How to Fly Your Dog From the UK to New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand? Some folks will think you’re crazy taking your pet with you… not us. Logan originally joined our family in Australia but sadly for visa reasons we had to return to the UK albeit we didn’t plan on staying their permanently. We’ve stayed in the UK just under a year and now we’re moving to New Zealand.

For us, the decision to take our dog to New Zealand was a no brainer. But it’s a big deal, it takes lots of preparation and is fairly expensive… more than the cost of flying a person. Budgeting and planning is key but otherwise it’s completely possible to fly your pet to New Zealand from the UK.

Here’s how we went about flying our dog, Logan, to Auckland:

Choose a Pet Export Agent

We submitted A LOT of requests for quotes for pet agents and received a huge range of different quotes with different inclusions/exclusions. It wasn’t the easiest process choosing the right agent but our advice is just be thorough when you’re looking at what’s included and not included in the quote. A good place to start is looking at the IPATA website for a list of registered agents.

We decided to go with Lesley at Animal Couriers Ltd. and would definitely recommend them, the process has been a breeze.

Included in our quote was the cost of Logan’s wooden crate, which was made to his dimensions.

Martin picked Logan up from our house in West Yorkshire and they looked after him for the 2 days prior to his flight to complete the final vet treatments and export certificates.

Just look at how happy Logan was on his journey with them…

animal couriers ltd

Choosing a Registered Vet to Handle Export Requirements

You may want to use your normal vet for the treatments and tests your pet needs before their export to New Zealand. This is fine but they must be an Official Registered Veterinarian in order to be able to give the treatments and certify the documents required. If you choose an agent near where you live then they are likely to have a registered vet that they recommend.

We chose to have our normal vet, the lovely Carla at Aireworth Vets in Keighley to do everything except the treatments needed within the 2 days before Logan’s flight. Our export agent’s vet did the final treatments and completed the certificates. The agent then asked our vet to sign a declaration for the treatments she had given so the agent’s vet could complete the final export certificates.

It’s a good idea to download your own copies of the export requirements and example certificates from the New Zealand Government website and DEFRA and familiarise yourself with the timings of the tests and treatments as these are quite specific relating to how many days prior your pet’s flight they are required.

For Logan we needed four vet appointments to complete everything required, these were as follows:

  1.  Appointment with our vet to give Logan his annual vaccines and his secondary Rabies vaccine/booster (Approx. cost)
  2.  Appointment with our vet to give the 1st internal and external parasite treatments, take a blood sample and send it to the lab to test for Heartworm (Approx. cost )
  3.  Appointment with our vet to take a blood sample and send it to the lab to test for Babesia Gibsoni and Brucella Canis (Approx. cost )
  4.  Appointment with the agent’s vet to complete the export certificates and give the 2nd internal and external parasite treatments. (Approx. cost )

You will also require your vet to sign some declarations for the following:

  1. An official vet declaration (OVD) for the Rabies titre test result and vaccines (Approx. cost)
  2. Declaration to state they are not a prohibited breed (Approx. cost)

As Logan had flown from Australia previously we had already given him his primary Rabies vaccine and had the Rabies titre test done. You would need to start your process earlier than we did to account for these.

Choosing a Quarantine Facility in New Zealand

Your dog will need to go into quarantine when it arrives in New Zealand. It’s up to you to choose which quarantine facility you use or your agent can take care of the booking for you. A list of quarantine facilities is available on the MPI website.

We chose Auckland Quarantine since Logan was flying into Auckland and we liked the impression they gave on their website and Facebook page.

10 days quarantine at Auckland Quarantine facility cost us $1556 NZD for Logan.

Apply For an Import Permit

You will need to apply for an import permit for your pet. Your agent may be able to do this for you or you can do this yourself. Download the appropriate application form for your country from the MPI website. The import permit cost us $176.42 NZD.

Should I Crate Train My Dog

The short answer… YES… you should absolutely crate train your dog. It will make the flying experience far more comfortable for your puppy if you get them used to being in a crate, even better if you can get them used to the crate they’re going to travel in. Many agents will be able to ship the crate to you before your pet travels so you can familiarise them with the crate.

Here is a photo of Logan’s wooden airline approved dog crate.

Read our blog post on how to crate train your dog here.

Logan’s Pet Flight From London to Auckland

Logan flew with Emirates via Dubai to Auckland, New Zealand. We opted for a door to door service where our agent collected him from our house in West Yorkshire. This took a lot of stress away from the final parts of the export process, the agent’s vet completed his final health checks, DEFRA certificate and parasite treatments for us ensuring they were 100% correct for his export. They then checked him in at Heathrow Airport for us and sealed his crate ready for the flight.

Dubai Airport has a facility for pets in transit where they take them out of their crates, walk and feed your pets and clean out their crates if necessary ready to be sealed again for the next leg of their flight. Logan also flew via Dubai on his flight from Australia to the UK with JetPets.

When Logan reached New Zealand he had to undergo a minimum of 10 days in quarantine therefore the quarantine facility collected him direct from Auckland Airport.

What is animal Quarantine like in New Zealand?

Auckland Quarantine looked after Logan exceptionally. He was so healthy and happy when we collected him after 10 days.

You cannot visit your pet while it is in quarantine, so we particularly enjoyed that they post regular updates on their Facebook page of the pets they have in quarantine.

Here are some photos of Logan during his stay at quarantine.

This was a nasty surprise for us!

We expected that we might have to pay GST on Logan’s value i.e. what we paid the breeder for him or if you adopted your pet, you could put your adoption fee.

However, about a week into the quarantine we received a bill from the quarantine facility for $621 NZD! Apparently the GST is calculated on the freight cost as well as your dog or cat’s value.

For more information on GST on pet imports visit the NZ customs website.

Conclusion

So there it is, Logan’s journey and our insights from our experience of flying a dog from the UK to New Zealand.

Here is the video from when we picked him up from quarantine!