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Bringing Pets To Israel

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Bringing Pets To Israel

Israel is a small country located in the Middle East. Although its area is relatively small, it has a high concentration of historical, archeological and cultural sites. Israelis are very fond of pets, especially dogs and cats, and therefore, it isn’t surprising that bringing pets to Israel is a popular topic.

In order to bring dogs and/or cats to Israel, pet owners should comply with the import procedures set by the Ministry of Agriculture. The process isn’t simple, especially for those that are doing it for the first time.

The following article will help you understand what’s required to import a pet into Israel.

Pet Microchip

Dog and cat with a pet microchip each and a chip scanner scanning them

If you would like to bring your dog or cat to Israel, the first step of the process is to implant them with a microchip. The microchip should be subcutaneous (applied under the skin) and it should comply with the ISO standards (#11784 and #11785).

If the microchip doesn’t meet these standards, the importer/owner must bring his/her your own microchip reader.

Vaccinations Needed To Bring A Pet To Israel

Pet dog getting vaccinated at the vet

All dogs and cats require a veterinary confirmation that they have been vaccinated against rabies no more than one year and no less than 30 days prior to their arrival in Israel.

Exception: pets arriving from Oceania, Great Britain, Japan and Cyprus don’t need to be vaccinated against rabies.

Rabies Antibody Titer Test

Blood serums for Rabies Titer Test

A blood sample should be taken from all dogs and cats at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination was given.

The result should state that the rabies neutralizing antibody titer was equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml.

There is no waiting period after the titer test results are given.

It is important to note that:

  • The blood sample should be sent to an OIE approved laboratory. If you are based in a country that doesn’t have an approved lab, you will need to send the sample abroad, to a country that has an approved lab.
  • Most of the approved labs around the world issue the results within 3-6 weeks.

Israeli Health Certificate

Pet Health Certificate need for pet travel

Pets entering Israel must be accompanied by an official veterinary health certificate, which was issued no more than 10 days prior to the pet’s arrival.

The health certificate must be endorsed by a government veterinarian of the country of origin.

Import Permit

Certificate getting an approved stamp

An import permit, issued by the Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, is required only if:

  • There are more than two pets
  • The pets will fly as manifest cargo
  • The pets weren’t in the owner’s possession at least 90 days prior to their arrival in Israel
  • The pets aren’t arriving with the owner
  • The dog is a dangerous breed

Important: from August 1, 2017, dogs and cats that are imported to Israel with an import license will only be able to enter as cargo shipments (with an airway bill).

Dangerous & Banned Breeds In Israel

Dangerous rottweiler showing his teeth

There are no banned dog breeds in Israel.

The following breeds will need extra documents and requirements in order to enter Israel:

  • American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Amstaff)
  • Bull Terrier
  • Argentinean Dogo
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier (English Staff)
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Brazilian Fila
  • Rottweiler
  • American Bully – In 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture decided that an American Bully shall be considered a dangerous dog breed.

A cross with a dangerous breed that exhibits physical traits similar to those of a dangerous breed will be seen as a dangerous breed and will need to follow the same import requirements.

According to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, a Bengal cat can’t be imported into Israel.

Entering Israel With A Pet

Cartoon dog flying a plane

Bringing pets to Israel can be done in 3 ways: in cabin, as excess baggage and as manifested cargo.

Miniature Bull Terriers and pets that need an import permit can only be imported as cargo!

The importer/owner is required to notify the Veterinary Services at the point of entry (Ben Gurion airport, Haifa seaport, Ashdod seaport and Eilat seaport) at least two working days prior to the pet’s arrival.

Quarantine In Israel

Dogs in quarantine

There is no mandatory quarantine in Israel.

If the demands of the Veterinary Services have not been met in full, the cats/dogs will be returned to their country of origin, destroyed or transferred to a quarantine facility at the discretion of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The import/owner will be charged with all costs incurred.

Importing A Pet Into Israel – FAQ

Colorful stickers with question marks

Here are some frequently asked questions about importing a pet into Israel:

Question #1: Can I bring a pet into Israel without the rabies blood test?

If you are coming from Oceania, the UK, Japan or Cyprus, your pet won’t need to pass a rabies blood test.

If you are planning to bring a dog/cat from another country, you could get an exemption. If you would like such an exemption, you should know that your dog/cat will need to enter quarantine after landing in Israel. If you need such an exemption, feel free to contact us for more details.

Question #2: How long does the import process take?

It depends on many variables (such as: country of origin, age, type of animal and more). In general, the process should take anywhere from two weeks to three months.

Question #3: I want to purchase a puppy abroad and bring it to Israel. Is this recommended?

First of all, please beware of scams! Unfortunately, there are many scammers in the pet aviation industry.

Second of all, it’s an expensive procedure. If you are doing so to save money, we recommend you think this through. It will most likely be cheaper for you to purchase a puppy in Israel. If you still want to purchase a puppy abroad, do so only through verified breeders.

We always recommend adopting dogs and cats from non-profit organizations in Israel.

Question #4: Can I bring my dog with me in-cabin?

If an airway bill isn’t required, you could bring your dog with you in-cabin.

Question #5: Do I need to do the import process through a pet relocation agency?

No, you are not obligated to do so. It is, however, recommended to use an agency to assist you with the process.

Need Help Bringing Pets To Israel?

Dog at the airport with luggage ready to travel

Relocating with pets to another country always comes with some uncertainty and concerns.

In order to make your relocation to Israel as hassle-free as possible, our consultants are on standby 24/7 to help you with all your pet travel needs.

Pets2Fly has years of experience in the pet aviation industry and bringing pets to Israel is our speciality!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

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