How to Import Pets into Saudi Arabia

Planning to relocate to Saudi Arabia and want to bring your beloved pet with you? Dogs and cats are like family members and often the best solution for them is to relocate to the new home along with their families. You’ll find all the detailed information how to import cats and dogs into Saudi Arabia in this post to ease your worries about bringing your fur legged friends with you.

For more general information about importing goods into Saudi Arabia, go to the Customs Regulations Import Check List and don’t forget to check the List of Banned Items

It’s possible to bring your pet with you to Saudi Arabia by following the process explained in detail below. This guest post by American Hijabi aka Lyndsey Simpson is a great guide how to bring a dog or cat into Saudi Arabia with you. Lyndsey has first hand experience of bringing her own dog along with her from USA to Jeddah this year. You can read her experience of moving to Saudi Arabia with a pet here.


Importing pets into Saudi Arabia can seem like a monumental task. Saudi Arabia allows the import of both cats and dogs, but does not allow the import of parrots/birds or rabbits. While the process is very similar for both species of animal it is important to be mindful that there are some variations.

Feline/Cat Imports

–       ISO Compliant Microchip

–       Rabies Vaccination

–       This must be administered at-least 30 days but not more than 6 months

–       International Health Certificate for Export (issued in exporting country)

–       Saudi Arabian Import Permit (issued by the MOA)

–       It is important to note that the import permit is valid for 30 days and only for the port/city for which it is issued.


Canine/Dog Imports

–       ISO Compliant Microchip

–       Rabies Vaccination

–       This must be administered at-least 30 days but not more than 6 months

–       Include vaccination information – batch number and manufacture

–       DHC2PP Vaccination

–       Test Results Confirming No Parasites/Infections

–       Letter Issued By Vet

–       Should state that the dog is healthy for export and is a guard dog

–       International Health Certificate for Export

–       Saudi Arabian Import Permit


Banned Breeds:

–       Affenpinscher

–       Boxer

–       Brussels Griffon

–       Bulldog / English Bulldog

–       Bull Mastiff

–       Bull Terrier

–       Great Dane / Deutscher

–       Hovawart

–       Japanese Spitz

–       Japanese Akita / Akita Inu

–       Lancashire Heeler

–       Leonberger

–       Mastiff / Old English Mastiff

–       Neapolitan

–       Newfoundland

–       Rottweiler

–       Staffordshire Bull Terrier / Pitbull

–       Swedish Vallhund / Swedish Cattle-dog

–       All Terrier and Toy Breeds


Note: As of 2016, if the owner is a Saudi National and resides in Riyadh, the owner will be required to apply with aforementioned criteria; additionally a home inspection may be required by the Ministry of Interior through the local police station, as the the owner should reside in a villa or on a farm, apartment facilities will not be accepted. Should the owner chose to sell or re-home the imported canine/dog, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Interior should be notified. The owner will take full responsibility for the animal – including attacks on people, other animals, or for scarring local residents. Imports from the United States are required to utilized a APHIS 7001, and must have verification endorsements from the Saudi Arabian Embassy and US Department of State.


All dogs entering Saudi Arabia must be listed as a guard dog,  regardless of size or breed. It is possible that a Saudi Arabian Import Permit may be obtained for some banned breeds, if the owner is relocating to Saudi for employment and will be exporting the dog, once the employment contract has ended. If the dog is on the banned breeds list, it may be possible to obtain a permit if the dog is listed as a “mixed” breed. If a Saudi Arabian Pet Import certificate is issued by the MOA vet in Dammam, it is only good for Dammam; this is also enforced for other ports of entry including Jeddah and Riyadh.


When applying for the Saudi Arabian Import Permit for both species, the owner will need to submit the microchip information, vaccination information, international health certificate, and a photo of the animal. The Saudi Arabian Import Permit is issued in Saudi Arabia and can be obtained through a third party contact (including employers), or it is possible in some cases to email the MOA vet directly.


When entering Saudi Arabia through any port, a colored copy of the permit will be sufficient to process through customs, if the permit was obtained by email a copy should be waiting at airport upon arrival – if the permit was obtained through a third party, it will be necessary to have someone at the airport with the original. The owner will additionally need to check with their airlines in order to know if there are any additional requirements that may need to be met in order for the pet to fly. Some smaller dogs and cats may be able to fly in the cabin, while others will need to fly as excess baggage.


This relocation can be difficult on both the owners and their pets. In order to ensure that a pet is ready to travel, it is important to get them acquainted with their crates. As pet owners may not crate their pets often, it can be helpful to utilize a positive reinforcement when getting the pet acquainted with a crate; this system can include food reinforcements or affection. When preparing the crate for travel, it is important to waterproof the bottom (puppy pad, newspaper, etc), a non-spill water and food bowl, food, leash, a copy of all documentation, extra quick-release zip ties, and a picture of the pet. All document originals should be with the owner at all times.


Upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, it will be important to become familiar with the area. Should the owner live on a compound, there may be more options for walking a dog. Additionally the owner may want to seek out local pet stores in order to identify food sources and possible vets. Veterinary care in Saudi Arabia can be different from other places, it is imperative to ensure that both the owner and pet are comfortable with the vet. Some vets may offer additional services including hygiene care and boarding services.


Life in Saudi Arabia is different from many places and while this is a generalized outline for obtaining the proper documentation and how to import a pet; it is important to still check with the local municipality as the rules are subject to change without notification, and as each port of entry may have their own specifics.


American Hijabi is an American revert blogger born of Native American ancestry; she is married to a Saudi and is currently residing in Jeddah, KSA with her husband and dog. American Hijabi has been blogging since 2013 and focuses on her life in Saudi Arabia, health and beauty, and travels.



Instagram: @American.Hijabi

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P.S A useful page for dog and cat owners regarding the Pet Import and Export process to and from Saudi Arabia on Facebook: Pet Import Saudi Arabia  

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  • AgataJuly 10, 2016 - 1:18 pm

    So if my dog was vaccinated in March and we are moving in end of August to Saudi, he needs to be vaccinated again?ReplyCancel

    • American HijabiJuly 11, 2016 - 2:42 am


      The Ministry of Agriculture (specific Dept. of Conservation) will not issue you a import permit if the vaccination was administered over 6months when you apply. Do you mind if I ask, what kind of dog are you importing and from where?ReplyCancel

  • MariaAugust 9, 2016 - 10:09 am

    Hi American Hijabi,
    Please can you assist. I currently live in Doha Qatar and we may be moving to Saudi because of my husbands job commitments. We have two Brussels Griffons and wondered if, with the right paperwork, would it be possible to bring this banned breed into the country?


    • American HijabiSeptember 18, 2016 - 2:07 am


      I am so sorry for the delayed response; there are possible exceptions to the rules when it comes to import; it is however up to the discretion of the MOA’s vet. The rules have been changing quite a bit over the past several years but as of recently, there was talk about possible exceptions for “expats” on contract, given that expats will return to their home countries with their pets at the end of the contract. Your best bet would to be contact the MOA directly in which city you would be importing through (Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah, etc) and explain the situation. Now that Ramadan, Eid, and Hajj are over – they should be better at responding in a timely manner.

      – AHReplyCancel

  • RicardoOctober 11, 2016 - 4:12 pm

    hi good day. im planning to bring a 6 months old pomeranian puppy as a gift to my local friend, so basically the ownership will be under my friend name but my question, is it possible that i will bring the puppy with me and my friend will just pick it up at airport when arrival.ReplyCancel

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