd / Alsatian / Belgian Shepherd / East European Shepherd
  • Perro de Presa Canario (Canary Dog)
  • Rottweiler

Restricted dog breeds are allowed entry into Malaysia only after the dog gets approval from the Director-General of Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services. You will have to request permission before applying for the import permit. The conditions for approval are:

  • Your dog must not be younger than three months of age
  • Your dog must have a pedigree certificate issued by an approved organisation in the country of origin
  • Your dog should be implanted with an ISO-compliant microchip, and the microchip details must be recorded on the pedigree certificate
  • The name and address of the importer responsible for the dog must be mentioned in the application
  • The home where the dog will reside in Malaysia will be inspected by the Director to verify that the dog will be safe and well cared. The Director will assess the size of the residence, the kennel, the compound and safety and control of the dog before approving.
  • A written declaration from the importer must accompany the pet stating that your dog is a personal pet and not intended for sale. Your dog must be kept secured within your compound at all times and kept on a lead and muzzle when he or she is in public places. Your dog has to be under the control of a trained and skilled handler at all times.

Pet quarantine in Malaysia

Pets flying in from United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Sweden and Singapore are not required to be quarantined provided they are healthy on arrival and have fulfilled all import conditions.

Pet dogs and cats travelling to Malaysia from Australia will be subject to quarantine of not less than ten days if all other import parameters are met. If your pet is travelling from Thailand, they will be quarantined for 14 days.

Dogs and cats will be inspected by a quarantine official on arrival and placed in an approved quarantine facility. They will be released after their mandatory quarantine if they found to be healthy and free of any diseases. The quarantine period can be extended up to six months if your pet dog or cat does not fulfil import regulations.

Pet travel to Malaysia?

Bringing a pet to Malaysia can be complicated and confusing, and it is recommended to take the assistance of an accredited pet travel agency to help with the relocation. If you are planning on travelling to Malaysia with your pet dog or cat, get in touch with Petraveller for more information and a detailed pet travel itinerary.