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Importing a Cat or Dog

Planning on bringing your furry loved one with you to Doha? You can hire a pet relocator or you can do it yourself. Here's how.

When relocating to Qatar, there are numerous things to consider before you decide to bring your pet. Is the pet longhaired or will it possibly have difficulty coping with hot, humid weather? Is your pet a cold weather breed? Will there be adequate space in your home or yard? Is the pet a banned breed in Qatar? You can use a pet relocation service to import your pets, but if that isn’t in your budget or you prefer to import your pets personally, this is how you do it.

Dogs are generally not permitted in public places including parks and the Corniche. Some beaches permit dogs, but they must be leashed at all times. According to the Department of Animal Resources, the following dog breeds are banned in Qatar:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Boerboel
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Bull Terrier
  • Bulldog
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Doberman
  • Great Dane
  • Japanese Akita
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Afghan Hound
  • Rottweiler
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

There are currently no banned cat breeds in Qatar, but most airlines will not airfreight snub-nosed animals such as Persian cats. To confirm if your cat or dog is a snub-nosed breed, it is advisable to confirm with your vet and the airline prior to attempting to ship your animal.

Most airlines do not allow pets to be carried in the cabin for international flights and so they must be transported as cargo or excess baggage instead. Bringing your pet as excess baggage is far more cost effective, but has weight limitations. To confirm the weight limitations for pets, it is advisable to contact the airline well in advance.

Pets must also be shipped as per International Air Transport Associations code of conduct. For crate sizes and IATA regulations you can visit their Pet Travel Corner. The limitation for importing pets to Qatar is two dogs per adult passenger, but there is currently no limit on cats.

All animals imported must be vaccinated against rabies. Dogs require vaccination against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis. Cats require vaccination against calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and panleukopaenia. All vaccinations must be given at least 30 days prior to their arrival in Qatar.

Although not a requirement, it is advisable to microchip your pet prior to travel. Any animals found without a microchip or collars are treated as strays. If your animal is microchipped you should register your pet here prior to arrival.

There is no quarantine in Qatar. A license must be obtained prior to bringing your pet into the country.

To obtain a license to import, a copy of following documents must be submitted to one of the Department of Animal Resources’ veterinary clinics in Al Matar, Al Rayyan and Al Shamal:

  • Copy of the owner’s ID/passport
  • An up-to-date vaccination record
  • A health certificate issued no more than 14 days prior to the animal’s arrival in Qatar

An import request form must be filled along with these documents. The form can be obtained from the Department of Animal Resources. The import license is valid for 30 days. Any pets being imported to Qatar must be older than four months of age.

Once the import license is obtained, transportation booked and you are all ready to ship your pet, you should call the airline at least three days prior to the travel date to confirm they will receive your animal on that day. On arrival in Qatar, all animals are kept at a special facility until they clear customs and are inspected. The health inspection is to verify that your animal is free of all diseases and in good health. Should your pet not be in good health, you may be required to pay for an additional veterinary inspection.

If you fail to comply with Qatar’s import regulations or your pet is found to be from a banned breed or not up to health standards, your pet may not be permitted to enter Qatar and will be sent back to the country of origin at your cost.


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