Pets in Australia

Bringing cats and dogs (and other pets) to Australia

How much does it cost to bring a Dog or Cat to Australia ?

In 2011 I looked at the cost of  bringing a dog into Australia and from the info that I found, I would say that you are looking from about GBP 1,500 upwards, plus another AUS $700-$800 to including quarantine etc.

The costs in 2015 for quarantine alone are nearer to $2,000 for one animal, a substantial increase from 2011.

Then maybe further costs to transport the pet from the quarantine station to your final destination.

Cats & Dogs

Import Permit

If you wish to import a cat or dog into Australia, you need to apply for an import permit via the Live Animal Imports Program, however, different import conditions apply for the importation of disability assistance dogs.

Electronic Lodgement for an Import Permit is cheaper than a Manual Lodgement

You can confirm the current fees at the website, where you will also find all the required forms and application information.

Note: An import permit does not guarantee a space at an Animal Quarantine Station, make sure you book a space as soon as possible.

Please double check on giving the Leptospirosis vaccination prior to travel, as it may adversely affect the ability to bring your dog to Australia.


Your Pets must spend time in Quarantine, after arrival from the UK, and there is now only 1 quarantine station for Dogs and Cats in Australia, at the following locations.

  • Mickleham, Victoria.​​ A new quarantine facility opened in Mickleham, Victoria, taking cats and dogs from 23 November 2015

Previous Quarantine Facilities

  • Victoria: The Spotswood Quarantine Facility is only open to live bird imports, and is located approximately 12km west of central Melbourne and approximately 25km from Melbourne Airport.
  • New South Wales: Eastern Creek Quarantine Station, 60 Wallgrove Road, Eastern Creek, NSW 2766 : CLOSED 9 November 2015
  • West Australia: Byford Quarantine Station, 106 Nettleton Road, Byford, WA 6122 : CLOSED in 2013

Fees for Government quarantine service for Cats & Dogs:

You can confirm the current fees at the, where you will also find all the required forms and application information.

More information can be discussed at:

Accommodation that allows Pets

Not all rental properties allow Dogs or Cats, in fact most will specify No Pets, but will then allow them after consultation, so check with the Real Estate agents and ask.
If you have two hyperactive large dogs, the landlords answer may be different to someone who has one tiny toy poodle though.

Many short term holiday style rentals also have restrictions, so if you are needing that type of accommodation, after your pet is released from quarantine, then be prepared to check very carefully on this point.

Dogs in Australia

Dogs are very popular as pets in Australia.

It is estimated that there are 3.7 million dogs kept as pets in Australia, this compares to 7.3 million in the UK.

In many areas, especially where there is a Koala presence, dogs are required to be kept on leash at all times, as they are a common problem to these Australian native animals.

Most councils provide an area for dogs to be allowed to run off the leash.

Some councils do have restrictions on the number of Dogs that a residence can have. It is therefore prudent to check this with the local council if you have, or plan to have, more than 2 dogs.

UK info:…/pet-population-figures-2.htm

Aus info:

Dog Licences

Local councils charge annual fees for Dog Licences, and these will vary depending on where you live.
A de-sexed dog often benefits from cheaper licence fees.

Two examples to show the differences in different councils:

Example 1:

  • Unsterilised: $30 for 1 year or $75 for 3 years
  • Sterilised Dogs: $10 for 1 year or $18 for 3 years

Example 2:

  • Unsterilised: $87 for 1 year
  • Sterilised Dogs: $44.50 for 1 year

Cats in Australia

Cats are also very popular as pets in Australia.

It is estimated that there are 2.4 million cats kept as pets in Australia, this compares to 7.2 million in the UK.  A similar proportion when looking at the human population, also about 3 times as many in the UK.

In many areas cats are required to be kept inside, or within fenced property, due to the dangers they pose to native wildlife.

Some areas require cats to be registered and micro chipped in the same way as Dogs.

Pets in Cars

NSW July 2009

Legislation introduced in NSW stipulates that motorists must not drive a vehicle with an animal on their lap or preventing them from having proper control of the car.


Three demerit points and $338 fine, rising to $422 in a school zone.


Refer to the Horses link on…/other

Other Pets

No other pets can be imported to Australia. These include such animals as; chinchillas, fish, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamster, lizards, mice, snakes, spiders and turtles. Source:…/other

There are exceptions for imported pets from New Zealand, where Rabbits and certain types of Birds are allowed to be brought in. However, with an import permit fee of $330 minimum, I would not be sure about the economics of it.


Bringing your Pet to Australia can be expensive

Pet Restrictions

Some areas of Australia have restrictions on the ownership of pets, and there are various reasons for this, and relate mainly to the native wildlife of Australia.

One example is that some councils may restrict the number of Dogs that you own to just 2.

It may be worth while checking with the local council, if pets are an important part of your life.


Q: Can I have a ferret in Queensland?

A: No. The ferret is a Class 1 declared pest animal, and as such is a prohibited pet in Queensland. Other Australian states also have restrictions on keeping ferrets as pets. Source:
Click here for link


Q: Can I have a pet rabbit in Queensland?

A: No.There are no provisions under the Act to allow the keeping of domestic rabbits as pets in Queensland.
Other States do however allow them as Pets.
Rabbits are Australia’s most destructive agricultural and environmental introduced animal pest, costing between $600 million and $1 billion annually.


Q: How do I tell the difference between a feral cat and a domestic one?

A: A feral cat is a declared pest. A domestic cat is defined as a cat that is fed and kept; all other cats are defined as feral.

So that domestic cats can be returned if they stray, owners should attach identifying information to them with a collar and/or a microchip.
Estimates are that Australia has up to 14 million feral cats, which kill up to 4 billion small mammals, birds and reptiles each year.


Hamsters, Gerbils and Chinchillas are completely banned in Australia

Guinea Pigs, Mice and Rats

These are allowed as pets, at least in QLD. Please check other States.

Listing of Prohibited mammals, reptiles and amphibians in Queensland, include, but are not limited to:

American corn snakes, dingoes, feral pigs, ferrets, foxes, gerbils, hamsters, donkeys, rabbits, red-eared slider turtles, squirrels, stoats, weasels and wild dogs. Source:


  • OzPet – An Australian Pet Portal dedicated solely to Australian pets and pet related web sites
  • Pets Playground – Listing of Leash Free Parks in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane

Insuring your Pet in Australia

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