How To Move Your Pet to Dubai?

How To Move Your Pet to Dubai? - The Pets Club

How To Move Your Pet to Dubai?

Moving your pet cat or dog to the Middle East from another country can be a nerve-wracking experience.

Thankfully, some tips can help you prepare for the travel and make the process smooth and safe for your beloved pet.

This guide discusses everything you need to know when moving your pet to Dubai.

Moving Your Pet to Dubai - Important Things You Should Know!

General Considerations

  • It is recommended that your cat or dog is at least eight weeks old before traveling.
  • Get your pet examined by your vet before the travel. Ensure its vaccinations, deworming, and flea and tick prevention are up to date. Obtain a health certificate from the vet no more than ten days before the travel. (We discuss the vaccinations in detail below).
  • It is essential that your pet is microchipped. This is important in case your pet gets lost.
  • Unless your vet recommends it, sedation of the pet is unnecessary since it comes with many side effects, especially at higher altitudes.
  • If needed, consider enlisting the services of local pet relocation professionals or Dubai pet travel agents to help you.
  • It is also a good idea to have the contact details of a reliable vet in Dubai once you and your pet land. This way, you can get your pet examined upon arrival.
  • UAE pet travel laws do not require dogs to be quarantined after they arrive.
  • Several dog breeds are prohibited from entering UAE. These include Doberman Pinschers, all kinds of Pit Bulls and Mastiff breeds, Japanese Tosa, all Wolf-dog hybrids, American Staffordshire, and all fighting dog breeds.


ic: What you need to know about traveling with dogs on a plane

Documents and Vaccinations Needed for Pets Traveling to Dubai

Here is a list of documents your pet will need for traveling to the UAE:

  • Owner's passport copy.

  • Apply to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) for your pet's travel permit.

  • Original vaccination card or valid health certificate from a vet in the exporting country. (For dogs, the vaccines include - rabies, canine distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and leptospirosis. For cats - rabies, Feline panleukopenia, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis).

  • Deworming using praziquantel

  • Anti-external parasite prevention using Fipronil or permethrin.

  • Animal passport with pet's date of birth, microchip information, and vaccination records for rabies and other vaccinations - date, batch no. of vaccine, etc. A rabies serum vaccine is unnecessary if the pet is flying from rabies-free or rabies-controlled countries such as Australia, the UK, Ireland, Mauritius, etc. You can see the entire list of rabies-free/controlled countries on the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water website or the MOCCAE website.

  • Keep extra copies of all the necessary documents to prepare for baggage delays or loss. Keep original records with your vet in the exporting country or with a friend so they can fax/email them to you if needed.

  • Write your name, pet's name, and contact details on the crate in permanent ink on the carrier.

  • If the flight is over 12 hours, write detailed feeding instructions for the airline staff.

ic: Certain breeds of dogs could have a hard time in Dubai’s hot environment.


  • Pay the import and inspection fees upon arrival.

  • Failure to comply with rules could result in a fine, confiscation, or rejection of the pet at the owner's expense.

Know The Airline Rules

  • The IATA, or the International Air Travel Association, has particular requirements regarding air travel carriers for pets.
  • It is best to contact the individual airline to know their specific rules before traveling.
  • UAE does not permit any animals to travel in the flight cabin. All pets must be placed in airline-approved pet carriers and flown in cargo. The crate/carrier must be large enough for your pet to comfortably stand, sit, and change position.
  • You can buy the pet carrier from a pet store based on the size specifications of your airline. Select a cage that will allow plenty of ventilation for your pet's safety. Remember that soft-shell or soft-side carriers may not offer protection to the pet. The page must have grips or handles that allow airline staff to carry it without getting their fingers bitten. The carrier can have food and water bowls accessible to the airline staff so they can safely feed your pet.
  • Dimensions of crate/pet carriers - pets up to 53 kg need a page of at least 59 inches or 150 cm. Pets between 24-32 kilograms need a crate of at least 59-118 inches (150-300 cm).
  • Airlines like Emirates may allow service dogs in the flight cabin, subject to several conditions. Check out the list of airlines allowing service dogs in cabin flights to Dubai.
  • A traveler can have a maximum of two pets, each needing a travel permit.
  • Talk to the airline and ask several questions. In particular, "what else should I know to keep my pet safe and comfortable?" and "what are the requirements I need to know of before the flight?"
ic:The cage/carrier your pet is travelling in must meet the IATA requirements

