Relocation: Flying my dogs from Germany to Abu Dhabi

I have already written a post about how I have taken my dogs from Abu Dhabi to Munich, this post will explain their return. Taking dogs into the U.A.E. is a complicated and expensive progress, which takes around 10 days of preparation. In this post I will explain step by step how I have taken my dogs from Munich to Abu Dhabi airport in September 2017. The requirements change very frequently so it is important to double check everything prior.

It is not possible to fly dogs into the UAE as excess luggage, they have to fly as manifested cargo which makes the process a little more complicated and expensive. While it is possible to fly dogs to Germany without the use of an agency, an agency has to be used in Germany when returning to/entering the UAE.

dogs1234ab.jpgAny dog exiting Germany needs a European pet passport. They are available at most German veterinary clinics. All the information from the old passport will be transferred into the new one.

There are several agencies in Germany which offer relocation services. Two agencies that offer the service in Munich are Petmove and Gradlyn. I have used Gradlyn for the second time and paid around 2000 euros (agency fee and flight cost only) for both my dogs (20 & 6kg). The paperwork process should start 10 days prior to the flight, if the dog is fully vaccinated and microchipped already. If the vaccinations are not up to date the process should start 21 days prior minimum. Pets under the age of 4 months can not enter the U.A.E.

dog12aVaccinations (21 days – 1 year prior to the flight)
The required vaccinations for dogs are: rabies, canine parvo virus, infectious canine hepatitis, canine distemper virus, leptospirosis.

Abu Dhabi Import Permit (1-30 days prior to the flight)
1-30 days prior to the flight an import permit has to be requested on the website of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Then go to ‘Our services’, ‘Pets package’ and then ‘Import permit for pets (cats/dogs)’. This costs 500aed per pet and a visa or master card has to be used to pay online. It only takes around 5 minutes to issue the permit.

dog123abIn- and external parasite treatment. (1-10 days prior to the flight)
A treatment for nematodes and cestodes needs to be administered by a registered veterinarian. I paid 35 euros for each dog. The tick treatment is called advantix, and the worm treatment is called Milprazon. My vet included the expiry date and the LOT number of the batch used.

dog123aFit to travel certificate (informal) (1-10 days prior to the flight)
This certificate was required by Etihad and not the Abu Dhabi government. The fit to travel certificate has to include the animal’s microchip number and a confirmation that the dog is in good health and able to withstand carriage to its destination. This has to be confirmed by the same vet that does the parasite treatment with a signature and stamp.

dogs1234aOfficial UAE health certificate by a state veterinarian. (1-24 hours prior to flight)
The official health certificate can be downloaded here: UAE health certificate. The official UAE health certificate has to be signed by an official state veterinarian,this has to be done exactly 24 hours prior to the flight or less. Unlike Abu Dhabi the state veterinarian is only open from Monday to Friday, so this is why flights should not be booked on Mondays.

Note to everyone who flies original UAE dogs: When I tried to get the certificate the official state veterinarian (Thalkirchner Straße 106) did not accept my dogs vaccinations, because the veterinary from the Falcon Hospital Abu Dhabi wrote the vaccinations into the European dog passport. For some reason he said that is is therefore invalid and only European vets are allowed to sign or stamp the passport. Therefore it is good to go to the state veterinarian 7-10 days prior to make sure that the papers are accepted. (The agency told me that this is usually no issue and the vaccinations were accepted once the veterinary saw the original EU health certificate)

The dog has to fly in an IATA approved crate, which can be purchased from the agency. The animal has to be able to stand up and turn around comfortably, so it is always good to take a bigger size. Each box needs two bowls attached to the door, one for water and one for food. Dry biscuits can be attached to the crate in a plastic bag and frozen water can be put into the water bowl so it does not spill quickly. I have also used double sided tape to fix the blankets to the bottom of the cage. All documents required for the animal to fly need to be copied and attached to the crate too.

travelabWhen the dog arrives in Abu Dhabi he can be picked up at the cargo terminal of Abu Dhabi airport. I believe that this process is similar for all animals arriving in Abu Dhabi, no matter what country they are originally from. It takes around 1-3 hours for the dog to be ready to be picked up, this time I waited over 4 hours for my dogs to be released. There is no A/C where the dogs are kept so it’s best to send heat sensitive dogs in the cooler months.

I first went to the Etihad cargo terminal and gave them my Emirates ID and airway bill. It took around an hour to finish all paperwork with Etihad only and I paid 348 dirhams. I then went to the veterinary department inside the cargo terminal and gave all documents to the veterinary on duty there. There is a computer inside the office where I had to visit the Mocca website again and pay for my dogs release form.  This cost 1050 dirhams per dog. I was told to go to the office near the cafeteria and ask for them to bring the dogs near the gate. On this day for some reason the dogs weren’t allowed to be brought through the usual gate and I had to drive to another gate. The veterinary came with me and checked the dogs microchips and stamped all papers. I went back to the custom clearance section and paid 225 dirhams. The last paper was a confirmation to the police which I signed to release my dogs. In total I paid around 3000 dirhams to release my dogs from the airport.

Taking dogs into the UAE is a very complicated and costly process, which can also mean a lot of stress to the animal.



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