Bringing Pets to New Zealand

What to expect when taking dogs and cats to New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand and have some furry friends you need to bring with you? You have come to the right place! This simple guide will help get you started on things to think about when bringing your pets to New Zealand.

The process of moving to New Zealand with pets can be very overwhelming. It is quite complicated and takes a long period of time to get organized and meet all the very strict import requirements of the New Zealand government. However, it is well worth it. New Zealand is an incredible country and you and your pets will feel right at home within a short amount of time.

We understand how stressful moving countries can be, from sourcing new furniture to changing phone companies to figuring out the foreign road rules. Why not let us handle the most precious cargo of all? To take the stress out of moving your cat or dog to New Zealand we recommend choosing a reputable Pet Travel Company with a team of highly knowledgeable experts to help you. You can get in touch with our team of expert Pet Travel Consultants here, or simply fill out our online inquiry form to get a quote.


New Zealand is rabies-free and therefore, any pets being imported from the USA into New Zealand must be vaccinated against rabies and have blood tests done to confirm they are free of the rabies antibodies. Because of this requirement, the process takes a minimum of 6 months from the time of the Primary vaccination to when your pet will be allowed to enter New Zealand. Within this time frame, you will need to organize several veterinary visits, book a mandatory quarantine stay, apply for an Import Permit, source an airline-approved travel crate and cater to several other requirements.

Your pet will have to enter New Zealand through the Auckland port, regardless of whether their Quarantine facility and the final destination is elsewhere in the country. It is also important to keep in mind that only certain airlines, such as Air New Zealand are authorized to import pets into the country. 

You can find further, more detailed information on your country’s specific requirements for importing pets into New Zealand on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website here. Whether you plan on enlisting the help of a reputable pet travel company or doing it on your own, forward-thinking and planning is essential. 


Why not I say?! New Zealand has it all. From long, white, pristine beaches to snow-capped, rolling mountains. Whether you are a fan of relaxing on the beach, sliding down mountains or both, New Zealand will steal your heart. The countryside is gorgeous and will take your breath away.  

Cats in New Zealand

There is also a much higher quality of life in New Zealand, for you AND your pets. Kiwi’s know how to work hard but they also know when it is time to shut off for the week and enjoy all that beautiful scenery with their families. New Zealand also has some of the cleanest air on the planet, so your furbabies will love breathing in all that fresh air!

However, if you are planning on moving to New Zealand you should be aware of some of the common slang terms, so you are not left totally confused. “Jandals” are flip flops, a “chilly bin” is an esky, “togs” are a swimsuit and the middle of nowhere can be referred to as “wop wops”. Most importantly if someone tells you “she’ll be right” it simply means everything is ok, don’t worry about it.


New Zealand is very dog and cat-friendly. In fact, there are more companion animals in New Zealand than there are humans! So yes, if you are looking for a country that you can take your pet out and about with you, New Zealand is a great option!

Some of the top pet-friendly cities in New Zealand include:


There are many beautiful off the lead spots in Auckland such as the Waiatarua Reserve or Western Park. There are also abundant cafes and restaurants that are pet-friendly. For example, Orvieto Café and Bask Café both have plenty of seating, water bowls, and the staff may even hand out treats to extra well-behaved doggies.


Be sure to check out Lyall Bay and Otari-Wiltonas Bush for great off the lead areas for your pooches to run free in. And for a special treat take your doggie to Beach Babylon where they can select something off the special K-9 Menu!


If you find yourself in Christchurch be sure to take your pup to the Groynes Dog Park where they will have a grand time swimming in the river, sniffing the trees and even playing on any of the 3 agility courses.


Make sure to check out dog-friendly areas such as Days Park or Pukete Farm Park where your furry friend will enjoy splashing in the rivers or running through the trees. There are also many groomers in the area where your pooch can be treated to a new hairdo.

Pets in New Zealand


We are a team of highly knowledgeable and friendly pet travel experts that love helping you relocate your precious pets across the globe. Whether you require a door to door service or just need help with some of the paperwork, we can create a customized travel plan to suit your needs.

Click here for a free consultation and quote.

If you have any further questions about international pet travel you can read our FAQs here. Alternatively, you can get in contact with us here and one of our pet travel consultants will be in touch!

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