Guide written by ILQ's own member and owner of Qatar Pet Travel: Nicky Roffey
Importing a pet:
For dogs and cats to enter Qatar, you will need an import license from the Ministry of the Environment. The dog/ cat has to have a rabies vaccination which is older than 1 month but no more than a year old. When applying for the import license, you need a copy of the valid vaccination records from a government approved clinic at the point of origin, along with a copy of your passport/ id. The certificate will be issued from the date of application and will be valid for 2 to 4 weeks.
You need to apply at the Animal department office which is located on Al Matar Street opposite the airport. Opening hours are from 7am to 1pm.
Certain dog breeds are not allowed to be imported into the country as they are banned:
• Japanese Akita
• Shar Pei
• Great Dane
• Bull dog
• Bull Mastiff
• Bull Terrier
• American Staffordshire terrier
• Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Dogs/ cats can arrive as excess luggage or as manifested cargo. The original import license has to be present when the pet arrives in Qatar. If the pet comes as cargo, you need to go to the cargo section of the airport to custom clear your pet. It is advisable to use a relocator to do this as they can quicken the process of the clearance.
Exporting a Pet:
Every country of destination has certain regulations that need to be satisfied before a pet can enter the country. It is very important that you investigate thoroughly the regulations of the country that you are moving to, so that you can complete all the necessary paperwork before leaving Qatar. Most airlines require that all rabies vaccinations are older than 30 days but no more than 1 year old.
All countries require a health certificate/ export license for when the pet travels. You need to take your pet to the Animal department so that they can issue the certificate to say that your pet is healthy to travel. This certificate is valid for 7 days for most countries. This original certificate will need to travel with the pet.
Pets can travel out of Qatar as excess luggage and cargo, but some countries insist that pets arrive as cargo. You need to clarify this at least 6 weeks before you depart. Also many countries require import licenses at the destination, so you need to investigate this. Some countries have quarantine restrictions, so again you need to check with the country you are going to if quarantine is necessary.
It is advisable to check with a relocator specialist on the regulations per country, as they can change regularly and you don’t want your pet to arrive in the new country with insuffinect paperwork. Many countries will send the pets back to the departing country if the paperwork is wrong, or the pets can be put into quarantine.
Whether the pets are arriving into Qatar or leaving Qatar, please always remember to take into consideration the weather in both the importing and exporting country. It is advisable that pets do not arrive during the day in summer in the Qatar as the heat is too extreme. Many countries/ airlines won’t allow pets to arrive in the dead of winter in the destination country, so this needs to be checked in advance. Please always remember that your pets well being must come first.
The travel boxes need to be IATA approved and have to be big enough for your dog/ cat to move around freely. The dog/ cat has to be able to sit up without its head touching the top of the crate, it needs to be able to lie down comfortably and it has to be able to turn around in the crate. Just think about how long they have to sit in the crates so they need to be as comfortable as possible. Put a blanket in the crate so that they have something soft to sit on. Please make sure there is a water bowl attached to the crate door so that they can get water during their trip. They do not need food, but water is essential to avoid dehydration. Sedation is never recommended as it interferes with the pet’s body regulation it temperature. Speak to your vet/ relocator if you are concerned about how your dog/ cat will travel.