When you move countries you have to decide whether or not you will take your pet. For me it wasn’t even an option leaving Winston behind. He’s my best friend and just quietly, my favourite child (sorry Morgan, Jack and Will)!! Having to leave him temporarily was killing me and the thought of leaving him forever was simply out of the question. When I left New Zealand he had to stay behind with my husband for a couple of weeks and then with friends until we found a house in Oman. From my research there appeared to be no pet friendly accomodation. I’ve since found out there is and you can find it on bookings.com. I wish I had known before. When I touched down in Australia I called my husband to make sure Winston had survived his first night without me. I sobbed as we taxied into the airport when I found out he had been searching for me the whole night. It became my mission to get him over here as fast as possible.
Winston was my 34th birthday present. I’d never had a puppy before, well, once in the Philippines, but, rest his soul, the poor little thing only lived 48hrs (that’s another story). After that traumatic experience it took awhile to decide to give adopting a pet another shot. When I got Winston he was riddled with health problems and we were at the vet so often they stopped charging us. I didn’t know how to treat him so treated him like a baby. He loved it and he still thinks he’s people. He came everywhere with me. Even the grocery store. He was so small and fluffy no one knew I was carrying a dog. There was no way I was leaving this guy behind!!!
Because I was departing New Zealand it was a requirement that you used a pet transportation company. I used Auckland Airport Pet Services (email@example.com). Their services included booking his flights, his travel crate, overnight boarding for up to two days (if required), coordinating his MPI vet clearance before departure and taking him to the airport for his flight. Winston flew as cargo on Emirates. New Zealand prides itself on never having an animal die on a relocation so will only pick airlines who conform to IATA’s strict live animal regulations. Auckland Airport Pet Services also organised for Winston to stay in Dubai overnight so that he could rest after his 17.5hr journey.
Requirements to get into Oman look daunting but the transportation company will help you along the way. If you choose to go it alone? Below is a guide to help.
Requirements for travel to the Sultanate of Oman
- All pets travelling from New Zealand (and any other country) must be microchipped and have the attached owner/vet declaration completed with their regular vet within 30 days of travel
- The microchip must be inserted & working prior to any vaccinations or treatment given required for travel.
- The chip number must be noted next to the vaccination/treatment sticker in the vaccination booklet for the treatment to be considered valid for travel.
- An Import permit is required for the exportation of dogs to Oman
- An Import Permit must be obtained prior to export from the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Animal Health Department. Tel: 696300 ext 1510/1513. Fax: 694465/696271. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- An import permit will only be issued if all conditions stated in this zoosanitary certificate are met
- The animal must be vaccinated against Rabies at least one month prior to the scheduled date of export, and must enter the Sultanate of Oman within 11 months of the date of the Rabies vaccination
- The dog must receive a booster vaccination against Canine Distemper, Canine Parvovirus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, and Leptospirosis at least 14 days and not more than 12 months prior to the scheduled date of export
- The original vaccination booklet/certificates must travel with your pet
- The rabies vaccination details must include a vaccine sticker which clearly shows batch number, date of manufacture and expiry, names of manufacturing company and country
The biggest concern I faced was the lack of information about clearing customs in Oman. Because of the heat and language barrier Auckland Airport Pet Services suggested that I use a customs broker or pet transport company on this end to help. I struggled to find information on the internet. I finally came across a post from a lady moving from Scotland in 2013. Thankfully, it was still relevant and directed me to the services of the Al Qurum vet. My contact, Mary-Jo coordinated everything for me and liaised with Auckland Airport Pet Services to finalise the export. At this end I was only required to fill out the import booking form. Al Qurum vet collected Winston from the airport and I picked him up from their clinic in Madinat Sultan Qaboos. Costs vary depending on how many and what animal you have and additional charges apply if your pet arrives on a public holiday, which of course Winston did. You can contact Al Qurum Vet at email@example.com.
It was a long process and an even longer journey for Winston to make. It must be extremely traumatic for them not knowing what’s going on. I think it would be worse though if he was left without his family. I’m thankful that Auckland Airport Pet Services and Al Qurum Vet did everything they could to make it as easy and pleasant as possible for him. I would use Auckland Airport Pet Services again and will definitely be using Al Qurum Vet when it comes time for us to leave Oman.