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Vaccination schedule to bring your dog and cat to Australia

Australia’s strong biosecurity laws require that pets follow a complex process of vaccinations, tests and documentation to be able to enter the country. The vaccination schedule for Australia depends on the country of origin and is different for pets coming from different country categories.

If you are planning to travel to Australia with your pet, or return to Australia with your pet, it is recommended to begin the process early to fulfil all the import conditions in time. Visit the vet to understand the vaccination schedule and make sure all your pet’s vaccinations are current. Here’s what you need to know about what vaccinations your pet needs before flying to Australia:

Know your country category

Australian pet import regulations vary according to the country of origin. There are three categories of countries and pets from only these countries can be imported in Australia. Check which category the country of origin is classified under before beginning the vaccination schedule. Pet dogs and cats from approved countries will be allowed to enter Australia, only if all pet import regulations are satisfactorily met.

  • Category I: New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Cocos Island
  • Category II: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Christmas Island, Cook Island, Falkland Islands, Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Kiribati, Mauritius, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis, and Futuna.
  • Category III: Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Canary and Balearic Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jersey, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak only), Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Netherlands—Antilles & Aruba, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, the Republic of South Africa, Reunion, Saipan, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland (including Liechtenstein), Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States (including the district of Columbia, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (but excluding Guam and Hawaii), Uruguay.
  • Category IV: All countries not listed in Groups I, II, and III are non-approved countries and your pet cannot directly enter Australia from these destinations.

Vaccination schedule for pets entering Australia

Category I countries

If your pet dog or cat is travelling to Australia from a Category I country, they do not need to be vaccinated against rabies because these countries are rabies-free.

Category II countries

Pet cats and dogs flying in from Category II countries must be vaccinated against rabies after the microchip implantation. Dogs must be fully immunised against Leptospirosis (Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola) according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. The vaccine is usually given in two doses two-three weeks apart and must be given at least 14 days before the date of travel.

Dogs flying in from Singapore need to be vaccinated against Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), which must be given between 12 months and 14 days before export.

Other mandatory dog vaccines for entry in Australia are Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica. These vaccinations must be valid for the entire post-entry quarantine period.

Cats travelling from Category II countries need vaccinations against Feline Enteritis, Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus. These vaccines must be valid for the entire post-entry quarantine period.

Category III countries

Dogs and cats flying into Australia from Category III countries need to have a valid rabies vaccination. These dogs need to undergo the RNATT (rabies neutralising antibody titre test) after receiving the rabies vaccination. The analysis must be carried out by a registered authority, and the results are valid for 24 months after the sampling. Your pet will be eligible for export to Australia 180 days after the RNATT sample has been collected, provided the results are satisfactory.

Dogs must be vaccinated against Leptospirosis; the vaccine has to be given in two doses two to three weeks apart. Make sure the dog is vaccinated at least 14 days before the date of travel.

Dogs flying in from the United States need to be vaccinated against Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) between 12 months and 14 days before travel.

Pet dogs flying into Australia need the following mandatory vaccines – Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus and Bordetella. These vaccinations must be valid through the quarantine period.

Mandatory cat vaccines include Feline Enteritis, Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus, which need to be valid for the entire post-entry quarantine period.

Category IV countries

Dogs and cats travelling from non-approved countries need to move to a country in category II or III for six months before being eligible to enter Australia. Pet dogs and cats must follow the vaccination schedule of that country category before travelling to Australia.

Relocating to Australia?

Australia’s famously stringent bio-security regulations make it complicated to import pet dogs and cats into the country. It is recommended to take the assistance of an accredited pet travel agency to help you traverse the rules and processes. If you are looking to travel to Australia with your precious pet, get in touch with Petraveller for a detailed pet travel itinerary.