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There is no quarantine for cats in SA if the import steps are followed correctly. However, there is a minimum of 14-day quarantine for dogs. 



Before entering the South Africa your pet must have:

  • Microchip
  • Vaccinations against rabies and core dog / core cat vaccines
  • Blood Tests for dogs
  • Import Permit
  • Veterinary Health Certificate
  • Government International Health Certificate to fly
  • Quarantine for dogs



Your pet must be microchipped before, or at the same time as their rabies vaccination. If you do not, they will need to be vaccinated again.

  • The microchip is injected under your pet’s skin near their left shoulder blade
  • This is not a tracking device, but is a way to identify and register your dog/cat


Rabies & Core Vaccines

  • Must be given less than a year prior to departure and no less than 30 days
  • Pet must be at least 3 months of age or older


Blood Tests

Your dog must be tested by OIE-approved methods for the following diseases within 30 days of entering South Africa: Brucella canis, Trypanosoma evansi, Babesia gibsoni, Dirofilaria immitis and Leishmania. Any dog testing POSITIVE for any of the five mentioned diseases will not be eligible for export to South Africa.

Take note:

  • Must have a microchip to complete the test.
  • These test results will need to be noted on the Import Permit Veterinary Health Certificate with negative results.

Bagheera in South Africa with his mom Bronwyn.

Import Permit

South Africa requires an application for import for entry with the Director of Animal Health. Once the Import Application form is complete, a Veterinary Import Permit will be issued. Our Pet Travel team will apply and facilitate the application process.

  • The permit is valid for 6 months from date of issue
  • 2 pages for cats / 4 page for dogs



Veterinary Health Certificate

A licensed veterinarian must complete the Health Certificate for your pet within 7 days of travel.


Government International Health Certificate

Must be completed 7 days prior to departure. Paws International Clinic will complete this step for you:

  1. A printed copy of the owner’s passport
  2. A printed copy of your pet’s vaccination book
  3. Your pet’s vaccination book
  4. Address in Danang
  5. Address at destination
  6. Printed copy of your flight itinerary

Cage Requirements

We highly recommend that you start to acclimate your pet to their travel crate and practice crate training. This will make their travel experience less stressful. During your travel consultation, we will measure, weigh and calculate what size crate is best for your dog or cat. The carrier must be IATA approved.


A= length of animal from nose to root of tail
B = height from ground to elbow joint
C = width across widest part of pet (usually the shoulders)
D = height of animal in standing position (top of head for pets with non-erect ears – from tip of ears for pets with erect ears).


Flight and Manifest Cargo

All dogs and cats imported into South Africa must be registered, as manifest cargo and CANNOT fly as excess baggage. Due to the regulations set by commercial airlines, pets may only arrive as manifest (air) cargo or in the cabin with the owner on approved airlines into South Africa.  Each airline has their own requirements so make sure you do your research carefully.

  • Manifest Cargo: The pet is booked on their own ticket and your dog/cat can arrive before or after you.
  • In Cabin: the pets must be registered as manifest cargo and the airline staff must take the pets from the owner on landing so that they can be off loaded from the plane via the cargo terminal
  • An import agent is required to clear your pet through customs upon arrival


Upon arrival in South Africa, you will present the Veterinary Certificate and the approved Import Permit to the quarantine officer. Cats with the original versions of a properly completed Import Permit and Veterinary Health Certificate will not be subject to quarantine.


Dogs will be subject to a minimum of 14 days of quarantine if arriving from certain countries including Vietnam.

  • Dogs that will be quarantined on arrival in South Africa may only be imported into South Africa via Johannesburg or Cape Town International Airports and will not be allowed to enter South Africa via any other airport or port of entry.
  • Cats are permitted to enter South Africa by land from Mozambique.

Requirements & Procedures for International Travel

Government regulations change frequently – the information contained here is accurate to the best of our knowledge but be aware that it can change anytime and should be verified before travelling.


For all the Paws International Clinic’s existing clients, there is the Digitail app! Digitail keeps all your pet’s data is in one place. Access it anytime, anywhere – it’s easy and free!