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Expat Exchange - Moving with a Pet to Malaysia 2024
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View of George Town, Penang, Malaysia


Moving with a Pet to Malaysia

By Betsy Burlingame

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: Prepare for your move to Malaysia with a pet. Understand the vaccination needs, travel details, and item restrictions in Malaysia. This essential guide helps you navigate the process of moving with your pet and reduce the chance of unnecessary complications.

Moving to Malaysia with a pet involves a series of regulations and procedures that must be carefully followed to ensure a smooth transition for your furry friend. Whether you're bringing a dog, cat, or other pet, you'll need to be aware of vaccination requirements, necessary paperwork, and potential quarantine measures. While having a pet in Malaysia is not uncommon, it's important to note that the country has specific rules regarding the importation of animals, which are designed to prevent the spread of diseases. In this article, we'll delve into the details of what you need to know when moving to Malaysia with a pet, including prohibited pets, the importation process, and what to do upon arrival to make sure your pet settles in comfortably in their new home.

Can I bring my dog to Malaysia?

Yes, you can bring your dog to Malaysia, but there are strict regulations you must follow. Your dog must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days (but not more than 12 months) before entering the country. Additionally, you'll need to obtain an import permit from the Malaysian Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) and have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian from your home country. Depending on the country of origin, your dog may also be subject to quarantine for a period of at least 7 days upon arrival in Malaysia.

Can I bring my cat to Malaysia?

Similar to dogs, cats are allowed entry into Malaysia, provided they meet the country's import requirements. This includes a mandatory rabies vaccination and a health certificate from your veterinarian. You must also secure an import permit from the DVS. Cats coming from certain countries may be required to undergo quarantine upon arrival, although the duration may vary based on the country of export and the pet's health status.

Pets that are Prohibited from Coming into Malaysia

Malaysia prohibits the import of certain breeds of dogs, including American Pit Bull Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, Neapolitan Mastiff, Japanese Tosa, Akita, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Braziliero. Additionally, exotic pets such as certain reptiles, amphibians, and birds may be restricted or require special permits. It's crucial to check with the DVS for the most up-to-date list of prohibited pets before planning your move.

How do I bring my pet to Malaysia?

To bring your pet to Malaysia, start by ensuring your pet is microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15-digit pet microchip. Next, vaccinate your pet against rabies and obtain a health certificate from your vet. Apply for an import permit from the DVS, which typically requires submission of the rabies vaccination certificate and health certificate. You should also prepare for the possibility of quarantine by contacting the quarantine facility in advance to understand the conditions and costs. Make sure all documents are in English or include a certified translation. Lastly, book your pet's travel with an approved airline and coordinate with them regarding pet travel policies and crate requirements.

Upon Arriving in Malaysia

After your pet arrives in Malaysia, they may be subject to quarantine if required. Once cleared, you should register your pet with the local council and obtain a license for them, which is a legal requirement in many Malaysian municipalities. Finding a veterinarian can be done through recommendations from other pet owners or expat groups. While dog parks are not as common in Malaysia as in some Western countries, there are pet-friendly parks and areas where your dog can enjoy some off-leash time. Malaysians generally like dogs and cats, but it's important to be respectful of cultural sensitivities, as some individuals may have religious or personal reasons for avoiding contact with animals. Always keep your pet on a leash in public and clean up after them to maintain good relations with your new community.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

View of George Town, Penang, Malaysia

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SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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