Moving Pets to New Zealand (Cats and Dogs)

How much will it cost to move my pet?

Moving a pet to New Zealand usually costs several thousand New Zealand dollars. We can break the cost down into:

cats and dogs
We’re off to New Zealand

• Vet costs before you leave

• Getting a permit to import animals into New Zealand

• Air transport

• Quarantine costs in New Zealand

We’ll look at the cost of each of these items in turn and throw in a few details to help you get through the process successfully.

Remember, you’re not required to use a pet transport company to bring your pet to New Zealand, but we’d highly recommended doing it this way.

Vet costs before you leave

Your pet will need to undergo medical tests before you can bring it to New Zealand. We’ll look at these in the import application forms further down the page.

A vet in your home country will also need to implant a microchip in your pet for identification purposes. This should be done at least six months before the departure date for pets requiring rabies vaccinations.

• Coming from the UK allow around £400 for vet costs.

• From the US, budget around $800 or so.

If you’re moving here from a country where rabies tests are required, and this includes the UK, Malta, Republic of Ireland, and Sweden, remember that blood tests usually have to be performed at least six months before your pet comes to NZ. So, if you’re hoping to move to New Zealand soon, best start getting those rabies tests done now!

Coastcat posted on ENZ’s Forum that Americans need to be careful about microchips as standards in the USA and NZ differ. If you’re coming from the USA, you’ll save yourself trouble by asking your vet to implant a chip that can be read by scanners in New Zealand. In the USA the standard is a 125 kHz microchip. In New Zealand the standard is 134.2 kHz.

Prohibited Dogs

Certain breeds and types of dogs are not allowed to be imported. These include the Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Perro de Presa Canario and the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Permit to Import Animals

• It costs NZ$220.74 for an import permit. The cost is fixed at NZ$220.74 no matter how many pets you wish to bring in.

• A Permit to Import your pet will NOT be issued unless you have a letter from an approved quarantine facility (see below) confirming a space has been booked for your pet.

The particular pet import application form you need depends on whether your pet is from a recognised rabies free country – this includes Japan, Singapore and Taiwan OR from a specified country where rabies is absent or well controlled. This includes South Africa, European countries, USA and Canada.

Application for Permit to Import Dogs & Cats from countries where rabies is absent or well controlled

Permit Application Form, Dogs & Cats from countries recognised as Rabies Free (including the Pacific Islands) – PDF

An import permit is not required for cats and dogs exported from Australia.

You’ll also need an export certificate issued by your own country for your pet.

It is recommended that you apply for an import permit at least six weeks before you intend to move your pet.

Air Transport

To fly a cat or a small dog to New Zealand from the UK will cost around £2,000.

Naturally you should shop around. You’ll find reputable shippers who charge both above and below the £2,000 mark. A good idea is to budget for £2,000. If you get a cheaper quote, or negotiate one, you can count it as money saved.

If you’re flying from the USA, your small pet should travel to NZ for less than US$2.000.

Wherever you are coming from, bear in mind that costs rise for larger animals. A proportion of the shipping charge is based on the size of the air-kennel the animal needs and another part of the cost is based on the animal’s weight.

Quarantine Costs in New Zealand

Apart from pets arriving from Australia, all pets have to be placed in quarantine.

You’ll need to place you pet in quarantine for at least 10 days in New Zealand. This will cost you approximately between NZ$1,400 and NZ$2,000 per animal including transportation from the airport and government (MAF) inspection fees.

There are five approved quarantine facilities in New Zealand, which are in:

• Avondale, Auckland (cats only)
• Takanini, Auckland
• Pokeno, Auckland
• Levin (North of Wellington)
• Aylesbury, west of Christchurch

Detailed contact information for these facilities is here.

You are free to visit your pet in quarantine if you wish.

Where does your pet come from? Complete Bio-Security Regulations

The regulations controlling the import of your cat or dog depend on where you come from. Find your country on the guidance document below and read through the complete documentation (strongly recommended).

Good Luck and may your dog(s) or cat(s) be thankful they have such caring owners.

Importing Pets

Look after yourself too!

Of course, owners need to look after themselves too. Read:

12 Healthcare Must Knows for New Zealand

8 Must Knows before you even THINK about moving to New Zealand

Will your NZ income be enough for the quality of life you desire?


  1. Gloria Anderson says:

    I am looking at bringing a cat from the Philippines to NZ, Have read all the bio security information but wondering what your experiences might be in trying to do what seems to be a difficult task.
    What is the best country to quarantine the cat for six months prior to bringing it into NZ. Any other useful information would be gratefully appreciated

  2. I want to take my 2 Greyhounds to New Zealand. I haven’t started looking at quarantine but need some advice and total prices


  3. We came from nz our dog was born in nz we moved to Australia been here 2 year now we want to bring our dog back to nz

  4. Jon Davies says:

    I am looking to bring my Doberman Pinscher from Perth to Wellington NZ. Could you advise the cost and how I set the wheels in motion?
    Kind Regards.
    Jon & Diane Davies

  5. Duane asher says:

    I’m trying to find out and get a cost of getting my dog from sydney to auckland I’m going back home for family reasons and really need to take my dog back please help

  6. Simon Short says:

    Can you tell me what the total cost would be to import 2 medium dogs from The USA to New Zealand, with quarantine done in Christchurch?

  7. James Yeomans says:

    Can you please tell me how much it will cost to bring our dog back from Guilin in China to Whitianga New Zealand? What’s the procedure in doing it and how long does it takes to do it?

  8. Carolyn Wilson says:

    how much for Jack Russell 5kg @ cat 3kg
    Melbourne to Christchurch.
    whats the best way , vaccinations and any other relevant info be much appreciated..

  9. I want to take my American Bulldog bred in Australia to NZ how much will this cost


  10. Stephen Forth says:

    I want to transport my dog from Australia (Brisbane) to Auckland. Fully vaccinated. What will the cost be?

  11. Christine Holmes says:

    Cost of transporting a pup under 5kg from NZ (Nelson) to Australia (Brisbane) would cost ???

  12. I am looking to relocate from the UK to Auckland
    Has anyone does this and can give some advise, on cost how it was ect…

What say you?
Please do not ask us for immigration/visa advice - we cannot respond to such requests.