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Posted On: 16 August 2017 12:00 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:17 pm

What you need to know about pet import/export regulations in Qatar

ILQ Staff
ILQ Staff
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What would our lives be without our furry-footed companions? Probably dull and definitely boring. If you’re moving to/from Qatar and you’re a pet-owner, you’ll want to know the process of importing/exporting your pets — there’s quite a bit you need to know.

Importing pets (bringing pets into Qatar)

There’s a number of steps you need to take before you import your pet to Qatar. In this process there’s a sender (from the country where your pet is) and a receiver (the pet-owner in Qatar). The sender must fulfill certain requirements in the country where your pet is coming from. The receiver will also have to complete a number of steps in Qatar in order to receive their pet.

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1. Microchip

It’s mandatory that you microchip your pet before they travel.

2. Vaccinations/Rabies shot

Puppies and kittens must be at least four months old and must be vaccinated at least a month before they can travel. The most important vaccine pets require is the rabies shot, without it your pet is not allowed to travel. A rabies titer test, which estimates your pet’s immune response against the rabies virus from the vaccination, isn’t required. A treatment for ticks and tapeworm is not required for your pet to enter Qatar

3. Documents

Prior to travel, all pets must have either a health certificate/pet passport stating that your pet is healthy and free of parasites and infectious diseases. An import permit is also required for your pets. The receiver in Qatar needs to apply for an import license from the Ministry of Environment at the Pet and Animal Control department, which doesn’t take too long to process. You will have to present your ID, a copy of your pet’s passport/health certificate (including the page of the rabies shot), and an entitlement letter, which is optional (if you’re not personally going to pick up your pet from the airport and someone else will pick it up).

4. Flying into Qatar

All pets must enter Qatar through Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha. Pets can be checked in as baggage or as air cargo in crates.

5. Banned dog breeds, and other animals

It’s important to note that these dog breeds are not permitted to enter Qatar:

American Staffordshire Terrier, Boerboel, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bull Terrier, Bulldog, Chinese Shar-Pei, Doberman, Great Dane, Japanese Akita, Neapolitan Mastiff, Afghan Hound, Rottweiler and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Other types of animals that are commonly kept as pets such as rabbits and rodents, birds, invertebrates, fish, reptiles, and amphibia may have to meet other requirements and should have a health certificate/pet passport to enter Qatar.

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Exporting pets (taking pets out of Qatar)

Exporting your pets from Qatar also has specific requirements that need to be met. It’s always encouraged to either take your pet with you or find them a loving home if you can’t take them along. Abandoning your pets is wrong and if you can’t guarantee that you can take them with you if you’re moving back home or you can’t find them another home, you shouldn’t take on the responsibility of being a pet-owner.

1. Research

You should know the import regulations of the country you’re planning to travel with your furry companion. Most of these regulations are similar, but it’s always best to double-check in case there are additional requirements.

2. Health and vaccinations

Your pets must have all the necessary vaccinations as required from the country to which you’ll be traveling to. Your pet should be checked at a vet prior to travel to ensure it’s in good health and does not carry any parasites. The most important vaccination is the rabies shot. A pet passport/health certificate is definitely required, as well as microchips for your pets.

3. Select your airline

Similar to researching the regulations of the country you're planning to travel to, you must also research the regulations of the airline you're planning to take your pet(s) on. It’s also important to note the International Air Transport Association (IATA) rules.

Different airlines have different regulations where some breeds may be allowed, but others may not be. Airlines also specify the weight and size of the crate in which your pet will travel in. Make sure that there is enough room for your pet to be comfortable as the journey will most likely be a long one. Check out Qatar Airways regulations here:

4. Veterinary Health Certificate

A Veterinary Health Certificate to show that your pet is healthy for travel is required a week or so before departure. This can be obtained from the Ministry of Environment. The pet-owner will have to present their travel details and personal information at the ministry.

5. Pet comfort

Ensure that your fur-baby will have a comfortable journey by providing it with enough food and water (check flight regulations). It’s recommended that there should be a blanket in the crate with your pet. Don’t sedate your pet for the journey. Most airlines prohibit the use of sedatives on your pets. Make sure the crate is fully secured and isn’t in risk of breaking or opening on the flight. For more information on how to acclimatize your pet for its journey, contact your vet.

For additional information you can contact pet re-locaters in Doha, in case any further requirements or changes have been made to the process of importing or exporting. You can even hire pet re-locaters to carry out the entire process for you.

We strongly encourage potential pet-owners to #AdoptDontShop. There are many animals that require your love and attention that don’t have to be bought from pet stores! In Qatar itself, the shelters are full to the brim with abandoned animals. Please adopt.

Are you planning to travel with your pet anytime soon, or bring one of your pets over to Qatar? Comment below! Don’t forget to give us a like and a share — it keeps us going!