Moving your pet interstate in Australia

Taking that job interstate may sound easy and exciting, but many Australians don’t realise there may be biosecurity issues taking your pet with you.

This is especially the case with cats, rabbits, and bees.

So before you move over the border into another quarantine zone, make sure your pet is welcome.

Below you’ll find your essential guide to moving your pet interstate, with links to useful resources:

What are the biosecurity restrictions in the state you are moving to?

Restrictions differ from state to state, so your first step should be finding out what the biosecurity measures are in the state you’re moving to.

Check with the relevant state government websites to be fully informed.

Preparing to move your pet

Other than biosecurity and quarantine concerns, you may need to consider the following based on the requirements of your destination state:

Vaccinations

Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. For some states these may be a requirement, and the last thing you want is to be stuck at the border in a hot car.

Health Certificates

Get a health certificate from your veterinarian if required, confirming your pet is in good health. If your pet is elderly, you should definitely make sure they’re in good health before undertaking a stressful journey to an unfamiliar destination.

Microchipping

I’m sure your pet is already microchipped, but if not this will be an essential. Make sure your contact details are up to date, as this is the most common problem faced when we move house or relocate a lot.

Ways to transport your pet interstate

Moving a pet interstate in Australia will almost always be long distance, and your options are flying, driving, or by train:

Air Travel

If you’re flying, book a pet-friendly airline and ensure you have the right carrier and documentation. I highly recommend using an agency like JetPets who will do everything for you. Using an agency will cost more, but it takes the pressure off you completely.

Road Travel

If driving, make regular stops for exercise, water, and bathroom breaks for your pet.

Rail Travel

If taking the train, inquire about pet policies and carrier requirements.

Tips for a smooth transition

Pet carrier

Invest in a sturdy, comfortable carrier for your pet’s safety during travel. Your pet should have plenty of room to move around.

Place familiar bedding in the pet carrier to ease their anxiety, or invest in an absorbent pet mattress or sheeting if you anticipate they will urinate during transport.

Travel preparations

The travel preparations you make will depend on whether you’re flying, driving, taking the train, or using an agent.

As a general rule, pack essential items like food, water, toys, and bedding. If you’re driving over the Nullarbor or other hot outback areas, take precautions against car breakdowns.

I broke down in the West Australian Wheatbelt on a 40+ degree day with two dogs and had to wait 8 hours for a recovery. Thankfully a lone tree provided shade, and thankfully I had plenty of water. Many regions of Australia have low scrub and no shelter – so be warned.

Acclimating to the new environment

Help your pet adjust to the new surroundings by providing a familiar environment. If you’re moving to a hot or humid state, then train yourself to consider your pet’s comfort at all times.

Your pet may be absolutely fine in Melbourne, but may quickly suffer in the hot and humid Northern Territory.

Make your pet feel comfortable in their new home by taking their bedding and favourite toys with you. Dogs and cats feel the most comfortable around familiar smells.

Final thoughts about moving your pet interstate

We love our pets, and hopefully the information in this guide will ensure moving your pet interstate is a smooth and stress-free experience.

Remember to follow biosecurity regulations, prepare thoroughly, and use all the resources available to you!

Reach out to government departments, agencies, veterinarians, and pet relocation specialists for expert advice.

Don’t worry, I’m sure you will both arrive safely and love your new interstate destination! Happy travels!

FAQ

Do I need to follow different regulations for different states in Australia?

Yes, each state may have its own regulations. Check the specific requirements for the state you’re moving to and make sure to comply with them.

Is it necessary to microchip my pet before moving them interstate?

Yes, microchipping is generally required – and recommended! Ensure your pet’s microchip is registered with your current contact details, and update your details once you relocate.

What should I pack for my pet during the move?

Pack essentials like food, water, your pet’s favourite toys, and a comfortable blanket or bedding. Don’t forget any medications or special items your pet may need.

How can I help my pet adjust to the new environment?

Create a familiar space for your pet in your new home, offer plenty of love and attention, and be patient as they adapt to the changes. Account for changes in climate, especially if moving to a much hotter region in Australia, and make sure your pet is comfortable.

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Gina & David

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