Prepare Your Pet for the Travel

  • Get your pet used to the carrier/crate starting a few weeks before the travel.
  • If you have not crate-trained your pet, start the training at least three weeks before traveling.
  • Allow your pet to sniff and examine the crate. Then, let it inside for a few minutes each day. You can add treats and toys inside the crate to make your cat or dog more comfortable and welcoming.
  • Slowly increase the duration of crating. Once your dog or cat is comfortable in the crate, ensure it can stay in it for 8 hours.
  • Feed your pet a light meal before the flight and ensure it gets a potty or plays break before boarding.
  • You can train your dog or cat to drink from a hamster-type water bottle.

ic: How to measure your pet for a travel crate?

Some More Tips to Ease the Travel Process

  • Avoid traveling in extreme weather to prevent hot/cold loading/off-loading conditions. Certain brachycephalic dog breeds should not travel in hot weather. These include Pugs and other snub-nosed dogs.
  • It is best to schedule your travel during off-peak season to prevent delays and missed flights.
  • If you must travel in hot weather, schedule a night-time flight.
  • Confirm your pet's booking 24-48 hours before the departure.
  • If possible, book a direct flight.
  • Arrive plenty of time before the flight. This will allow your pet some time on the ground before boarding. Many airports have a pet area for dogs to walk or play.
  • Sometimes, pet cargo areas are farther away from the central boarding area. You might want to check this out for your airport before departure.
  • You can attach a water bowl inside the crate. Freeze the water before departure to prevent it from sloshing. It will melt in a while so your pet can ease its thirst.
  • If the flight is more than 12 hours long, attach a small bag of dry pet food with detailed instructions regarding feeding for the airline staff.
  • Line the crate with an absorbent liner to absorb liquid messes and keep your pet more comfortable. You can also add some of your/owner's clothing items inside the crate, as the scent will comfort your pet.
  • On the day of the travel, exercise or walk your dog for a long time to help expend its energy.
  • Carry an extra leash so you can walk your dog before boarding and after collecting it.
  • Upon arrival, collect your pet right away.

FAQs - How to Move Your Pet to Dubai

What are the specific age requirements for moving pets by air to Dubai?

For the safety of pets, it is best to only transport pets aged eight weeks and older by air.

Does Etihad allow snub-nosed dogs?

Most airlines, such as Lufthansa, Etihad, Gulf Air, and Copa, allow snub-nosed dogs to be transferred in winter or under specific temperatures.

Do dogs need to quarantine when entering Dubai?

If you provide the latest vaccination cards and your dog has received the serum rabies vaccine (if it has flown from a country that does not have rabies-free/controlled status), your dog need not be quarantined.

How much does it cost to transfer a dog into Dubai by air?

You can expect to pay between $500 (USD) and $800 (USD) fees for transporting your dog. These fees depend on your dog's size.

Can my dog survive in Dubai?

Certain breeds of dogs could have a hard time in Dubai's hot environment. Always check with your vet whether your particular breed can safely transition to Dubai.

Conclusion - How to Move Your Pet to Dubai?

You can bring your dog to UAE via any airport in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. You can also consider getting it by road.

Before flying your pet into Dubai, check the travel requirements on the MCCOAE website. It is also essential to have your pet examined by a vet. Then, get the papers sorted and prepare your dog or cat for the travel.

We hope this guide helps you safely move your pet to Dubai.

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