Bringing a pet to Israel is possible to do on your own, but requires a few months of planning ahead. You can also use a company for it: they will take care of everything for an extra cost. The procedure listed below is valid for both cats and dogs, as well as ferrets.
How to bring your pet to Israel: procedure and conditions
- A pet that you want to bring to Israel has to be at least 4 months old – younger pets can be transported to Israel only when arriving from Japan, Cyprus, and Oceania (Australia, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tonga, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, American Samoa, Fiji, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati).
- Your pet has to be in your possession for the last 90 days.
- Your pet has to be microchipped (ISO 11784 and 11785 Standard).
- Your pet needs to have a rabies vaccination (Exempted: Pets arriving from Japan, Cyprus, and Oceania).
- Your pet needs to take a titer test (at least 30 days must have passed since the rabies vaccination, but no longer than 12 months), depending on the lab it can take 3-6 weeks to get the results back (Exempted: Pets arriving from Japan, Cyprus and Oceania).
- Your pet needs to have the veterinary health certificate (pages 11 to 13 of this document) issued by a governmental veterinarian of the country of origin (issued no more than 10 days prior to the pet’s arrival).
- If you don’t travel yourself with your pet, travel with more than three pets or the pet is not 90 days in your possession, you need to get an import license issued by the Ministry of Agriculture in Israel. You can request it here, you should get it on the spot: https://www.gov.il/he/service/import_pets_cats_dogs (a requirement since Covid-19 – changed from 23.04.2020).
Clearance before your flight
Before the flight, you need to get a “flight clearance” for your pet and send it at least two business days in advance to the relevant authority. Send the import notification (pages 14 and 15 of this document), the health certificate (pages 11 to 13 of this document), and the titer test result to the veterinary services at the Ministry of Agriculture: by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by fax to the number: 03-9485869.
It is essential to do this at least two working days in advance. The confirmation will be sent to your email, and if you have not received the permit, you need to recheck with them – do not take your pet without it!
Importation of “Dangerous Breeds”
In order to import dangerous breeds to Israel you need a special permit, the current list includes:
- American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Amstaff)
- Bull Terrier
- Argentinean Dogo
- Japanese Tosa
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier (English Staff)
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Brazilian Fila
- American Bully
Also, be aware that some airlines don’t transport certain breeds.
Tips before and after flying your pet
- Check which airlines take animals at all, some only take them in the cabin (up to 8 kilos), some only in cargo, and some in both.
- Book your pet on the flight in advance. You can take only one pet per person into the cabin, more into cargo.
- Buy fitting flight boxes:
- For the cabin, a soft box that can be placed under the seats, measurements are different for each airline
- For cargo, a hard box that your animal can stand in, usually by IATA standard
- Get the animals used to the flight boxes, keep them outside, and give them treats in there.
- You are not allowed by the airlines to give the pets calming tablets, only light natural remedies, as they can’t guarantee how the medicine affects the animal in the air, best to consult your veterinarian.
Tips right before the flight:
- Put puppy pads or medical pads that absorb fluids on the bottom of the boxes.
- Place a t-shirt or something else that has your smell or the home’s smell inside the box.
- For the security scan at the airport (hand luggage for cabin and regular luggage for cargo), you need to take the animals out of the box, either train them with a harness before or if your animal is likely to escape request to do it in a separate room.
Tips after the flight:
- Have your animal papers ready at customs.
- Arrange a transport from the airport before your flight, as not all taxis at Ben Gurion Airport take animals.