American Veterinary Clinic

Al Falah Street
Abu Dhabi - UAE, BC PO BOX 31051

(971)266-5504 x4

Importing Pets - Coming to the UAE

You've got questions... We've got answers!



Please visit our Pet Travel and Relocation page for a full list of our Pet Relocation services.

 To contact an AVC Pet Relocation import advisor, please email:




If you are planning to bring your pet to the UAE, you probably have lots of questions.  We'll try to answer them for you here. 


If you don't find the answers you're looking for, please contact us.


The American Veterinary Clinic Pet Relocation Team has been relocating pets around the world for over 10 years!  We are proud to be a member of IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transportation Association).


We understand how stressful it can be to relocate… our goal is to make this process as smooth as possible - for you and your pet!


Please note:  We do insist on email communication - it's the best way to prevent miscommunication!



Q:  What type of pet relocation services does the AVC offer?


The AVC offers a complete pet travel service!  For pets coming to the UAE:  We can obtain the required UAE import permit (you need this before departure to book your pet's flight).  We will clear your pet through customs and the veterinary inspection process, and…we can deliver your pet to your home or to our kennel/cattery facility if your UAE home isn't quite ready!


Pet Travel Carriers



 Q:  How do I know what size travel cage to buy?


THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!  The cage/carrier must meet the IATA (International Air Transport Association) requirements  - click on the link below for further information.


 We have a large selection of carriers to choose from - the AVC pet relocation team can guide you regarding carrier selection.





Q:  What documents do I need to complete prior to departure?


1.  You must have a valid UAE Import Permit for your pet - this is required to book your pet's flight and will be required to clear your pet at customs in the UAE.  A maximum of two pets can be listed on a single Import Permit.  The Import Permit is valid for 30 days from the date of issue.  It can be a challenge to obtain this permit from outside of the UAE but we are happy to obtain it for you!  We will keep the original and email you a copy so you can book the flight.


2.  An official Health Certificate issued by an Official Govt. veterinarian is required for each pet.  These  must be issued within 24 hours prior to the travel date.


3.  Vaccine certificates or booklet - original copies are required.


4.  A valid rabies titre test (or rabies serological test / rabies serum neutralization test) may be required for entry into the UAE.  The test result must be >= 0.5 IU/mL.The test needs to be done after 22 days from the Rabies vaccine. The pet is  eligible to be imported to U.A.E once you have the Original Rabies Titre test report from the Laboratory

5. The pets needs to be treated with Internal & External parasite  within 10 days prior to the travel date. 

      a) Anti-External parasites treatment using (Fipronil or Permethrin)

      b) Deworming(Anthelmintic) using (Praziquantel)


This test is NOT required for pets arriving from the following countries:

Albania, Australia, Austria, Andorra, Barbados, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, the Bahamas, United Kingdom, Vanuatu

Please note that the list is subject to change so please check with us when  plan to import your pet to UAE


Q:  Are there any hotels in the UAE that accept pets?


Unfortunately, none that we know of.  However, the American Veterinary Clinic has kennel and cattery facilities.  With an advance booking, your pet can stay with us during your hotel stay.



Q:  Can I travel with my pet to the UAE in the heat of the summer?


During the hot summer months (May - October), we suggest that you arrange for your pet to arrive between late evening and before sunrise when the temperatures are cooler.  The AVC Pet Travel Vehicle is fully air conditioned for your pet's comfort.



Q:  Should my pet receive food and water during its journey?  Will it be let out of its cage?


Food and water containers must be provided.   All pets should have access to water during their flight.  Access to food is not necessary in most cases for journeys under 24hrs.  If you use our pet travel service, it is our policy to provide fresh water to all pets as soon as they have completed the veterinary inspection at the airport.  Animals are not allowed out of their travel cages during transport for safety reasons.



Q:  My pet is on special food and/or special medication - will I be able to get them in the UAE?


This depends on the particular food and/or medication.   If we can't supply the same product, we can usually provide an equivalent product in its place.  For specific questions, please contact us.



Q:  Is quality veterinary care readily available in the UAE?


Absolutely!!  The American Veterinary Clinic is Abu Dhabi's most complete veterinary facility, is conveniently located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, employs only North American and European trained veterinarians, and provides a 24hr emergency service!



Q:  Will my pet need to stay in quarantine?


No, thank goodness!  However…if your pet arrives in the UAE with incomplete documentation, then there is a penalty of 5000 AED and the pet would be re-exported to the Country of Origin at Owner's expense.



Q:  Are there any restrictions on travelling with certain breeds?


