Will My Dog Bark With An Accent? A Guide To Getting Your Pet To New Zealand

Cash hiking on the Oregon CoastGetting Your Pet Ready To Go

New Zealand is a rabies-free country making it very, very difficult to bring pets into the country from the U.S. or any other non rabies-free country. The whole process takes about 6 months from getting the international microchip implanted to sealing the crate for your pet’s flight.

When it comes to getting our fluffiest family member to New Zealand, we aren’t messing around. The 14 hour flight can be brutal on pets and the 6 months of prep can be equally brutal for pet owners.

Pro Tip: Use a pet relocation service. We are using this one.

Using a Pet Relocater

We went back and forth between going through the process ourselves or using one of these services. The only major pro of going your own way was saving money. We decided we were willing to pay for peace of mind.

Here are some of the advanatges we saw to using a pet relocater:

  • They tell you exactly which kennel to buy for the big trip.
  • They work with your vet to get them the right timeline for vet visits and ensure that all the paperwork is filled out correctly.
  • They pick up your dog or cat at your local airport and get them to San Francisco for their final vet check and kennel sealing.
  • Once you make the initial contact with a quarantine facility in New Zealand, they take over and make sure everything is in order for when your pet gets off the plane.
  • They have someone on the other side making sure your pet won’t get rejected at customs and sent right back to their country of origin.


Every pet coming from a non rabies-free country must spend 10 days in quarantine. You can read more about New Zealand’s requirements here.

Our couch monster

Even though we will be living in Christchurch, Cash will be quarantined in Auckland. We are using Pet Haven, an independently owned quarantine near Auckland. There are two other quarantine facilities in Auckland, QPS Qualified Pet Services and Auckland Quarantine.

If you need to get your pet to another city after their stay, Pethaven offers assistance with getting your pet on a domestic flight. Another option is to pick up your pet and fly with them in cargo for $75 on Air New Zealand.

You are allowed to visit your pets, but we probably won’t because we feel this will stress out our pup more when she can’t go home with us.

Timing Is Everything

We decided the flight and quarantine process would be putting enough stress on Cash and we don’t want to add the insanity of moving into a new house. It was a tough choice, but Cash will stay with a close friend in Portland, OR for a few months while we settle in. We are currently on track for her to join us at the start of February 2018. We’re counting the days.

A Family Portrait

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