Bringing pets into New Zealand

You can bring your cat or dog here, but they must meet specific health standards. These change depending on the country your pet is coming from.

Cats and dogs must land in Auckland or Christchurch first

Cats and dogs from Australia will be cleared for entry.

All other cats and dogs must be transferred to a quarantine facility.

Get help from a professional

A professional pet exporter can help you bring your pet here safely — most airlines require you to use one to make sure you’ve followed all the rules.

They offer a range of services like arranging tests, treatments, flights, permits to import, shipping crates, and other requirements.

Permits for cats and dogs

If you’re not using a professional pet exporter, you have to arrange the permit yourself.

If you’re bringing a cat or dog from:

  • Australia, you usually don’t need a permit — but your pet will need a post-arrival inspection
  • an approved country, you need a permit to import
  • another country, your pet won’t be allowed into NZ until it’s spent 6 months in an approved country and you can provide a vet certificate.
  • You have to pay for permits, inspections, and other costs as needed, for example quarantine fees.

You can download a PDF of approved countries from the Ministry for Primary Industries website:


Banned dogs

There are certain types of dogs that aren’t allowed to be imported to NZ at any time:

  • the American pit bull terrier
  • Brazilian fila
  • dogo Argentino
  • Japanese tosa
  • Perro de Presa Canario.

Perro de Presa Canario

Other pets you can and can’t bring into NZ

You can bring:

  • horses
  • ornamental fish
  • chinchillas — from the United Kingdom (UK) only
  • guinea pigs — from Australia only
  • rabbits — from Australia only.


You’re not allowed to import:

  • birds
  • ferrets
  • mice and rats
  • reptiles
  • snakes
  • some breeds of dog.

When you arrive in NZ

You need the right documents to go through Customs, and you may have to pay a fee.



Cats and dogs coming from Australia don’t need to be quarantined.

Cats and dogs from all other countries must be quarantined for at least 10 days.


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