Yes…  Some airlines have breed restrictions for both dogs and cats.  These usually involve breeds with flat faces (Persians, Pugs, Bulldogs) and/or breeds thought to be aggressive.


And… the UAE has a list of dog breeds that have been banned from entering the UAE.  These are:

-          All kinds of pit bulls

-          Japanese Tosa (Tosa Inu, Tosa Fighting Dog)

-          Argentinian Fighting Dog (Dogo Argentino, Argentinian Mastiff)

-          Brazilian Fighting Dog (Fila Brasileiro, Brazilian Mastiff)

-          Any Mastiff or Hybrid

-          Wolf dog hybrids (any dog mixed with a wolf)

-         American Staffordshire Terriers

-          American Bully

-        Rottwilers breed or Hybrid

-        Doberman Pinschers

-        Canario Presa

-        Boxer

-        Cross breeds with extract of the above listed breeds



Q:  What vaccinations are required to come to the UAE?


A:  DOGS AND CATS:  Rabies Vaccine - This vaccine must be up to date.  The timing of this vaccine is important.  For the Countries in the list above :It must be given more than 22 days prior to departure but less than 365 days prior to departure. For Puppy & Kitten -the Rabies vaccine should be given only after when the puppy or kitten is of 3 months of age.For High risk countries which are not on the list -the Rabies vaccine should have been given minimum 22 days prior to the Rabies Titre test .


B:  DOGS:  The dog combination vaccine (which includes distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus and leptospirosis) must be up to date and given more than 21 days prior to departure but less than 365 days prior to departure. 


C:  CATS:  The cat combination vaccine (which includes rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia) must be up to date and given more than 21 days prior to departure but less than 365 days prior to departure.

COVID -19 For cats: It is mandatory that the animal should be accompanied with an annex to the veterinary health certificate attesting that the animal has not
been in contact with COVID-19 Human or animal  positive case within at least 14 days before shipping or was isolated under our supervision for14 days before shipping without showing symptoms of respiratory illness or it has beentested with negative result a PCR test for COVID19 with 96 hours prior to travelling


Q:  Does my pet need a microchip to come to the UAE?


Yes.  As of 2011, an ISO Standard microchip is required.



Q:  Which airline should I use?


The choice is yours, but most pets arrive on Air France/KLM,Etihad airlines ,Emirates airlines  ,British Airways, Lufthansa,  Gulf Air, Singapore Airlines .



Q:  Can I bring my pet as "excess" or "checked" baggage?


 No.  In accordance with UAE Law, all pets coming to the UAE must arrive/travel as Manifest Cargo.  This term refers to how the airline classifies your pet during transport.  Pets travelling as Manifest Cargo can accompany their owners on the same flight.



Q:  Can my pet travel in the cabin with me?


No.  Some airlines do permit pets to travel with their owners in the cabin, however ALL pets arriving in the UAE must travel as Manifest Cargo and therefore cannot accompany their owners in the cabin.



Q:  Where will my pet be on the plane?  Is it temperature/pressure controlled?


All pets on all airlines are transported in temperature and pressure controlled areas within the aircraft.  However, not all aircraft are equipped to transport live animals.  Please check with your airline.



Q:  Once the plane has landed, how long will it take for my pet to clear customs and complete the veterinary inspection?


Usually this takes 3-4 hours - but as with many airport procedures, this can vary and is dependent on several factors.



Q:  If I bring my dog, are there dog parks/dog beaches in Abu Dhabi?  Can I walk my dog in the city?


Absolutely!  Once you arrive you can contact us for details.



Q:  Do the apartments/villas in the UAE allow pets?


This depends.  Some do and some don't.  Please make sure to check with your landlord.



Q:  When do I need to start preparing my pet and all the documents for departure?


This depends on your country of departure and the documents required.  It can take up to two months to obtain all the necessary vaccines, blood tests (if required), and documentation.



Q:  How many pets can I bring to the UAE?


Two pets per person can be brought to the UAE.  If the number of pets you wish to bring exceeds two, please contact us for more information.



Q:  Should my pet be sedated for the flight?


In almost all cases the answer is no.  The potential health risks to your pet exceed the possible benefits.  Some stress during travel is normal - for people and pets!  However, it is best that your pet be alert and aware of its surroundings.  Once on the aircraft, most pets rest quietly until landing.  Many airlines will refuse to fly sedated animals.



Q:  How much does it cost?


The cost will depend on several factors such as:  port of arrival, number of pets, day of arrival, documents required, etc… For more information on the AVC costs, please contact us.




Please visit our Pet Travel and Relocation page for a full list of our Pet Relocation services.

To contact an AVC Pet Relocation import advisor, please email: