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Expat Exchange - Moving with a Pet to Saudi Arabia 2024
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Moving with a Pet to Saudi Arabia

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell
William Russell

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

Moving to Saudi Arabia - Moving with a Pet to Saudi Arabia

Moving to Saudi Arabia as an expat or a digital nomad comes with its unique set of challenges and considerations, especially when you plan to bring a pet along. Understanding the local regulations regarding pet importation is crucial. Saudi Arabia has specific vaccination and paperwork requirements for pets entering the country, and while quarantine is not typically mandatory, ensuring all guidelines are met is essential for a smooth transition. It's worth noting that pet ownership in Saudi Arabia is becoming more common, but it's not as widespread as in some Western countries. This article will delve into the details of bringing your dog or cat to Saudi Arabia, including prohibited pets, the importation process, and what to expect once you and your furry friend arrive.

Can I bring my dog to Saudi Arabia?

Yes, you can bring your dog to Saudi Arabia, but there are strict regulations you must follow. Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days (but not more than 12 months) before travel. You'll need to provide a veterinary health certificate and proof of vaccinations. Additionally, certain breeds are banned in Saudi Arabia, so it's important to check if your dog's breed is allowed before making travel arrangements.

Can I bring my cat to Saudi Arabia?

Similar to dogs, cats can be brought into Saudi Arabia. Cat owners must provide a valid health certificate from a licensed veterinarian and proof of a rabies vaccination. The rabies shot must be administered no less than 30 days and no more than 12 months prior to entering the country. It's also advisable to ensure your cat is treated for common parasites before travel.

Pets that are Prohibited from Coming into Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has restrictions on certain types of pets and breeds. For example, most predatory birds and wild animals are not allowed to be imported as pets. When it comes to dog breeds, those considered dangerous or aggressive, such as Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, are typically banned. It's essential to consult the latest regulations or speak with the Saudi embassy to confirm whether your pet is allowed to enter the country.

How do I bring my pet to Saudi Arabia?

To bring your pet to Saudi Arabia, you must start by ensuring all vaccinations are up to date, with the rabies vaccine being the most critical. Obtain a health certificate from your vet within 30 days of travel, and have it endorsed by the relevant government authority in your home country, such as the USDA or CFIA. You'll also need an import permit from the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture. Pets do not usually need to be quarantined if all paperwork and vaccinations are in order. However, it's always best to double-check the latest requirements well in advance of your travel date.

Upon Arriving in Saudi Arabia

After arriving in Saudi Arabia with your pet, you may need to present all the documentation to the customs officials at the airport. While there is no specific pet licensing system in Saudi Arabia, it's important to register your pet with a local veterinarian as soon as possible. Finding a vet can be done through recommendations from other expats or by searching online. While attitudes towards pets, especially dogs, can vary in Saudi Arabia, cats are generally more accepted. Dog parks are not common, but there are some pet-friendly areas and services. It's crucial to respect local customs and regulations regarding pets in public spaces. As the pet culture continues to develop, more amenities and services for pet owners are likely to emerge.

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.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

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