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How to Qatar: Importing a Pet

Q atar has recently updated its import requirements for cats and dogs. These are intended to put a dent in the animal breeding industry, but they are also creating headaches for pet owners who regularly take their pets abroad.

Qatar currently bans animal imports from certain countries (most notably Russia, Ukraine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon); while other countries are limited to one pet per passport. There’s also an additional requirement to show proof your pet has passed the rabies antibody titer test (RATT).

The RATT has been a necessary step to export pets to most of the globe, and Qatar is only the latest country to require it. However, Qatar does not require a 90-day wait after the blood draw; they just require proof that the pet has passed the RATT.

Here’s how to get your pet ready to travel:

  1. Microchip your pet. This is a quick procedure where your vet will inject a rice grain-sized chip in the loose skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. It contains a unique ID number, which can be read by scanners used at nearly any vet’s office, as well as animal import/export staff.
  2. Get a rabies shot. After your pet is microchipped, the vet will give them a rabies shot. A sticker from the vial is attached to your pet’s vaccination book, which links it to your pet’s microchip.
  3. Blood draw. Wait 30 days and then return to the vet clinic. They will draw a vial of blood, which will be sent to an approved laboratory for testing.
  4. Time your travel. Most countries require a 90-day wait after the blood draw before entry. We recommend getting this done as soon as possible, since most global destinations allow the results of the RATT to be valid for the duration of the pet’s life, as long as they have an annual rabies shot.
  5. Re-entry. Qatar currently requires proof that a RATT was passed within the year before entry. If you have a pet that passed their RATT years ago, you need a special form to re-enter without a new one. Get this at the Animal Resources Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.

Note: Qatar’s updated animal import regulations have changed several times since the beginning of the year, and undoubtedly will have further tweaks down the line. Check with a pet relocator or veterinarian clinic for the latest updates. 

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